The Making of Modern America 1929-Present

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The Making of Modern America


Why It Matters

During the twentieth century, Americans suffered through wars and economic and political unrest. The end of the Cold War brought about communism's fall in many parts of the world and the triumph of democracy. A new world was at hand—or so it seemed Long-hidden national and ethnic rivalries flared into violence in various parts of the world. The threats to peace included acts of terrorism.

Its Impact Today

In the twenty-first century, the world faces great challenges. Acts of terrorism present a threat to freedom and security. Although most nations condemn such acts, terror­ism is likely to remain a global concern.

The American Republic to 1877 Video The chapter 19 video, “American Responds to Terrorism,” focuses on how Americans united after the events of September 11, 2001.

1933 • President Roosevelt proposes New Deal

1933 • Hitler comes to power in Germany

1939 • World War II begins

1941 • U.S. enters World War II

1945 • World War II ends

1953 • Korean War ends

1954 • Supreme Court outlaws segrega­tion in schools

1961 • Berlin Wall erected

1969 • Astronaut Neil Armstrong walks on moon


1974 • President Nixon resigns

1981 • Scientists identify AIDS

1989 • Communism begins to fall in Eastern Europe

1991 • Persian Gulf War begins

1991 • Breakup of Soviet Union

1998 • President Clinton impeached

2000 • George W. Bush elected president

2000 • Millions celebrate new millennium

2001 • Terrorists kill thousands in attack on America

2003 • Space shuttle Columbia is lost

Inauguration 2001 George W. Bush takes the oath of office as the nation's forty-third president.


Study Organizer

Cause-Effect Information Study Foldable Make this foldable to help you organize events and fads about the history of modern America from 1929 to the present.

Step 1 Fold one sheet of paper in half from side to side.

--Fold the sheet vertically.

Step 2 Fold it again, 1 inch from the top. (Tip: The middle knuckle of your index finger is about 1 inch long.)

Step 3 Open and label as shown.

--Draw lines along the fold lines.

Reading and Writing As you read this chapter, write down important events in the first column of your foldable. Then, in the second column, list some major results of each event listed in the first column.


Chapter Overview

Visit and click on Chapter 19-Chapter Overviews to preview chapter information.



Depression and a Second World War

Guide to Reading

Main Idea

The United States maintained its free enterprise system during the Great Depression and won victory in a global conflict at great cost.

Key Terms

dictator, genocide, Holocaust, island hopping

Reading Strategy

Organizing Information Re-create the diagram below to identify three causes of World War II.

Read to Learn

• how President Roosevelt responded to the Great Depression.

• what actions led to the outbreak of World War II.

Section Theme

Global Connections The United States joined with allied nations to fight a world war to protect rights and freedoms.

Preview of Events

1929 Stock market crashes, trig­gering Great Depression

1939 World War II begins in Europe

1941 Japanese attack Pearl Harbor; U.S. enters the war

1945 World War II ends

AN American Story

During the early years of the Great Depression, the number of homeless people in the United States skyrocketed. One woman described her amazement when she first saw how people had to live outside one Midwestern city: "Here were all these people living in old, rusted-out car bodies. There were people living in shacks made of orange crates.... This wasn't just a little section, this was maybe ten miles wide and ten miles long. People living in what ever they could junk together."

The Great Depression

The severe economic crisis of the 1930s was called the Great Depression. It marked the longest, deepest, and most devastating economic depression ever experienced by the United States.

The bubble of American prosperity burst when the New York stock market collapsed in October 1929. Thousands of investors lost all their savings. Wall Street—the nation's financial center—was in a state of shock. In the booming


economy of the 1920s, many people invested money in the stock market. As the value of stocks rose, people began borrowing to buy stocks.

In October 1929, stock prices fell dramatically. Investors panicked and began selling their stocks. Many could not pay back their loans, which weakened the banks. Millions of people lost their savings and their jobs.

The Economy Crumbles

The stock market crash shook people's confi­dence in the economy. Other factors, working together, sent the economy into a long tailspin.

Farm income shrank. For many farmers, years of dry weather made the situation even worse. In parts of the Great Plains a long drought turned fertile land into a Dust Bowl. Many farmers had to give up their land. Many industries declined. In the months before the stock market crash, the automobile and construction industries suffered from lagging orders. As a result, employers cut wages and laid off workers. With their incomes slashed, many Americans could no longer afford the consumer goods that the nation's industries had been churning out.

