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essay question:

How did a fragmented American culture and society affect fashion design, the fashion industry, style and dress, and consumer tastes since the 1990s?

1500-2000 words (4 to 5 pages)

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Triumph to Tragedy, 1989–
This chapter concentrates on the Clinton years. Opening with the 1999 antiglobalization
demonstrations held in Seattle protesting the World Trade Organization, the chapter explores
the challenges that the twenty-first century faces in balancing globalization, economic justice,
and freedom. Highlighting this challenge is the “Declaration for Global Democracy” in “Voices of
Freedom.” The chapter then looks at the end of the Cold War and the George H. W. Bush
administration. Having an opportunity to remake the world immediately after the fall of
communism, Bush spoke of a New World Order, committed American troops in Panama, and
organized a coalition to fight Iraq in the Gulf War. Unable to sustain his popularity after that war
in the face of an economic recession, Bush lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton. Like Carter,
Clinton tried to elevate human rights in international policy. At home he practiced triangulation,
adopting some moderate Republican issues, while rejecting the more contentious ones. Clinton
was an ardent advocate of free trade and signed the North American Free Trade Agreement
into law (see “Voices of Freedom”). Despite Clinton’s series of scandals, he left office in 2001
with a high approval rating. The contested election of 2000 illustrated how divided American
society was at the turn of the century. While many Americans benefited from the economic
boom of the 1990s, divisions within society still remained, which are seen through the culture
wars. Nativism and the pursuit of the American dream continued to define immigrant
experience. The chapter concludes with a summary of facts about American society in 2000.
I. Introduction: The Collapse of Communism
II. The Post–Cold War World
A. A New World Order?
1. George H. W. Bush’s first major foreign policy action was the overthrow of General
Manuel Antonio Noriega of Panama.
B. The Gulf War
1. Bush intervened when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.
C. Visions of America’s Role
1. Bush identified the Gulf War as the first step in the struggle to create a world based
on democracy and global free trade.
D. The Election of Clinton
1. The economy slipped into recession in 1991, and Bill Clinton took advantage to win
the election.
a. A charismatic campaigner, Clinton conveyed sincere concern for voters’ economic
2. A third candidate, the eccentric Texas billionaire Ross Perot, also entered the fray.
E. Clinton in Office
1. During his first two years in office, Clinton turned away from some of the social and
economic policies of the Reagan and Bush years.
2. Clinton shared his predecessor’s passion for free trade.
a. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
3. The major policy initiative of Clinton’s first term was a plan to address the rising cost
of health care and the increasing number of Americans who lacked health insurance.
a. The plan would have provided universal coverage though large groupings of
organizations like the health maintenance organizations (HMOs).
b. It was attacked by doctors, health insurance companies, and drug companies.
F. The “Freedom Revolution”
1. In 1994, for the first time since the 1950s, Republicans won control of both houses
of Congress.
a. Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America
2. Viewing their electoral triumph as an endorsement of the contract, Republicans
moved swiftly to implement its provisions.
G. Clinton’s Political Strategy
1. Clinton rebuilt his popularity by campaigning against a radical Congress.
2. Clinton signed into law a Republican bill that abolished the program of Aid to Families
with Dependent Children (AFDC).
3. Clinton embraced the most popular Republican policies, such as welfare reform, while
leaving his opponents with extreme positions unpopular among suburban middle-class
voters, such as hostility to abortion rights and environmental protection.
4. Clinton easily defeated Republican Bob Dole in the presidential contest of 1996,
becoming the first Democrat elected to two terms since FDR.
H. Clinton and World Affairs
1. Clinton took steps to encourage the settlement of long-standing international
conflicts and tried to elevate support for human rights to a central place in
international relations.
2. The Oslo agreement brought temporary peace between Israel and Palestine.
3. Like Carter, Clinton found it difficult to balance concern for human rights with
strategic and economic interests.
a. Rwanda
b. The Balkan crisis
I. Human Rights
1. Human rights emerged as justification for interventions in matters once considered to
be the internal affairs of sovereign nations.
a. Human rights organizations’ expanded agendas.
b. U.S. military missions to protect civilians
III. Globalization and its Discontents
1. Globalization has been called “the concept of the 1990s.”
B. The Computer Revolution
1. Computers and the Internet produced a new economy.
2. Microchips made possible the development of entirely new consumer products.
3. The computer transformed American life.
4. The Internet expanded the flow of information and communications more radically
than any invention since the printing press.
C. The Stock Market Boom and Bust
1. In the United States, economic growth and talk of a new economy sparked a frenzied
boom in the stock market reminiscent of the 1920s.
2. Investors were especially attracted to the new dot coms, companies that conducted
business via the Internet and seemed to symbolize the promise of the new economy.
3. The bubble burst on April 14, 2000, when stocks suffered their largest one-day drop
in history.
D. The Enron Syndrome
1. Only after the market dropped did it become apparent that the stock boom of the
1990s had been fueled in part by fraud.
a. Enron
E. Fruits of Deregulation
1. The
telecommunications, and stock trading—had all been subjects of deregulation.
2. Many stock frauds stemmed from the repeal in 1999 of the Glass-Steagall Act, a New
Deal measure that had separated commercial banks from investment banks.
3. Banks took their new freedom as an invitation to engage in all sorts of misdeeds.
F. Rising Inequality
1. The boom that began in 1995 benefited nearly all Americans.
a. However, overall, during the last two decades of the twentieth century, the poor
and middle class became worse off while the rich became significantly richer.
2. The economy, in large part due to NAFTA, continued its shift away from
3. Companies could employ workers overseas for a fraction of their cost in the United
4. Wal-Mart was the largest corporate employer in the Unites States and Mexico by
a. Opposed collective bargaining
IV. Culture Wars
A. The Newest Immigrants
1. Because of shifts in immigration, cultural and racial diversity became increasingly
visible in the United States.
2. Post–1965 immigration formed part of the worldwide uprooting of labor arising from
3. For the first time in American history, women made up the majority of newcomers.
B. The New Diversity
1. Latinos formed the largest single immigrant group.
2. Between 1990 and 2010, 30 million Hispanics had been added to the American
3. Latino communities remained far poorer than the rest of the country.
4. Only after 1965 did immigration from Asia assume large proportions.
C. The Changing Face of Black America
1. Between 1970 and 2000, twice as many Africans immigrated to the United States
than had entered during the entire period of the Atlantic slave trade.
2. Most African-Americans remained in a more precarious situation than whites or many
recent immigrants.
3. Despite the nation’s growing racial diversity, school segregation was on the rise.
D. The Spread of Imprisonment
1. Politician’s “tough on crime” stance meant a rise in the prison population, longer
sentences, and more incarcerations for nonviolent drug use.
2. African-Americans, compared to other Americans, had an extremely high rate of
3. Over one-quarter of all African-American men could expect to serve time in prison at
some time during their lives.
4. The continuing frustration of urban African-Americans exploded in 1992.
a. Rodney King
E. The Continuing Rights Revolution
1. In 1990, newly organized disabled Americans won passage of the Americans with
Disabilities Act.
2. The campaign for gay rights continued to gain momentum in the 1990s.
F. Native Americans in the New Century
1. The Native American population reached 4 million in the 2000 census, reflecting not
only natural population growth but also an increased pride in identifying themselves as
such to census enumerators.
2. Many Native American tribes have profited from casinos on their lands.
G. Multiculturalism
1. “Multiculturalism” was a term to celebrate group differences and demand group
2. Increased cultural diversity and changes over educational policy inspired harsh
a. Proposition 187
3. The “Culture Wars” were battles over moral values that raged throughout the 1990s.
a. Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition
4. It sometimes appeared during the 1990s that the country was refighting old battles
between traditional religion and modern secular culture.
H. Family Values in Retreat
1. The census of 2000 showed family values increasingly in disarray.
2. Casey v. Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania reaffirmed a woman’s right to terminate a
I. The Antigovernment Extreme
1. At the radical fringe of conservatism, the belief that the federal government posed a
threat to American freedom led to the creation of private militias that armed
themselves to fend off oppressive authority.
2. An Oklahoma federal building was bombed by Timothy McVeigh in 1995.
V. Impeachment and the Election of 2000
A. The Impeachment of Clinton
1. From the day he took office, charges of misconduct bedeviled Clinton.
a. Monica Lewinsky
b. Clinton’s impeachment
B. The Disputed Election
1. The 2000 election was between Al Gore and George W. Bush.
2. The election proved to be one of the closest in the nation’s history.
a. Florida
3. It fell to Supreme Court justices to decide the outcome.
4. The most remarkable thing about the election of 2000 was not so much its
controversial ending as the even division of the country it revealed.
C. A Challenged Democracy
1. Coming at the end of the decade of democracy, the 2000 election revealed troubling
features of the American political system at the end of the twentieth century.
