Following the changes that the 60’s left behind the 70’s didn’t began with just disco music big hair, and fast cars but was entangled with war conflict, economic issues and petroleum insecurity. This decade was a tumultious period due to the War in Vietnam, sexual revolution, civil rights in place, and the rise of the Chicano movement.
Period of crisis, both domestically and internationally, that tested the old party structures and political movements. We learn in class that Vietnam, watergate, ERA, Roe v. Wade, MAD, and Stagflation, as well as the Iran Crisis all characterize the era.
Much of the historical changes form Roe v. Wade are still with us today, as well as the effects of the failed 1982 Equal Rights Protection Amedment (ERA) can be sadly measured in the earning potential of women in the United States as 70% of elderly women are the poorest compared to men.
The 1960 was a revolutionary time in American history, every social issue was out in the open and the people were ready to make that known and change it. Civil-rights, war, women’s movement, chicano, and gay rights were the issues. By this time America was undergoing a change in ideals and societies structures. Young Americans wanted different opportunities than their parents and women wanted to be equal to men in the labor force and in society.
As race and sexuality were in dispute laws were changing in the courts. Leaders such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X refused to accept the racial disparities in the country and changed it risking and loosing their lives in the process.
Pop culture added to this change in the following areas music, fashion, and entertainment much a stark contrast from the conservative 50’s. The rapid change shaped this decade and made the 60’s a turning point.
The war in Vietnam took the country into a separation of patriotism and consciousness for the right thing, the draft was unfair as it took poor colored boys to war in lager numbers than as middle class white Americans that could afford a medical exemption, leave the country or attend college. Creating a disproportion in deaths of minority service members.
Lastly as the U.S. showed dominance in trade and in warfare, making this country a global leader.
The term “Cold War” has different interpretation, in class we learned no mater the origin the simple term is that nations disagree and were seeking power and the ones that had nuclear power and (MAD) Mutual assured destruction were in control of negotiations. With the introduction of nuclear capabilities nations aggressiveness grew, and war talked erupted, as espionage, and complication in countries facing civil war the treat of nuclear bomb had nations on the edge the treat of a full war was in the back of many people.
Diplomacy and negotiations in policy were the help nations needed to establish peace, however many conditions force people to take precautions at home and in the event of fallout. The soviet union and the U.S. were always in competition over technology and power.
During the years of 1914-1918 a world conflict that expanded in Europe and with U.S. providing aid took many lives. The names vary as, “World War One”, “Great War”, “WW1”, “First World War”, and “WWI” but the toll of 70 million lives lost still a reminder of war. The world was separated into allies and different countries defending different interest. Separated they fought and countries like Russia, France, U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria Hungary, later Japan, United States, Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria all form allies. In class we saw the separations of the opposing powers and the two separate alliances, and central powers and the triple alliance. Massive destruction in Europe and the war effort and warfare technology never seen before aid in the movement of thousands of people. Bombs and missiles were used for the first time, in class we learn of war propaganda to fuel the war effort. At home people ration food to aid the military with food. In reviewing the figures of lives lost in the millions and having WWII following this conflict one can only contemplate the loss and resiliency of humanity.
The combination of The Great Depression and Dustbowl marked the darkest period in American history from 1929-1945 a series of events led to the Stock Market Crash. The world entered a period of economic turmoil. Many lives were destroyed due to the financial stock market crash and the dustbowl. The entire country and world was affected by economic destabilization that displaced millions of people. Farmers turned into migrant workers lost farms and livelihoods. In the cities one could find soup kitchens and lines for blocks men that once had jobs and supported a family were afflicted to the core and penniless. Everything in American life was changed by poverty. Tent cities and known as “Hoverville’s” were popping up in cities across the nation. Farmers leaving their farm in shame and to west lands where they were unwanted risking their lives as they faced danger and starvation at times. Truly a horrible experience to have lived during this time. Fame photographer Dorothea Lange, capture the desperate conditions of many Americans especially women with children, caught without food or shelter. Her husbands reporting and her images promted the government sent aid. Historically the dustbowl was the most destructive ecological disaster the country had seen and to this day the agricultural lessons learned from it, aid in the conservation of top soil by the department of agriculture and the federal government.
Known as the age of excess it was a time that American life changed forever. Every aspect American life was changing from mode of transportation, music, fashion, production, combustion, and even in the way women think. With the end of WWI, prohibition, and the new voting rights for women, the nation changed from a sleepy state of affairs to a Roaring echo.
WWI soldiers were getting home to the possibility of owning a car and property. Plenty of work and industry was available. Ford became a household name and as production became rampant it allowed many people the possibility of owning a car. New wealth was created and many more consumer goods were available. A new breed of Americans that had wealth splurge on luxury items. As industrial revolution had been around a new craft was available and that in turn created a perfect product. Ford was booming making cars possible for every American with millions of cars now on the road the landscape changed. People had a new experience to travel and move from place to place.
With the end of prohibition, drinks were plenty and there was much to celebrate WWI ended and a new style of music called Jazz was emerging, together with the newly found liberty of women, not only a voice was plenty for a party, generations refused to be as serious and coy as their parents and previous generations. In my opinion the 20’s did roar!!
During the 1920 the nation entered a state of alcoholism never seen before, as spirits were readily available to everyone. Men would drink senseless and abused their wives and children as a result. Tired of the conditions of family violence and enduring poverty women cried out for help as husbands spend every cent, leaving the families without.
The total decay of the family unit was evident as communities suffered, church leaders grew concern and address it to their congregations. Later the local government was promoted to address this problem so much was the alarming problem that concerns grew into a movement that soon promoted a constitutional national band on alcohol. Prohibition exposed the corruptions in government and it made criminals of people that choose to make illicit spirits and export this cargo to supply the demand. In the thirteen years of prohibition the country as a whole changed as a result and much of this industry survived that period and flourished.