Gilded Age/ Progressive Era/ Imperialism(wwi) Western Settlement

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This study guide will help prepare you for the US History EOC.

Gilded Age/ Progressive Era/ Imperialism(WWI)

Western Settlement

  • mineral strikes lure people west (gold, silver, copper)

  • open range- use of Texas longhorn, cattle drives. Barbed wire helped bring an end to open range cattle drives (barbed wire invented 1874 by Joseph Glidden-still best and most used form of barbed wire; allows cattle to be fenced-no need for open range).

  • 1862 Homestead Act- settler obtained title to up to 160 acres by paying $10 registration fee and living on land for 5 years entitled settler to ownership; government encouraged white settlers to move west!

Presidents: James Garfield (1881), Chester Arthur (1881-1885), Grover Cleveland (1885-1889)

  • 1880’s wheat farmers mortgaged property= abandoned farms= more tenant farmers.

  • Wounded Knee/Sand Creek Indian Massacres

  • 1887 Dawes Act- allotted each Indian household 160 acres of reservation land to farm-remaining land would be sold to whites and the money placed in a “trust” fund for Native Americans; tried to make farmers of Native Americans- IT FAILED.

  • Up to 1860- the tariff is the main source of government revenue.

Industrial America and Labor Unions

  • Alexander Graham Bell (telephone), Thomas Edison (influence of light bulb), Gustavus Swift (refrigerated freight cars impact), Thomas Sholes (typewriter)

  • Transcontinental Railroad (Union Pacific-hired Irish immigrants, Civil War vets, Central Pacific-hired Chinese immigrants)- 1869 met at Promontory Point, Utah.

  • Robber Barons- Railroad entrepreneurs who were perceived as being greedy and corrupt.

  • Identify the following with their business: John D. Rockefeller (oil refining-Standard Oil), Cornelius Vanderbilt (railroad consolidation), J.P. Morgan (investment banking)

  • Credit Mobilier Scandal

  • Laissez-faire government- “hands off” ( little or no government regulation of US businesses)

  • Andrew Carnegie- horizontal integration, vertical integration, monopolies, trusts, holding companies

  • Labor Unions growth- unhealthy working conditions, repetitive work. 1865-1897 deflation.

  • 2 types: trade union (craftsmen), Industrial Unions (craft workers & common workers)

  • Tactics used by businesses to prevent labor unions: oath of loyalty, hired undercover detectives, blacklisting, lockout.

  • Labor Union tactics: strikes, boycotts

  • No laws allowed workers to unionize, labor leaders identified with Marxism & anarchism

  • Late 1800’s Major Strikes: Great Railroad Strike, Haymarket Riot (hurt labor’s reputation more), Pullman Strike.

  • Knights of Labor (1st nationwide industrial union), AFL

  • CLOSED SHOPS-unions forced businesses to hire only union members (strengthened the union).

Immigration Late 1800’s

  • 1890’s more than half of all immigrants in US were from eastern & southern Europe

  • 14 million eastern European Jewish immigrants 1860-1900

  • Ellis Island (European immigrants processed), Angel Island (Asian immigrants processed)

  • Growth of ethnic cities- tenements, skyscrapers, mass transit

  • 1882- Chinese Exclusion Act- banned Chinese immigration for 10 years, prevented Chinese in America from becoming US citizens (permanent in 1902, repealed 1942).

  • Political Machines- Tammany Hall (William “Boss” Tweed)- services in exchange for votes.

Gilded Age & Political Reform

  • Individualism (Horatio Alger- “rags to riches” novels).

  • Social Darwinism, Gospel of Wealth (philanthropy)

  • Social Gospel Movement 1870-1920; Salvation Army, YMCA, Settlement Houses (Jane Addams & “Hull House”); settlement houses provide education, aid to immigrants.

  • Growth of public schools – “Americanization”, prepares future workers, free public libraries.

  • James Garfield assassination- civil service reform

  • 1883 Pendleton Act- did away with the Spoils System; set up civil service system- replaced Spoils System (SPOILS SYSTEM ENDS)

  • 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act- attempt to regulate monopolies- ineffective.

  • Populism- political movement by farmers to unite and fight unfair business practices (high railroad rates etc.).

  • Problems faced by farmers- post 1860 farm prices dropped due to technology, high tariffs raised price of equipment, and Railroads set high freight charges, deflation due to money supply (Interstate Commerce Act-1887)

Presidents: Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), Grover Cleveland (1893-1897), William McKinley (1897-1901)

  • The Grange, The Farmer’s Alliance, People’s Party (Populist party).

  • Called for Silver coinage, Goldbugs vs. Silverites

  • 1896 election- Dem. & Populists supported William Jennings Bryan (pro-silverite) vs. William McKinley (Front porch campaign)

* 1896- Plessy v. Ferguson- “separate but equal” established, Jim Crow laws, de facto

segregation in north.

* poll taxes, literacy tests- used to deny blacks the right to vote.

  • Ida B. Wells - Memphis Free Speech newspaper- wrote against lynching in US.

  • Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. Dubois –Washington believed African-Americans should focus on education and job training more than gaining immediate Civil Rights (Atlanta Compromise); Dubois advocated immediate demand for Civil Rights.

US Imperialism

* economic & political domination of strong country over weaker nations.

* Reasons for US Imperialism- new markets, superiority (Anglo-Saxonism)-Josiah Strong

* The White Man’s Burden-Kipling’s defense/explanation of Imperialism

* Annexation of Hawaii

* Alfred T. Mahan- Wrote a book “The Influence of Sea Power Upon History” ; called for development of a large and modern US navy to protect US merchant trade ships & defend US trade rights; would require coaling stations.