2. Evidence abounded in 2000 of a broad disengagement from public life.
VI. The Attacks of September 11
1. The administration of George W. Bush quickly blamed the terrorist organization Al
Qaeda for the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
CHAPTER 28A New Century and New Crises
This chapter concentrates on the impact of September 11, George W. Bush’s presidency, and
the election of Barack Obama. The chapter opens by recalling the terrorist attack on America.
Before September 11, the Bush administration practiced a conservative agenda, cutting taxes,
building defenses, and dismantling environmental policies. After the attacks, Bush launched a
war on terror and quickly identified an axis of evil. American foreign policy was then
fundamentally altered with the 2002 “National Security Strategy” that advocated preemptive
war. The document defined national security in terms of defending freedom, and an excerpt is
included in “Voices of Freedom.” Shortly thereafter the administration announced Operation
Iraqi Freedom, and pursued a preemptive war against Iraq in 2003. With few allies, the United
States began to look like an empire. At home, the war on terrorism affected civil liberties with
the USA Patriot Act. In addition, torture of prisoners was exposed, which spurred heated debate
over presidential power and prisoners’ rights under the Geneva Conventions. The chapter then
examines Bush’s domestic policies, and his response to Hurricane Katrina, immigration debates,
and the economic crisis. The chapter examines the election of Barack Obama. In June 2009,
President Obama traveled to Egypt to deliver a speech to the Islamic world. Included in “Voices
of Freedom,” in the speech entitled “A New Beginning,” Obama acknowledged past American
misdeeds and promised to respect Islamic traditions. The chapter concludes with an examination
of President Obama’s first four years in office.
I. Introduction: Barack Obama
II. The War on Terror
A. Bush before September 11
1. Bush won a narrow victory, but pursued a strongly conservative agenda in the form of
a massive supply-side tax-cut that favored high-income groups.
2. Bush emphasized American freedom of action, unrestrained by international treaties
and institutions.
3. The Bush administration announced that it would not abide by the Kyoto Protocol of
a. Scientists consider global warming a serious situation.
B. “They Hate Freedom”
1. An outpouring of popular patriotism followed the September 11 attacks.
2. The Bush administration benefited from this patriotism and identification with
3. Bush told America that “freedom and fear are at war.”
C. The Bush Doctrine
1. The Bush Doctrine immediately emerged.
a. War on terrorism
b. War in Afghanistan
D. The “Axis of Evil”
1. In 2002, Bush identified Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as the “axis of evil.”
III. An American Empire?
A. Confronting Iraq
1. A conservative group within the Bush administration welcomed an American invasion
of Iraq to oust Hussein from power.
a. This group seized on the attacks on September 11 to press their case for an Iraq
2. In 2002, the Bush administration announced that a regime change was necessary in
Iraq, as Hussein was amassing weapons of mass destruction.
a. Colin Powell’s UN speech
B. The Iraq War
1. Realists like Brent Scowcroft warned that the Iraq War deflected attention away from
the administration’s real foe, Al Qaeda.
2. The decision to go to war split the Western alliance and inspired a massive anti-war
movement throughout the world.
3. China, Russia, Germany, and France refused to support a preemptive strike against
4. Bush called the war Operation Iraqi Freedom and identified its purpose as to “defend
our freedom” and “bring freedom to others.”
5. Baghdad fell within a month.
a. “Mission Accomplished”
b. Looting and chaos
6. Sectarian violence soon swept the country.
7. Comparisons with Vietnam became commonplace.
C. The World and the War
1. Rarely in its history had the United States found itself so isolated from world public
a. Bush administration’s rationale for the war discredited
IV. The Aftermath of September 11 at Home
A. Security and Liberty
1. Congress rushed to pass the USA Patriot Act.
a. Conferred unprecedented powers on law-enforcement agencies
b. Detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was established.
2. In November 2001, the Bush administration issued an executive order authorizing the
holding of secret military tribunals for noncitizens deemed to have assisted terrorism.
B. The Power of the President
1. Many regulations of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI), and local police forces were rescinded; and while some of these
measures had congressional authorization, many had been unilaterally implemented by
the president.
C. The Torture Controversy
1. The Bush administration insisted that the United States need not be bounded by
international law in regard to the war on terrorism.
a. Justice Department memorandum on “unlawful combattants”
2. The prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib undermined the nation’s claim to civilized rule of
3. The full extent of the torture policy did not become known until 2014 when a Senate
committee produced a scathing investigative report.
D. The Economy under Bush
1. During 2001, the economy slipped into a recession.
2. 90 percent of job losses in 2001–2002 were in manufacturing.
V. The Winds of Change
A. The 2004 Election
1. Democrats sensed a golden opportunity.
a. John Kerry, Vietnam veteran, proved a surprisingly ineffective candidate, allowing
Bush to win a narrow victory.
B. Bush’s Second Term
1. Bush’s popularity reached an all-time low.
C. Hurricane Katrina
1. In August 2005, New Orleans was devastated when the levee system broke and the
city began to flood.
2. The natural disaster became a human-made one too, considering the ineptitude of the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
3. Poor residents of the city were left abandoned amid floodwaters.
4. Where the government failed, individuals stepped in and shone.
D. Battle over the Border
1. The borderland embracing parts of the United States and Mexico has been a source of
ongoing tension for Americans.
2. The Bush and Obama administrations greatly accelerated efforts to police the U.S.
Mexico border.
3. Some Americans claimed the federal government was not doing enough enforcing and
formed unofficial militias to do it themselves.
4. In the spring of 2006, the immigration issue reemerged in American politics.
a. Economists disagree on the impact of undocumented workers.
5. The response to the House of Representatives’ stiffer-penalty legislation was a series
of massive demonstrations by both legal and illegal immigrants across the country.
a. Congress’s 700-mile wall
E. Islam, America, and the “Clash of Civilizations”
1. September 11 raised fears of a “clash” between the West and Islamic “civilizations.”
2. Such fears belied historical development and tended to distort the meaning of the
word “Islam.”
3. President Bush insisted the war on terror was not a war on Islam, but many Americans
found it difficult to separate the two.
F. The Constitution and Liberty
1. Key Supreme Court decisions of the early twenty-first century indicated conservative
justices had come to accept that the social revolution begun in the 1960s could not
be undone.
2. A 2003 Supreme Court decision on affirmative action reaffirmed the right of colleges
and universities to take race into account in admissions decisions.
3. Two major rulings concerning gay Americans emphasized a view of the Constitution
as a “living document,” rather than one bound by “original intent.”
a. Lawrence v. Texas (2003) overturned laws making homosexual acts a crime.
b. Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) struck down state laws banning same-sex marriage.
G. The Court and the President
1. In a series of decisions, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the rule of law both for
American citizens and for foreigners held prisoner by the United States.
2. In Boumediene v. Bush (2008), the Supreme Court reaffirmed the right of Guantanamo
detainees to challenge their detentions in U.S. courts.
H. The Midterm Elections of 2006
1. Democrats expected gains due to Bush’s plummeting popularity.
2. Democrats gained control of both houses of Congress.
a. Nancy Pelosi of California became the first female Speaker of the House in history.
3. At the end of his second term, Bush’s popularity sank to historic lows.
I. The Housing Bubble
1. In 2008, the American banking system found itself on the brink of collapse.
2. The roots of the crisis lay in a combination of public and private policies that favored
economic speculation.
3. The borrowing fueled increased spending.
a. “Subprime mortgages”
4. Wall Street bankers developed complex ways of repackaging and selling these
mortgages to investors.
J. The Great Recession
1. In 2006 and 2007, home prices began to fall. Many homeowners owed more money
than their homes were worth and could not pay monthly mortgage payments.
2. The value of the mortgage-based securities fell precipitously, and banks were left with
billions of dollars of worthless investments.
3. In 2008, banks stopped making loans, business dried up, and the stock market
4. Americans cut back on spending, leading to business failures and a rapid rise in
5. In April 2009, the recession that began in December 2007 became the longest since
the Great Depression.
K. “A Conspiracy against the Public”
1. Leading bankers and investment houses helped to bring down the American economy.
2. The reputation of stockbrokers and bankers fell to lows last seen during the Great
a. Goldman Sachs fined for selling mortgage securities and betting against them
3. An incredible litany of malfeasance involving the world’s largest banks became public;
however, aside from relatively minor fines, no meaningful punishment of the culprits
4. Wall Street investor Bernard Madoff was exposed in an enormous “Ponzi scheme,”
which accrued losses of $50 billion at its collapse.
5. The crisis exposed the flaws in market fundamentalism and deregulation.
L. Bush and the Crisis
1. The Bush administration allowed Lehman Brothers to fail, and Lehman Brothers’s
failure created a domino effect.
2. The administration reversed course and persuaded Congress to appropriate $700
billion to bail out other floundering firms.
a. “Too big to fail”
3. The crisis also revealed the limits of the American “safety net.”
M. The 2008 Campaign
1. Obama faced Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee, in the general election.
2. McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. The selection of Palin raised questions
among many Americans about McCain’s judgment.
