American History 1960s-present

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“Crisis of Confidence” Speech
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What: Speech given by President Carter saying that the U.S. had lost unity of purpose and to become a more energy secure nation – seemingly blamed the American public Who: Carter to Nation When:1979 Significance: Carter was supposed to bring back the nation’s trust and hope for a better future – instead committed political suicide – speech came off as if he shifting and avoiding blame – enforced Americans distrust of government.
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“Five Policeman” Concept
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What: Belief that the top 5 nations (USSR, US, China, Japan, Western Europe) would be the police officers of the world Who: Nixon and Kissinger When: 1970s Significance: Shows the lessening of tensions between previous enemies and the vast growth of US to the world stage.
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9/11
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What: a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States – World Trade Towers, Pentagon, crashed in Pennslyvania – al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. When: September 11, 2001. Who: al-Qaeda Terrorists Significance: Day forever immortalized in American minds (modern Pearl Harbor) – caused a change in stance on foreign diplomacy went from peaceful globalization to agressive military mind-set; overhaul of the defense, safety, and response procedures; destruction of the untouchable perception of America
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Afghanistan
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What: country in the Middle East that has been the center of attention. First time when the soviet army entered afghanistan in 1978 (USSR in search of oil) the us provided training and weapons to anti-Soviet forces. they defeated soviets, leading to the rise of the Taliban who provided a safe heaven for al queda. In 2002 Bush launched an attack on Afghanistan in order to get rid of al-Qaeda forces after 9/11 Who: Taliban and al-Qaeda (now on the US enemy list after being sponsored by US) When: 1970s and 2000s Location: Middle East near Iran and Pakistan Significance: Center of US’s world on terror; became a face of Arabic world in American eyes
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AIDS
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What: “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.” Perceived as a disease of the gay community as society began to stigmatize AIDS. Reagan largely ignored this epidemic because homosexuals were not part of his constituency Significance: It began a divide over whether to include gay sexuality and sex education in schooling. When: 1980s Example: AIDS Epidemic of the 1980s
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Al-Gore
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What/Who: Dem. Clinton’s VP, won Pres. popular vote in 2000, ran against bush Jr; Environmental activist – Inconvenient Truth. When: 1993-2001 Significance:2000 Election revealed troubled features of the voting system in the US;controversy of presidential win Example: Inconvenient Truth
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Al-Qaeda
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What: International terrorist group founded by Osama Bin-Laden, wants to rid Muslim Countries of WEstern influences and replace their governments with islamic regimes . When: 1980s to present Significance: Led the attacks on America on 9/11 – constantly out to get America Location: world-wide Orgnization based in Afghanistan
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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
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What: aka Stimulus Package – intended to create jobs and promote investment and consumer spending during the recession that followed the financial collapse. When: 2008 Significance: This act provided a stimulus to the U.S. economy in wake of the subprime mortgage crisis, credit crunch, stock market crash Put into law federal tax cuts, extended unemployment benefits, increased domestic spending in infrastructure, education, health care, and energy.
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Barack Obama
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What/Who: Current President of the US When: 2008-present Significance: first African-American President, advocate for universal healthcare, an end to the Iraqi War, and economic recovery.
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Berlin Agreement of 1972
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What: Agreement between US (Nixon) and USSR on easing of travel restrictions between East and West Berlin; US agreed to recognize the legitimacy of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany); US promised would abandon its 30-year policy of seeking German reunification. Who: Nixon and Gorbachev When: 1972 Significance: Most important achievement of detente
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Black Power
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What:A slogan used to reflect solidarity and racial consciousness, used by Malcolm X. It meant that equality could not be given, but had to be seized by a powerful, organized Black community. When: 1960s-1970s Significance: The counter to MLKs peaceful Civil Rights Movement; showed division with in the movement Example: Malcolm X
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Brown vs. the Board of Education
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What: Supreme Court Case where Segregated schools were declared unconstitutional – “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” When: 1954 Significance: entrance of the Civil Rights Movement on the National radar and beginning of the advancement of the civil right movement advanced in several fronts. Example: Highschool in Little Rock, AR
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Camp David Accords
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What: Peace Agreement between Anwar Sadat (Egypt) and Menachem Begin (israel) brokered by Jimmy Carter They led to a peace treaty the next year that returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, guaranteed Israeli access to the Red Sea and Suez Canal, and more-or-less normalized diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries. When: 1978 Significance: Major accomplishment of Carter, but was not recognized for it (did not receive Peace Prize like other two members) added to the view that Carter was a bad president.This isolated Egypt from the other Arab countries and led to Sadat’s assassination in 1981.
