1945 - 1975
At the end of World War II, the colonies that had taken part in the war effort claimed their independence. Backed by the United States, the Soviet Union and the UN, which supported their cause by asserting « the right of peoples to self-determination », the idea of independence took form and spread rapidly. The movement started in Asia, then spread to Africa. Independence was achieved either peacefully or through armed conflict. The newly formed nations either maintained or cut back their economic ties with their former colonial powers.