3. With his promise of change, Obama won the election.
a. His election redrew the nation’s political map.
N. The Age of Obama?
1. Obama’s victory seemed to mark the end of a political era that began with Richard
Nixon and his “southern strategy.”
O. Obama’s First Inauguration
1. Few presidents have come into office facing such serious problems, but many
Americans viewed Barack Obama’s election as cause for optimism.
2. In his inaugural address, Obama offered a stark rebuke to eight years of Bush policies
and, instead of “freedom,” spoke of community and responsibility.
VI. Obama in Office
1. In many ways, Obama’s first policy initiatives lived up to the promise of change.
a. Sonia Sotomayor
2. Obama’s first budget recalled the New Deal, including an $800 billion “stimulus.”
B. Health Care Debate
1. Obama’s first year was dominated by a congressional battle over the restructuring of
the nation’s health-care system to insure the millions of uninsured and end insurance
companies’ abusive practices.
2. Following bitter partisan debate, in 2010 Congress passed a bill that required all
Americans to purchase health insurance and most employers to provide it.
3. Every Republican in Congress voted against the bill, denouncing it as “government
takeover” of health-care.
4. Throughout Obama’s presidency, Republicans remained bitterly opposed to the new
law and vowed to repeal it when possible.
a. The government shut-down
5. By 2015, the health-care reform law, or “Obamacare,” resulted in sixteen million more
Americans obtaining medical coverage.
C. Financial Reform
1. Financial regulatory reform also occurred in 2010
a. Consumer Protection Agency
2. Republicans overwhelmingly opposed Obama’s policy initiative and the atmosphere in
Washington became more and more partisan.
3. The most dramatic domestic reform legislation since the Great Society did not go far
enough for many of Obama’s
4. Obama chose advisors from Wall Street who underestimated the depth of the
economic crisis.
D. The Problem of Inequality
1. In 2014 and 2015, the economic recovery gathered momentum, but most of the
benefit went to the top 1 percent of earners, while the middle-class continued to
shrink and the number of people in poverty grew.
2. At the bottom of the social scale, many workers employed by America’s largest
corporations earned very low wages and had difficulty coping in their living situations.
E. The Occupy Movement
1. Economic inequality took center stage in 2011 when protestors vowed to “Occupy
Wall Street” in protest of bank malfeasance and declining equality in America.
2. The Occupy movement spread through the use of social media.
a. “The 1 percent” as political language
3. Low-wage workers (particularly those in fast-food) were inspired to demand a higher
minimum-wage and saw some progress.
a. $15 minimum-wage laws passed in Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York state.
4. Rising inequality had profound social consequences in the United States, which was
the most unequal developed nation in the world.
VII. The Obama Presidency
A. Post Racial America?
1. Despite the reality, Obama’s election sparked a public discussion of a new “postracial”
2. A Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 reflected this
“postracial” view.
a. A flood of restrictive state laws limiting voting rights followed.
3. A series of controversial incidents involving the deaths of unarmed black men
suggested that racial inequality had not ended.
4. The “Black Lives Matter” national movement emerged in response.
5. Unrest erupted in Ferguson, Missouri after a white police officer shot and killed
unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
a. State police and the National Guard militarized
6. Investigations
discrimination in a system dominated by white authorities.
B. Obama and the World
1. Obama fulfilled his biggest campaign promise and removed the last combat troops
from Iraq.
2. He also increased troop levels in Afghanistan.
3. Obama extended the USA Patriot Act, and failed to close Guantanamo military prison.
4. U.S. involvement overseas ranged from the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, to
aid for the overthrow of Libya’s dictator Gaddafi, and an expansion of the war on
terror in Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia.
5. Obama restored diplomatic relations with Cold War enemy Cuba and helped broker a
deal with Iran to confine its nuclear development program to energy purposes.
6. In the Arab Spring, the U.S. sided hesitatingly with the popular uprisings, but stood on
the sidelines of repressive crackdowns in Egypt and Bahrain.
7. In his second term, Obama also faced the new crisis of the self-proclaimed “Islamic
State” (or ISIS), a brutal occupying regime that carried out horrific acts against the
people under its control and increasingly sponsored acts of terror beyond the Middle
8. In a continuation of Bush’s policies in the war on terror, the Obama administration
perpetuated secret domestic and international government surveillance programs.
a. Edward Snowden revelations
b. National security v. civil liberties debate rekindled
C. The Republican Resurgence
1. Tea Party activists campaigned against expanding federal power and brought about a
Republican takeover of the House in 2010.
2. On the state level, conservative Republicans moved to curtail abortion rights and took
aim at undocumented immigrants.
a. Alabama enacted the strictest measures.
3. Illegal immigration became a topic of debate in the 2012 presidential campaign.
D. The 2012 Campaign
1. Although a somewhat controversial choice, Republicans nominated Mitt Romney as
their presidential candidate (the first Mormon in the role) and Tea Party favorite Paul
D. Ryan as his running mate.
2. Obama entered the campaign with political liabilities.
3. Obama was re-elected in a heated campaign, but the balance of power in Washington
remained gridlocked.
4. Obama’s re-election stemmed from many causes, but it especially reflected the new
diversity of the twenty-first century American population.
5. As a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, the 2012 presidential
VIII. Freedom in the Twenty-First Century
A. Exceptional America
1. In the United States, people lived longer and healthier compared to previous
generations, and enjoyed unprecedented material comforts.
2. America’s older population continued to rise, as did income inequality and infant
3. At the dawn of the twentieth century, the United States differed sharply from other
developed nations.
a. Individual freedom
b. Religiosity
4. American exceptionalism had a darker side.
a. School massacres
b. Racially-motived mass murder
5. United States lagged behind in social rights.
6. Americans enjoyed more personal freedom, but less “industrial freedom.”
B. Learning from History
1. It is still too soon to assess the long-term impact of the events of September 11.
2. At the end of 2015, the world seemed far more unstable than anyone could have
predicted after the Cold War ended.
Lecture Slides
Give Me Liberty!
Eric Foner
Chapter 27
World trade
organization Protests
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Eastern Europe after
the cold war
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Dismantling the berlin
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Lecture Preview
• The Post–Cold War World
• Globalization and Its Discontents
• Culture Wars
• Impeachment and the Election of 2000
• The Attacks of September 11
Focus question:
The Post–Cold War
 Focus Question:
How did Bush and Clinton transform
America’s world role?
U.S. predominance
• A New World Order?
The Gulf War
• Visions of America’s Role
Tiananmen square
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Copyright © 2017 W. W. Norton & Company
• The Election of Clinton
• Clinton in Office
trouble and victory
• The “Freedom Revolution”
• Clinton’s Political Strategy
Rhode island tire pile
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foreign conflict
• Clinton and World Affairs
• Human Rights
Serbian refugees
Give Me Liberty!: An American History, 5th Brief Edition
Copyright © 2017 W. W. Norton & Company
Focus question:
globalization and its
 Focus Question:
What forces drove the economic
resurgence of the 1990s?
• The Computer Revolution
Steve jobs and bill
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• The Stock Market Boom and Bust
• The Enron Syndrome
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• Fruits of Deregulation
• Rising Inequality
Barbie’s liberty
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Focus question:
Culture Wars
 Focus Question:
What cultural conflicts emerged in the
• The Newest Immigrants
Immigration to the
united states, 1960-2010
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Twenty metropolitan
areas with largest
immigrant populations,
1900 and 2010
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2008 naturalization
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• The New Diversity
Origin of largest
immigrant population
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The projected non-white
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Latina nannies
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Korean immigrants
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black experiences
• The Changing Face of Black America
Home ownership
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• The Spread of Imprisonment
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ADA and financial
• The Continuing Rights Revolution
• Native Americans in the New Century
The aids quilt
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Unintended history
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• Multiculturalism
Change in family
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conservatism under fire
• Family Values in Retreat
• The Antigovernment Extreme
Median ages of first
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Women in the paid
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Oklahoma city bombing
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Focus question:
Impeachment and the
Election of 2000
 Focus Question:
How did a divisive political partisanship
affect the election of 2000?
• The Impeachment of Clinton
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bush v. gore
• The Disputed Election
2000 Presidential election
Give Me Liberty!: An American History, 5th Brief Edition
Copyright © 2017 W. W. Norton & Company
Confusion in Florida
Give Me Liberty!: An American History, 5th Brief Edition
Copyright © 2017 W. W. Norton & Company
• A Challenged Democracy
The Attacks of
September 11
 Focus Question:
Why did Al Qaeda attack the United
States on September 11, 2001?
