WWII had been a battle of ideologies: fascism versus democracy. Democracy had won, but communism had risen up as an alternative for countries that were once fascist. Nonetheless, democracy won out, but how would these new democracies deal with the aftermath of WWII?
The West is Blessed
Remember the “economic miracle” brought about by the US's Marshall Plan? It spurred a wave of support for public welfare due to the economic growth it brought on. Europe had always been extremely progressive in terms of welfare (it even inspired the United States during the Great Depression), but when the economy suddenly stagnated, the people immediately criticized it and demanded it be limited.
Yes to Welfare, But Also No
Once the pinnacle of social welfare in the world, Europe slowly began to shun extensive welfare programs after WWII. They were usually accompanied by high taxes and meant helping people from ‘cradle-to-grave.’ The war had completely ruined Europe’s economy, and most of the global economy. However, the people knew that welfare did a great deal for them in their time of need. As a result, social welfare and the budgets of European nations became a source of internal debate for years to come.
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