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Challenger Explosion
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What: NASA shuttle explosions – all astronauts were killed When:1986 Significance: Loss of momentum for the space program – overhaul of space program and safety procedures; Changed perspective of space program (loss of importance of space program was finally made into policy)
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Civil Rights
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What: right or rights belonging to a person by reason of citizenship including especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th amendments and subsequent acts of Congress including the right to legal and social and economic equality When: 1920s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s Significance: spurred multiple social movements demanding equality based on race and gender Example: Civil Rights Movement of the 50s; Empowerment of Women Movements in the 1960s
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Clarence Thomas
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Who: Supreme Court Justice appt by Bush Sr. When: 1990s-present Significance: 2nd African American Supreme Court Justice; controversial appointment because of a sexual harassment allegations; shifted SC to a more conservative position
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Cold War
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What: ideological struggle between communism (Soviet Union) and capitalism (United States) for world influence; War fought through other countries with no direct confrontation by the main players When: 1950-1991 Significance: Shaped American foreign and domestic policy for 50 years; Shaped American public opinion Examples: Vietnam War; Cuban Missile Crisis
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Columbine Shooting
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What: horrorific school shooting When: 1999 Where: Littleton, CO Significance:event led to changes in gun control, school safety measures, and continuing debates about media portrayals of violence
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Containment
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What: a U.S. foreign policy adopted by President Harry Trumanin which the United States tried to stop the spread of communism by creating alliances and helping weak countries to resist Soviet advances When: late 1940s Where: world-wide policy of US Significance: became a core American foreign policy staple for the next 50 years; sometimes seen as the beginning of the Cold War Examples: Truman Doctrine
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Democratic Party
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What: Major American Political party champions states’ rights and fought political domination by economic elites (opposing tariffs, federal funding for internal improvements, and other extensions of federal power) Who: Blue-collar Americans; middle and lower -class When: in existance since late 1800s; Significance: One of two major political parties in US and has led to many major reforms in the country including social welfare and economic reforms (globalization) Examples: Presidents: FDR; Carter, Bill Clinton; Obama
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Detente
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What: was a new type of diplomacy developed by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger When:1970s Where: America/USSR/China Significance: lessened Cold War tensions and improved relations with USSR and China; create an equilibrium of power in world Examples: SALT Treaty; Helsinki Accords; Nixon’s visit to China; Berlin Agreement of 1972
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Domino theory
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What: Eisenhower’s theory that if one nation comes under communist control then neighboring nations will also come under communist control, the idea that if one land in a region came under the influence of Communists, then more would follow in a domino effect When: Came into existence in 1950s; dominated US policy till the 1980s Significance: key American foreign policy during the Cold War – used to justify intervention around the world Examples: Vietnam War
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Earth Day
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What: a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment When: 1970s Significance: beginning of the national environmental movement and led to many environmental reforms examples: effects of the day – , Clean Air act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and Earth Day
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Enron Scandal
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What: Energy company (Enron) was caught manipulating the energy economy When: 2001 Where: California Significance: Showed ineptness of the Security and Exchange; American people questioned their faith in businesses (trust of people began to crumble)
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George H.W. Bush
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What: US President after Reagan When 1988-1992 Significance: began personal attacks on opponents President when Cold War ended, Persian Gulf War, signed the Americans with Disabilities Act started a Recession; appointed two new Supreme Court Justices
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George W. Bush