September 11
• The Attacks of September 11
The twin towers
Give Me Liberty!: An American History, 5th Brief Edition
Copyright © 2017 W. W. Norton & Company
The missing
Give Me Liberty!: An American History, 5th Brief Edition
Copyright © 2017 W. W. Norton & Company
• The Post–Cold War World
Focus Question: How did Bush and Clinton transform America’s
world role?
• Globalization and Its Discontents
Focus Question: What forces drove the economic resurgence of the
• Culture Wars
Focus Question: What cultural conflicts emerged in the 1990s?
Review continued
• Impeachment and the Election of 2000
Focus Question: How did a divisive political partisanship affect the
election of 2000?
• The Attacks of September 11
Focus Question: Why did Al Qaeda attack the United States on
September 11, 2001?
—— Chapter 27 ——
Media link
Eric Foner on Wal-Mart as the nation’s
largest employer
Wal-Mart as the Nation’s Largest Employer
Eric Foner on the rights revolution at the
end of the 20th century
The Rights Revolution at the End of the 20th Century
Next Lecture PREVIEW:
—— Chapter 28 ——
A New Century and new
• The War on Terror
• An American Empire?
• The Aftermath of September 11 at Home
• The Winds of Change
• Obama in Office
• The Obama Presidency
• Freedom in the Twenty-First Century
Norton Lecture Slides
Independent and Employee-Owned
This concludes the Norton Lecture Slide Set for
Chapter 27
Give Me Liberty!
Eric Foner
This chapter concentrates on the history of the 1920s. The chapter opens with the Sacco-Vanzetti
case, which encapsulated divisions within the larger society. Nativists dwelled on the
defendants’ immigrant origins. Conservatives insisted that these alien anarchists must die,
despite the lack of evidence. By contrast, prominent liberals, such as the future Supreme Court
justice Felix Frankfurter and the Socialist Eugene Debs, rallied around the convicted men.
Despite these divisions, the 1920s was a decade of economic prosperity for many, as the
business of America became business. Illustrating the meaning of freedom as linked to
prosperity is Andre Siegfried’s Atlantic Monthly piece in “Voices of Freedom.” The chapter looks at
the decline of labor, the shift in the women’s movement after the Nineteenth Amendment, and
the predominance of the Republican Party overseeing business prosperity and economic
diplomacy. The birth of civil liberties is explored next, discussing Hollywood, the American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Supreme Court. In “Voices of Freedom,” read Justice James C.
McReynolds’s majority opinion in Meyer v. Nebraska, which gave a tremendous boost to the civil
liberties that had been lost during World War I. However, the decade was still rife with social
divisions, as seen within the context of the culture wars. The fundamentalist revolt is seen most
vividly through the Scopes trial. In the wake of the anti-immigrant hysteria of World War I, the
Ku Klux Klan emerged again, targeting Catholics and Jews as well as blacks. The anti-immigrant
sentiment is capped with the 1924 Immigration Act, which strictly limited immigration. On the
other hand, cultural pluralism and the Harlem Renaissance celebrated the diversity and pluralism
of America. The chapter concludes with the stock market crash of 1929 and Herbert Hoover’s
attempts at relieving the strains of the Great Depression.
I. Introduction: The Sacco-Vanzetti Case
II. The Business of America
A. A Decade of Prosperity
1. The business of America was business.
2. The automobile was the backbone of economic growth.
a. It stimulated the expansion of steel, rubber, and oil production, road construction,
and other sectors of the economy.
3. American multinational corporations extended their reach throughout the world.
a. American companies produced 85 percent of the world’s cars and 40 percent of its
manufactured goods.
B. A New Society
1. Consumer goods of all kinds proliferated, marketed by salespeople and advertisers
who promoted them as ways of satisfying Americans’ psychological desires and
everyday needs.
2. Americans spent more and more of their income on leisure activities like vacations,
movies, and sporting events.
3. Radios and phonographs brought mass entertainment into American homes.
4. Americans accepted going into debt for purchasing consumer goods.
C. The Limits of Prosperity
1. The fruits of increased production were very unequally distributed.
2. By 1929, an estimated 40 percent of the population still lived in poverty.
D. The Farmers’ Plight
1. Farmers did not share in the prosperity of the decade.
2. California impacted by displaced farmers.
3. New technology transformed farming.
a. Immigrant labor
E. The Image of Business
1. Business people like Henry Ford and engineers like Herbert Hoover were cultural
2. Numerous firms established public relations departments.
F. The Decline of Labor
1. Business appropriated the rhetoric of Americanism and industrial freedom as a
weapon against labor unions.
a. Welfare capitalism
2. Employers embraced the “American Plan,” or open shop.
a. strikebreakers and blacklisting
3. During the 1920s, labor lost over 2 million members.
G. The Equal Rights Amendment
1. The achievement of suffrage in 1920 eliminated the bond of unity between various
2. Alice Paul’s National Woman’s Party proposed the ERA.
H. Women’s Freedom
1. Female liberation resurfaced as a lifestyle, the stuff of advertising and mass
a. The flapper
2. Sex became a marketing tool.
3. New freedom for women only lasted while they were single.
III. Business and Government
1. In 1929, the sociologists Robert and Helen Lynd published Middletown.
2. Voter turnout declined dramatically.
B. The Republican Era
1. Government policies reflected the pro-business ethos of the 1920s.
a. Lower taxes
b. Higher tariffs
c. Anti-Unionism
2. The Supreme Court remained strongly conservative.
a. Repudiated Muller v. Oregon
C. Corruption in Government
1. The Harding administration quickly became one of the most corrupt in American
2. Harding surrounded himself with cronies who used their offices for private gain.
a. Teapot Dome scandal
D. The Election of 1924
1. Coolidge exemplified Yankee honesty.
2. Robert La Follette ran on a Progressive platform in 1924.
E. Economic Diplomacy
1. Foreign affairs also reflected the close working relationship between business and
a. Washington Naval Arms Conference
2. Much foreign policy was conducted through private economic relationships rather than
through governmental action.
a. Bankers loaned Germany large sums of money.
3. The government continued to dispatch soldiers when a change in government in the
Caribbean threatened American economic interests.
a. Somoza and Nicaragua
IV. The Birth of Civil Liberties
1. Wartime repression continued into the 1920s.
a. “Banned in Boston”
b. Hays Code
c. “Lost Generation”
B. A Clear and Present Danger
1. The ACLU was established in 1920.
2. Prior to this, the Supreme Court had addressed the concept of civil liberties in rulings
that limited political dissent.
a. Schenck v. United States
C. The Court and Civil Liberties
1. Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis began to speak up for freedom of speech.
2. The new regard for free speech went beyond political expression.
3. Anita Whitney was pardoned by the governor of California on the grounds that
freedom of speech was the “indispensable birthright of every free American.”
V. The Culture Wars
A. The Fundamentalist Revolt
1. Many evangelical Protestants felt threatened by the decline of traditional values and
the increased visibility of Catholicism and Judaism because of immigration.
2. Convinced that the literal truth of the Bible formed the basis of Christian belief,
fundamentalists launched a campaign to rid Protestant denominations of modernism.
a. Billy Sunday
3. Fundamentalists supported Prohibition, while others viewed it as a violation of
individual freedom.
4. Prohibition also raised questions about the expansion of federal authority, the wisdom
of legislating morality, and it split the Democratic Party.
5. Prohibition proved highly profitable for some and also led to corruption.
B. The Scopes Trial
1. John Scopes was arrested for teaching evolution in school.
2. The Scopes trial reflected the enduring tension between two American definitions of
3. The renowned labor lawyer Clarence Darrow defended Scopes.
a. Darrow examined William J. Bryan as an expert on the Bible.
4. After the trial, fundamentalists retreated for many years from battles over public
education, preferring to build their own schools and colleges.
C. The Second Klan
1. Few features of urban life seemed more alien to small town, native-born Protestants
than immigrant populations and cultures.
2. The Klan was reborn in Atlanta in 1915 after the lynching of Leo Frank, a Jewish
factory manager accused of killing a teenage girl.
3. By the mid-1920s the Klan spread to the North and West.
D. Closing the Golden Door
1. The 1920s produced a fundamental change in immigration policy.
2. In 1924, Congress permanently limited immigration for Europeans and banned it for
3. To satisfy the demands of large farmers in California who relied heavily on seasonal
Mexican labor, the 1924 law established no limits on immigration from the Western
4. The law did establish a new category of “illegal alien” and a new mechanism for
enforcement, the Border Patrol.
E Race and the Law
1. By the early 1920s, political leaders of both North and South agreed to the relegation
of blacks to second-class citizenship.
2. Immigration policy would now rest on a biological definition of the ideal population.
3. The 1924 immigration law also reflected the Progressive desire to improve the quality
of democratic citizenship and to employ scientific methods to set public policy.
4. The concept of race as a basis for public policy lacked any rational foundation.
a. 1923 Supreme Court decision in Bhagat Singh Thind case
F. Promoting Tolerance
1. Immigrant groups asserted the validity of cultural diversity and identified toleration of
difference as the essence of American freedom.
