America's Most Significant Events
America's Most Significant Events
Introduction This paper will address each important event of a decade, starting from the 1950’s throughout the 1990’s. These are the events I feel were most significant to America at that time, and also helped to shape the America we live in today. Understanding each event and its purpose will lead to having a better view of this nation, and how it came to be.
1950’s Post World War II Prosperity After World War II ended, many expected the times of The Great Depression to return. Surprisingly the United States economy experienced a boom because of consumer demand. President Dwight Eisenhower encouraged Americans to take advantage of the country’s new found wealth. Television became more popular with families along with the desire to own homes in suburbia and higher education. The American people became interested in new gadgets, electronics, and the most significant purchases of that time, homes and cars. These purchases fueled the economy even more, and led to new opportunities for careers and wealth. The Americans relished in this new lifestyle. It became known as the “American Dream.” (The Post War Economy, n.d.)
The introduction of wealth to the American people brought on the desire to have children which is what led to what we know today as the Baby Boom. It was given that name because of the increased number of births throughout this time, and contributed to fueling the economy with more consumer demand. (United States Department of Labor, n.d.) While most Americans enjoyed the new-found wealth from their country, there were still some who did not reap the benefits of a wealthy nation due to their cultural differences.
1960’s The Civil Rights Movement Even though Americans found freedom financially due to the economic boom of the 1950’s, there were still some Americans who felt as though they were not treated equally, nor had the ability to gain the success of the American Dream due to the government, particularly African Americans. Although all minorities felt this way, the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s was strongly dominated by Blacks. The election of 1960 put John F. Kennedy into office, a well-known liberal, and African Americans finally felt as though they had someone on their side to help change the laws of segregation and to be treated as equals. This fueled the movement more so. He appointed a large number of African Americans in administration to strengthen the civil rights movement. Kennedy defined the civil rights crisis as, “Moral, as well as constitutional and legal.” (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, n.d.) While he had great intentions on creating a more liberal and equal America, his intentions were cut short due to his assassination on November 22, 1963. Prior to his death he proposed a new bill to congress now known as The Civil Rights Act of 1964. This bill was put into law after his death with help from the newly elected President Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 states,” The law’s provisions created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to address race and sex discrimination in employment and a Community Relations Service to help local communities solve racial disputes; authorized federal intervention to ensure the desegregation of schools, parks, swimming pools, and other public facilities; and restricted the use of literacy tests as a requirement for voter registration.” (The Civil Rights Act of 1964, n.d.) Even after this bill was put into law, African Americans still felt as though they were not treated equally and continued to fight for racial equality. This was done through marches...