Third World

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DEFINITION of 'Third World'

A phrase commonly used to describe a developing nation, but actually started as term used to describe a country's allegiance. A Third World country is a country whose views are not aligned with NATO and capitalism or the Soviet Union and communism. The use of the term Third World started during the Cold War and was used to identify which of three categories the countries of the world aligned with. The First World meant that you aligned withe NATO and capitalism, and the Second World meant you supported Communism and the Soviet Union.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Third World'

Developing nations are commonly referred to as Third World. These developing countries can be found in Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America. These countries were at one point colonies which were formally lead by imperialism. The end of imperialism forced these colonies to survive on their own. With lack of support, these colonies started to develop characteristics such as poverty, high birthrates and economic dependence on other countries. The term was then affiliated to the economic situation of these former colonies and not their social alliances to either capitalism or communism.


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