Contemporary history is politically dominated by the Cold War (1945–91) between the United States and Soviet Union whose effects were felt across the world. The confrontation, which was mainly fought through proxy wars and through intervention in the internal politics of smaller nations, ultimately ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact in 1991, following the Revolutions of 1989. The latter stages and aftermath of the Cold War enabled the democratisation of much of Europe, Africa, and Latin America. In the Middle East, the period after 1945 was dominated by conflict involving the new state of Israel and the rise of petroleum politics, as well as the growth of Islamism after the 1980s. The first supranational organisations of government, such as the United Nations and European Union, emerged during the period after 1945, while the European colonial empires in Africa and Asia collapsed, gone by 1975. Countercultures rose and the sexual revolution transformed social relations in western countries between the 1960s and 1980s, epitomised by the Protests of 1968. Living standards rose sharply across the developed world because of the post-war economic boom, whereby such major economies as Japan and West Germany emerged. The culture of the United States, especially consumerism, spread widely. By the 1960s, many western countries had begun deindustrializing; in their place, globalization led to the emergence of new industrial centres, such as Japan, Taiwan and later China, which exported consumer goods to developed countries.
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