Borrowed money had fueled much of the econ­omy in the 1920s. Farmers, plagued by low prices since the end of World War I, bought land, equip­ment, and supplies on credit. Consumers used credit to buy cars. Investors borrowed to buy stocks. Many small banks suffered when consumers defaulted, or failed to meet loan payments. Large banks, which had bought stocks as an investment, suffered huge losses in the stock market crash. These losses forced thousands of banks across the nation to close between 1930 and 1933, and many depositors lost their money.

Weaknesses also sapped the strengths of foreign economies. During the late 1920s, bank funds for loans dried up. Interna­tional trade slowed down because, without American loans, other nations had less money to spend.

Joblessness and Poverty

As the Depression tightened its grip on the United States, millions lost their jobs. In 1932, about one out of every four workers were out of work. The unemployed felt devas­tated. One out-of-work man wrote about developing:

“a feeling of worthlessness—and loneliness; I began to think of myself as a freak and misfit."'

Long lines of hungry people snaked through the streets of cities, waiting for hours to receive a slice of bread or a bowl of soup donated by local government or charities.

Those who had lost their homes built shelters out of old boxes and other debris. Some referred to these shantytowns as Hoovervilles after Pres­ident Hoover. As the Depression dragged on, many Americans lost faith in their government. They blamed President Hoover for their hard times because none of his policies eased the suf­fering of massive unemployment.

Roosevelt's New Deal

During the 1932 presidential election, Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised a "new deal for the American people." With the nation's economy crumbling, the American people elected Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt as president. Roosevelt sent Congress proposals to fight the Depression that collectively became known as the New Deal.

---Dorothea Lange photographed a homeless Oklahoma family during Dust Bowl days.


The New Deal created the Civilian Conserva­tion Corps (CCC). The CCC put about 3 million young men to work on projects such as planting trees and building levees to prevent floods. It also established the Public Works Administra­tion (PWA). The PWA provided jobs by building huge public works, such as roads, hospitals, and schools. The New Deal's Agricultural Adjust­ment Administration (AAA) raised farm prices and controlled farm production.

Roosevelt then asked Congress to pass the Social Security Act. This created a tax paid by all employers and workers that was used to pay pensions to retired people. Another tax funded unemployment insurance—payments to peo­ple who lost their jobs.

Americans seemed better off in 1936 than they had been when Roosevelt took office in 1933. Even so, when FDR began his second term, the Great Depression had not ended. He continued to push for more reform. In 1937 business slowed and another recession hit the nation.

This time Americans blamed Roosevelt and the New Deal. When FDR proposed numerous pro­grams after this, Congress would not cooperate with the President.

Although reform under Roosevelt ended, the New Deal produced lasting effects. It greatly increased the power of the presidency and the size of the federal government. It also established the idea that the federal govern­ment is responsible for the welfare of needy Americans. By the late 1930s, the economy had almost recovered. Just as the domestic prob­lems seemed to be ending, however, World War II began.

Reading Check Explaining What was the New Deal?

World War II

Less than 25 years after World War I, the United States found itself at war again. This war, though, was different from World War I. It was a

---The plight of flood victims standing in a relief line contrasts sharply with the family shown on the billboard.


fight for survival, and, before it was over, it involved almost every country in the world. By .he end of 1941, 22 countries had already declared their support for the Allies—the United States, Great Britain, France, China, and the Soviet Union. The Axis Powers—Germany, Italy, and Japan—were also supported by Roma­nia, Bulgaria, and Hungary.

The Road to War

The events leading to World War II began in the 1920s. Several dictators--leaders who con­trol their nations by force—seized power by playing on the fear and anger people felt after World War I and during the Great Depression.

The first dictator to take power was Benito Mussolini in Italy. In Germany, many people rallied around Adolf Hitler—leader of the National Socialist Worker's Party, or Nazi Party. The Depression also brought military leaders to power in Japan. In 1940, Germany Italy, and Japan signed a pact and became allies.

In September 1939, Hitler sent his armies into Poland. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany. World War II had begun. Germany's armed forces quickly overran Poland. The following spring, Hitler's troops invaded France, which surrendered a few weeks later. Then, in June 1941, Hitler ordered a mas­sive attack on the Soviet Union.

Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor

Americans watched the war in Europe with concern, but did not want to become involved. Roosevelt promised to stay neutral. He asked Congress to pass the Lend-Lease Act, allowing America to sell, lease, or lend weapons to nations whose security was vital to America's defense. Britain and the Soviet Union began receiving lend-lease aid.

While Roosevelt tried to help Britain, Japan­ese troops seized France's colony of Indochina and threatened nearby British colonies. The United States tried to stop Japan by applying economic pressure. Desperate for resources and confident of Japan's military might, the Japanese government began planning an attack on the United States.

On December 7, 1941, Japanese warplanes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Har­bor, Hawaii. The attack enraged Americans. The next day, Roosevelt went before Congress. Call­ing December 7 "a day which will live in infamy" he asked for a declaration of war on Japan. On December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The United States then joined the Allies—Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union—against the Axis powers.

On the Home Front

By the time the United States entered the war, the fighting had already been going on for more than two years, and it was to continue for almost four more. The war years had a deep effect on Americans and on the nation as a whole. Out of the war came new technology, a new prosperity, and a new sense of power and strength.

Picturing History

Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was paralyzed by polio as a young man, is shown with Ruth Bie, the daughter of the caretaker at FDR's estate. Through what two of the nation’s great crisis did Roosevelt serve as president?


---Refer to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC World War II in Europe and Africa map on page 560 in your textbook.

Geography Skills

1. Place. Where did the Allied forces land on D-Day?

2. Analyzing Information. When did Allied forces invade Sicily?

After Pearl Harbor, millions of Americans rushed to enlist in the armed forces. Those who remained at home had to provide food, shelter, training, and medical care for all those in uniform.

During the war, industry expanded rapidly. Incomes rose and unemployment fell. For the first time, a large number of women—about 350,000—served in the military. At the same time, far more women than ever before entered the work force.

The war also created new opportunities for African Americans—in the armed forces and in the nation's war factories. Although many minority groups made gains during the war, Japanese Americans experienced discrimination after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Worried about their loyalty, the government forced Japanese Americans on the West Coast to relocate to internment camps.

The War in Europe and the Mediterranean

Until late in 1942, the Axis held the upper hand in Eastern and Western Europe and in North Africa. In November, British and American


troops landed in North Africa, which was then older German control. After driving the Ger­mans out of North Africa, the British and Amer­icans made plans to invade southern Europe. The Axis also suffered severe defeat in Eastern Europe in early 1943. Soviet forces freed the Russian city of Leningrad and forced the Ger­man army at Stalingrad, exhausted by months of heavy fighting, to surrender.

Italian Campaign

In the summer of 1943 the Allies took control of the island of Sicily and landed on the Italian main­land in September. As the Allies advanced, the Ital­ians overthrew dictator Benito Mussolini and sur­rendered. However, German forces in Italy contin­ued to fight.

The Allies encountered bitter resistance at Monte Cassino in central Italy and at Anzio, a seaport near Rome. German forces kept the Allies pinned down on the beaches at Anzio for four months. The Allies finally broke through the German lines and liberated Rome in June 1944.

Air War Over Germany

While fighting raged in North Africa and Italy, the Allies launched an air war against Ger­many. The bombing caused massive destruction in many German cities and killed thousands of German civilians. Yet the attacks failed to crack Germany's determination to win the war.


As the Soviets pushed toward Germany from the east, the Allies were planning a massive invasion of France from the west. General Dwight Eisenhower, the commander of Allied forces in Europe, directed this invasion, known as Operation Overlord.

On June 6, 1944—D-Day--Allied ships landed thousands of troops on the coast of Normandy. After wading ashore the troops faced land mines and fierce fire from the Ger­mans. From Normandy, the Allies pushed across France. On August 25, French and American soldiers marched through joyful crowds and liberated Paris.

Victory in Europe

Germany fought for survival on two fronts. In the east the Soviets pushed the Germans out of eastern Europe. In the west the British and Americans approached the German border.

In December 1944, the Germans mounted a last desperate offensive. In the Battle of the Bulge the Germans at first drove troops and artillery deep into a bulge in the Allied lines. After several weeks the Allies pushed the Ger­mans back. The battle, resulting in at least 100,000 casualties, marked the end of serious German resistance.

