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Period 8 [CR2] (1945-1980)

After WW II, the U.S. grappled with prosperity and unfamiliar international responsibilities while struggling to live up to its ideals.

Textbook: American Pageant Chapters: 36-39 [CR1a]

  • The Cold war

  • Marshall Plan

  • Korean War

  • Eisenhower admin

  • McCarthyism

  • Desegregation

  • Space race

  • JFK

  • Vietnam

  • Cuba

  • Civil Rights

  • JFK assassination

  • Great Society

  • Nixon

  • 60’s culture

  • China

  • Middle East

  • Watergate

  • Feminism

  • Energy crisis

  • Iran Hostage crisis


  • Collective security

  • Containment

  • Korean conflict

  • Vietnam conflict

  • Détente

  • Decolonization

  • Nationalist movements

  • Nonaligned countries

  • Cold War

  • Oil crisis

  • Military Industrial Complex

  • Liberalism

  • Non-violent protest

  • Desegregation of military

  • Brown v. Bd. of Education

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • Lyndon Johnson

  • Great Society

  • Private sector

  • Baby boom

  • Suburbanization

  • Sun Belt

  • Conformity

  • Immigration Act of 1965

  • Counterculture

  • Sexual Revolution

Key Concepts
8.1: The United States responded to an uncertain and unstable postwar world by asserting and attempting to defend a position of global leadership, with far-reaching domestic and international consequences.
8.2: Liberalism, based on anticommunism abroad and a firm belief in the efficacy of governmental and especially federal power to achieve social goals at home, reached its apex in the mid-1960s and generated a variety of political and cultural responses.
8.3: Postwar economic, demographic, and technological changes had a far-reaching impact on American society, politics, and the environment.

Thematic Learning Objectives: (ENV-5) (WOR-3) (WOR-4) (WOR-7) (WOR-8)

(ID-3) (ID-6) (ID-7) (ID-8) (POL-2) (POL-5) (POL-3) (POL-7)

(WXT-3) (WXT-5) (WXT-8) (CUL-5) (CUL-6) (CUL-7) (PEO-2) (PEO-3) (PEO-7)

Secondary Sources

The Sixties (excerpts from CNN documentary series) [CR1b]'>[CR1b]'>[CR1c]

Cluster, Dick. “They Should have Served that Cup of Coffee” [CR1c]

The Fog of War (documentary film about Robert McNamara) [CR1c]

Primary Sources

Brown v Board of Education decision [CR1b]

JFK’s Inaugural Address [CR1b]

MLK’s “I Have a Dream Speech” [CR1b]

Letter from Vietnam War soldier Marion Lee Kempner to home [CR1b]

LBJ’s televised address to the nation (March 31, 1968) [CR1b]

United Farm Workers Poster: “Viva Chavez” [CR1b]

Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique excerpts [CR1b]


  • “Reading Like a Historian lesson.” Women in the 1950s. Is the image of the happy 1950s housewife accurate? [CR1b]

  • “Reading Like a Historian lesson.” Civil Rights Act. Was JFK a strong supporter of Civil Rights? [CR1b]

  • “Reading Like a Historian lesson” Montgomery Bus Boycott. Why did the Montgomery Bus Boycott succeed? [CR1b]

  • “Reading Like a Historian lesson.” Great Society. Was the Great Society successful? [CR1b]

  • “Reading Like a Historian lesson.” Anti-Vietnam. Why did many Americans oppose the Vietnam War? [CR1b]

  • Students will research and write an essay regarding the patterns of change and continuity between the first Red Scare of the 1920s and the period of McCarthyism in the 1950s [CR9] [CR11]

  • The Cold War Across Time (1945-1990). A Jigsaw with Expert Groups

  • Guided Reading: Anti-Communism at Home

  • Students will write Cornell notes for chapters 36-39 of The American Pageant, 13th Ed.

