The Western alliance more commonly the West for short, refers to longstanding trade, diplomatic, and military alliances within a group or bloc of nations stemming from an adoption or sharing of Western civilization culture and values.
The West commonly includes the United States, the economically developed nations of Western 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 more fair forms of 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.
- the Anglo-American Alliance
- America and Israel
- America and South Korea
- ANZUS Treaty
Cold War Western alliance
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.
During the cold War, when Russia created the Soviet Union and tried to cut itself off from the rest of the West, the term meant those European countries allied against the former Soviet Union also known as the Eastern bloc. The Western world was equated incorrectly with the Western Bloc to include European democratic countries, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and Japan (although the latter countries is geographically in the Far East).
- 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