This paper is an over view of the important events that happened during last five decades beginning from 1950s. These events had come not only to become part of history but they have been influential in the American people during their time and even today. The 1950s saw the upsurge of the population that came to be known as the baby boomers, a phenomenon that wrought great influence on the American society as it added seventy six million Americans on the entire population. The Vietnam war that claimed the lives of the millions of Americans has not only left the country divided in terms of issues confronting the rational of the war, but also reeling in terms of the emotional pain it caused on the millions of families who lost their love ones.
The Watergate Scandal was a shocking issue that the American people have experience as it led to the resignation of the President Nixon. On the other hand, the end of the Cold War marks the triumph of Human effort to avoid catastrophic conflict and true reign of world peace. The Rise of the World Wide Web was a technological break through that literally made many things easy, and life more exciting. The communication was made speedy though email messaging, chatting, and other forms of internet use.
The baby Boom and economic Expansion
The term baby boomers refer to the remarkable boom of the American Population beginning from the 1950s up to the 1960s. During this period, Klaus P. Fischer (2006) noted that seventy-six million Americans were born. As soldiers, both men and women returning from the war, numbering in millions, sought to start again their lives as ordinary citizens, they found it perfect to start a family as the war was over and there and government had already set the stage for the returning soldiers reunited with their love ones and their families. Add to this marrying season was the GI Bill of Rights passed by congress on June 22, 1944 granting home loans and farms to GIs at a very low interest rate, and low or even no down payment housing loans.. The Bill also includes loans for higher education at very low interest (Social Issues).
The 1960’s saw economic expansion although not as high as the economic growth experienced in the 1980s. Marc Labonte (2002) noted that the economy experienced 22. 3 percent economic growth in the 1960s (p. 23). Labonte also noted the increase of employment opportunity during this period at seventy-three percent, although lower than the 1980s and 1990s but was among three notable economic expansion of the US economy (Labonte 2002 p. 23).
Obviously, the groups responsible for this event to happen were the soldiers coming home from different countries were they fought in the war that brought them away from home. Congress was also instrumental for this event; through the bill, they have passed granting privileges and opportunities that had help set the stage for the settlement of families in the entire United States, which paved the way for the baby boomers. The goal of congress for this bill was obviously to assists the soldiers in starting up their new lives as ordinary civilians.
Both the soldiers and the congress had significantly contributed to this event by way of the impact of their participation. According to an internet article regarding the baby boom generation, the congressional bill, or the GI bill had helped the former soldiers achieved their American dream as majority of the soldiers married and started their families, set out again to school, and purchased their own homes. The article noted that the GI bill helped more than half of the entire World War II veterans or the almost eight million men and women who availed themselves of the provisions of the bill (Social Issues).
The people behind this phenomenon did not actually intend the outcome of their American dream, but the GI bill certainly accomplished its goal based on the numbers of those who have benefited from the program. It has also accomplished something more important, the setting of the atmosphere conducive for starting up family due to many opportunities that made having more children manageable. The enduring nature of this phenomenon has been that it helps the American society replenished its reduced population due to war. The atmosphere during this period was favorable even for large families.
The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was an important even in the American history that had great impact on the American people. Sylvia Ellis (2004) noted that during this period, the “U.S. was alert to the propaganda benefits of making its involvement in Southeast Asia appear part of an allied crusade to prevent communism (The founder of Communism in Vietnam) reorganized his movement as the Vietnam Labor Party similar to China’s communist party. With further development, Ho Chi Minh successfully brought the issue to the Geneva conference in 1954, which “agreed to divide Vietnam temporarily between the communist in the North and the French in the South. This situation had led the United States to the war in Vietnam.
The people that caused this event to happen were the communist led by Ho Chi Minh who was determined to transform the entire Vietnam to be a communist country, and the United States government in its effort to prevent communism to have dominion in Asia. The war resulting from this conflict had claimed the lives of millions of people on both sides of the opposing forces, soldiers and innocent people alike. The war also resulted to too many father less children, widowed wife, and loss of son of the many parents in America.