Period 9 [CR2] (1980-Present)

As the U.S. transitioned to a new country filled with challenges and possibilities, it experienced renewed ideological and cultural debates, sought to redefine its foreign policy, and adapted to economic globalization and revolutionary change in science and technology

Textbook: American Pageant Chapters: 40-41 [CR1a]


  • Conservative rise

  • Reagan and the USSR

  • Gorbachev

  • Reaganomics

  • End of Cold War

  • Persian Gulf War

  • Clinton

  • 2000 election

  • 9/11

  • Iraq War

  • Obama


  • Globalization

  • Neoconservative

  • Religious fundamentalism

  • Deregulation

  • Big government

  • Ronald Reagan

  • Mikhail Gorbachev

  • Arms reduction

  • 9/11

  • War on Terror

  • Afghanistan

  • Iraq conflict

  • Free Trade Agreements

  • Climate change

  • Fossil fuels

  • Computer/Internet revolution

Key Concepts
9.1: A new conservatism grew to prominence in U.S. culture and politics, defending traditional social values and rejecting liberal views about the role of government.
9.2: The end of the Cold War and new challenges to

U.S. leadership in the world forced the nation to redefine its foreign-policy and global role.

9.3: Moving into the 21st century, the nation continued to experience challenges stemming from social, economic, and demographic changes.
Thematic Learning Objectives: (WXT-3) (WXT-7 (WXT-8) (POL-4) (POL-3) (POL-7) (WOR-3) (WOR-7) (WOR-8) (ENV-5) (CUL-7) (ID-6) (ID-7) (PEO-2) (PEO-3) (PEO-7)
Secondary Sources

  • Why We Fight (documentary film) [CR1c]

  • Citino, Robert. “Technology in the Persian Gulf War of 1991” [CR1c]

  • Gil, Troy. “The Age of Reagan”

Primary Sources

  • Iran Hostage's Diary / Robert C. Ode [CR1b]

  • Reagan Speech: “Tear down this wall,” 1987 [CR1b]

  • Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address [CR1b]

  • Mark Rickert. Discovering a mass grave in Iraq, 2003


  • Students use a graphic organizer to compare and contrast the causes and goals of each act as described excerpts from the 1924, 1965, and 1990 Immigration Acts. (PEO-7) [CR4][CR9]

  • Students write an essay that compares technological developments from 1800 to 2014, noting the impact of technology on culture and politics [CR3][CR5][CR11]

  • Students will complete a compare and contrast chart of 1980s conservative and New Deal philosophies on the role of government [CR11]

  • Using SOAPStone students will analyze the following document and evaluate the extent to which POTUS Reagan met his goals: Roland Reagan: First Inaugural Address. [CR13b]

  • Students write a mock op-ed for or against drilling for oil in the ANWR that cites precedents in U.S. law and history to justify their position (ENV-5) [CR4]

  • Looking at economic data about employment, compensation, and household data broken down by race, gender, and education from the 1970s to 2010, each student will write an essay that makes an argument about whether or not the American Dream existed [CR1b]

  • Students will create Cornell notes of chapters 39-42 of The American Pageant, 13th Ed.



How did demographic and economic changes in American society affect popular debate over American national identity

Work, Exchange, and Tech.

How did the shift to a global economy affect American economic life? How did scientific and technological developments in these years change how Americans lived and worked?


How did increased migration raise questions about American identity and affect the nation demographically, culturally and politically?

Politics and Power

How successful were conservatives in achieving their goals? To what extent did liberalism remain influential political and culturally?

America in the World

How did the end of the Cold War affect American foreign policy? How did the terrorist attacks of 9/11 impact America’s role in the world?

Environment and Geography

How did debates over climate change and energy policy affect broader social and political movements?

Ideas, Beliefs, and Cultures

How did technological and scientific innovations in areas such as electronics, biology, medicine, and communications affect society, popular culture, and public discourse? How did a demographically diverse population shape popular culture?

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