2. In landmark decisions, the Supreme Court struck down laws that tried to enforce
G. The Emergence of Harlem
1. The 1920s also witnessed an upsurge of self-consciousness among black Americans,
especially in the North’s urban ghettos.
2. New York’s Harlem gained an international reputation as the “capital” of black
3. The 1920s became famous for slumming.
H. The Harlem Renaissance
1. Harlem was home to a vibrant black cultural community.
2. In art, the term “New Negro” meant the rejection of established stereotypes and a
search for black values to put in their place.
VI. The Great Depression
A. The Election of 1928
1. Herbert Hoover seemed destined for a successful presidency.
2. Although a Progressive, Hoover did not favor government intervention in the
3. Hoover accepted the Republican nomination for president and faced Democratic
opponent Alfred E. Smith, three-time governor of New York.
4. Smith’s Catholicism became the focus of the race.
5. Hoover is elected by a landslide.
B. The Coming of the Depression
1. On October 21, 1929, Hoover gave a speech that was a tribute to progress; eight
days later on “Black Tuesday” the stock market crashed.
2. The stock market crash did not, by itself, cause the Depression.
3. The global financial system was ill equipped to deal with the crash.
4. By 1932, the economy had hit rock bottom, and 25 percent of the U.S. labor force
was out of work.
C. Americans and the Depression
1. The Depression transformed American life.
2. Many Americans migrated out of cities into rural areas.
3. The image of big business, carefully cultivated during the 1920s, collapsed as
congressional investigations revealed massive irregularities among bankers and
D. Resignation and Protest
1. Twenty thousand unemployed World War I veterans descended on Washington in the
spring of 1932 to demand early payment of a bonus due in 1945.
2. Milo Reno led the National Farmers’ Holiday Association.
3. Only the minuscule Communist Party seemed able to give a political focus to the
anger and despair.
E. Hoover’s Response
1. Hoover’s response seemed inadequate; businessmen strongly opposed federal aid to
the unemployed.
2. The federal government had never faced such a severe economic crisis
3. Hoover remained committed to “associational action.”
a. claims “the tide had turned” seemed out of touch
F. The Worsening Economic Outlook
1. Some administration remedies made the economic situation worse.
a. Smoot-Hawley Tariff
2. Hoover created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and the Federal Home Loan
Bank System in 1932, in a dramatic departure from previous federal economic policy.
3. Hoover was still opposed to offering direct relief to the unemployed.
G. Freedom in the Modern World
1. In 1927, the definition of freedom celebrated the unimpeded reign of economic
enterprise yet tolerated the surveillance of private life, and individual conscience
reigned supreme.
2. By 1932, the seeds had already been planted for a new conception of freedom.
CHAPTER 21: The New Deal, 1932–1940
This chapter concentrates on the history of the New Deal era, examining legislation, protest
movements, and the impact of the New Deal on minorities. The chapter opens with the story of
the Grand Coulee Dam—a magnificent piece of civil engineering, yet it flooded hundreds of acres
of Indian hunting and farming land for which the Indians were not compensated. Roosevelt’s
New Deal accomplished significant achievements, but also had many limitations. In his fireside
chats, President Roosevelt spoke directly to Americans in their homes and mobilized support for
New Deal programs. In a 1934 radio address in “Voices of Freedom,” President Roosevelt
explained his support for government jobs programs and public-works projects. The chapter
explores the economic recovery programs of the first New Deal and the subsequent wave of
protests from men like Upton Sinclair, Huey Long, Father Charles Coughlin, and Dr. Francis
Townsend. Pressured by these voices of protest, Roosevelt’s Second New Deal focused more on
economic security. Labor made remarkable gains during the New Deal, as seen with the
establishment of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Led by John Lewis, the CIO had
a clear vision of what democracy and freedom meant for labor. The limits of the New Deal are
then explored, examining the hardships faced by women, Indians, Mexicans, and AfricanAmericans. In his writings featured in “Voices of Freedom,” John Steinbeck gives us a glimpse
into the migrant worker’s life on the road in California, facing the harsh realities of the Dust
Bowl and the Great Depression. Finally, the chapter looks at the appeal of the Communist Party
during the New Deal and the conservative congressional response to the Popular Front with the
establishment of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the Smith Act.
I. Introduction: The Columbia River Project
II. The First New Deal
A. FDR and the Election of 1932
1. FDR had previously served as undersecretary of the navy and had run for vice
2. He projected a strong public image, despite being confined to a wheelchair from
contracting polio in 1921.
3. In accepting the Democratic nomination for president, FDR promised a “new deal” for
the American people, but his campaign was vague in explaining how he was going to
achieve that.
4. In 1932, he won the presidency in a resounding victory.
B. The Coming of the New Deal
1. Roosevelt saw his New Deal as an alternative to socialism on the left, to Nazism on
the right, and to the inaction of upholders of unregulated capitalism.
2. For advice, FDR relied heavily on a group of intellectuals and social workers who took
up key positions in his administration.
3. Justice Louis Brandeis believed large corporations should be broken up.
4. FDR’s “brains trust” disagreed; their view that corporations should be managed by the
government prevailed during “the First New Deal.”
C. The Banking Crisis
1. FDR confronted a banking system on the verge of collapse.
2. He declared a bank holiday, temporarily halting all bank operations, and called
Congress into special session.
a. Emergency Banking Act
3. Further measures also transformed the American financial system.
a. Glass-Steagall Act
b. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
D. The NRA
1. An unprecedented flurry of legislation during the first three months of Roosevelt’s
administration was a period known as the Hundred Days.
2. The centerpiece of Roosevelt’s plan was the National Industrial Recovery Act, which
established the National Recovery Administration (NRA).
3. The NRA reflected how the New Deal reshaped understandings of freedom.
a. Section 7a as step toward “industrial freedom”
4. Hugh S. Johnson set standards for production, prices, and wages in the textile, steel,
mining, and auto industries.
a. NRA codes controversial
E. Government Jobs
1. The Hundred Days also brought the government into providing relief to those in need.
a. Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)
2. The
environmental improvement projects.
F. Public-Works Projects
1. The Public Works Administration (PWA) built roads, schools, hospitals, and other
public facilities.
2. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) built a series of dams to provide cheap electric
G. The New Deal and Agriculture
1. The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) authorized the federal government to try to
raise farm prices by setting production quotas for major crops and paying farmers not
to plant more.
2. The AAA succeeded in significantly raising farm prices and incomes for large farmers.
a. The policy generally hurt small farms and tenant farmers.
3. The 1930s also witnessed severe drought, creating the Dust Bowl.
H. The New Deal and Housing
1. The Depression devastated the American housing industry.
2. FDR moved energetically to protect homeowners from foreclosure and to stimulate
new construction.
a. Home Owners Loan Corporation
b. Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
3. There were other important measures of Roosevelt’s first two years in office:
a. Twenty-First Amendment
b. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
c. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
4. The First New Deal was a set of experiments; some succeeded, others did not.
I. The Court and the New Deal
1. In 1935, the Supreme Court began to invalidate key New Deal laws.
a. National Recovery Administration (NRA)
b. The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA)
III. The Grassroots Revolt
A. Labor’s Great Upheaval
1. Organized labor experienced an upsurge in the mid-1930s; unlike in past, the federal
government now seemed on the side of labor.
2. Militant labor leaders provided leadership.
3. Workers’ demands during the 1930s went beyond better wages.
a. All their goals required union recognition.
4. Roosevelt’s election as president did much to rekindle hope among labor.
5. 1934 saw an explosion of strikes.
B. The Rise of the CIO
1. The labor upheaval posed a challenge to the American Federation of Labor.
2. John Lewis led a walkout of the AFL that produced a new labor organization, the
Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).
3. The United Auto Workers (UAW) led a sit-down strike in 1936.
4. Steel workers tried to follow suit.
5. Union membership reached 9 million by 1940.
C. Labor and Politics
1. The labor upsurge altered the balance of economic power and propelled labor’s goal
of a fairer, freer, more equal America to the forefront of politics.
2. CIO leaders explained the Depression as the result of an imbalance of wealth and
D. Voices of Protest
1. Other popular movements of the mid-1930s also placed the question of economic
justice on the political agenda.
a. Upton Sinclair and the End Poverty in California movement (EPIC)
b. Huey Long and Share Our Wealth
c. Dr. Francis Townsend
E. Religion on the Radio
1. “Radio priest” Father Charles Coughlin preached against banks, capitalists, the
shortcomings of the New Deal, and eventually in favor of European fascism.
2. Religious leaders like Aimee Semple McPherson drew on radio and mass media to
spread conservative religious beliefs.
IV. The Second New Deal
1. Spurred by the failure of his initial policies to pull the country out of the Depression
and by the growing popular clamor for greater economic equality, Roosevelt in 1935
launched the Second New Deal.
a. The emphasis of the Second New Deal was economic security.
b. The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) provided electricity to rural areas.
c. The federal government also tried to promote soil conservation and family farming.