By April 1945, Soviet troops had reached Berlin, and British and American forces were sweeping across western Germany. On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide. One week later, Germany surrendered.

President Roosevelt did not share in the Allied victory celebration. Less than four weeks earlier, he had died. His vice president, Harry S Truman, succeeded him.

The Holocaust

As the Allies liberated Germany and other parts of Europe, they found horrifying evidence of Nazi brutality. The Nazis hated Jews and committed genocide—the killing of an entire group of people. They built death camps where they killed thousands of Jews every day in gas chambers. As many as 6 million Jews died in what became known as the Holocaust.


Student Web Activity

Visit and click on Chapter 19 —Student Web Activities for an activity on World War II.

War in the Pacific

Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan­ese forces landed in the Philippines. Filipino and American troops commanded by General Douglas MacArthur were forced to retreat to the rugged Bataan Peninsula west of Manila and the small island of Corregidor. After months of

---Audie Murphy, most decorated soldier of WWII


fierce fighting, the exhausted Allied troops there surrendered. The Japanese forced their Bataan prisoners—many sick and near starvation—to march to a prison camp more than 60 miles away. Many died on the way.

With Japan's string of quick victories, Ameri­can morale was low. In May 1942 American and Japanese fleets clashed in the Coral Sea north­east of Australia. American ships were heavily damaged, but the Japanese suffered crippling losses. The Battle of the Coral Sea halted the Japanese advance on Australia.

An even greater victory followed in June. In the Battle of Midway, northwest of Hawaii, the American navy destroyed four Japanese aircraft carriers and hundreds of airplanes. This was the first major Japanese defeat.

The United States then adopted a strategy known as island hopping—seizing an island and using it as a base to attack the next island.

Between August 1942 and February 1943, Amer­ican forces engaged in one of the most fierce cam­paigns of war for control of Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands. With superior air and naval power, the Americans finally secured the island.

Taken in June 1944, Guam and other nearby islands provided a base for launching bombing strikes on Japan. In October, American ships destroyed most of the Japanese fleet at the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines.

---Refer to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC World War II in the Pacific map on page 562 in your textbook.

---Dorie Miller won the Navy Cross for bravery at Pearl Harbor.

Geography Skills

1. Region. What parts of China were under Japanese control in 1942?

2. Analyzing Information. What two cities were destroyed by atomic bombs?


American forces now closed in on Japan itself. In March 1943 they seized the island of Iwo Jima and in June the island of Okinawa, the last stop before invading Japan itself. Before the invasion took place, however, the United States decided to use a new weapon—the atomic bomb.

At the urging of Albert Einstein, President Roosevelt had begun the Manhattan Project, a top-secret attempt to build an atomic bomb. After the bomb was ready, President Truman demanded that Japan surrender. When Japan refused, Truman ordered the use of the bomb.

The United States dropped two atomic bombs in August 1945. The first destroyed the city of Hiroshima. The second destroyed the city of Nagasaki. After the bombings, Japan agreed to surrender. August 15—V-J Day, for "Victory over Japan"—marked the end of World War II.

After the War

World War II was the costliest and most destructive war ever. At least 50 million soldiers and civilians died—more than during any other war. The war devastated billions of dollars worth of property. Life in some countries would not return to normal for many years.

Hitler had appealed to national pride and racial hatred in Germany, using force to silence all opposition. Hitler's Nazi party blamed Germany's economic problems on its Jewish popu­lation and killed nearly 6 million Jews and mil­lions of other people in concentration camps.

People from all over the world looked for ways to prevent such a terrible conflict from happening again. Many believed that an inter­national organization dedicated to freedom and cooperation could ensure peace. The American people looked forward to a future in which peace would be preserved. However, they would soon be disappointed.

Reading Check Identifying What event occurred on December 7, 1941? What did this event lead to?


Checking for Understanding

1. Key Terms Write a short paragraph in which you use all of the following key terms: dictator, genocide, Holo­caust.

2. Reviewing Facts Who was president of the United States when World War II began? Who was president when it ended?

Reviewing Themes

3. Global Connections What did the Lend-Lease Act, supported by Roosevelt, provide?

Critical Thinking

4. Determining Cause and Effect How did the role of government in Ameri­can democracy change as a result of the Depression and the New Deal?