* Teddy Roosevelt- Big Stick diplomacy

Spanish-American War

* Causes: yellow journalism, USS Maine explosion, de Lome letter, jingoism

* US gets Guam, Puerto Rico, Philippines- Cuba gets independence (become US protectorate).

* Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst- yellow journalism

* Rough Riders- most famous fighting unit of Spanish-American War; led by Leonard Wood with second in command Teddy Roosevelt; took part in Battle of San Juan Hill.

* Platt Amendment- Cuba becomes an American protectorate.

President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), William H. Taft (1909-1913) Imperialism

  • Cause: new markets for US goods, Anglo-Saxonism, Social Darwinism

  • Alfred T. Mahan- called for modernizing US navy & increased coaling stations to avoid being shut out of foreign markets.

  • Open Door Policy-(McKinley/T. Roosevelt) - US policy - all countries allowed trade with China.

  • Great White Fleet- (T. Roosevelt) US navy was sent around the world to show America’s might (part of Teddy Roosevelt’s “BIG STICK” diplomacy).

  • T. Roosevelt –Gentlemen’s Agreement (US &Japan): T. Roosevelt and Japan agreement; US would be less restrictive/discriminatory towards Asian-Americans in California if Japan would allow less Japanese emigration to the US.

  • Northern Securities, Boxer Rebellion, Platt Amendment

  • Panama Canal- America buys the right to build and control Panama canal; US will control the canal until 1999.

  • Roosevelt Corollary to Monroe Doctrine- policy that the US would collect debts of Latin American nations on behalf of Europe (T.R. sent MARINES to collect debts).

  • The Square Deal, Big Stick Policy

  • Dollar Diplomacy- policy of William H. Taft; US uses less military intervention in Latin America and more reliance on economic cooperation with Latin America.

  • Progressivism 1890-1919- America moves from laissez-faire to more government involvement

  • political movement to reform (change) facets of society; led by the middleclass.

  • called for government to play more active role in solving problems

  • Failure: Failed to address issue of segregation & race

  • Muckrakers: Upton Sinclair-The Jungle (about meat packing industry), Jacob Riis-How the Other Half Lives (how poor lived in NYC), Ida Tarbell – wrote about business corruption in Standard Oil.

  • Progressive era reforms: commission plan for city govt, initiatives, referendums, recall elections, Robert La Follette’s “Wisconsin Idea” – direct primaries, direct election of Senators, zoning laws, worker comp laws, building codes, health codes, Temperance, Pure Food & Drug Act

  • 16th Amendment- gave Congress the right to impose income taxes.

  • 17th Amendment- gave citizens the right of direct election of US Senators.

  • 18th Amendment- Prohibition (made manufacture, selling, drinking of alcohol illegal).

  • 19th Amendment- Women’s suffrage (gave women the right to vote).

  • Eugene V. Debs- 1912 ran for pres. on American Socialist Party ticket (got @ million votes)

  • Niagara Falls Conference- led by W.E.B. Dubois- Led to creation of NAACP (1909)

  • Know the debate about different tactics of Booker T. Washington & WEB Dubois.

  • Clayton Antitrust Act(1914)-stops corporations from unfair practice; gave unions right to exist.

President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)

World War I (1914-1919)

  • Causes: Alliance System, Balkans Crisis, Nationalism

  • Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Serbian nationalists

  • German U-BOATS, sinking of Lusitania, Sussex Pledge, Germany resumes sub-warfare

  • 1917 -Zimmermann Telegram-German government attempted to get Mexico to attack the US in exchange Germany would return Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas to Mexico.

  • March 1917- Germans sink 4 US Merchant ships

  • Triple Entente (Allies): France, Russia, Great Britain, Italy (joined 1915), US joins 1917.

  • Triple Alliance - Germany, Austra-Hungary, Italy; Central Powers(post 1915): Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottomans, Bulgaria.

Tactics: Trench warfare, rapid fire machine guns, poison gas, planes

Battles: Verdun, Chateau-Thierry, Argonne Forest, Marne

  • War Industries Board, Daylight savings time, victory gardens, bonds, selective service

  • Espionage Act 1917- punished anyone who gave aid to our enemies; interfered with war effort. Sedition Act 1918- made it illegal to publicly be opposed to the war.

  • Schenck v. US 1919- US may curb free speech in wartime.

Treaty of Versailles- Germany stripped of army, forced to pay $33 billion to Allies

* The Big Four- Great Britain, France, US, Italy- meet to decide aftermath of the war.


* US failure to join League of Nations; Henry Cabot Lodge and the “Reservationists”

Post WWI: Labor unrest, the Red Scare, Palmer Raids

Presidents: Warren G. Harding (1921-1923), Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) –‘Return to Normalcy”

Roaring 20’s/Great Depression/New Deal

1920’s- The Jazz Age “Roaring 20’s” (Fundamentalism vs. The New Morality)

  • Nativism- hostility of native born Americans to new immigrants; Sacco-Vanzetti Case 1920- Italian immigrants accused & convicted of killing a guard; mainly accused bc they were immigrants.

  • Eugenics

  • Fundamentalism (creationism vs. evolution) Scopes Trial (Monkey Trial)

  • 18th Amendment- (1920)-Prohibition; speakeasies, bootlegging (Al Capone), Volstead Act. Repealed in1933!!

