U.S. History Review

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U.S. History Review
A Quick Journey through Time
How did our nation
OW ?
GR
Back to the RENAISSANCE
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Europe came out of the Middle Ages with the
“re-birth” of learning…
The desire for Asian goods led to the Age of
Discovery (necessitated developments in
navigation)
Exploration led to the “discovery” of the New
World – the Americas
Colonization
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Spanish conquistadors, French explorers and English
colonists dominated the European interests in North
America during the 1500s and 1600s
Eventually, the English established themselves on the
east coast -- though the colonies were controlled by
Great Britain
Dissatisfaction with this situation led to the
REVOLUTIONARY WAR and the American Colonies
DECLARING their INDEPENDENCE from Great
Britain in 1776
A New Nation
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The American Colonies needed a government
The ARTICLES of CONFEDERATION
served this purpose during the war
They were not effective afterward –
No real central authority – states had power
 No power to tax - $ for military
 No ability to regulate trade

A New Government
 After
the war, in 1787, a Constitutional
Convention was called to revise the
Articles of Confederation
 Instead, they drew up an entirely new
document:
 The United States CONSTITUTION
The Constitution
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Ours is the longest living
foundation for a national
government in the world
today!
Federal system
Three branches of
government
Separation of
Powers/Checks & Balances
Bill of Rights
Manifest Destiny & Internal Conflict
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As the nation grew, so did the idea that America
must span the continent “from sea to shining
sea”
Economic differences between the Southern
(agriculture-oriented/slave) states and the
Northern (industry-oriented) states polarized the
nation and led to the CIVIL WAR (1861-1865)
Reconstruction & Change
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Policy following the Civil War focused on the
rights of former slaves and jump-starting the
economy again
INDUSTRIALIZATION in the Northeastern
states led to URBANIZATION
Agriculture in the South and West declined
The POPULIST MOVEMENT focused on
the rights of farmers while…
Imperialism & War
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Expansion of America’s
economy to other parts of the
world – overseas colonies
As we expanded our influence,
we sought to remain NEUTRAL
Until we were drawn into the
FIRST WORLD WAR (1917)
Post-war Boom then… BUST!
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The Roaring Twenties/Jazz Age
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Stock Market Crash (1929)
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19th Amendment
Prohibition
Flappers & Speakeasies
Speculation
Bank failures
Great Depression (1930s)
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Dust Bowl
High unemployment
FDR’s New Deal

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
introduced Government Programs
aimed at
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Relief
Recovery
Reform
No more “laissez-faire” capitalism
Helped stimulate the economy some
but…
…more WAR
The American Great Depression spread to
Europe in the 1930s & led to the growth
of fascist dictatorships (Germany & Italy)
 World War II began in Europe in 1939
 The U.S. entered the conflict after the
bombing of Pearl Harbor (Hawaii) in 1941

World War II
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The U.S. joined the war on the side
of the ALLIED POWERS
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Great Britain
France
USSR
They fought against the AXIS
POWERS
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Nazi Germany
Italy
Japan
America as a Super Power
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WWII ended with the defeat of Nazi Germany
and the dropping of an atomic bomb on Japan
in 1945
Conflicting political and social ideologies led to
the division of Europe following the war
While the U.S. helped France and Britain rebuild
Western Europe, the USSR took control of
Eastern Europe
A Cold War
The Soviet Union (USSR) – a
communist dictatorship
AND
 The United States – a capitalist
democracy
Were at odds and entered a nearly
40-year conflict that polarized the
world

Containing Communism
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The Truman Doctrine (1947) committed the
U.S. to a fight against the spread of communism
in the world
This led to a stalemate war in Korea (1950-53)
The Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)
and a “failure” in Vietnam (1964-1973)
On the Domestic Front
in the 60s
The U.S. experienced dramatic social
change during the Civil Rights Movement
led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
 Brown vs. the Board of Education led to
integration in the schools
 The Hippie Movement & anti-Vietnam war
slogans abounded & led to troop
withdrawal

The 1970s
Watergate – President
Nixon’s dilemma
And
 An economic
recession
led to widespread
distrust of
the government
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The 1980s & Reaganomics
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President Ronald Reagan
introduced an economic
stimulus package (Supply-side
economics) that helped the
U.S. economy grow
The same policy dramatically
increased the U.S. deficit
The Fall of Communism
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After years of military spending at the
expense of their citizens, the Soviet
economy was nearing collapse
In 1989, following the overthrow of several
communist regimes in Eastern Europe, the
Berlin Wall was opened
By 1990, the USSR had officially shifted
gears and the Cold War was over!!!
The 1990s and a New Millennium
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Unfortunately, conflict in the world was NOT over and
the U.S. was now the lone Super Power
Saddam Hussein’s aggressive takeover of Kuwait led to
the short-lived, successful Gulf War
The Soviet retreat from Afghanistan left a vacuum of
power into which warlords rose and sectarian violence
grew
U.S. involvement in the Middle East led to terroristic
acts – the worst of which was 9/11 – and the current
war in Iraq
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