Final Modern US History Exam Study Guide
Final Modern US History Exam Study Guide HI 1073
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This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by Clara Wimberly on Tuesday May 3, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to HI 1073 at Mississippi State University taught by Alison Greene in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 517 views. For similar materials see Modern US History in History at Mississippi State University.
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Date Created: 05/03/16
Short Answer (30 points: 3 short answers, 10 points each) Answer each question in one paragraph (3-5 complete sentences). The final exam will include two of the short answers questions from Group A (last 6 lectures) and one from Group B (cumulative). Group A 1. The women’s rights movement celebrated a number of successes in the 1960s and 1970s. Describe one victory of the feminist movement and briefly explain how it changed women’s lives. a. Equal Pay Act i. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a United States federal law amending the Fair Labor Standard Act. It is aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex. On June 10, 1963, it was signed into effect by John F. Kennedy as a part of his New Frontier Program. ii. The EPA provides that the employer may not pay lower wages to employees of one gender than it pays to employees of the other gender, employees within the same establishment for equal work at jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions. iii. The EPA was “the first step towards an adjustment of balance in pay for women.” Following the EPA, Congress enacted the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, by including sex as an element protected from discrimination, and expanded the protection of women from employment discrimination. iv. So, the EPA paved the way for more anti-discrimination in the workplace towards women laws to pass. Its impact was more gateway to new things then it was successful. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women’s salaries have risen dramatically since the EPA enactment, from 62% of men’s earnings in 1979 to 80% in 2004. So the goals of the EPA were sort of met, just not entirely. b. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 i. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 enacted on July 2, 1964 after signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. It is a landmark piece of legislation. It outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It ended the unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public. ii. Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. iii. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. It generally applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state, and local governments. Title VII also applies to private and public colleges and universities, employment agencies, and labor organizations. c. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission i. On March 6, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the Executive Order 10925, which required government contractors to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed and that the employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin. It established the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity of which the Vice President Lyndon Johnson was appointed to head. This was the forerunner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. ii. The EEOC was established July 2, 1965; its mandate is specified under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. iii. The U.S. EEOC is a federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination. The EEOC investigates discrimination complaints based on an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, genetic information, and retaliation for reporting, participating in, and/or opposing a discriminatory practice. 2. A number of new liberation movements emerged in the wake of the Black Power movement in the late 1960s and 1970s. Choose one of those movements (not Black Power or the Women’s Movement) and describe its goals and its effect on American society. a. Gay Liberation i. In 1951, homosexuals founded the Mattachine Society, the first gay rights organization. Gay men and women had long been stigmatized as sinful or mentally disordered. Most states made homosexual acts illegal, and police regularly harassed the gay subcultures that existed in major cities like San Francisco and New York. ii. McCarthyism, which viewed homosexuality as a source of national weakness, made the discrimination to which gays were subjected ven worse. Although homosexuals had achieved considerable success in the arts and fashion, most kept their sexual orientation secret, or “in the closet”. The Mattachine Society had worked to persuade the public that apart from their sexual orientation, gays were average Americans who ought not to be persecuted. iii. If one moment marked the advent of “gay liberation” it was a 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, a gathering place for homosexuals. Rather than bowing to the police brutality, as in the past, gays fought back. Gay men and women stepped out of the “closet” to insist that sexual orientation is a matter of rights, power, and identity. iv. Prejudice against homosexuals persisted. But, within a few years, “gay pride” marches were being held in numerous cities. 3. What was “stagflation”? Define the term, and identify two economic issues in the 1970s that contributed to stagflation. a. Stagflation: i. Stagflation is a combination of stagnant economic growth and high inflation present during the 1970’s. b. Two Economic issues that CONTRIBUTED to stagflation i. In 1971, for the first time in the twentieth century, the United States experienced a merchandise trade deficit. It imported more goods than it exported. By 1980, nearly three quarters of goods produced in the United States were competing with foreign-made products and the number of manufacturing workers, 38 percent of the American workforce in 1960, had fallen to 28 percent. ii. Also in 1971, Nixon announced the most radical change in economic policy since the Great Depression. He took the United States off the gold standard, ending the Bretton Woods agreement that fixed the value of the dollar and other currencies in terms of gold. So, the world’s currencies would float in relation to one another, their worth determined not by treaty but by international currency markets. Nixon hoped that lowering the dollar’s value in terms of the German mark and Japanese yen would promote exports by making American goods cheaper overseas and reduce imports since foreign products would be more expensive in the United States. But, the end of fixed currency rates injected a new element of instability into the world economy. 