  • Resurgence of KKK –hired PR experts; declined late1920’s

  • Emergency Quota Act 1921- limited immigration (set number allowed in)- immigration now based on ethnic origin.

  • The Great Migration- African-Americans move to northern cities during WWI.

  • The Harlem Renaissance- a flowering of African-American arts in the north.

  1. Zora Neale Hurston- stories set in Florida; showed African-American culture.

  2. Louis Armstrong- improvisational style of jazz based on Dixieland, ragtime.

  3. Duke Ellington- mixed jazz with orchestration.

  4. Langston Hughes- “Poet Laureate of Harlem”; described plight of African-Americans.

  • The Cotton Club-most famous Harlem nightspot.

  • Blacks gained more political power in the north (Oscar Depriest-first African-American elected to House of Representatives in the north- 1928).

Black Nationalism (Negro Nationalism): glorified black culture and traditions.

  • led by Marcus Garvey (UNIA-Universal Negro Improvement Association) based in Harlem.

  • Advocated separation and economic independence

  • Back to Africa” movement- never achieved; Garvey arrested & deported.

Media in the 1920’s Culture

  • 1920- First commercial radio broadcast- Harding’s 1920 presidential victory.

  • 1920- First “talking” movie.

  • Mass Media (radio, movies, newspapers) - broke down patterns of regionalism and narrow local interest= unified the nation.

Economy in the 1920’s

* Andrew Mellon- Secretary of Treasury; chief architect of the prosperity of the 1920’s; supply-side economics.

* Americans begin buying on credit in larger numbers.

* Rising standard of living, work hours decreased.

* Henry Ford- assembly line (Model T); mass production= more supply and reduced consumer costs.

* Impact of the automobile: created new small business opportunities, eased isolation of rural life, people can live farther from work.

Airline industry: World War I- planes used; post WWI- planes seen as dangerous novelties.

  • Kelly Act 1925- US Postal Service uses private airplane operators to help carry mail.

  • 1926 Air Commerce Act- Federal government provides money to build airports.

  • 1927- Charles Lindberg- 1st transatlantic solo flight- proved long range air travel feasible.

Radio: 1920 broadcast of President Harding’s election= 1st radio broadcasts in history.

  • CBS/NBC - first major commercial radio businesses- used advertising to make money.

Farmers did not experience the prosperity of the 1920’s

Reasons: post WWI competition from Europe, Europe was buying less American farm goods, protective tariffs hurt US farm product sales in Europe.

Presidents of the 1920’s: Warren Harding (1921-1923) “return to normalcy”, Ohio Gang, Teapot Dome Scandal , Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929): “Silent Cal”, “The chief business of the American people is business” , Kellogg-Briand Pact.

America Turns more isolationists in the 1920’s & 1930’s


  • Post WWI –European nations announce they will not repay war debts.

  • Americans became convinced that arms manufacturers tricked America into entering WWI.

  • 1934 Nye Committee Report- showed arms manufacturers had made huge profits; made Americans less willing to get involved in future foreign wars.

Presidents: Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)

The Great Depression

Causes: Overproduction, Stock speculation (buying on the margin), uneven distribution of wealth

Stock market Crash: Black Tuesday (Oct. 29, 1929)- stock market lost $10-$15 billion in value.

Terms: margin call, breadlines, Hoovervilles

The Dust Bowl: causes: 1920’s wheat prices fall= fields left unplanted, 1932 drought.

  • Okies seek new life in California.

  • The Grapes of Wrath-John Steinbeck

President Hoover’s response to the Depression

* Opposed federal government relief to poor- thought state and local govt should provide.

* encourage public works at state and local level.

* Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC)

Terms: Bonus Army- World War I veterans who marched to Washington DC to demand early payment of a promised bonus; police and army troops force them out at gun point.

Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal 1933-1939

New Deal- name of Roosevelt’s policies to end the Depression.

** advocated a more massive federal government response to the Depression!

First New Deal- 1933-1935 Second New Deal

Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) Works Progress Administration (WPA) Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Rural Electrification Adm. (REA)

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) Social Securities Act

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

  • FDR’s Court Packing plan

  • Roosevelt Recession

  • Importance of the New Deal: created a “safety net” for Americans and larger role for government in our lives.

World War II/ Civil Rights Movement/ Cold War

World War II 1931-1945

Causes : Rise of dictators in Europe (Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin)due to Treaty of Versailles and economic depression, Fascism, Totalitarianism.

American Neutrality: Neutrality Act 1935, Neutrality Act 1939 (cash & carry), Lend-Lease Act 1940.

The Atlantic Charter:

Munich Conference: leaders of Britain, France, Italy meet and give in to Hitler’s demands for the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia).

Appeasement: giving concessions in exchange for peace.

The Holocaust: Nuremberg laws, Kristallnacht, Wansee Conference, Final Solution, Auschwitz, Buchenwald

America Mobilizes for war: Auto industry produced 1/3 of all military equipment during the war, Selective Service and Training Act (FIRST PEACETIME DRAFT) ,

* “Double V” Campaign- A campaign to defeat Hitler’s racism in Europe and racism in the US; was meant to address the inequality faced by African-Americans YET SERVED THEIR COUNTRY.

Life at Home during the war: “Rosie the Riveter”- symbol of the working woman during WWII , Bracero Program- THE US allowed Mexican immigrants to bypass US immigration laws to come to work in the US DURING WWII, growth of the Sunbelt,

  • Japanese internment (Korematsu v. US)- US Supreme Court rules that Japanese-Americans can be forced to camps because of military urgency-not race.