5. Organizing Information Create a diagram like the one shown here and identify three causes of the Great Depression.

Analyzing Visuals

6. Geography Skills Examine the maps on page 560 and page 562. What are the topics of the maps? Did Japanese control in 1942 include the Philippine Islands? The Hawaiian Islands? Was Finland under Axis control at one time or another? Was France? How can you tell?

Interdisciplinary Activity

Language Arts Write newspaper headlines about three important events covered in Section 1.



Turning Points

Guide to Reading

Main Idea

During the second half of the twenti­eth century, Americans struggled with communism abroad and civil rights at home.

Key Terms

stalemate, affluence, segregation, civil disobedience, feminist

Reading Strategy

Sequencing Information Create a time line like the one below and iden­tify key events in the postwar world.

Read to Learn

• how the United States attempted to stop the spread of communism.

• what actions African Americans took to secure their rights.

Section Theme

Civic Rights and Responsibilities American minorities and women intensified their efforts to secure their full rights as citizens.

Preview of Events

1950 Korean War begins

1959 Fidel Castro take over Cuba

1963 President Kennedy is assassinated

1973 U.S. ends role in Vietnam

AN American Story

The three most powerful men in the world met around a conference table in Yalta to discuss the fate of the postwar world. President Roosevelt hoped to promote his vision of postwar cooperation. Prime Minister Churchill spoke elegantly and forcefully. Soviet leader Stalin remained stubbornly opposed to much of what was proposed. Stalin said to his aides: "They want to force us to accept their plans on Europe and the world. Well, that's not going to happen." As the Allies discovered, Stalin had his own plans.

The Cold War Era

As World War II ended, a bitter rivalry developed between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was known as the Cold War. The problems leading to the Cold War began when Stalin refused to allow promised free elections in East­ern Europe. Instead, the Soviets set up communist governments. In response, the new American president, Harry S Truman, announced a new policy in 1947. The Truman Doctrine was a commitment to help nations resist communism.

In June 1948, the United States, Great Britain, and France united the zones of Germany they controlled to form a new nation, which became West Germany. To protest this decision, the Soviet Union sealed off Berlin, which was in the East


German sector. President Truman responded with an airlift to bring food, fuel, and other sup­plies to Berlin. In April 1949, the United States, Canada, and the countries of Western Europe created the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—a mutual defense pact.

The Korean War

The Cold War was not limited to Europe. In 1949, Mao Zedong formed a new communist govern­ment in China. Shortly afterward, American troops found themselves fighting Mao's forces in Korea.

In June 1950, the com­munist nation of North Korea invaded South Korea. American and United Nations (UN) forces came to South Korea's defense. As they pushed the North Koreans back, China intervened. Huge numbers of Chinese troops drove the UN troops back into South Korea.

The UN forces eventually stopped the Chi­nese, then pushed them back to the border between North and South Korea. The war then became a stalemate—a situation in which nei­ther side could win. A cease-fire agreement was finally reached in July 1953. After years of fight­ing, Korea remained divided. By fighting in Korea, the United States showed that it would willingly fight to halt communist expansion.

Eisenhower's Administration

Although international relations between the United States and the Soviet Union remained tense in the 1950s, the American economy gen­erated a new level of prosperity.

In 1952, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower won the presidential election. Eisenhower wanted to make the federal government smaller, but he believed that the government should pro­tect the basic welfare of all Americans. He expanded Social Security and approved greater funding for public housing for poor people.

The Nation Expands

The greatest domestic program of the Eisen­hower presidency involved building a network of interstate highways. In June 1956 Congress passed the Federal Highway Act to provide easy transportation for military forces in case of an attack. The law funded the construction of more than 40,000 miles of highways that tied the nation together

---Refer to Where Americans Lived, 1901-1960 chart on page 565 in your textbook.

A Graph Skills

Many Americans moved to the suburbs during the 195ns

Comparing How did the percentage of suburban dwellers change from 1920 to 1960?


The nation itself also grew during Eisen­hower's presidency. In 1959 Alaska and Hawaii entered the Union, bringing the number of states to 50.

1950s Prosperity

After World War II, the American economy began to grow very rapidly. This rapid growth increased Americans' affluence, or wealth, and also led to the baby boom—a dramatic increase in the nation's birthrate.

During the 1950s, many new homes were built in the suburbs. Usually located on the fringes of major cities, suburban housing devel­opments appealed to many Americans. In addi­tion to affordable homes, they offered privacy, space, and a sense of belonging to a community.