4. Several social crises plagued the United States during the 1980s. Identify one of these "epidemics" and explain its effect on American politics and society. a. AIDS epidemic i. AIDS, the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, a fatal disease spread by sexual contact, drug use, and transfusions of contaminated blood. AIDS first emerged in the early 1980s. It quickly became epidemic among homosexual men. The gay movement mobilized to promote “safe sex”, prevent discrimination against people suffering from AIDS, and press the federal government to devote greater resources to fighting the disease. By 2000, even though more than 400,000 Americans had died of AIDS, its spread among gays had been sharply curtailed. 5. What are glasnost and perestroika, and what implications did these two policies have for the relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the 1980s? a. When Mikhail S. Gorbachev (1931-) became general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in March 1985, he launched his nation on a dramatic new course. His dual program of “perestroika” (“restructuring”) and “glasnost” (“openness”) introduced profound changes in economic practice, internal affairs and international relations. Within five years, Gorbachev’s revolutionary program swept communist governments throughout Eastern Europe from power and brought an end to the Cold War (1945-91), the largely political and economic rivalry between the Soviets and the United States and their respective allies that emerged following World War II. Gorbachev’s actions also inadvertently set the stage for the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, which dissolved into 15 individual republics. He resigned from office on December 25, 1991. b. Perestroika, his restructuring concept, started with an overhaul of the top members of the Communist Party. It also focused on economic issues, replacing the centralized government planning that had been a hallmark of the Soviet system with a greater reliance on market forces. c. The accompanying concept of glasnost sought to ease the strict social controls imposed by the government. Gorbachev gave greater freedom to the media and religious groups and allowed citizens to express divergent views. By 1988, Gorbachev had expanded his reforms to include democratization, moving the USSR toward an elected form of government. d. Gorbachev’s internal reforms were matched by new approaches to Soviet foreign policy. Determined to end his country’s nuclear rivalry with the United States, he pursued negotiations with U.S. President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004). Although Reagan held strong anti-communist views and had intensified the Cold War by initiating a buildup of U.S. forces in the early 1980s, the two leaders managed to find common ground. 6. Scandals rocked the Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton administrations in the last decades of the twentieth century. Choose one of these scandals and briefly describe its nature and its outcome. a. Nixon: Watergate Scandal i. Early in the morning of June 17, 1972, several burglars were arrested inside the office of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), located in the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. This was no ordinary robbery: The prowlers were connected to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, and they had been caught while attempting to wiretap phones and steal secret documents. While historians are not sure whether Nixon knew about the Watergate espionage operation before it happened, he took steps to cover it up afterwards, raising “hush money” for the burglars, trying to stop the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from investigating the crime, destroying evidence and firing uncooperative staff members. In August 1974, after his role in the Watergate conspiracy had finally come to light, the president resigned. His successor, Gerald Ford, immediately pardoned Nixon for all the crimes he “committed or may have committed” while in office. Although Nixon was never prosecuted, the Watergate scandal changed American politics forever, leading many Americans to question their leadership and think more critically about the presidency. b. Reagan: Iran Contra Scandal i. American involvement in Central America produced the greatest scandal of Reagan’s presidency, the Iran-Contra affair. In 1984, Congress banned military aid to the Contras fighting the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. In 1985, Reagan secretly authorized the sale of arms to Iran, now involved in a war with its neighbor Iraq, in order to secure the release of a number of American hostages held by Islamic groups in the Middle East. CIA director William Casey and Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council set up a system that diverted some of the proceeds to buy military supplies for the Contras in defiance of the congressional ban. The scheme continued for nearly two years. ii. In 1987, after a Middle Eastern newspaper leaked the story, Congress held televised hearings that revealed a pattern of official duplicity and violation of the law reminiscent of the Nixon era. Eleven members of the administration eventually were convicted of perjury or destroying documents, or pleaded guilty before being tried. Reagan denied knowledge of the illegal proceedings, but the Iran-Contra affair undermined confidence that he controlled his own administration. c. Clinton: Monica Lewinsky Scandal i. From the day Clinton took office, charges of misconduct bedeviled him. In 1993, an investigation began of an Arkansas real estate deal, known as Whitewater, from which he and his wife had profited. The following year, an Arkansas woman, Paula Jones, filed a civil suit charging that Clinton had sexually harassed her while he served as governor of the state. ii. In 1998, it became known that Clinton had carried on an affair with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern. Kenneth Star, the special counsel who had been appointed to investigate Whitewater, shifted his focus to Lewinsky. He issued a lengthy