Archive for April 3rd, 2014

Reminder- Test April 4

Make sure you have reviewed your notes and read or watched all the posts over chapters 36 and 37, and make sure you have written your short answer response which is described below this post in a separate post.

Truman’s Fair Deal

Nice, short summary:

Science in the 1950s

To supply more details from our class discussion this week.

On early computers in the 1940s and 1950s:

and on the importance of the transistor:

and on the development of the polio vaccine:

and the creation of the US’s first commercial nuclear reactor:

Chapter 39 Questions

Due Monday, April 8. THREE Presidents!!!

Chapter 39 Questions

1. Why did the postwar economic boom end in the 1970s? What impact did this have on government social program spending (and deficits) under both Johnson and Nixon? What did Nixon do to attempt to slow inflation?
2. What was the Nixon Doctrine, and what was its relationship with his stated plan of “Vietnamization?” Explain “Vietnamization” in your answer.
3. What was Nixon’s biggest asset as president? What were some of his biggest flaws?
4. What were the 4-5 major components of Nixon’s Vietnam policy (include secret actions)? What role did Henry Kissinger play?
5. What did many of the troops sent to Vietnam have in common, in terms of economic and social status?
6. In general and specifically, what were the effects of the 1970 decision to invade Cambodia? What military justification was there for the invasion?
7. What were some legal changes that happened as a result of the Vietnam War?
8. What were the Pentagon Papers and why were they such a sensation? What did they reveal?
9. What was “détente?” What was its purpose? What specific events demonstrated that the Nixon administration still maintain a strong policy of anticommunism during this period?
10. What were the particulars of the Griswold v. Connecticut decision? What “right” was loosely constructed from this decision? How was this right later expanded in the Roe v. Wade decision? What decision did the Warren Court make regarding the exercise of religion?
11. Explain the court decisions in this chapter that expanded defendants’ rights. What criticism did these decisions receive, specifically? How was Earl Warren’s court generally perceived?
12. What legislation did Nixon pass regarding social security? Explain the effect it actually had. What program did he enact to expand the pool of beneficiaries? What is the purpose of OSHA?
13. What is “affirmative action?” Describe the Philadelphia Plan. How did Nixon’s programs in this area contrast to those of Johnson’s?
14. Describe and name the environmental protection actions undertaken by the Nixon administration. Why did some businessmen oppose some of these programs?
15. How did Nixon actually expand the role of government in everyday lives?
16. In the election of 1972, what was Nixon’s “southern strategy?” What long-term consequences did this have? Who was Nixon’s opponent, and what kinds of people formed his base of support? Whom did he alienate within the Democratic party, and why?
17. Explain the context surrounding the end of American fighting in Vietnam in early 1973. What surprising development about the Vietnam area became public knowledge, and how did Nixon and Congress struggle over this specific issue? What impact did US policy have on Cambodia? What was the War Powers Act, and what did it repeal?
18. What were the major events that happened in the Middle East in 1973? How did these events impact the US?
19. What were the effects of the Watergate scandal? What illegal activities took place? How did Nixon try to hinder investigation of this matter, and how did he legally attempt to justify this?
20. What were the main foreign relations of Gerald Ford’s brief presidency? How did the Vietnam War officially end?
21. What one social movement actually remained active during the 1970s? Explain the major law that was passed to help this group receive equal treatment. What was the constitutional amendment that failed regarding this group, and why did it fail? Compare the motivations of the first and second waves of this movement.
22. Explain the court decisions that were made regarding school desegregation and college admissions.
23. Why was there a struggle over the Republican nomination for president in 1976? What had Ford done to encourage a challenge even though he was a sitting president? Who was the Democratic nominee? Why did he win?
24. What was the guiding principle of Carter’s foreign policy? What was his most enduring foreign policy achievement? Describe his biggest foreign policy challenge.
25. What did Carter believe to be the biggest economic challenge facing the US? What was happening to inflation? How did Carter respond, compared to Nixon and Ford (W.I.N.)?
26. What were some signs that the Cold War was thawing in the early 1970s? What happened to Cold War tensions under Carter, and why? What happened on efforts to limit nuclear weapons programs?

Eisenhower warns about the Military-Industrial complex

Three days before leaving office, Eisenhower warns against heedless pursuit of weaponry. Only a former general of Eisenhower’s stature could have said this and not been criticized for weakness.

“Beating ploughshares into swords” is a Biblical reference (Isaiah 2:4 and Joel 3:10). A plow has a blade, and a sword has a blade, but one is used for peace, while the other is used for war. Beating ploughshares into swords means preparing for war. Beating swords into ploughshares means giving up war.

Short writing assignment due Friday

Providing specific details and analysis to support your answer, write a 250-300 word response to this prompt:


It is often remarked that the 1950s were a time of conformity. Yo what extent is this true? Consider evidence that both supports and opposes this position.

Evaluate the tension between the pressures for conformity/consensus and the pressures for dissent/individuality during the decade of the 1950s.

I would suggest a 3-4 paragraph format– one paragraph for forces of conformity, one for forces of dissent, and one paragraph evaluating the predominance of each.