  • rationing (Blue Points/Red Points), victory gardens.

Major battles/events/terms: Invasion of Poland (blitzkrieg), Fall of France, Miracle at Dunkirk, Battle of Britain, Pearl Harbor attack- the event which brings the US fully into the War.

Doolittle Raids, island hopping campaign, Battle of Midway (TURNING POINT IN PACIFIC) Battle of Stalingrad (turning point-put Germany on defensive in Europe for rest of the war),

*Operation Overlord (Normandy Invasion)- US, Britain, & Canada launch an invasion into France= leads to the liberation of France and eventual invasion into Germany.

** D-Day- June 6, 1944- day chosen for Normandy Invasion.

** V-E Day- Victory Europe (Germany surrenders), V-J Day- Victory Japan- Japan surrenders.

President Harry Truman (1945-1953)

*The Manhattan Project- secret US project to build an atomic bomb during WWII.

* Truman /A-BOMB – President Truman decides to drop A-bomb to prevent an invasion of Japan and to shorten the war. (Enola Gay-B-29 bomber dropped “Little Boy” on Hiroshima Aug. 6,1945). “Fat Man” dropped on Nagasaki August 9, 1945 –leads to JAPAN’S SURRENDER!!

* The United Nations created April 1945; How effective has it been?

* Nuremberg Trials: International Military Tribunal created to try Nazi war criminals.

**POST WORLD WAR II immigration- mainly consisted of Hispanics (Bracero Program) and Asians.

Presidents: Harry Truman (1945-1953), Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961), John F. Kennedy (1961-1963), Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)

The Cold War begins 1945-1960 (Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy)

Terms to know: Cold War, Containment (George Kennan) , Truman Doctrine, Iron Curtain,

The Marshall Plan, The Berlin Crisis, The Berlin Airlift, NATO, WARSAW PACT, Fall of China to Communism (Mao Zedong), McCarthyism, fall out shelters, “duck & cover”, GI Bill, Truman’s Fair Deal, Baby Boom, Jonas Salk (polio vaccine), Levittown (Bill Levitt).

The Korean War (1950-1953)

  • US and South Korean troops VS. North Korea & Viet Cong (Ho Chi Minh)

  • Sited as a UN ACTION

  • Gen. MacArthur & invasion at Inchon

  • “Limited war”/Truman

The Red Scare

  • Sept. 1945- Igor Gouzeno defected from Soviet Union embassy to Canada; carried information about Soviet spy attempts in US & Canada.

  • Truman’s Loyalty Review Program

  • House Un-American Activities Committee- 1938 FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover testifies about Communist and Fascist activities in the US; HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee- will investigate communist threats (NIXON MOST FAMOUS MEMBER OF HUAC).

  • Julius & Ethel Rosenberg- accused of selling the Soviets US atom bomb secrets; executed for treason 1953.

  • Senator Joseph McCarthy: 1950 Claimed that he had list of State Department officials who were Communists (never produced the list), 1952 became chairman of Senate subcommittee on investigations- turned committee into tool for Communist “witch hunts”.

  • Down fall of McCarthy- Army-McCarty Hearings.

  • McCarthyism”- term used to describe the communist “witch hunts” of Sen. Joseph McCarthy; a period of false accusations that ruined some people’s lives.

Eisenhower and Cold War

  • Massive Retaliation- use of the threat of nuclear missiles to stop Soviet expansion; President Eisenhower used this strategy several times. Brinkmanship (what critics called Eisenhower’s Massive Retaliation policy)

  • Domino Theory- a term used to describe Eisenhower’s belief that if the US allowed any nation/country in Asia fell to communism, all others might fall also like dominoes.

  • Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD)- Cold War principle that if one country or two launch nuclear weapons it leads to the destruction of both which helped avoid a nuclear holocaust.


  • NASA- created to compete in the space race.

  • National Defense Education Act – Congress provided money to schools for math & science classes- part of the space race.

  • U2 SPY PLANE INCIDENT- pilot Gary Powers’s crash lands in Soviet Union; later returned to the US.

  • Federal Highway Act – added 40,000 miles of intestate highways in the US; increased mobility contributes to growth of suburbs.

1950’s Culture: TV becomes most popular form of entertainment!

  • Ed Sullivan-popular variety show

  • Quiz shows popularity- Game show “Twenty-One” controversy.

Radio: Alan Freed (white DJ plays black rhythm & blues), Elvis Presley.

The Beat poets- Allen Ginsberg/ Jack Kerouac.

1950’s Poverty:

  • Inner city poverty trapped whites, minorities, single mothers.

  • Government response: urban renewal (destroyed more housing than created- forced people out when they got jobs).

  • Native Americans- Termination Policy (government encouraged them to blend in larger white society)= deepened their poverty; land speculators took their land.

John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier

1960 election first televised presidential debates in US history; both parties spend large sums of money on TV and radio ads.

  • Missile gap, cold warriors, Kennedy’s Catholicism

  • New Frontier, Peace Corps (US citizens travel the world to improve conditions in developing countries).

  • Warren Supreme Court Rulings: Brown v. Board of Education, Mapp v. Ohio, Gideon v. Wainwright, Miranda v. Arizona, Engel v. Vitale, Abington School District v. Schempp

Kennedy and the Cold War

  • Flexible response

  • Bay of Pigs Invasion- US backed Cuban rebels to overthrow Fidel Castro; invasion failed as Kennedy called off air support.

