The Most Significant Events in the Latter Half of the 20th Century

Topics: Cold War, President of the United States, Democratic Party, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, United States / Pages: 12 (2830 words) / Published: Oct 6th, 2009
The Most Significant Events in the Latter Half of the 20th Century
Michael Hackelton
Axia College of University of Phoenix
HIS 135 The American Experience Since 1945
George Lawrence-Ell
24 August 2008
The Most Significant Events in the Latter Half of the 20th Century


During the latter half of the 20th century, the United States changed greatly in the arenas of politics, economics, and social make up. Following World War II, in just 50 years, the US saw periods of great economic growth, a population explosion, a polarizing effect in US and world politics, and the emergence of the United States as the dominating world super power. This paper will look at some of the more significant events and people from each of the five decades from 1950 to the year 2000. In addition, it will conclude with a look at the next ten years, with some pontification of what is to come.

1950’s – America Enters the Cold War

The most significant defining event of the 1950’s would have to be the Cold War. Prior to World War II, Europe and the former Soviet Union held dominate positions in the world, each carrying different government philosophies, and methods of promoting those philosophies. With the help of the United States, Germany was stopped not once, but twice at world-domination and communism became the new feared vehicle for world expansion. With the economies of Western Europe struggling and the United States flourishing, a developing Cold War between US Democracy and Soviet Communism began and would last for 40 years.

The Cold War, which grew out of President Truman’s policy of containment in the late 1940s, dominated the political scene in the United States. The Cold War was part of Truman’s response in supporting South Korea with US troops during the Korean War. With the Korean War coming to an end in 1953, President Eisenhower continued the fight against the spread of Communism. The fight was evidenced through Eisenhower’s

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