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What: US president after Clinton When: 2001-2009 Significance: 9/11 – War on Terror, No-Child Left behind; controversial election (Supreme Court ruling); election showed failure of voting system
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Gerald Ford
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What: US president When: 1970s Significance: the first president to be solely elected by a vote from Congress; pardoned Nixon from Watergate affair – political suicide
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Globalization
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What:The process of the world becoming more economically interconnected and interdependent When: 1990s Significance: became the new world order replacing that of the Cold war; become central shaper of current US foreign policy – domination of economics over military might
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Gulf War
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What: A War that took place between Iraq and the U.S./Kuwait started by Iraq invading Kuwait When: Early 1990s Significance: First non-containment based war since WWII; became new standard for warfare expectations
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Housing Bubble
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What: running up of prices due to demand (demand was created by sub-prime lending and the buying of houses for resale purposes; burst when people could not afford to pay off their debt, foreclosures, and mass selling of property in a market with no buyers When: 2000s Significance: added to the growing economic stress; changing /revision of lending policies and procedures
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Hurricane Katrina
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What: Major natural disaster; Considered to be the one crisis of the Bush administrations second term When: 2005 Where: Gulf Of Mexico – hardest it was New Orleans Significance: revealed the inability of Federal, State, and local emergency services and in is inefficiency to deal with the crisis; brought up race issues; US as main world power – if we get hurt who helps us?; rise in awareness of importance of wetlands; revealed every man for himself mentality
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Iran
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What: Middle Eastern country between Afghanistan and Iraq When: came into existance as a nation in 1943 (Tehran Declaration); recent importance 2000s Significance: Used to ally of US now a main opponent; been the center of many conflicts in Middle East and world-wide – developing nuclear technology and bio-chemical weapons
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Iraq
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What: nation in the Middle East next to Iran, Syria , and Saudi Arabia When: established in 1950s (?); War 2000s Significance: been center of Bush Jr. War on Terror; Sadam Hussien was dictator ruling nation and a large supporter of terrorism; US intervention led to overthrowing of government
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Jimmy Carter
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What: US President after Ford When: late 70s – early 80s Significance:tried to bring confidence of American people back to American government – massive failure, one of the least popular presidents Examples: Crisis of Confidence Speech, Iranian Hostage crisis
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy
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What: US President after Eisenhower When: Early 60s Significance: youngest president ever; assassinated; became the new face of the nation – sexy, young, strong Examples: Cuban Missile Crisis
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Lebanon
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What: Country in the Middle East on coast of medite. near Israel When: In Civil War from 1970s – to early 1990s Significance: Brought into sharp relief the conflict between Christians and Muslims – US involvement and support of Christians and Israel – showing radical/Hard-core/conservative Christian demographic prominence
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Lehman Brothers
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What: was a global financial-services firm which declared bankruptcy When: 2008 Significance: blamed as even that started the economic collapse of 2008-2010.
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Leonid Brezhnev
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What: was the fourth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union When: 1960s-1980s Significance:growth of USSR role in world; g the beginning of a period of economic stagnation which would eventually lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; signed SALT agreement with Nixon in Moscow – Party to detente Example: Signed SALT I
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Lyndon B. Johnson
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What: US President after JFK When: 1960s1 Significance: Laid groundwork for future major social reforms such as social security and universal healthcare Examples: Great Society, Civil Right Legislation, Medicare/Medicade
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Malcolm X
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Who: Leader of Black Power movement – different view on how to achieve Civil Rights; Militant Civil Rights Leader When: 1950s Significance: major leader during Civil Rights movement; opposition to MLK’s peace
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Martin Luther King Jr.