  • Space Race

  • Berlin Wall constructed

  • Cuban Missile Crisis/blockade of Cuba (quarantine) – nuclear missiles installed in Cuba; US gives Cuba an ultimatum. For 13 days Soviets & US edge close to war.

** Kennedy assassinated Nov. 22, 1963; Warren Commission report stated that Lee Harvey Oswald was lone assassin.

Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society

  • Great Society

  • War on Poverty- President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty in the US.

  • Great Society Programs: name given to Lyndon Johnson’s domestic programs; such as Medicare, MEDICAID, HEAD START, FAIR PACKAGING AND LABELING ACT, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT ACT

  • VISTA- “Volunteers in Service to America”; Johnson program that operated like a domestic Peace Corp.

The Civil Rights Movement

  • 1896- Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court ruling established “separate but equal’ in the US= Jim Crow segregation.

  • 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Topeka, Kansas – Supreme Court called for an end to public school segregation with “all deliberate speed”.

  • NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) est. in 1909 worked to end segregation in public facilities for years.

  • CORE (Congress of Racial Equality): founded 1942; used sit-ins to push for desegregated restaurants.

  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC): ORGANIZED 1957; Martin Luther King first president.

  • Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

  • Methods of Protest used: sit-ins, boycotts, marches.

  • Rosa Parks; Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King

  • Martin Luther King- advocate of peaceful, non-violent protest to achieve racial equality (Civil Disobedience- Henry David Thoreau & Gandhi)

  • Truman & Civil Rights: desegregated the US military in 1948.

Eisenhower and Civil Rights:

  1. Little Rock Crisis (1957): “Little Rock Nine” blocked from entering public school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus and National Guard.

    • Eisenhower ordered US troops to Arkansas; 1st president to do so.

Kennedy and Civil Rights

  • 1960-1965 SNCC sent volunteers to the South to register black voters there (Voter Education Project); 1964 local officials in Mississippi murdered 3 civil rights workers.

  • 1961 CORE sent bus riders south to highlight segregated bus travel there (Freedom Riders).

  • Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity: Kennedy created to stop the federal government from discriminating in job hiring.

  • James Meredith: transferred to University of Mississippi; Governor blocked his entrance; Kennedy sent 500 federal marshals; Meredith 1st black to attend.

Lyndon Johnson and Civil Rights

  • The March on Washington (1963): MLK & 200,000 DEMONSTRATORS PRESSURE CONGRESS TO PASS NEW CIVIL RIGHTS LAW; ‘I Have A Dream” sppech!

  • 1964 Civil Rights Act –bans segregation in public places.

  • 24th Amendment-banned poll taxes in federal elections.

  • March to Selma- to highlight lack of voting rights; “Bloody Sunday”

  • 1965 Voting Rights Act passed- bans voter discrimination.

** Civil Rights movement addressed segregation and voting rights but did little to ease economic problems faced by blacks.

  • Watts Riots

  • Kerner Commission- investigated causes of race riots in 1960’s.

  • Black Power, Black Panther Party, Malcolm X

  • MLK ASSASINATED April 4, 1968

The Vietnam War 1954-1975

Terms to know: Ho Chi Minh, Vietcong, Dien Bien Phu, Geneva Accords

  • Gulf of Tonkin Incident- Johnson announces that Vietnamese boats fired upon US ships.

  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution- Congress turns power of war making over to president; Johnson has a blank check in Vietnam.

  • Operation Rolling Thunder- Johnson bombs North Vietnam; Johnson sends first US combat troops to Vietnam.

  • Ho Chi Minh Trail, agent orange, napalm, credibility gap, draft resistance,

  • Tet Offensive: Viet Cong and North Vietnam launch massive surprise attack; US & South Vietnam repell enemy- US citizens shocked that “weak” enemy could launch invasion= US media start to criticize the war=Johnson’s public opinion drops.

  • 1968 Johnson announces he will not seek another term.

  • 1968 Richard Nixon wins election on promises: get US out of Vietnam, restore law and order in US.

  • Linkage- Nixon strategy of improving relations with Soviets & China to put pressure on Vietnamese to agree to cease fire.

  • Vietnamization- Nixon’s goal of pulling out US troops & allowing Vietnamese take control of war.

  • My Lai Incident- US troops involved in massacre of Vietnamese villagers.

  • Nixon invades Cambodia= sparks protests on US college campuses= Kent State massacre.

  • The Pentagon Papers/Daniel Ellsberg – documents showed that politicians had lied about the war.

  • 1972 Christmas Bombings- Nixon ordered B-52’s to drop bombs on North Vietnam for 11 days to force Vietnamese back to negotiate peace.

  • Jan. 1973- peace agreement settled to end Vietnam War

  • March 1975- North Vietnamese invaded South Vietnam; captured Siagon (renamed Ho Chi Minh City).

  • 1973 War Powers Act- president must notify Congress within 48 hours of using force.

** Effects of the Vietnam War: Americans grew more isolationist, Americans more distrustful of politicians.

Protest Movements 1960-1980

Terms to know: counter culture,

Causes for growth of protest movement:

  1. Students of a Democratic Society (SDS): Tom Hayden’s Port Huron statement

  • protested Vietnam, poverty, campus rules, nuclear power dangers, racism.

  1. Free Speech Movement: led by Mario Savio; centered at University of California at Berkeley, campus authorities wanted to restrict student rights to distribute literature & recruit volunteers.

  • took over school buildings as form of protest.

  1. Hippie Culture, Haight-Ashbury district

  2. Feminism: Betty Freidan -The Feminine Mystic; CO-FOUNDER OF NOW (NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN).

