US history 1960 - 2003 study guide and summary notes




US history 1960 - 2003 study guide and summary notes


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US history 1960 - 2003 study guide and summary notes


Election of 1960 – Kennedy vs. Nixon, Kennedy (due to televised charisma) won over Nixon (pale and nervous).


President John F. Kennedy – second youngest president, entered presidency as tensions of the Cold War increased; unable to get major initiatives through Congress due to conservative bloc; tax cuts (economic stimulation); reluctantly gets involved in civil rights; emphasizes Space Race (man on the moon).


Rachel Carson, Silent Spring – effects of pesticides on the environment; changed way Americans viewed their impact on nature.


Berlin Wall – due to threat of nuclear war, Soviets erected wall to separate East Berlin from West Berlin (end exodus of intellect to west); symbol of communist denial of freedom.


Peace Corps – created in 1961 as example of liberal anticommunism in third world countries; “reform-minded missionaries of democracy”.


Alliance for Progress (Marshall Plan of Latin America)– Americans feared Soviet infiltration into Latin America, placed secret police and military forces to prevent it.


Bay of Pigs invasion – CIA attempt to institute Cuban support to overthrow Castro; cover-up uncovered, became representation of Cuban resistance to American aggression.


Cuban Missile Crisis – storage of Soviet missiles in Cuba (threat of nuclear war); Krushchev demanded that US never invade Cuba and remove forces from Turkey; mutual compliance with each other’s demands.


Nuclear Test Ban Treaty – prohibited testing of nuclear bombs above ground to slow the nuclear arms race and the release of nuclear fallout into the atmosphere.


Freedom Riders (Congress of Racial Equality - CORE)– interracial group of protestors who aimed to dramatize the violations of the call for desegregation; harsh treatment by southern whites provoked Kennedy to more strictly enforce desegregation.


James Meredith – black veteran escorted to be enrolled in Univ. of Miss. by military (school reluctant, cf. Little Rock Nine).


March on Birmingham – King hosted myriad nonviolent protesting activities to fill jail with protestors, Bill Connor (police commissioner) began violent resistance to protestors.


March on Washington, “I have a dream” – 25,000 people (including whites) convened for political rally, MLK’s speech to historical event; attempted to push civil rights bill through Congress.


Assassination of JFK, Warren Commission – Assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald (hated his anti-Cuban policies); LBJ instituted Warren Commission to investigate assassination (headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren).


President Lyndon B. Johnson – dealt with Vietnam War, “Great Society” program for improvement of American society, antipoverty and anti-discrimination programs.


      “Great Society” – LBJ’s flood of proposals to Congress for the beautification and amelioration of American society (War on Poverty, Medicare, public education spending, public television (PBS), National Endowments for the Humanities and Arts (NEH, NEA)).


Affirmative Action – sets of programs geared towards minorities and oft-discriminated populations.


    Immigration Act of 1965 – abolished national origins quotas, dramatically increased immigration (especially from Asia and Latin America).


    Civil Rights Act of 1964 – banned racial discrimination and segregation (public), bias by federal government; enforced by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.


    Voting Rights Act of 1965 – prohibited use of any devices (e.g., literacy tests) to deny the right to vote and enforced black suffrage rights.


Forced busing – due to parents unhappy with encouraged segregation of schools, Supreme Court instituted forced busing policies (using school buses as a method of integration).


Malcolm X, Nation of Islam – Black Muslim worked to raise black spirits and pride (cf. Marcus Garvey); emphasized black institutions rather than mere desegregation, blacks to gain freedom at any cost.


Black Power, Stokely Carmichael – black rights leader, heavily influenced by Malcolm X (advocated black separatism rather than integration).


Black Panther Party – another black separatist movement; known for peaceful demonstrations, but more for police shootouts.

Gains for women – rejection of negative portrayals of women (language, entertainment), increased quality and use of education, more job opportunities, acceptance into military.


National Organization of Women – founded by Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug, and Aileen Hernandez; lobbied for equal opportunity where the EEOC was lacking (gender

discrimination); lawsuits and mobilization of public opinion.


Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique – denounced the “housewife trap” which caused educated women to hold even themselves inferior to men.


Roe v. Wade – unconstitutionalized all state laws prohibiting women’s rights to have an abortion performed during the first trimester of pregnancy.