Reading Check Identifying What does NATO stand for? What is its purpose?

The Civil Rights Era

After World War II, many African Americans began to fight for equal opportunity in jobs, hous­ing, and education, and for an end to segrega­tion—the separation of people of different races.

The Civil Rights Movement

The modern civil rights movement began in the early 1950s. Thurgood Marshall, an African American lawyer, brought a case to the Supreme Court challenging segregation in schools. In 1954, in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in schools was unconstitutional.

In December 1955, a woman named Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to leave a section of a bus reserved for white people. Shortly afterward, African Americans in Montgomery began to boycott—to refuse to use—the city's buses. Finally, in 1956, the Supreme Court ruled that all segre­gated buses were unconstitutional.

At the meeting to organize the boycott, a young minister named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., emerged as one of the leaders of the civil rights movement. King believed that African Americans should use nonviolent protests and civil disobedience, or the refusal to obey laws that are considered unjust.

Kennedy and Johnson

As the civil rights movement grew, Americans prepared for the 1960 presidential election. The Republicans nominated Vice President Richard Nixon, the Democrats Senator John E Kennedy. The election was close, but Kennedy won.

Picturing History

The Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to separate schoolchildren by race, but African Amer­ican students faced difficulties trying to attend previ­ously all-white schools. What Court ruling said that segregated schools were against the law?


Kennedy proposed more government spend­ing on education and a program to help poor people get jobs. Congress refused to pass most of Kennedy's proposals, believing they cost too much money. On November 22, 1963, during a visit to Dallas, Texas, President Kennedy was shot and killed. Vice President Lyndon Johnson became president.

Lyndon Johnson outlined a set of programs called the "Great Society." Perhaps the most important laws passed as part of the Great Soci­ety were those establishing Medicare and Med­icaid. Medicare helped pay for medical care for senior citizens. Medicaid helped poor people pay their hospital bills.

The Struggle Continues

During Kennedy's and Johnson's administra­tions, the civil rights movement continued to grow. In February 1960, four African American students refused to leave a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, that was reserved for white people. This was the beginning of the ;it-in movement. Protestors would show up where they were excluded and refuse to leave.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led a march in Birmingham, Alabama. After police attacked the marchers, President Kennedy sent a civil rights bill to Congress to outlaw segrega­tion. To rally support for the bill, many civil rights organizations organized a march on Washington, D.C., in August 1963. Late in the afternoon, King spoke to the crowd in ringing words of his desire to see America transformed:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal’…”

Southern Democrats blocked Kennedy's civil rights bill. Johnson eventually persuaded Con­gress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination in hiring and banned segregation. The next year, African Americans organized a march in Selma, Alabama, to demand the right to vote. Police again attacked the marchers, and President Johnson asked Con­gress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Other Voices

By the mid-1960s the civil rights movement had won many victories. Yet a growing number of African Americans grew tired of the slow pace of change.

Malcolm X, a leader in the Nation of Islam (or Black Muslims), emerged as an important new voice. He criticized integration, declaring that the best way to achieve justice was for African Americans to separate themselves from whites. Later, instead of racial separation, Malcolm X called for "a society in which there could exist honest white-black brotherhood." He was shot and killed in February 1965.

Riots broke out in many major cities during the mid-1960s. In the summer of 1965 violent conflict broke out in the Watts section of Los Angeles. In a week of rioting 34 people died and much of Watts burned to the ground. Between 1965 and 1967 riots broke out in many American cities, including San Francisco and Chicago. In July 1967 urban riots devastated neighborhoods and buildings in Newark, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan.

On April 4, 1968, racial tension took another tragic turn. An assassin shot and killed Dr. Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. King's assassination set off angry rioting in more than 100 cities.

Other Groups Seek Rights

Women, Hispanics, and Native Americans found inspiration in the struggle of African Americans for equal rights. In 1966, feminists—activists for women's rights—formed the National Organization for Women. NOW fought for equal rights for women in all aspects of life. They campaigned for an Equal Rights Amend­ment (ERA) to the Constitution, but were unable to get the states to ratify it.

Despite the defeat of the ERA, women did make progress. In 1972 the federal government outlawed discrimination against women in edu­cational programs receiving federal funds.