B. The WPA and the Wagner Act
1. In 1934 the Works Progress Administration (WPA) is established for the construction
of public facilities.
2. The WPA employed 3 million people and unlike previous work-relief programs,
employed white-collar workers.
3. Perhaps the most famous WPA projects were in the arts.
4. The Wagner Act established the National Labor Relations Board and outlawed “unfair
labor practices.”
C. The American Welfare State: Social Security
1. The centerpiece of the Second New Deal was the Social Security Act of 1935, a
system of unemployment insurance, old age pensions, and aid for the disabled and
2. Social Security was the American version of the “welfare state,” and emerged as a
decentralized hybrid of national and local funding, control, and eligibility standards.
3. Social Security represented a dramatic departure from the traditional functions of
V. A Reckoning with Liberty
1. Roosevelt was a master of political communication and used his fireside chats to
great effect.
2. FDR gave the term “liberalism” its modern meaning.
3. FDR’s opponents organized the American Liberty League.
B. The Election of 1936
1. Fighting for the possession of “the ideal of freedom” emerged as the central issue of
the presidential campaign of 1936.
2. Republicans chose Kansas governor Alfred Landon, a former Theodore Roosevelt
3. Roosevelt won a landslide reelection.
a. New Deal coalition
C. The Court Fight
1. FDR proposed to change the face of the Supreme Court for political reasons.
2. Congress rejected his “court packing” plan.
3. But by March 1937, Court’s new willingness to accept the New Deal marked a
permanent change in judicial policy.
D. The End of the Second New Deal
1. The momentum of the Second New Deal slowed in 1937.
2. The Fair Labor Standards bill finally passed in 1938: it banned goods produced by
child labor from interstate commerce, set a minimum wage, and established overtime
pay policy.
3. The year 1937 witnessed a sharp downturn of the economy.
VI. The Limits of Change
A. The New Deal and American Women
1. The New deal brought more women into government than ever before, and Eleanor
Roosevelt transformed the role of first lady.
2. However, organized feminism, already in disarray during the 1920s, disappeared as a
political force.
3. Women were discouraged from working.
a. Economy Act of 1933
4. Most New Deal programs did not exclude women from benefits, but the ideal of the
male-headed household powerfully shaped social policy.
B. The Southern Veto
1. The power of the Solid South helped to mold the New Deal welfare state into an
entitlement for white Americans.
a. Social Security law excluded agricultural and domestic workers, the largest
categories of black employment.
2. Black organizations lobbied for changes in Social Security.
C. The Stigma of Welfare
1. The “southern veto” resulted in the majority of black workers being confined to the
least generous wing of the new welfare state.
2. A stigma of minority dependence on government assistance (“welfare”) later
D. The Indian New Deal
1. Under Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier, the administration launched an
Indian New Deal.
a. Indian Reorganization Act of 1934
2. It marked the most radical shift in Indian policy in the nation’s history.
E. The New Deal and Mexican-Americans
1. For Mexican-Americans, the Depression was a wrenching experience.
a. The Wagner and Social Security Acts did not apply to agricultural workers
F. Last Hired, First Fired
1. African-Americans were hit hardest by the Depression.
2. FDR appointed a number of blacks to important federal positions.
a. Mary McLeod Bethune
3. The 1930s witnessed a historic shift in black voting patterns.
a. Shift to Democratic Party
G. Federal Discrimination
1. Federal housing policy revealed the limits of New Deal freedom.
2. Federal employment practices also discriminated on the basis of race.
3. Not until the Great Society of the 1960s would those left out of New Deal programs
win inclusion in the American welfare state.
VII. A New Conception of America
A. The Heyday of American Communism
1. In the mid-1930s, the left enjoyed a shaping influence on the nation’s politics and
2. The Communist Party experienced remarkable growth.
a. The Popular Front
B. Redefining the People
1. The Popular Front vision for American society was that the American way of life
meant unionism and social citizenship, not the unbridled pursuit of wealth.
2. Popular Front artists and writers captured the lives of ordinary citizens.
3. The Popular Front forthrightly sought to promote the idea that the country’s strength
lay in diversity, tolerance, and the rejection of ethnic prejudice and class privilege.
C. Challenging the Color Line
1. Popular Front culture moved well beyond New Deal liberalism in condemning racism as
incompatible with true Americanism.
2. The Communist Party was the era’s only predominately white organization fighting
a. Scottsboro case
3. The CIO welcomed black members.
D. Labor and Civil Liberties
1. Another central element of Popular Front public culture was its mobilization for civil
liberties, especially the right of labor to organize.
2. Labor militancy helped to produce an important shift in the understanding of civil
3. Attorney General Frank Murphy established a Civil Liberties Unit in the Department of
a. Civil liberties replaced liberty of contract as the judicial foundation of freedom.
4. To counter, the House of Representatives established an Un-American Activities
Committee in 1938 to investigate disloyalty.
a. Smith Act
E. The End of the New Deal
1. FDR was losing support from southern Democrats.
2. Roosevelt concluded that the enactment of future New Deal measures required a
liberalization of the southern Democratic Party.
3. A period of political stalemate followed the congressional election of 1938, and
further reform initiatives seemed impossible.
F. The New Deal in American History
1. Given the scope of the economic calamity it tried to counter, the New Deal seems in
many ways quite limited.
2. Yet even as the New Deal receded, its substantial accomplishments remained.
3. The New Deal improved economic conditions, but World War II ended the Great
An Affluent Society, 1953–1960
This chapter concentrates on the 1950s, its economic prosperity, its conformity and cultural
critics, and the civil rights movement. Opening with the Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev
debates in 1959, the chapter sets up the theme of the suburban material bliss of the 1950s.
The golden age of the 1950s is discussed, identifying a new meaning of freedom for the
American people in consumerism and the freedom of consumer choice. The Cold War fueled
industrial production and promoted a redistribution of the nation’s population and economic
resources. Likewise, the Cold War also shaped a new role for women and the family. Excluded
from this economic prosperity and growing suburbia were blacks and ethnic minorities, who
found themselves left in the inner cities. Before segueing into the Eisenhower administration,
the chapter defines libertarian conservatives and new conservatives; however, Dwight D.
Eisenhower did not consider himself to be either. Calling his policies modern Republicanism,
Eisenhower did not roll back the New Deal but instead extended the core New Deal programs.
Labor too benefited from the prosperity of the decade. In foreign policy, Eisenhower adopted
the policy of massive retaliation to fight the Cold War and used the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) in various Third World countries to counter nationalist movements that were viewed as
Soviet-sponsored communist campaigns. Responding to the affluence and the anxieties of the
Cold War, cultural critics of the 1950s spoke out against the conformity they witnessed. From
sociologist David Riesman to the poems of the Beats, cultural critics voiced dissent. The final
section of the chapter discusses the civil rights movement. Building on decades of social
conflict, the movement gets its momentum from the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the
Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. Mobilizing the black
community in Montgomery, King’s oratorical abilities and his definition of freedom are
highlighted in “Voices of Freedom.” But not all African-Americans could muster King’s patience
and good faith and gave up hope for a change in American society, as becomes apparent in
Richard Wright’s explanation for his self-chosen exile in “Voices of Freedom.” The chapter
concludes with the 1960 election between Nixon and John F. Kennedy.
I. Introduction: The Nixon-Khrushchev Kitchen Debates
II. The Golden Age
1. After the war, the American economy enjoyed remarkable growth.
2. Numerous innovations came into widespread use during these years, transforming
Americans’ daily lives.
3. Wages rose
B. A Changing Economy
1. The Cold War fueled industrial production and promoted a redistribution of the
nation’s population and economic resources.
2. Since the 1950s, the American economy has shifted away from manufacturing.
3. The South was transformed as the numbers of farms declined since the 1950s, but
farm production increased.
a. The center of gravity of American farming shifted decisively to Texas, Arizona, and
especially California.
C. A Suburban Nation
1. The main engines of economic growth during the 1950s were residential construction
and spending on consumer goods.
2. The dream of home ownership came within reach of the majority of Americans.
a. Levittown
b. The automobile
D. The Growth of the West
1. The modern West emerged in the postwar years.
2. California became the most prominent symbol of the postwar suburban boom.
3. Western cities were decentralized clusters of single-family homes and businesses
united by a web of highways.
a. Cars and the suburbs
E. The TV World
1. Television transformed American lives in a number of ways.
a. Replaced newspapers
b. Changed eating habits
2. TV avoided controversy and projected a bland image of middle-class life.
F. Women at Work and at Home
1. The emergence of suburbia placed pressure on the family, women in particular.
2. By the mid-1950s women were working again, but the nature and aims of women’s
work had changed.
