Political Change 1960-2000

Political Change 1960-2000

Civil Rights Movement (1960-1968)

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination based on race, sex, national origin and religion. This was a significant milestone in the history of the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement, advocating for non-violent resistance to racial inequality.
  • The Black Power movement, advocating for black self-determination and self-sufficiency, emerged towards the end of this period, revealing internal divisions in the broader Civil Rights movement.

Cold War Politics (1960-1980)

  • The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 intensified tensions between the USA and the USSR and brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
  • The Vietnam War (1955-75), an attempt to contain communism, was deeply divisive at home and abroad. It ended in defeat for the USA.
  • The Watergate Scandal in 1973, which led to President Nixon’s resignation, deeply eroded public trust in the political system.

Conservative Revolution and the End of the Cold War (1980-1992)

  • President Ronald Reagan’s policies, known as Reaganomics, priorities were deregulation, tax cuts and reduced government spending as ways to stimulate the economy.
  • Reagan’s Tough stand against communism, marked by his call to Gorbachev to “tear down this wall!”, was a key aspect of his foreign policy during the Cold War.
  • The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 marked the end of the Cold War.

Political Change in the ’90s and Beyond (1992-2000)

  • The Clinton Presidency (1993-2001) was marked by a mix of liberal and conservative policies, leading to welfare reform and significant economic expansion.
  • The Impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice resulted in an acquittal and highlighted conflicts between the political left and right.
  • The 2000 election, characterized by a disputed result in Florida and a Supreme Court decision favouring George W. Bush, exposed flaws in the electoral process.