In the 1960s the rapidly growing Hispanic population sought equal rights. The term His­panic American refers to those Americans who have come, or are descended from others who have come, to the United States from the nations


of Latin America and Spain. In the early 1960s, migrant workers formed unions to fight for bet­ter wages and working conditions. Their leader, Cesar Chavez, organized thousands of farm-workers into the United Farm Workers (UFW). The efforts of Chavez called attention to the migrant workers' cause. Others besides Chavez worked to secure equal rights for Hispanic Americans. Hispanic men and women organ­ized to fight discrimination and to elect Hispan­ics to government posts.The League of United Latin American Citizens won suits in federal court to guarantee Hispanic Americans the right to serve on juries and to send their children to unsegregated schools.

---The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires institutions to provide disabled people with easier access to public transportation.

Native Americans

In the 1960s Native Americans demanded political power. In 1968 Congress passed the Indian Civil Rights Act, which formally pro­tected the constitutional rights of all Native Americans. At the same time, the new law rec­ognized the right of Native American nations to make laws on their own reservations.

Believing the process of change too slow, some Native Americans began taking stronger action. In February 1973 members of the Ameri­can Indian Movement (AIM) seized Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the site of the 1890 mas­sacre of the Sioux by federal troops. Wounded Knee was part of a large Sioux reservation. The people there suffered from terrible poverty and ill health. After several months, the siege ended, but it focused national attention on the terrible living conditions of many Native Americans.

Americans With Disabilities

People with disabilities also sought equal treatment in the 1960s and 1970s. Congress responded by passing a number of laws. One law concerned the removal of barriers that pre­vented some people from gaining access to pub­lic facilities. Another law required employers to offer more opportunities for disabled people in the workplace. Yet another asserted the right of children with disabilities to equal educational opportunities.

Reading Check Analyzing What did the Supreme Court rule in Brown v. Board of Education?

The Vietnam Era

Even as the civil rights movement tried to remake American society at home, the United States continued to struggle against commu­nism abroad, particularly in Vietnam.

Kennedy's Foreign Policy

In 1959, Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba. The following year, Castro allied with the Soviet Union. In April 1961, President Kennedy allowed approximately 1,500 Cubans, trained by the Central Intelligence Agency, to land in Cuba


at the Bay of Pigs. Their mission to overthrow astro's government failed.

Two months later, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told Kennedy that the West must get out of Berlin. Kennedy refused. Shortly after­ward, the East German government, with Soviet support, built a wall dividing East Berlin from West Berlin. The Berlin Wall became a symbol of communist repression.

In October 1962, Kennedy decided to block­ade—or close off—Cuba, until the Soviets removed the nuclear missiles they were installing there. As Soviet ships headed toward the blockade, the world waited to see if nuclear war would break out. Abruptly, the Soviet ships turned back. After days of negotiations, the Soviets agreed to pull their missiles out of Cuba.

War in Vietnam

In the late 1950s, President Eisenhower had sent military supplies and advisers to South Vietnam. President Kennedy continued this pol­icy Despite American aid, the Vietcong—the communist forces in South Vietnam—grew stronger. The Vietcong received weapons and supplies from North Vietnam.

The War Escalates

In August 1964, North Vietnam allegedly attacked American ships in the Gulf of Tonkin. In response, Congress authorized the president to use force to defend Americans against attack. Gradually, the American troops shifted from defending their bases to trying to find and destroy the Vietcong. In mid-February 1965, Johnson ordered sustained bombing of North Vietnam. Then, on March 8, the first United States combat troops landed in Vietnam. Next, in April Johnson decided to increase American forces in South Vietnam and to use combat troops for offensive actions.

As the war escalated, North Vietnam increased its support of the Vietcong. To meet the situation, American commander General William Westmoreland asked for additional Poops and a commitment to a land war. By the end of 1965, there were more than 180,000 Amer­ican troops in Vietnam. By the end of 1968, the total had increased to more than 500,000.

Opposition to the War

The American people disagreed sharply over the Vietnam War. Many young people opposed the war, especially the draft. However, opposi­tion to the war was not limited to the young. Members of Congress and the news media became critical of Johnson's policies, too.

---Refer to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC The Vietnam War map on page 569 in your textbook.

Geography Skills

Throughout the war United States troops and the government of South Vietnam controlled the major cities.