    • Title IX: prohibits schools from discriminating against women in admissions to athletics- schools must provide access to sports activities.

    • Roe v. Wade (1973)

  3. Affirmative Action: executive orders and federal policies that encourage companies doing business with the US government to actively recruit African-Americans.

  • 1978 University of California Regents v. Bakke- reverse discrimination case; Supreme court ruled that university had violated white student Allen Bakke’s rights; school can use race as a criteria but may not use quotas.

  1. Hispanic’s Organize: problems faced- prejudice limited access to education, housing, and employment.

  • Cesar Chavez: organized United Farm Workers (UFW)

  • Bilingual Education Act- directed schools to set up classes for immigrants in their own language as they learned English.

  1. The Environmental Movement:

  • *Rachel Carson- Silent Spring – detailed the dangers of chemical pesticides on the environment; 1962 marks beginning of modern environmental moevemnt.

  • Love Canal Incident-

  • Earth Day- April 1970 unofficial beginning of environmental movement.

  • Environmental Protection Agency- created by Nixon, federal government agency that sets and enforces pollution standards.

  • Clean Air Act 1970- set emission standards for factories and autos.

  • Clean Water Act 1972- restricted discharge of pollutants into lakes and rivers.

  • Three Mile Island Incident- no new nuclear power facilities built since 1973 due to fear and questions.

  1. Consumer Movement: more Americans demanded product safety, accurate info.

  • Ralph Nader- most notable figure; Unsafe at Any Speed.

  • National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act-set up system to notify car owners of defects, cars must be designed to be safer, seatbelts, locks required.

Presidents Richard Nixon (1969- 1974), Gerald Ford (1974-1977), Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

  • Election of 1968- Nixon’s Southern Strategy

  • Law and Order president- went after draft evaders, student protestors, and organized crime.

  • New Federalism: dismantling federal government programs and giving control to state and local governments.

  • Block grants- “revenue sharing”; federal money for state and local use; state & local must follow certain rules to get the money.

Nixon and the Cold War

  • Détente- called for relaxing of tensions between US/Soviet Union/China

  • 1972 China visit- Nixon and Chinese leaders agree to establish “normal” relations; Nixon hoped to get the Soviets to pursue diplomacy with the US BY VISITING China.

  • First president to visit Soviet Union.

  • SALT I Treaty- US & Soviets agree to destroy certain nuclear weapons, share scientific info, increase trade.

Nixon and Watergate

  • Know Watergate scandal- Nixon cover-up (ordered CIA to stop FBI’s investigation of Watergate burglary).

  • Saturday Night Massacre”- Nixon ordered the Attorney-General to fire the prosecutor; Attorney-General & ASST. Attorney-General REFUSE to fire the prosecutor and resign in protest.

  • Executive privilege- Nixon refused to turn Whitehouse tapes over to the prosecutor because he claimed Oval Office conversations were part of national security and personal.

  • US V. Nixon Supreme Court case- the Court orders Nixon to turn Whitehouse tapes over to the prosecutor.

  • April 1974- House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon

  • August 9, 1974 - Nixon 1st president to resign.

Ford and Carter (Economic Problems)

  • Stagflation- key economic problem of the 1970’s (mix of inflation and economic recession).

  • America’s Energy Crisis: US became more dependent on foreign oil in the 1970’s.

  • OPEC (OIL PRODUCING EXPORTING COUNTRIES)- used oil as political weapon; US support for Israel in 1973 Yom Kippur War made Arabs mad.

  • OPEC places oil embargo on US

  • OPEC raised oil prices also= 1ST FUEL SHORTAGE IN US SINCE WWII.

President Ford

  • Pardoned Nixon soon after taking office= popularity ratings go down.

  • Helsinki Accords

  • WIN (Whip Inflation Now)- ineffective programs to deal with stagflation.

President Carter 1976-1980

  • Wanted to address America’s energy crisis.

  • Created Department of Energy- to explore alternative energy sources.

  • Appointed first African-American to United Nations- (Andrew Young).

  • Camp David Accords 1978- peace agreement brokered by Carter between Egypt and Israel; most other Arab nations opposed the treaty.

  • Iranian Hostage Crisis: US Embassy in Iran taken over; 52 US hostages taken; held 444 days; Carter’s secret military rescue attempt fails miserably.

1970’s Culture & Society

  • Medecade

  • New Age Movement- citizens embraced idea that people were capable of everything from self-healing to creating the world.

  • FAMILIES: 60% OF WOMEN aged 16 to 24 worked outside the home, smaller families, divorce rate doubled.

  • Music: disco

  • Fads: running, Aerobics

Reagan Era/ End of Cold War/ Modern American History

President Ronald Reagan 1980-1988 “THE REAGAN REVOLUTION”

  • Reaganomics - Reagan kept interest rates high while cutting taxes; critics called it Reaganomics or Trickle- Down economics.

  • Huge budget deficits as a result of Reagan’s tax cuts and increased military spending.

  • Reagan cut government programs- food stamps, school lunch programs, Medicare, student loans, unemployment.

  • Deregulation- cut rules on oil and gas companies= prices fell, cut rules on use of public lands for logging, mining, oil drilling.

  • Sandra Day O’Conner 1st woman appointed to Supreme Court.

  • Reelection in 1984- Reagan/George Bush Sr. vs. Walter Mondale/Geraldine Ferraro (1st woman to run for Vice President) .

  • “Peace through strength”- Reagan embarked on massive military buildup.

  • US budget deficit grew to over $200 billion.