3. Women were expected to get married, have kids, and stay at home.
a. Baby boom
4. Feminism seemed to have disappeared from American life.
G. A Segregated Landscape
1. A move to the suburbs was a way to fulfill the American postwar dream of home
ownership and a middle-class life.
2. The suburbs remained segregated communities.
3. During the postwar suburban boom, federal agencies continued to insure mortgages
that barred resale of houses to nonwhites, thereby financing housing segregation.
a. Levittowns excluded blacks.
4. Under programs of “urban renewal,” cities demolished poor neighborhoods to make
way for retail centers and all-white middle-income housing complexes.
H. The Divided Society
1. Suburbanization hardened racial lines as 7 million whites left the cities for the
a. 3 million blacks migrated north.
b. Puerto Ricans
2. The process of racial exclusion became self-reinforcing.
I. Religion and Anticommunism
1. Both Protestant and Roman Catholic religious leaders played crucial roles in the spread
of anticommunism.
2. American values celebrated religiosity as opposed to “godless” communism and
affirmed the nation’s faith.
a. Pledge of Allegiance and “In God We Trust”
3. There emerged a new Judeo-Christian heritage, a notion that became central to the
cultural and political message of the 1950s.
a. Hollywood films
b. Radio and television clerics
J. Selling Free Enterprise
1. Cold War freedom in the Free World increasingly came to focus on consumer
capitalism, or “free enterprise.”
2. In the face of widespread abundance, the capitalist marketplace came to embody
individual freedom.
K. The Libertarian Conservatives and the New Conservatives
1. In the 1950s, a group of thinkers began to revive conservatism and reclaim the idea
of freedom from liberals.
2. To these “libertarian” conservatives, freedom meant individual autonomy, limited
government, and unregulated capitalism.
3. These ideas had great appeal in the rapidly growing South and West.
4. A second strand of conservative thought also became increasingly prominent in the
1950s: the “new conservatives.”
5. New conservatives called for the Free World to arm itself morally and intellectually
against communism.
a. A return to civilization grounded in Christian values
6. The conservative movement was divided between libertarians and new conservatives.
7. Two powerful enemies became focal points for the conservative revival:
a. Soviet Union abroad and federal government at home
III. The Eisenhower Era
A. Ike and Nixon
1. Having enormous political appeal, General Dwight D. Eisenhower ran for president in
2. Anticommunist crusader Richard Nixon ran as his vice president.
a. Nixon gained a reputation for opportunism and dishonesty.
B. The 1952 Campaign
1. Television was transforming politics.
2. Eisenhower was popular; he promised to end the Korean conflict, which brought him
victory in 1952.
3. During the 1950s, voters at home and abroad seemed to find reassurance in selecting
familiar, elderly leaders to govern them.
C. Modern Republicanism
1. Wealthy businessmen dominated Eisenhower’s cabinet.
a. Eisenhower refused to roll back the New Deal.
2. Modern Republicanism aimed to sever the Republican Party’s identification in the
minds of many Americans with the Great Depression.
3. Government spending was used to promote productivity and boost employment.
a. Interstate highway
b. National Defense Education Act a response to Sputnik
D. The Social Contract
1. The 1950s witnessed an easing of the labor conflict of the two previous decades.
a. AFL and CIO merged in 1955.
b. Social contract
2. Unionized workers shared fully in the prosperity of the 1950s.
E. Massive Retaliation
1. Ike took office at a time when the Cold War had entered an extremely dangerous
a. Hydrogen bomb
2. Massive retaliation declared that any Soviet attack on an American ally would be
countered by a nuclear assault on the Soviet Union itself.
a. “Mutually assured destruction” (MAD)
F. Ike and the Russians
1. After the end of the Korean War and Stalin’s death, Eisenhower came to believe that
the Soviets were reasonable and could be dealt with in conventional diplomatic terms.
2. Khrushchev’s call for peaceful coexistence with the United States raised the
possibility of an easing of the Cold War.
3. In 1958, the two superpowers agreed to a voluntary halt on the testing of nuclear
G. The Emergence of the Third World
1. As the Cold War began, many developing countries—in the so-called “Third World”—
were not aligned with either of the two Cold War superpowers.
a. Non-aligned countries affected by U.S.-Soviet rivalry
2. The post–World War II era witnessed the crumbling of European empires, and
“decolonization” began to occur.
3. Communists participated in movements for colonial independence in the non-aligned
4. The policy of containment became the determining factor in American relations with
the Third World.
a. Guatemala
b. Iran
5. The Suez Crisis in 1956 led the U.S. to replace Britain as the major Western power in
the Middle East.
H. Origins of the Vietnam War
1. After the Japanese were expelled from Vietnam in 1945, the French moved militarily
against communist Ho Chi Minh’s nationalist independence movement.
2. Anticommunism led the United States into deeper and deeper involvement in
3. A peace conference in Geneva divided Vietnam temporarily at the 17th parallel, and
American aid poured into South Vietnam.
4. Little by little, the United States was becoming accustomed to intervention—secretly
and openly—in far flung corners of the world.
a. Long-term consequences in Guatemala, Iran, and Vietnam
I. Mass Society and Its Critics
1. Consensus was the dominant ideal in the 1950s.
2. Dissenting voices could be heard, however.
a. Sociologist C. Wright Mills
b. David Riesman’s The Lonely Crowd
c. The Organization Man
J. Rebels without a Cause
1. The emergence of a popular culture geared to the emerging youth market suggested
that significant generational tensions lay beneath the bland surface of 1950s life.
2. Cultural life during the 1950s seemed far more daring than politics.
a. Rock and roll
b. The Beats
IV. The Freedom Movement
A. Origins of the Movement
1. The civil rights revolution came as a great surprise.
2. The United States in the 1950s was still a segregated and unequal society.
3. Segregation was legal in the South and border states and “defacto” in the North; few
white Americans felt any urgency about confronting racial inequality.
B. The Legal Assault on Segregation
1. It fell to the courts to confront the problem of racial segregation.
a. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
b. Earl Warren
2. For years, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP)led by attorney Thurgood Marshall,had pressed legal challenges to the
separate-but-equal doctrine laid down by the Court in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson.
a. Lloyd Gaines
b. Heman Sweatt
C. The Brown Case
1. Marshall brought the NAACP’s support to local cases that had arisen when black
parents challenged unfair school policies.
2. In 1952, before the Supreme Court, Marshall argued such a case in Brown v. Board of
Education of Topeka, Kansas.
3. Marshall argued that segregation did lifelong damage to black children, undermining
their self-esteem.
4. Chief Justice Earl Warren managed to create unanimity in a divided court, some of
whose members disliked segregation, but feared that a decision to outlaw it would
spark widespread violence.
5. The Court decision stated that segregation in public education violated the equal
protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
D. The Montgomery Bus Boycott
1. Brown ensured that when the movement resumed after waning in the early 1950s, it
would have the backing of the federal courts.
a. Rosa Parks
b. Bus boycott
E. The Daybreak of Freedom
1. The Montgomery Bus Boycott launched a nonviolent crusade for social justice.
a. Martin Luther King, Jr.
2. From the beginning, the language of freedom pervaded the black movement.
a. Freedom schools
3. Freedom had many meanings for African Americans.
F. The Leadership of King
1. In King’s soaring oratory, the protesters’ understanding of freedom fused into a
coherent whole.
2. King presented the case for black rights in a vocabulary that merged the black
experience with that of the nation.
3. Echoing Christian themes derived from his training in the black church, King’s
speeches resonated deeply in both black communities and in the broader culture.
G. Massive Resistance
1. In 1956, King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
a. white South refused to accept Brown decision
b. “massive resistance”
2. In 1956, many southern congressmen and senators signed a Southern Manifesto
denouncing Brown.
H. Eisenhower and Civil Rights
1. The federal government tried to remain aloof from the black struggle.
a. A 1957 civil rights law had weak enforcement
b. President Eisenhower failed to provide moral leadership.
2. In 1957, Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas used the National Guard to prevent the
court-ordered integration of Little Rock’s Central High School.
3. Eisenhower dispatched federal troops to enforce the order, but the incident
demonstrated the effectiveness of massive resistance.
4. Since the start of the Cold War, American leaders had worried about the impact of
segregation on the country’s international reputation.
5. The global reaction to the Brown decision was overwhelmingly positive, but the
slowness of change invited criticism and embarrassed American diplomats.
V. The Election of 1960
A. Kennedy and Nixon
1. The presidential campaign of 1960 between Republican Richard Nixon and Democrat
John F. Kennedy turned out to be one of the closest in American history.
