A new Europe emerging from the catastrophic effects of the Second World War, coupled with resistances from her colonies in Africa and other parts of the world, which were fighting for decolonization, was experiencing strains in her economic and financial resources. These effects changed the power shift from central Europe to Eastern Europe, namely, the Soviet Union, and the United States of America (Rosenthal & Wong, 2011). The European nations had to embark on political and economic means to redefine their empires.
Nations redefined their empires to handle the rising pressures from conflict and competition both in the region and internationally. Countries turned on one another in a bid to reaffirm their positions as economic and political power-houses. To ensure no further conflict, the North Atlantic treaty Organization, NATO which had been formed in 1949, added more members into the rooster, for example Germany, to foster democracy, consultation and cooperation among the countries in the North Atlantic Area. Monarchies were being replaced with democracies. Communism, practiced by Soviet Union and Germany was also spreading into the nation’s colonies overseas
Rosenthal & Wong, (2011) further explain that in the 1960’s, globalization was beginning to take shape due to technological advances and international trade. Faster transport means were realized leading to interactions between people from different cultures. This led to a shift in how the empires viewed themselves and it became harder for Britain to hold onto the super power status she had enjoyed. Soviet Union was sending the first man to space, an advancement which was perceived as a threat to the other nations in the region.
From colonial powers, the European countries sought to progress to modern states, for example the British foreign policy sought to maintain prestige internationally, a feat Britain had not been accustomed to. The withdrawal of troops from Middle and Far East in 1968 was an indicator that grips of power were leaving Britain. Even though the nations redefined their powers and big empires collapsed, politically they continue to influence international affairs to date.