  • US supports Afghan mujahadeen vs. Soviet Union

  • Iran-Contra Scandal- US deal to sell weapons to Iran and divert the money to ‘contra” rebels in Nicaragua; led to Congressional investigations.

  • Star Wars (Strategic Defense Initiative), INF Treaty

1980’s Culture

  • Yuppies

  • CABLE NEWS NETWORKS (CNN), mtv, Rap music, video games


  • Texas v. Johnson- Supreme Court ruled that flag burning used as political protest was covered under the first amendment free speech.

  • Immigration 1980’s to 2000- Hispanic and Asians.

The Technological Revolution 1970’s, 1980’s 1990’s

  • Integrated circuit- complete electronic circuit on a silicon chip.

  • Microprocessors- new chips reduced the size, speed, and function of computers; chip holds memory and computing functions.

  • 1976- Apple Computer founded; Steven Jobs & Stephen Wozniak.

  • 1977 Apple II introduced

  • 1981- Macintosh introduced; on screen graphics, mouse, icons.

  • Bill Gates founded Microsoft; 1985 introduced Windows.

  • Internet and World Wide Web developed= growth of “dot com” businesses.

  • 1953 – structure of DNA deciphered= law enforcement uses and genetic engineering develop in 1980’s 1990’s.

George Bush Sr. (1988-1992)

Election: Bush was elected on a promise not to raise taxes (“read my lips, no new taxes”) - he will break that promise while in office.

The Cold War Ends: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev initiates reforms: “perestroika”- to restructure the Soviet economy (allows some private ownership of business), and “glasnost”- (openness) allows more free speech, religion.

* Nov. 1989- East German Guards open Berlin Wall gate; days later the Berlin Wall is torn down.

* May 1989- Tiananmen Square Incident- Chinese students held demonstrations for democracy in Beijing; many people were killed & arrested as the Chinese army was called in to crush the protests.

1990- Persian Gulf War- Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait; UN forces led by the US liberated Kuwait “Operation Desert Storm”

1991- Soviet leader Gorbachev announced the end of the Soviet Union.

1992-PresentPresident: William J. Clinton (1993-2001), George W. Bush (2001- 2008)

  • 1992 election : William “Bill” Clinton (Democrat) v. Republican George Bush Sr. v. H. Ross Perot (Reform Party)

  • Bill Clinton first baby boomer elected president.

  • 1993 Clinton proposed a budget to Congress that raised taxes-Republicans in Congress refused to sign-compromise was reached= reduced budget deficits.

  • 1997- 1st time in 27 years Clinton submitted a balanced budget to Congress.

  • Family Medical Leave Act – gave workers 12 weeks per year of unpaid family leave for birth of child, adoption, illness of a family member.

  • Americorps-

  • 1993- European Union created; free trade zone that shares a common bank and currency (euro).

  • Brady Bill passed- imposed a waiting period before people could buy handguns, background check required for gun dealers to sale guns to individuals.

  • 1994 Republican “Contract with America”- Newt Gingrich (Rep./ Ga.) program proposed 10 changes: lower taxes, welfare reform, anticrime laws, balanced budget etc.

  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - US, Canada, and Mexico formed a “free trade zone” (reduced or eliminated tariffs between these countries) Critics worried that US industrial jobs would move to Mexico.

  • Welfare Reform Act- limited people to no more than two consecutive years on welfare & required them to work to get welfare benefits.

1996 Election: Bill Clinton v. Bob Dole – Clinton wins second term.

  • Clinton Scandals: Whitewater Development & Monica Lewinski affair.

  • Clinton impeached but not removed from office.

  • Bosnian Crisis (Balkans Crisis)- 1991 a civil war broke out in former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia; Orthodox Christian Serbs v. Catholic Croatians v. Bosnian Muslims.

** Serbs began “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims; NATO led by US bombed the Serbs.

** 1996 Dayton Accords- peace plan to end Bosnian civil war.

  • 1998 Kosovo (Serbian province): Albanians wanted Kosovo separate from Bosnia & Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic orders a crackdown on Albanians= civil war= NATO led by US bombed Serbia= Serbia pulls its troops out of Kosovo.

  • Immigration Trends 1990’s—mostly Asian and Hispanic immigration.

2000 Presidential Election

  • Al Gore (Democrat) v. George W. Bush (Republican) v. Ralph Nader (Green Party)

  • Controversial vote of 2000- Gore won 48.4% of popular vote/Bush won 47.9%. ; Neither candidate had 270 electoral votes to win presidency.

  • Both men needed the 25 electoral votes of Florida= Florida vote was so close Florida law required a recount of ballots.

  • Gore asked for a hand recount in strong Democratic counties only; machine count showed Bush in lead.

  • “Hanging chads”-Florida ballots that had not been fully punched.

  • Bush v. Gore – Supreme Court ruled hand counts to cease= Bush declared winner.

George W. Bush 2000-2008

  • Priority was to cut taxes to jump start the economy (Congress passed $1.35 trillion tax cut phased in over 10 years).

  • No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) - proposed standardized testing in reading and math grades 3-8 in all states; all groups of students must show improvement.

** Critics argue that it emphasizes testing too much and penalizes schools who otherwise meet most goals.

  • Bush is in favor of developing Strategic Defense (missiles systems that can shoot down enemy nuclear missiles directed toward the US).

  • September 11, 2001- terrorists crashed passenger planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon; Osama Bin Laden (al-Qaeda).

  • The War on Terrorism: Congress voted to give use of force to fight terrorists & $40 billion to rescue, repair, and security measures.

