HIS 104 – The Cold War largely defined U.S. foreign policy from the late 1940s until the early 1990s

1. In the time since they occurred, the
“Fair Deal” policies of Harry Truman’s presidential administration and the
“Modern Republicanism” of Dwight Eisenhower’s presidential administration have
often been held up as standards of excellence for presidential
administrations. Yet, the ability for
these administrations to attain the kinds of growth and success they did might
be attributed to the economic boom coming out of World War II that the United
States experienced between 1945 and 1960. In other words, this growth may have
been a product of particular elements of its time period that subsequent years
could not duplicate. Identify four distinct economic, political, and/or
cultural developments from between 1945 and 1960 that contributed to U.S.
growth and success at the time period. For each example, clearly identify the
development and clearly explain how the development contributed to U.S. growth
and success between 1945 and 1960. Then, clearly explain how the combination of
the developments you have discussed produced an environment that facilitated
kinds of success and growth that may not have been achievable in the same ways
before or since.
2. The Cold War largely defined U.S.
foreign policy from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. With that in mind,
describe how the Cold War influenced U.S. foreign policy in each decade from
the 1950s through the 1980s. Specifically discuss each of these four decades,
with clear indication of major foreign policy events and policies from each
decade and explanation of how the Cold War produced those policies and events.
Finally, discuss at least two ways in which the Cold War affected domestic life
in the United States from the 1950s through the 1980s.
3. The 1970s and 1980s demonstrate the
continuing struggle for social reform that women and racial/ethnic minorities
have faced throughout U.S. history. In
particular, even as these groups saw some advances during this time period, they
also struggled to deal with backlash against the advances they had made in
previous decades. With that in mind, for five of the following six groups,
indicate one advance the group made in terms of gaining rights, opportunities,
and/or equitable treatment during the 1970s and/or 1980s and indicate one form
of resistance or backlash the group faced while continuing to seek rights,
opportunities, and equitable treatment:
women, gay men/women, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino
Americans, and Native Americans.
4. As the course textbook indicates, during
the 1970s many Americans “questioned … the government’s ability to solve social
problems” (880). The 1980s followed with efforts in which political leaders
“sought to downsize government, reduce taxes, and roll back regulations that
they claimed hampered business competition” (915). With this in mind, indicate
three distinct specific events or developments from the 1960s and/or 1970s that
caused many Americans to feel they could not trust the U.S. government. For
each example, clearly describe the event or development and explain how the
event or development led to mistrust of the U.S. government. Then, discuss
three distinct policies or actions taken by presidential administrations from
the 1970s and 1980s that specifically attempted to reduce or change involvement
of the U.S. government in particular affairs.
For each example, clearly describe the policy or action and what it
entails and then clearly explain how it demonstrates an attempt to reduce or
change the U.S. government’s involvement with the aspects of U.S. life to which
it pertained.
5. Indicate one environmental issue, one
international political issue, one economic issue, and one cultural issue that
have been significant to U.S. society since the end of the Cold War. Explain
each issue fully and clearly. Then, for each issue, explain how your study of
U.S. history throughout this course has influenced your view of that issue. For
each issue, explain how elements of U.S. history since the Reconstruction
period have influenced what has been occurring in connection with that issue in
more recent times. [Note that stating that you have not been influenced by your
study of U.S. history throughout this course is not considered a valid option
in answering this question. Even if you still think largely what you did before
the course began, the study of U.S. history should have at least produced more
specific nuances to your position upon which you can elaborate in answering
this question.]

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