César Chávez, United Farm Workers – used nonviolent protest and boycott to achieve better working conditions for farmers (esp. Mexican-Americans).


Vietnam War – United States aided South Vietnam in its war of power struggle against North Vietnam, the Vietcong, USSR, and China.


Ngo Dinh Diem – Catholic communist autocrat of Vietnam, assassinated (with aid of US).


Ho Chi Minh – contending communist politician in Vietnam, had more popularity than Diem, took power upon Diem’s death.


Vietcong – National Liberation Front, guerilla militia from south Vietnam fighting alongside the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam)


Gulf of Tonkin Resolution – Congress authorized LBJ to repel and prevent aggression against US troops in Vietnam, used as a blank check (perhaps too much, caused protests).


Tet Offensive (1968) – NLF attacked numerous South Vietnamese cities and American embassies, eventually repulsed; spoiled LBJ’s record to reelection, resulted in massive protests in US to end the war; atrocities such that war could only end in stalemate.


Impact of LBJ’s Vietnam decision on 1968 election – left primary open to Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy, both promising to end the controversial war.


“New Left” (free speech movement) – youth activists (often liberal arts students) spoke out against Vietnam War, supported widespread liberalization.


    Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) – part of the New Left that envisioned “participatory democracy” (individuals control life-affecting decisions), end materialism, militarism, and racism; inspired by young black activists.

    Anti-war protests – concentrated on college campuses, hand-in-hand with New Left.


    Counterculture: sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll – youth looked to doing as they pleased, heedless of the consequences involved, musical and sexual revolutions.


Andy Warhol - pop art, mass production of art by screening.


Warren Court: desegregation (Brown v. Board of Ed), rights of the accused (Miranda v. Arizona), voting reforms (Wesberry v. Sanders, Reynolds v. Sims, Katzenbach v. Morgan).


1968 as “the year of shocks” - Tet Offensive in Vietnam, assassination of MLK and Robert Kennedy (presidential candidate), Riot of Democratic National Convention (Chicago police beat antiwar protestors), Black Panthers.


1968 Presidential Election – George Wallace vs. Nixon vs. Humphrey; very narrow popular vote triumph to Nixon (although he had clear majority of electoral votes).


Richard Nixon (R), “Southern Strategy” – lured many southern Democrats to the Republican party (esp. due to southern opposition to Civil Rights Act of 1964).


George Wallace, American – appealed to many conservatives, especially southerners (opposed massive protests and integration).


Vietnamization – part of Nixon’s tri-faceted plan to honorably remove troops from Vietnam; wean the South Vietnamese off of American support, gradually reducing number of American troops present.


    Bombing and invasion of Cambodia – another part of Nixon’s out-of-Vietnam plan, destroy supply routes to North Vietnam through Cambodia.


Kent State Protest – Kent State University students protesting against invasion of Cambodia, not allowed to demonstrate, violence (murder) caused by guardsmen.


“Silent Majority” – speech symbolized polarization between conservatives and liberals.


Conservative backlash against liberalism – conservatives like Reagan benefited from denouncing the New Left and excessive antiwar protests; gave him political prominence.


Détente, Realpolitik – détente achieved with USSR and China by withdrawal from Vietnam; realpolitik shed the use of doctrines and policies, instead using China and USSR in alternative ways to achieve other goals (pitting China and USSR against each other, as communist nations).

Nixon visits China and Russia (1972) – bridging communication gaps, epitome of détente.


    Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I) – Nixon agreed with USSR to achieve nuclear equality rather than the superiority that threatened the destruction of the world; further reduced tensions between the two countries.


New Federalism – Nixon’s domestic policy; federal revenues shared with states (revenue sharing), minimum income proposed.


Watergate Scandal – despite near-guaranteed second term, campaign workers burglarized Democratic offices, cover-up unsuccessful, resigned to avoid impeachment.


      Nixon pardoned by Ford to get country focused on more important matters


Energy Crisis, OPEC – increased already high rate of inflation by quadrupling the price of crude oil.


Stagflation – Ford’s and Carter’s presidencies experienced a recession and inflation simultaneously, solved by Keynesian economics.


President Jimmy Carter – Panama Canal Treaty, diplomacy with China, end of recognition of Taiwan; little accomplished domestically due to conservative opposition, foreign policy more successful; Washington outsider.


    Experienced high interest rates, inflation, increased government spending, rising unemployment, decreased union membership.