2. John F. Kennedy was a Catholic, which became a campaign issue.
3. Both Kennedy and Nixon were ardent Cold Warriors.
a. Missile gap
b. Television debate
B. The End of the 1950s
1. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address warned against the drumbeat of calls for a new military
a. Military-industrial complex
This chapter concentrates on the history of the early Cold War period and the Truman
administration. The chapter opens with the national tour of the Freedom Train, which celebrated
the freedom of America in contrast to the tyranny of Hitler. The chapter continues by explaining
the origins of the Cold War and the roots of containment as outlined by George Kennan and as
implemented through the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, Berlin Airlift, and Korean War. Many
critics, including Walter Lippmann, questioned the wisdom of viewing the Cold War through the
narrow lens of “free versus slave.” Next, freedom and the Cold War are explored by comparing
freedom with totalitarianism. The quest for an international human rights movement begins with
the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that the United States
has still not completely ratified. Truman’s domestic policy, the Fair Deal, is an attempt to
continue the expansion of government under the New Deal. Truman wished to extend rights to
labor and blacks and to create comprehensive national health insurance and housing plans. Most
of Truman’s agenda was stopped by the Republican resurgence led by Senator Taft. The
Democratic Party was disrupted with the Dixiecrat revolt and Henry Wallace’s Progressive Party,
but Truman was still able to steal the 1948 election away from the Republican Thomas Dewey.
The chapter concludes with the anticommunist crusade, looking at the House Un-American
Activities Committee (HUAC) investigations, the arrest of the Rosenbergs, and the rise of
Senator Joseph McCarthy. The loyalty of every American came under suspicion during the Red
Scare. As such, critics such as historian Henry Steele Commager spoke out against the blatant
violations of the First Amendment. His article, “Who Is Loyal to America?” is highlighted in
“Voices of Freedom.” The second “Voices of Freedom” is an excerpt from the national security
paper NSC-68 that called for massive increased military spending in the name of a global fight
for freedom. This excerpt speaks only of the word “freedom” and what it means in the United
States. Taken together, it is clear that the word “freedom” is a strong rhetorical weapon in the
Cold War.
I. Introduction: The Freedom Train
II. Origins of the Cold War
A. The Two Powers
1. The United States emerged from World War II as by far the world’s greatest power.
2. The only power that in any way could rival the United States was the Soviet Union.
B. The Roots of Containment
1. It seemed all but inevitable that the two major powers to emerge from the war would
come into conflict.
2. The first confrontation of the Cold War took place in the Middle East.
3. The Long Telegram advised the Truman administration that the Soviets could not be
dealt with as a normal government.
a. Containment
4. Churchill’s “iron curtain” speech popularized the idea of an impending long-term
struggle between the United States and the Soviets.
C. The Truman Doctrine
1. Truman soon determined to put the policy of containment into effect.
2. To rally popular backing for Greece and Turkey, Truman rolled out the heaviest
weapon in his rhetorical arsenal—the defense of freedom.
3. Truman’s rhetoric suggested that the United States had assumed a permanent global
responsibility to support “freedom-loving peoples’ wherever communism threatened
D. The Marshall Plan
1. George Marshall pledged the United States to contribute billions of dollars to finance
the economic recovery of Europe.
2. The Marshall Plan offered a positive vision to go along with containment.
3. The Marshall Plan proved to be one of the most successful foreign aid programs in
E. The Reconstruction of Japan
1. Led by General Douglas MacArthur after the war, Japan adopted a new, democratic
a. Women’s suffrage
b. Renunciation of war
2. Economic recovery
a. American economic assistance, new technologies, and low spending on military
F. The Berlin Blockade and NATO
1. In 1945, the Soviets cut off road and rail traffic from the American, British, and
French zones of occupied Germany to Berlin.
a. An Allied airlift followed
2. In 1949, the Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb.
3. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) pledged mutual defense against any
future Soviet attack.
a. Warsaw Pact
G. The Growing Communist Challenge
1. Communists won the civil war in China in 1949.
2. National Security Council approved a call for a permanent military buildup to enable
the United States to pursue a global crusade against communism.
a. NSC-68
H. The Korean War
1. In June 1950, the North Korean army invaded the south, hoping to reunify the
country under communist control.
2. American troops did the bulk of the fighting on this first battlefield of the Cold War.
a. General Douglas MacArthur
b. Chinese intervention
3. No formal peace treaty was signed to end the Korean War.
4. Korea made it clear that the Cold War, which began in Europe, had become a global
I. Cold War Critics
1. The Soviet Union presented a stark opposite of democracy and “free enterprise.”
2. Casting the Cold War in terms of a worldwide battle between freedom and slavery had
unfortunate consequences.
3. Walter Lippmann objected to turning foreign policy into an “ideological crusade.”
J. Imperialism and Decolonization
1. Colonial independence movements borrowed American language of self-government.
2. Repressive governments joined the worldwide anticommunist alliance led by the
United States.
III. The Cold War and the Idea of Freedom
1. One of the more unusual Cold War battlefields involved American history and culture.
a. Hollywood
2. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) emerged as unlikely patrons of the arts.
B. Freedom and Totalitarianism
1. Along
“totalitarianism,” which became shorthand for those on the Soviet side of the Cold
2. Just as the conflict over slavery redefined American freedom in the nineteenth
century, and the confrontation with the Nazis shaped understandings of freedom
during World War II, the Cold War reshaped them once again.
C. The Rise of Human Rights
1. The Cold War also affected the emerging concept of human rights.
2. In 1948, the UN General Assembly approved the Universal Declaration of Human
D. Ambiguities of Human Rights
1. In debates over the Universal Declaration of Human Rights both the United States and
the Soviet Union refused to accept outside interference in their internal affairs.
a. NAACP’s petition
2. After the Cold War ended, the idea of human rights would play an increasingly
prominent role in world affairs.
IV. The Truman Presidency
A. The Fair Deal
1. Truman’s first domestic task was to preside over the transition from a wartime to a
peacetime economy.
2. He moved to revive the stalled momentum of the New Deal with his “Fair Deal.”
B. The Postwar Strike Wave
1. The AFL and CIO launched Operation Dixie, a campaign to bring unionization to the
2. In 1946, nearly 5 million workers went on strike.
C. The Republican Resurgence
1. Republicans swept control of both houses of Congress in 1946.
2. Congress turned aside Truman’s Fair Deal program.
a. Taft-Hartley Act
D. Postwar Civil Rights
1. Immediately after the war, the status of black Americans enjoyed a prominence in
national affairs unmatched since Reconstruction.
a. Fair employment practices, antidiscrimination laws, access to jobs, in some states
2. The Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 added Jackie Robinson to their team, indicating race
relations were in flux.
E. To Secure These Rights
1. A Commission on Civil Rights appointed by the president called on the federal
government to abolish segregation and discrimination.
2. Truman’s ambitious civil rights program failed to pass Congress.
3. In 1948, Truman desegregated the armed forces.
4. The Democratic platform of 1948 was the most progressive in the party’s history.
F. The Dixiecrat and Wallace Revolts
1. Dixiecrats formed the States’ Rights party.
a. Strom Thurmond
2. A group of left-wing critics of Truman’s foreign policy formed the Progressive Party.
a. Henry Wallace
3. Truman’s main opponent was the colorless Republican Thomas E. Dewey.
4. Truman’s success represented one of the greatest upsets in American political
V. The Anticommunist Crusade
1. The Cold War encouraged a culture of secrecy and dishonesty.
2. Military spending helped fuel economic growth.
B. Loyalty and Disloyalty
1. The conflation of communism with opposition to freedom at home began with
President Truman’s loyalty review program.
2. Truman’s loyalty review boards failed to detect espionage, but the new national
security system targeted leftist sympathizers as well as homosexuals, forcing
hundreds from their jobs.
3. At the same time, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began its
search for communists in Hollywood.
C. The Spy Trials
1. HUAC investigated Alger Hiss.
2. The Rosenbergs were convicted of spying and executed in 1953.
D. McCarthy and McCarthyism
1. Senator Joseph McCarthy announced in 1950 that he had a list of 205 communists
working for the State Department.
2. McCarthy’s downfall came with the nationally televised Army-McCarthy hearings in
E. An Atmosphere of Fear
1. Anticommunism was as much a local as a national phenomenon.
2. Local anticommunist groups forced public libraries to remove “un-American” books
from their shelves.
F. The Uses of Anticommunism
1. Most Americans accused of being national security threats during the McCarthy era
simply held unpopular political beliefs.
2. Anticommunism had many faces and purposes.
G. Anticommunist Politics
1. The anticommunist crusade powerfully structured American politics and culture.
a. McCarran Internal Security Bill of 1950
b. McCarran-Walter Act of 1952
c. Operation Wetback
2. Expansion of the New Deal welfare state subsided and private welfare arrangements
H. Cold War Civil Rights
1. The civil rights movement also underwent a transformation.
a. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) purged
2. The Cold War caused a shift in thinking and tactics among civil rights groups.
3. Dean Acheson’s speech to the Delta Council was filled with irony.
4. After 1948, little came of the Truman administration’s civil rights flurry, but time
would reveal that the waning of the civil rights impulse was only temporary.

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