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What: Civil Rights Leader When: 1950s-1960s Significance: Pivotal leader of the American Civil Rights movement – Non-violent leader;became face of the Civil Rights Movement; paved the way and instigated many social reforms Examples: March on Washington – ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech’
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Media and Technology
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What: Mediums through which information can be transmitted; Sources of development – within households, research, medicine, etc. When: began playing a major role 1930s and continued to grow in influence – loss of control over media began in 1960s with Vietnam Significance: plays crucial role in the way events and people are portrayed – sways public opinion; become center of debate on what the media should/should not show; made the world a smaller place (Globalization)
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Middle Class
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What: a social class that is moderately well-off – not struggling to get by nor extremely wealthy When: rise in the middle class began in 1950s Significance: Very influential on policies and elections; very crucial to the economy; 2000s been a rise of the shrinking of the middle class and creation of larger gaps between rich and poor – leading to protests; heavily affected by economic shifts; protestors and demanders of change Example: Occupy Wall Street;
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Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1956
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What: Blacks began boycotting busses and since they were the main customers there demands were heard and met When: 1856 Where: Montgomery, AL Significance: arrival of MLK on the national scene for Civil Rights; revealed the strength of the movement
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NAACP
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What: National Association for the Advancement of Colored; organization dedicated to bringing awareness to the plight of African Americans in America. When: Began in 1909; grew in prominence in 1920s and 1950s; active role 1920s-present Significance:oldest and largest Civil Rights Organization and has helped push forward equality for blacks Examples: Brown vs. Board of Education; Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s
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NAFTA
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What: North American free trade agreement- trilateral treaty among Canada, Mexico, and the US When: established in 1994; still active Significance: Early actions of US toward Globalization; created new fears within America of jobs leaving and negative effects on the environment
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NATO
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What: North Atlantic Treaty Organization; an attack against one of the member nations would be viewed as an attack against them all; protected member nations under American nuclear power; When:1949 – present; Where: North Atlantic….US and Western Europe Significance :first US peacetime military alliance in history, formal end to US isolationism; ignited more Cold War tensions- USSR creation of the Warsaw Pact; made US face of the new free world order
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Oil Crisis
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What: when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC, plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia) proclaimed an oil embargo “in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military” during the Yom Kippur war – US oil imports decreased dramatically When: 1973 – 1974 Significance: created rift within NATO;drew public attention to America’s growing dependence on oil
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Osama bin Laden
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What: Arab terrorist who established al-Qaeda When: 1990s and 2000s Significance: leader of major jihad against the West (US in particular), Israel, and Saudi Arabia; organized 9/11 terrorist attack on the US – shaped US policy; most wanted figure in war on terror/world until death in 2011
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Panama Canal
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What: Canal that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean When:completed in 1910s; Still in use; 1999 – Panamian Controlled Location: Panama – South America Significance: Opened better trade routes from Pacific to Atlantic; An aspect of American intervention in Latin America;
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Philip Randolph
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What: famous civil rights leader and led one of the civil rights first marches on Washington When: 40s-60s Significance: National figure for Civil Rights movement; brought Civil Rights to national stage for first time (then faded till 50s) Examples: Fair Employment Act
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Ping-Pong Diplomacy
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What: diplomacy initiated between friendly relations between American and Chinese table tennis When:1970s Where: China Significance: laid groundwork for friendly relations between the US and China and Nixon’s visit to China
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Reganomics
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What: economic policies promoted by U.S. President Ronald Reagan – supply side economics and the idea that taxes paid by the wealthy corporations must be reduced so that they’ll invest more money into the economy When: 1980s Significance:”Reganomics” helped the national economy recover somewhat from the traumas of the 1970’s and stagflation; rising confidence in the economy from Americans
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Richard Nixon
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What: US President after Johnson When:1968-1972 Significance: removed US from heavy military inolvment; relaxing of Cold War tensions; caused American to lose faith in the government; smeared name of politics and presidency Examples: Detente: Ping-Pong Diplomacy; Nixon Doctrine; Vietnam War; Kitchen Debate; Watergate
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Ronald Reagan
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What: US President after Carter When: 1981-1989 Significance: developed Reaganomics which helped the economic recession – brought back some American trust in economy; began first steps to ending Cold War; dealt with rise of morality issues – gay marriage; women’s rights; religion
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Saddam Hussein
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What: Repressive When: 1979-2003 Significance: idol for extreme Muslims in their jihad against West (stood up to Americans); committed many atrocities on own people; deposed by US and UK in 2003 during War on Terror, b/c of ties to al-Qaeda and belief that he had WMDs
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SALT 1
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What: Strategic Arms Limitation Talks;talks between US (Ford) and USSR (Brezhnev) When:1970s Location: Helsinki, Finland Significance: committed both the United States and Russia to strategic equality rather than nuclear superiority – first initial steps towards reduction of Cold War tensions
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Silent Majority
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What: label nixon gave to middle-class americans who supported him, obeyed the laws, and wanted “peace with honor” in vietnam – he contrasted this group with students and civil rights activists who disrupted the country with protests in the late 1960s and early 1970s When: 1970s Significance: major voting block tapped by Nixon to win election; represents a significant part of the population
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Somalia
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What: country in North-eastern africa; Mogadishu When: 1990s Significance: failed peace-keeping mission that brought into question to what extent should America be involved in foreign issues.