  1. Oct. 2001 US launched first military operation of war on terror- Afghanistan to attack Taliban and al-Qaeda bases there.

  2. Sept. 24, 2001- Bush issued executive order freezing all financial assets of suspected organizations & individuals involved in terrorism.

  3. Office of Homeland Security created

  4. 2001 Patriot Act- permitted secret government searches of suspected terrorists and supporters with one nationwide search warrant; easier to wiretap and track internet communications.

** Critics argue that law violates privacy protections of 4th Amendment.

Major Supreme Court Cases to Know- a list of cases you are likely to see.

  1. Wabash v. Illinois (1886) - Supreme Court ruled against state regulation of Railroad rates charged.

  2. United States v. E. C. Knight Co.(1895)- 1ST ruling by Supreme Court regarding the Sherman Antitrust Law (1890); court ruled that any action taken against business combinations had to be done by the states—NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

  3. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896): Supreme Court ruled that separate facilities for blacks & whites in public places did not violate the 14th Amendment; established “separate but equal” in the US for the next 60 years.

  4. Schenck v. United States (1919) - WWI CASE; Supreme Court ruled that freedom of speech may be limited during wartime if it presents a “clear & present danger”.

  5. Korematsu v. United States (1944)- WWII case; court ruled internment of Japanese-Americans did not violate the constitution because it was based on military urgency-not merely race.

  6. Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas (1954)- Supreme court ruled “separate but equal” (SEGREGATED) schools were unconstitutional & should be desegregated “with all deliberate speed”; OVERTURNED PLESSY!!

  7. Engel v. Vitale (1962)- court ruled against official school prayers.

  8. Abington School District v. Schempp (1963)- court ruled against Bible recitations in Schools.

  9. Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)- defendants are to be provided an attorney by the state if they cannot afford one.

  10. Miranda v. Arizona- (1966) police must warn a suspect of his right to an attorney and the right to remain silent before interrogation.

  11. New York Times v. US (1971)- Supreme Court ruled against Nixon administration who tried to block publication of the classified “Pentagon Papers”.

  12. Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (1971)- Supreme Court rules that busing may be used to integrate the schools.

  13. Roe v. Wade (1973) - legalized abortion in the US; states may have some regulations on abortions after the first trimester (1st 3 months).

  14. United States v. Nixon (1974) - Court ruled that President Nixon had to turn over Whitehouse tapes; could not claim executive privilege.

  15. University of California Regents v. Bakke (1978) - Supreme Court ruled that universities could consider race as a criteria for admissions but could not establish race quotas; reverse discrimination case.

  16. Texas v. Johnson (1986)- Supreme Court ruled that flag burning is covered under the 1st Amendment –is freedom of speech (expression).

  17. Bush v. Gore (2000) – Supreme Court ruled that recounts in Florida violated 14th Amendment; therefore, the state validated winner was George Bush.


  1. 1st Amendment- freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition.

  2. 2nd Amendment- right to bear arms (guns).

  3. 3rd Amendment- no quartering of troops in private citizen’s home in times of peace; during a crisis, Congress may allow it.

  4. 4th Amendment- protects against unreasonable searches & seizures; search warrants needed- probable cause.

  5. 5th Amendment- several rights:

    • Right to a grand jury hearing

    • Right to protection from self-incrimination

    • No double jeopardy- cannot be tried twice for the SAME crime if found innocent

    • Rules for eminent domain- government may take private land for public use but must pay for it.

    • Due process rights- government must follow certain procedures & constitution when it comes to rights.

  6. 6th Amendment – right to a fair & speedy trial; right to an attorney

  7. 7th Amendment- right to trial by jury in civil cases of $20 or more.

  8. 8th Amendment- prevents cruel & unusual punishments & excessive fines or fees for accused.

  9. 9th Amendment- citizens have additional rights not listed.

  10. 10th Amendment- powers not given to the federal government are reserved for the states & people.

  11. 11th Amendment- states cannot be sued in federal court by a citizen from another state or country.

  12. 12th Amendment (1804)- changed the way the Electoral College chose president & vice president; electors vote separately for president & vice president- to prevent problem elections like 1796 & 1800.

  13. 13th Amendment- (1865) - officially abolished slavery in the US.

  14. 14th Amendment (1868) – defines who is considered a US citizen; “equal protectionclause states that all US citizens are to be treated equally under the law.

  15. 15th Amendment (1870) - states may not interfere with any man’s right to vote= gave black men the vote.

  16. 16th Amendment (1913) – legalized federal income tax.

  17. 17th Amendment (1913) - allows citizens to directly elect there state Senator.

  18. 18th Amendment ( 1919) – “prohibition”- outlawed manufacture, sale, & consumption of alcohol.

  19. 19th Amendment (1920)- gave women the right to vote.

  20. 20th Amendment (1933) - “Lame Duck” amendment; set new beginning start dates for Congress (Jan. 3) & President (Jan. 20).

  21. 21st Amendment (1933) – repeals prohibition.

  22. 22nd Amendment (1951) - limits the president to two terms.

  23. 23rd Amendment (1961) - District of Columbia (DC) allowed representation in the Electoral College.

  24. 24th Amendment (1964) - prohibits poll taxes in federal elections.

  25. 25th Amendment (1967) - presidential succession- sets up a line of succession if the president dies or leaves office.

  26. 26th Amendment (1971) - lowered voting age from 21 to 18.

  27. 27th Amendment (1987) - Congress may increase its pay-but it will not take effect until the next term.

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