The significance of both groups participating in the event had contributed much importance to the event in the sense that both groups had used all its resources to heighten the impact of the war to achieve their common goals. However, it resulted to the loss of millions of lives in the process, and the destruction of billions of worth of properties. The event also contributed to the perception of other people as this event had been a national issue. Andrew Wiest noted that it was the media to be blame about the outcome of the war for its negative reporting of the situation in Vietnam (p. 276). West stated that supporters of “American intervention in Vietnam portray the media as the villains of the story” (West 2006 p. 276).
The enduring nature of this event that affects the United States as the time went by was the lost of millions of lives of the American soldiers, the agony of defeat, the objectives by which the war fought. Vietnam fell in the hands of the communist entirely.
The Watergate Scandal
The Watergate scandal was one of the most important political issues in the US history, which led to the resignation from office of an American President. The event according to Donald E. Nuechterlein (1997) was that President Nixon was implicated in a “massive campaign to cover up the wrong doing of his subordinates,” (p. 158) in 1974. Nuechterlein stated that the President Nixon depended his “constitutional right to executive privilege to avoid turning over the incriminating material in court” (p. 158).
This even was unique in the American Political history as Nixon was the only American President to resign for defending his wrong doings of his subordinates. The resignation of President Nixon was the culmination of the issues that rocked the American society during a time that the country is facing a crisis due to its cold war with Soviet Union. The groups behind the event were the US congress and the US senate which had done the impeachment case against Nixon. Their goal was to investigate the anomaly done by Nixon’s subordinate contained in the tape recording in the possession of Nixon.
The people that were most affected in this event was the president himself and his supporters who believe his innocence and his integrity. Both the congress and the senate had played significant role in the event as they stood as the prosecutors and judges in the issue being legally contested. The significance of the people behind this case certainly contributes to other people’s perception of the event, as this case was highly political. It cannot be avoided that people will have varied opinion on the case, as it was not only a simple case of burglary but it was a constitutional crises involving an issue of moral integrity that forced an American President to step down in office.
The nature of the event that affected the United States was that it forced an American president to step down in office because of the issue of cover up of the wrong doings of his subordinates (Anderson, D. 2003, p. 247). It was quite evident that the event was true and the people who intended the event had both accomplished the goal the event was intended; and has accomplished something more by being able to force the president to step down.
The enduring nature of this event was moth negative and positive. Negative in the sense that it put the office of the president in controversy and its integrity to bad light, but positive because by the President’s resignation, he has redeemed both the controversy and the integrity that stained by the issue.
The End of the Cold War
The end of the Cold War was said to have ended in 1980 with the signing of the INF (Intermediate Range Forces) treaty in Washington D.C. in December 8, 1987. However, according to Paul Dukes (2000), the end of the cold war can hardly be said because it was not clear when it has started or formally ended as even after the signing of the treaty, there is no general disarmament, and some 35, 000 nuclear weapons still in existence (Dukes 2000, p.143). Since the end of the cold war was not clear, it cannot be distinguished whether it was a culmination of events because of the nuclear armaments still in place.
The groups behind this event were the multinational participation led by the two super powers, the United States and USSR. The Groups that caused the event to happen were the war-tired counties such as Germany, France and others. Their goal was to avoid war that will be more disastrous and cataclysmic than all other wars the world has experienced. The people that were most affected by the event was the people of the entire world because they stand to be affected had the cold war became a real war. The groups in this event contributed in the even because they were determined to avoid conflict.
This event accomplished its purpose because the catastrophic war that was feared has not materialized and the world has lived in peace since then. The nature of this event that has an effect on the United States was that the US rose to become the world’s super power not only in armaments but in economy as well, because of the government aggressive military and economic expansion during this time. This even definitely accomplished something not only for the United States or for the Soviet Union but also for the whole world. The reign of peace has enables every country in the world to focus on their economic agenda resulting to economic growth of many countries in the world.
The World Wide Web
The worldwide web came into existence in 1990 and its arrival according to James Gilles and Robert Cailliau (2000) “was to the internet like the arrival of the internal combustion engine to the country lane” (p. 1). Gillies and Cailliau pointed out that, “the World Wide Web is like an encyclopedia, a telephone directory, a record collection, and a speaker’s corner rolled into one and accessible to any computer” (Gillies & Cailliau 2000, p. 1).
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Social Issues The Baby Boom Generation 1946-1964
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