Humanitarian diplomacy – fought for human rights in Africa, Panama Canal returned to Panama, relations with China resolved.


Camp David Accords (peace btw Egypt and Israel) – followed years of tension, Israel would leave newly acquired lands from war, Egypt would respect Israel’s other land claims; accords not completely followed, Sadat (Egypt) assassinated.


Iran Hostage Crisis, 1979 – American hostages taken by US- hating Shiites upon Shah’s flight from uprising, botched rescue attempts.


Soviet invasion of Afghanistan – despite CIA-sponsored Soviet resistance, Afghanistan taken by Soviet Union; ended détente between USSR and US.


Deregulation – drastic cutbacks in regulation of business by the federal government (banks, transportation, communications.


Election of 1980 – decisive victory to Reagan due to his appeal over Carter (now unpopular due to lack of success in the presidency.


President Ronald Reagan – offered a New Deal (reminiscent of FDR) of smaller government, reduced taxes, and free enterprise; Washington outsider.


Conservatism – belief in minimal government so as to allow the people their own free reign, lower taxes to stimulate economy, etc...


Religious Right – political action for religion justified by decreased presence of religion in society; Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition to expand national influence.


Reaganomics – capitalism would become productive when uninhibited by taxes and regulation.


Supply-side economics, tax cuts – tax cuts to increase population spending (help economy), drastic cutting back on government programs due to lack of funds.


Nicaraguan Contras – guerilla army sponsored by CIA to attack procommunist revolutionaries in Nicaragua; fear of another Vietnam.


“Evil Empire” speech, “Star Wars” – Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire”; Korean passenger plane shot down near Moscow (increased anti-Soviet rhetoric); Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) used space-based lasers as defense from nuclear attack.


Mikhail Gorbachev – Soviet leader undergoing tensions on superpower and domestic level.


Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty (1987)– Reagan and Gorbachev agree to remove and destroy nuclear weapons from Eastern and Western Europe; eased international tension and allowed Soviet domestic reforms to take place.


Fall of communism in Eastern Europe (1989) – Gorbachev announced Soviet withdrawal of power from all of Eastern Europe, including Berlin (wall torn down, free movement, etc...).


Fall of Soviet Union (1991) – Gorbachev decreased nuclear arsenals, Communist Party lost power, Boris Yeltsin (president of Russian Republic) led Muscovites to take control.


“Graying of America” – economic recession (collapse of savings- and-loan industry, increasing deficit due to Reagan tax cuts, retail decreased, higher crime rate).


Economic transition to service economy in late 20th century (end of industrialism) – higher focus on services (esp. education) rather than material products.

President H.W. Bush – carried on Reaganomics, Gulf War, Savings and Loan Scandal.


Gulf War, “Operation: Desert Storm” (1991) – Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait despite peace treaty and refusal to abandon Iraqi occupation.


1992 Election – Bush vs. Clinton vs. Perot; focus on stagnancy of economy and problems of middle class (Clinton).


President Bill Clinton – scholarly, welfare-reform, “Contract with America,” impeachment over Monica Lewinski Scandal, War in Kosovo.


Gays in the military – ended exclusion of homosexuals from military; due to controversy, compromise of “don’t ask, don’t tell” instituted.


North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA (1994)– established free trade zone between Canada, United States and Mexico, net gain in jobs due to opening of Mexican markets.


“Contract with America” (1994) – Newt Gingrich (Republican congressman) planned for success of Republican party in upcoming election by pledging tax cuts, congressional term limits, tougher crime laws, balanced budget amendment, and popular reforms.


Clinton impeachment (1997) – helped approval ratings, not removed from office despite all the efforts of Republican congressmen.


Bush v. Gore (2000) – Gore promising with experience, Bush appealing by family influence and plans for presidency (tax cuts, education reform, defense, etc...).


9/11 Terrorist Attacks on NYC & DC (2001) – planes hijacked by terrorists for destruction; blame pinned on Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, sought out in attempt to completely destroy terrorism.


Invasion of Afghanistan (2002) – overthrow of the Taliban, in search of bin Laden.


Invasion of Iraq, removal of Saddam Hussein, 2003 – Iran, Iraq, and North Korea designated as the “axis of evil,” institution of democratic government in Iraq to replace Hussein’s dictatorship (return to spread and protection of democracy throughout the world, moving beyond containment of communism).


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