Main ideas / changes over time: Post-World War II transition

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Unit 9: Cold War 50s-70s (1946-1979)

Study guide – AP U.S. History –

Main ideas / changes over time:

Post-World War II transition

During the late 1940s, the United States under President Truman adjusted to post-war transition problems with an economic boom, a baby boom, and attempts to extend the New Deal to more Americans.

Cold War beginning

After World War II, the Cold War broke out between the United States and the Soviet Union over control of Europe, expansion of ideologies, nuclear power, and control of East Asia.

Life in the 1950s

The 1950s U.S. under President Eisenhower was marked as a period of prosperity, consumerism and family life in the shadow of the continuing Cold War.

Kennedy and the Civil Rights Movement

During the early 1960s Presidents Kennedy and Johnson supported civil rights and poverty reform at home while struggling with the Cold War abroad.

Vietnam and 1960s protest

In response to Vietnam and social problems in the U.S., many Americans participated in protest and counterculture during the late 1960s.

1968 and Nixon through Carter
SFI names and terms – remember to make connections, understand significance, recognize cause and effect, and group with patterns and categories

  1. Harry S Truman

  2. Cold War – problems b/t US & USSR

  3. G.I. Bill

  4. FHA

  5. Levittown

  6. Redlining

  7. Integration of military

  8. Jackie Robinson

  9. Baby boom

  10. Dixiecrats

  11. Fair Deal

  12. United Nations (UN)

  13. Long telegram

  14. Iron curtain

  15. Truman Doctrine

  16. Marshall Plan

  17. Berlin blockade/airlift

  18. CIA

  19. NATO

  20. Mao Zedong

  21. H-bomb and arms race

  22. NSC-68

  23. Korean War

  1. Second Red Scare

  2. HUAC & blacklisting

  3. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

  4. Joseph McCarthy

  5. McCarthyism

  6. 1950s prosperity

  7. Interstate system

  8. Television

  9. Rock and roll

  10. Elvis Presley

  11. Billy Graham

  12. Beat generation

  13. Dwight D. Eisenhower

  14. Military-industrial complex

  15. Massive retaliation

  16. Containment policy

  17. Sputnik

  18. NASA

  19. U-2 Incident

  20. John F. Kennedy

  21. Cuban revolution

  22. Bay of Pigs invasion

  23. Berlin wall

  24. Cuban Missile Crisis

  25. Space race

  1. Brown v. Board of Education

  2. Southern Manifesto

  3. Little Rock nine

  4. Montgomery Bus Boycott

  5. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  6. Sit-ins

  7. Project C – Birmingham

  8. Bull Connor

  9. March on Washington

  10. Assassination of JFK

  11. Lyndon B. Johnson

  12. Civil Rights Act 1964

  13. Freedom Summer

  14. Bloody Selma

  15. Voting Rights Act 1965

  16. Great Society

  17. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

  18. Vietnam War

  19. Anti-war protests

  20. Students for Democratic Society (SDS)

  21. The Feminine Mystique

  22. Sexual revolution

  23. Counterculture/hippie characteristics

  24. Woodstock Music and Arts Festival

  25. Jonestown


Ch. 29:

“Long hot summers” – race riots

Black Power

Nation of Islam

Malcolm X

Black Panthers

Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers (UFW)


Tet Offensive

Dr. King assassination

Robert Kennedy assassination

Democratic National Convention protests, Chicago

Richard Nixon

Silent Majority

George Wallace

Kent State University shooting

Moon landing – Apollo 11


SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty)

OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)

Silent Spring

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)

Watergate scandal

Gerald Ford

Jimmy Carter

Camp David Agreement

Iran hostage crisis

Presidential administrations 1945 - 1980

1954 – Brown v. Board of Education decision; start of major civil rights protests

1964 – Gulf of Tonkin resolution, escalating Vietnam War

1968 – “The Year of the Gun”; Nixon elected, Tet Offensive, RFK and MLK killed, DNC protests

DBQ essay question possibilities:

  1. Historians tend to portray the 1950s as a decade of prosperity, conformity, and consensus, and the 1960s as a decade of turbulence, protest, and disillusionment. Evaluate the validity of this statement, especially concerning social and political aspects of the U.S.

  1. Analyze the ways in which the Vietnam War heightened social, political, and economic tensions in the United States. Focus your answer on the period 1964 to 1975.

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