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Stagflation
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What: an economic term to describe a period of high economic stagnation and inflation When: 60s-70s Significance: period economic recession caused by oil crisis; loss of American faith in economy and government
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Sub-Prime Mortgages
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What:Loans made out to borrowers with lower credit ratings, that will probably not be able to pay it back When: 2008 Significance: cause of 2008 Economic Recession
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Civil Rights Act of 1957
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What: Primarily a voting rights bill When: 1957 Significance: this act was the first civil rights legislation enacted in the United States since Reconstruction – but so watered down it was ineffective.
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Great Society
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What: The name given to Johnson’s plan for American society that aimed for the lessening poverty, cleaning the environment, funding public education, and other leftist ideals When:1960s Significance:expanded the American welfare and social insurance system gave the government new responsibilities
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Iran Hostage Situation
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What: Capture and holding of American embassy workers, caused by Carter allowing the Shah sanctuary in US despite demands for his return by revolters When: 1970s – Carter Significance: became symbol of problems Carter could not resolve – loss of election and were released after Reagan was inaugurated
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The Pentagon Papers
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What: papers revealed how we got into the war and the plans and strategies used in Vietnam – release by Daniel Ellsburg When: 1970s Significance: Americans found out that the government was not honest about their intentions, and this lead to Nixon’s growing paranoia, and the creation of the Plumbers – eventual loss of trust by American in federal government.
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Vietnam
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What:a prolonged war between the communist armies of North Vietnam who were supported by the Chinese and the non-communist armies of South Vietnam who were supported by the United States When: US involvement in 1950s; war effort from 60s-early 70s Significance: revolution of media/press coverage and American public exposure; brought into question American’s policy of containment by American public
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Voting Rights Act of 1965
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What: invalidated the use of any test or device to deny the vote and authorized federal examiners to register voters in states that had disenfranchised blacks; more aggressive version of Civil Rights Act of 1957 When: 1965 Significance: encouraged greater social equality and decreasing the wealth and education gap
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War on Terror
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What: After 9/11, President George W. Bush declared a worldwide “war on terrorism” aimed at defeating international terrorist organizations, destroying terrorist training camps, and bringing terrorists themselves to justice When: 2002-present Significance: first war/official military action against terrorism; promoted stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims; global initiative led by the US
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Watergate Scandal
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What: Entire affair of Nixon supporting spying and bugging the Democratic Convention Office – evolved into a national scandal with presidential cover-ups ending with the impeachment of Nixon and his withdrawl from office When: 1972 Significance: complete loss of American trust in government; questioning of presidential power and relation to the law
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William Clinton
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What: US President after Bush Sr. When: 1993-2001 Significance: helped bring about new world order of globalization; made US main player in new world; major social reforms; US is policeman of world Examples: NAFTA; trade agreements in Pacific; Somalia; Rwanda

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