The West includes the United States, the First World industrialized nations of Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Although Japan is in the Far East, it modeled itself after Europe in the late 19th century during the Meiji Restoration. After World War II, the United States gave Japan additional assistance in modernizing its business practices; see William Edwards Deming. Western culture includes concepts such as accountability, democracy, freedom, personal responsibility, and a free market economic system. Coincidentally, "The West" generally comprises the countries with the highest standards of living and best governance in the world. Most, though not all, countries considered in "The West" are also Christian.
Militarily, the West consists of the United States, its allies and its friends.
In the Cold War (1947–91), the West opposed the Soviet Union and its satellites, as well as Communist China. The main military alliance in the West was - and still is - NATO, formed in 1949 which, these days, contains countries that were once part of what was considered the Eastern Bloc - Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and others which now are successful democracies.
South Korea is strongly allied with the United States, both politically and economically.
- Gress, David. From Plato to NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents (1996) excerpt and text search
- Rosenberg, Nathan, and L.E. Birdzell Jr. How The West Grew Rich: The Economic Transformation of the Industrial World (1987) excerpt and text search