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Significant Events Post-World War II: 50's to 90's

Please help me address the following. I just need some ideas:

An overview of what you consider to be the most significant events in the decades following World War II. You must select one event that you studied (social, economic, or political) from each of the following decades: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. The event that you select should be the one that you believe had an overriding influence on U.S. culture, economy, or governmental policy within that decade. In order to explain why you think an event had a more powerful impact than other events within the same decade, you need to evaluate the following questions:

How did the event you select fit in relationship to the time leading up to it?

o Was it different than events that preceded it, or
o Was it a culmination of similar factors that came together?

Who was the group(s) of people that caused the event to happen?

o What were their goals?

Who were the group(s) of people that were most affected by the event?

o Did the significance of the group or groups contribute to the importance of the event?
o Did the significance of the group or groups contribute to other people's perception of the event?

What was the nature of the event's effect on the United States at the time?

Do you believe this event:

o Accomplished the goals for which it was intended by the group(s) of people who caused it to happen? or
o Failed to do that but accomplished something else? or
o Both accomplished the goals for which it was intended and accomplished something else?

What was the enduring nature of the event's effect upon the United States as time went by in subsequent decades?

Solution Preview

? What was the enduring nature of the event's effect upon the United States as time went by in subsequent decades?

1950's: Televison, (Rock and Roll)

? How did the event you selected fit in relationship to the time leading up to it?

The idea of moving pictures wasn't unique to the 1950's of course. In the late 1800's and early 1900's different inventors had played with the idea of showing pictures that moved. However it was during the 1950's that this technology really took off and grabbed the interest and imagination of the viewing public.

? Was it different than the events leading up to it or was it a culmination of similar factors that came together?

Television and especially color TV was a culmination of similar factors that came together. Advances in technologies like electricity, radio wave technology, and primitive moving picture technology came together to give is TV.

? Who was the group(s) of people that caused the event to happen?

The group was a long list of inventors, wealthy investors and visionaries and companies. It also included the American government who freed up radio waves for television broadcasting stations to use.

? What were their goals?

Some had idealistic goals and just wanted to see what was possible. The entrepreneurs and businesses wanted to make money. The government required public broadcasting services as one of the pre-requisites to be granted a license so they had a vested interest as well.

? Who were the group(s) of people most affected by the event?

The entire American public was affected. The Howdy Doody program impacted kids, young adults and families enjoyed shows like I Love Lucy which first aired in 1951. Bob Hope took his program to television from radio in 1952. NBC's Today show first aired in 1952 as well. Captain Kangaroo began televising shows in 1954 and NBC's Tonight Show hit the airwaves in 1955. 1955 also saw the beginning of the popular western Gunsmoke and future President Ronald Reagan became the first host of General Electric Theatre on CBS in 1955. By 1957 during a typical week, television viewers see 420 commercials adding up to 5 hours and 8 minutes of advertising. By the end of the 1950's there are over 525 cable TV shows and CBS station warns that free television cannot compete with cable TV for very long.

? Did the significance of the group or groups contribute to the importance of the event?
? Did the significance of the group or groups contribute to other people's perception of the event?

Yes to both of these. The American audience was in place and waiting for a technological development like this. WWII was over and people wanted peace, prosperity and good times. The television seemed to meet and surpass these demands.

? What was the nature of the event's effect on the United States at the time?

I have commented a little about this already. Television and television programming took America by storm. People were quoting lines and singing tunes from commercials they had seen on TV. People lived, laughed and cried right along with Lucille Ball and the characters on that show. News programming helped people be better aware of the times they were living in and at the same time started to undermine the ability of the people to think critically for themselves.

? This event both accomplished the goals for which it was intended and accomplished something else.

No one could have foreseen the impact of television on America and the world. Yes it succeeded in entertaining the American public. But it also made the world a smaller place, gave the public insight into life in other places, caused much of the American populace to discuss the same events and begin sharing the same experiences.

? What was the enduring nature of the event's effect upon the United States as time went by in subsequent decades?

Consider the uproar we would have today if Americans had to do without television. The hours spent by American teens and younger children and the affect it has on them has been well documented. Some people organize their lives around the television schedule. They need to be on hand for the latest episode of American Idol or other reality television show. We have become a nation of voyeurs rather than a nation of achievers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_television
http://www.tvhistory.tv/index.html
http://www.high-techproductions.com/historyoftelevision.htm

1960's: Vietnam, (Civil Rights Movement, cultural revolution)

? How did the event you selected fit in relationship to the time leading up to it?

The Vietnam war was a natural consequence of the policy of containment that had been established by the United States following World War II. When Russia absorbed much of Easter Europe and became the Soviet Union it sought to expand its political ideology of communism on all fronts. Rather than fight the Soviet Union directly the United States adopted the strategy of attempting to confine communism to the countries in which it already existed and not allow it to expand.

? Was it different than the ...

Solution Summary

In this solution I discuss the most important or significant event (in my opinion) for each decade between 1955 and 1999. Events chosen can be political, cultural, or economic in nature. Over 3,400 words of original text along with links to important websites. This is more of a discussion than a finished paper with proper citations and a finished reference page.

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