report containing almost pornographic details of Clinton’s sexual acts with the young woman and accused the president of lying when he denied the affair in a deposition for the Jones lawsuit. iii. In December 1998, the Republican controlled House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice. He became the second president to be tried before the Senate. Early in 1999, the vote took place. Neither charge mustered a majority, much less than the two thirds required to remove Clinton from office, iv. Clinton’s impeachment had to do with what many considered a juvenile escapade. Polls suggested that the obsession of Kenneth Starr and members of Congress with Clinton’s sexual acts appalled Americans far more than the president’s irresponsible behavior. Clinton’s continuing popularity throughout the impeachment controversy demonstrated how profoundly traditional attitudes toward sexual morality had changed. Group B 1. Over the course of the twentieth century, politicians have debated the role of the government in protecting or providing for those in need. Choose two examples of domestic programs designed to meet Americans’ needs and briefly explain the influence of each. a. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) i. Formed in March 1933, 37 days after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inauguration, it was one of the first New Deal programs. It was a public works project intended to promote environmental conservation and to build good citizens through vigorous, disciplined outdoor labor. ii. It was very close to FDR’s heart, combing his interests in conservation and universal service for youth, he believed that this civilian “tree army” would relieve the rural unemployed and keep youth off the streets and out of crime. iii. The CCC operated under the army’s control. By September 1935, over 500,000 young men had lived in CCC camps, most staying six months to a year. The CCC was responsible for over half the reforestation, both public and private, done in the nation’s history. iv. CCC enrollees throughout the country were credited with renewing the nation's decimated forests by planting an estimated three billion trees between 1933 and 1942. By the time the program ended in 1942, more than 3 million persons had passed through CCC camps, where they received government wages of $30 per month. b. Public Works Administration (PWA) i. New Deal government agency from 1933-1939. Authorized by the National Industrial Recovery Act, the agency was set up under FDR’s secretary of the interior, Harold L. Ickes, administration. Designed to reduce unemployment and increase purchasing power through the construction of highways and public buildings. Budgeted several billion dollars to be spent on the construction of public works as a means of providing employment, stabilizing purchasing power, improving public welfare, and contributing to a revival of American industry. ii. Between July 1933 and March 1939, the PWA funded the construction of more than 34,000 projects, including airports, electricity-generating dams, and aircraft carriers; and seventy percent of the new schools and one third of the hospitals built during that time. It also electrified the Pennsylvania Railroad between New York and Washington, D.C c. Civil Works Administration (CWA) i. In November, the CWA was established in 1933. Unlike the PWA, it directly hired workers for construction projects. The CWA was established to create manual labor jobs for millions of unemployed workers, for the winter of 1933-1934. The CWA created construction jobs, mainly improving or constructing buildings and bridges. It ended on March 31, 1934, after spending $200 million a month and giving jobs to four million people. 2. American foreign policy between 1877 and the present has ranged from isolationist to interventionist. Describe the difference between the two approaches, and give one example of each. a. Isolationism i. The desire to avoid foreign entanglements that dominated the United States Congress in the 1930s 1. Beginning in 1935, lawmakers passed a series of Neutrality Acts that banned travel on belligerents’ ships and the sale of arms to countries at war. These Neutrality Acts, Congress hoped would allow the United States to avoid the conflicts over the freedom of the seas that had contributed to the involvement in WW1. 2. During 1941, the U.S. became more and more closely allied with those fighting Germany and Japan. But, Britain was virtually bankrupt and could no longer pay for supplies. So, at FDR’s urging, Congress passed the Len-Lease Act, which authorized military aid so long as countries promised somehow to return it all after the war. Under the Lend-Lease Act, the U.S. funneled billions of dollars’ worth of arms to Britain and China, as well as the Soviet Union, after Hitler invaded that country in June 1941, after he renounced his nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union. 3. FDR also froze Japanese assets in the United States, halting virtually all trade between the countries, including the sale of oil vital to Japan, (until 1941, 80 percent of Japan’s oil supply came from the U.S. ) b. Interventionist i. the policy or doctrine of intervening, especially government interference in the affairs of another state or in domestic economic affairs. 1. Spanish American War a. Ten years of guerilla war had followed a Cuban revolt in 1868. The movement for independence resumed in 1895. As reports circulated of widespread suffering caused by the Spanish policy of rounding up civilians and moving them into detention camps, the Cuban struggle won growing support in the United States. b. Feb. 15, 1898, the American battleship Maine was bombed. i. “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!!” c. President McKinley in April asked Congress for a declaration of war. Most of the fighting took place in Cuba, the first major battle was fought in the harbor of Manilla, Manilla is located in the Philippine Islands, which were then ruled by Spain. The U.S. fleet defeated the Spanish fleet there. Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders went to Cuba to help in the fighting. The Rough Riders were a group of cowboys and college athletes. The war was over after a few months after Spain signed a peace treaty giving the United States control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippine Islands, and Guam. d. Cuba became an independent country rather than a U.S. territory.
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