“After 1945 the world was totally different from what it had been in 1939; mid-century saw the balance of power shift westward across the Atlantic Ocean to a newly internationalist United States. Europe found itself divided along lines that were drawn up at wartime conferences in which most of the affected nations did not participate. Political division also took place in Asia, although not immediately after the war. Another consequence of the war was the decline of European colonialism. Empires were just too costly to maintain, and even though political leaders in Great Britain and France tried to hold on to their colonial possessions, the move toward independence in Africa and Asia was inevitable and irreversible.” – The World War II Desk Reference, Douglas Brinkley and Michael E. Haskew, eds.