the soul of a superpower postwar united states 1945 early 1970s n.
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The Soul of a Superpower: Postwar United States (1945- early 1970s). Baby Boom Generation. Suburbanization – linked to conformity. Realities of International Politics. Soviet Union had emerged from WWII as the other superpower

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realities of international politics
Realities of International Politics
  • Soviet Union had emerged from WWII as the other superpower
  • Soviets occupied Eastern Europe as a buffer zone against possibility of future German invasion
  • Communists were winning in China and took over in 1949
  • It would be expensive to meet the communist threat
key events in 1950s civil rights
Key Events in 1950s Civil Rights
  • Brown vs. Board of Education decision on segregation of schools (1954)
  • Arrest of Rosa Parks and resulting Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956)
  • Desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas (1957)
background on u s involvement in vietnam war
Background on U.S. Involvement in Vietnam War
  • U.S. government had backed an independent Vietnam in 1945 even though led by communist-trained Ho Chi Minh
  • But French used priorities of the Cold War to secure U.S. assistance in retaking control of their former colony in Southeast Asia
  • U.S. bankrolled much of the failed French war effort and then tried to prop up South Vietnam as an anti-communist state.
cuban missile crisis details
Cuban Missile Crisis Details
  • U.S. and Soviet officials eventually agreed that missiles would be removed in exchange for U.S. promise not to invade Cuba
  • Secret provision of deal had Kennedy promise to remove U.S. nuclear missiles from Soviet neighbor of Turkey (though missiles were defunct – not known by Soviets)
  • U.S. forces went to DEFCON-2, which was highest level of readiness short of nuclear war
phases of modern civil rights movement
Phases of Modern Civil Rights Movement
  • Mid-1950s – Focus on using legal system to break down barriers
  • Late-1950s to Mid-1960s – Focus on using forms of peaceful protest to desegregate, i.e., integrate communities
  • Mid-1960s to Early 1970s – Rise of black nationalism encouraged greater militancy and disagreement within African American community
features of great society
Features of Great Society
  • Two major pieces of civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965 – ended widespread disenfranchisement of blacks in former Confederate states
  • War on Poverty to include Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps
shocks to political system in 1968
Shocks to Political System in 1968
  • Tet Offensive suggests war in Vietnam far from over
  • President Johnson drops out of re-election campaign
  • Assassination of MLK, Jr.
  • Assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy while running for president
  • Democratic convention in Chicago degenerates into street battles with protestors
useful primary sources
Useful Primary Sources
  • Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech (1946)
  • Truman Doctrine (1947)
  • Senator Joseph McCarthy launching anti-communist crusade in Wheeling, WV (1950)
  • President Dwight Eisenhower Farewell Address on “Military-Industrial Complex” (1961)
  • John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address (1961)
  • Port Huron statement by SDS (1962)
useful primary sources continued
Useful Primary Sources (continued)
  • MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech (1963)
  • Senator J. William Fulbright’s “Arrogance of Power” speech (1966)
  • Stokely Carmichael’s “Black Power” speech (1967)
  • Redstockings Manifesto (1969)