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World (disambiguation). See also: Three Worlds Theory This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help im prove this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material m ay be challenged and removed. (March 2011) The three worlds as they were separated during the Cold War era, each with its r espective allies as of the period between 30 April 1975 (the fall of Saigon) and 23 August 1975 (the communist takeover in Laos). Colors do not represent curren t economic development. First World: the United States and its allies. Second World: the Soviet Union, China, and their allies. Third World: neutral and non-aligned countries. The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO (which along with its allies repres ented the First World), or communism and the Soviet Union (which along with its allies represented the Second World). This definition provided a way of broadly categorizing the nations of the earth into three groups based on social, politic al, and economic divisions. Due to many of the Third World countries being extre mely poor, it became a stereotype such that people commonly refer to undeveloped countries as "third world countries," often used in a pejorative way.[1][2] Ove r the last few decades, the term 'Third World' has been used interchangeably wit h the Global South and Developing Countries to describe poorer countries that ha ve struggled to attain steady economic development.[3] Third World countries inc ludes most of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The Third World has also been connected to the world economic division as "perip hery" countries in the world system that is dominated by the "core" countries.[3 ] Due to the complex history of evolving meanings and contexts, there is no clea r or agreed upon definition of the Third World and the term is now less popular than it was during the 1970s and 1980s.[3] Contents Etymology French demographer, anthropologist and historian Alfred Sauvy, in an article pub lished in the French magazine L'Observateur, August 14, 1952, coined the term Th ird World, referring to countries that were unaligned with either the Communist Soviet bloc or the Capitalist NATO bloc during the Cold War [4] His usage was a reference to the Third Estate, the commoners of France who, before and during th e French Revolution, opposed priests and nobles, who composed the First Estate a nd Second Estate, respectively. Sauvy wrote, "Like the third estate, the Third W orld is nothing, and wants to be something." He conveyed the concept of politica l non-alignment with either the capitalist or communist bloc.[5] Third World vs. Three Worlds The "Three Worlds Theory" developed by Mao Zedong is different from the Western theory of the Three Worlds or Third World. For example, in the Western theory, C hina and India belong respectively to the second and third worlds, but in Mao's theory both China and India are part of the Third Non-Aligned World. Third Worldism Third Worldism has been defined as "the idea, popular among Third World autocrat contrary to s and many American and French leftists in the late 60s and 70s, that â orthodox Marxism's view that the Western working class would deliver the world f rom the tyranny of capital that ... Third World elites were the privileged histo rical actor."[6] History

An abandoned Mogadishu street in 1993 A number of Third World countries were former colonies, and with the end of impe rialism, many of these countries, especially the smaller ones, were faced with t he challenges of nation- and institution-building on their own for the first tim e. Due to this common background, many of these nations were "developing" in eco nomic terms for most of the 20th century, and many still are today. This term, w hen used today, generally denotes countries that have not "developed" to the sam e levels as OECD countries, and which are thus in the process of "developing". I n the 1980s, economist Peter Bauer offered a competing definition for the term T hird World. He claimed that the attachment of Third World status to a particular country was not based on any stable economic or political criteria, and was a m ostly arbitrary process. The large diversity of countries that were considered t o be part of the Third World, from Indonesia to Afghanistan, ranged widely from economically primitive to economically advanced and from politically non-aligned to Soviet- or Western-leaning.[7] An argument could also be made for how parts of the U.S. are more like the Third World.[8] The only characteristic that Bauer found common in all Third World countries was that their governments "demand an d receive Western aid", the giving of which he strongly opposed. Thus, the aggre gate term Third World was challenged as misleading even during the Cold War peri od because it had no consistent or collective identity among the countries it su pposedly encompassed. Recently the term Majority World has started to be used since most people of the world live in poorer and less developed countries.[9] Foreign Aid and Development During the Cold War, unaligned countries of the Third World were seen as potenti al allies by both the First and Second World. Therefore, the United States and t he Soviet Union went to great lengths to establish connections in these countrie s by offering economic and military support in order to gain strategically locat ed alliances (e.g. United States in Vietnam or Soviet Union in Cuba).[3] By the end of the Cold War, many Third World countries had adopted capitalist or commun ist economic models and continued to receive support from the side they had chos en. Throughout the Cold War and beyond, the countries of the Third World have be en the priority recipients of Western foreign aid and the focus of economic deve lopment through mainstream theories such as Modernization Theory and Dependency Theory.[3] By the end of the 1960s, the idea of the Third World came to represent countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America that were considered underdeveloped by the We st based on a variety of characteristics (low economic development, low life exp ectancy, high rates of poverty and disease, etc.).[4] These countries became the targets for aid and support from governments, NGOs and individuals from wealthi er nations. One popular model, known as Rostow's stages of growth, argued that d evelopment took place in 5 stages (Traditional Society; Pre-conditions for Takeoff; Take-off; Drive to Maturity; Age of High Mass Consumption).[10] W. W. Rosto w argued that Take-off was the critical stage that the Third World was missing o r struggling with. Thus, foreign aid was needed to help kick start industrializa tion and economic growth in these countries.[10] However, despite decades of receiving aid and experiencing different development models (which have had very little success), many Third World country's economi es are still be dependent on developed countries and are deep in debt.[11] There is now a growing debate about why Third World countries remain impoverished and underdeveloped after all this time. Many argue that current methods of aid are not working and are calling for reducing foreign aid (and therefore dependency) and utilizing different economic theories than the traditional mainstream theori es from the West.[12] Historically, development and aid have not accomplished th e goals they were meant to and currently the global gap between the rich and poo

r is greater than ever.[13] Over the last few decades, global population growth has largely been focused in Third World countries (which often have higher birth rates than Developed countr ies). As populations expand in poorer countries, rural people are flocking to ci ties in a extensive urban migration that is resulting in the creation of massive shanty towns and slums[13] A lot of times there is a clear distinction between First and Third Worlds. When talking about the Global North and the Global South , the majority of the time the two goes hand in hand. People refer to the two as 'Third World/South' and 'First World/ North'; because in theory the Global Nort h is supposedly more affluent and developed, whereas the Global South is less de veloped and oftentimes more poor.

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