1960s & ’70s: Protests in Western and Eastern Europe Sparked Reforms, Repression

Crash Course European History: “The post-World War II decades in Europe are sometimes called the Thirty Glorious Years (1945-1975). As those years wore on, tensions between East and West grew, and economic growth slowed or was unevenly distributed across Europe, protests and dissent arose across the continent.” Transcript.

The Thirty Glorious Years started with the US Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe with more than $15 billion in aid, and ended with the Opec oil crisis of the mid-1970s, which saw the sudden and steep rise in energy prices and overall inflation.

It was also a period of growing discontent and dissent against top-down authoritarianism of the communist and capitalist systems, and especially conflict and liberation for women in Europe, Russia and the larger Western world. When male protest leaders spouted freedom but demanded that women remain subservient, female protest leaders realized they needed to split off into their own feminist movements. While women won several economic and political advances, they have yet to achieve social, political and economic equality in Europe, Russia, the U.S. and most parts of the world.

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