1. Location. Along what line of latitude did the demilita­rized zone run?

2, Analyzing Information. Through which countries did the Ho Chi Minh Trail run?


As the 1968 election approached, President Johnson announced he would not run for reelec­tion. The violence of the 1960s led many Ameri­cans to support candidates who promised to restore order. The Republican Party nominated Richard Nixon, Eisenhower's vice president. Nixon narrowly defeated Democrat Hubert Humphrey. Nixon promised to find a way to end the Vietnam War, pledging America would have "peace with honor."

Nixon and Vietnam

President Nixon's plan to achieve "peace with honor" was called Vietnamization. As American troops were withdrawn, the United States would step up efforts to train and equip South Vietnamese forces. In time these forces would take over total responsibility for the war.

Nixon's hope was that ultimately the North Vietnamese would grow tired of the war and negotiate peace. To hasten that end, Nixon secretly ordered the bombing of Cambodia because the Vietcong and North Vietnamese were using sanctuaries—safe places—there as springboards for offensives into South Vietnam. Then in the spring of 1970 Nixon announced the invasion of Cambodia.

The Cambodian invasion sparked demonstra­tions on college campuses throughout the nation. Many demonstrations were accompa­nied by violence. Four students were killed at Kent State University in Ohio and two were killed at Jackson State College in Mississippi. Antiwar protests increased.

The End of American Involvement

Previous attempts at negotiations had stalled. Then in late 1972 a breakthrough came. The final agreement was reached in January 1973. The last American troops pulled out of South Vietnam. Despite the peace agreement, North Vietnam's army launched a full-scale invasion of South Vietnam in early 1975. By May 1975, South Viet­nam had fallen. Vietnam was united into one country, under the control of a communist gov­ernment. America's longest war was over.

The Vietnam War took a staggering toll of lives and caused great suffering. More than 58,000 Americans were dead. Over 1 million Vietnamese—civilians as well as soldiers on one side or the other—died between 1965 and 1975. The relatives of the American soldiers who had been classified as missing in action, or as MIAs, continued to demand that the government press the Vietnamese for information. As the years passed, however, the likelihood of finding any­one alive faded.

Reading Check Identifying Who succeeded Lyndon Johnson to the presidency?


Checking for Understanding

1. Key Terms Define: stalemate, affluence, segregation, civil disobedience, feminist

2. Reviewing Facts What role did Rosa Parks play in the struggle for civil rights?

Critical Thinking

4. Drawing Inferences Do you think President Nixon succeeded in attain­ing "peace with honor?" Explain.

5. Organizing Information Re-create the chart shown here, and describe each.

Analyzing Visuals

6. Geography Skills Study the map of the Vietnam War on page 569. Where did most of the United States bases lie? Why do you think those sites were chosen?

Reviewing Themes

3. Civic Rights and Responsibilities Describe the various actions taken by African Americans to secure civil rights at this time.

Interdisciplinary Activity

Citizenship Create a time line of the civil rights movement. Research and clip pictures from magazines and newspapers of historic and present-day civil rights events and issues. Add captions.


Critical Thinking


Problem Solving

Why Learn This Skill?

Imagine you got a poor grade on a math test. You wonder why, since you always take notes and study for the tests. To improve your grades, you need to identify your specific problem and then take actions to solve it.

Learning the Skill

There are six key steps you should follow that will help you through the process of problem solving.

• Identify the problem. In the example in the first paragraph, you know that you are not doing well on math tests.

• Gather information. You know that you always take notes and study. You work on math problems every day for an hour. You also know that you sometimes forget details about math formulas.

• List and consider possible solutions. Instead of working on the math problems by yourself, you might try working with a friend or a group.

• Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each solution.

• Now that you have considered the possible options, you need to choose the best solution to your problem then carry it out.

• Evaluate the effectiveness of the solution. This will help you determine if you have solved the problem. If you earn better grades on the next few math tests, you will know.

Practicing the Skill

Reread the material in Section 2 about the Viet­nam War. Use that information and the steps above to answer the following questions.

1. What problems did the United States face in the Vietnam War?

2. What options were available to President John­son? To President Nixon? What were the advan­tages and disadvantages?

3. Explain the solution President Nixon imple­mented.

4. Evaluate the effectiveness of Nixon's solution. Was it successful? How do you determine this?

Applying the Skill

Problem Solving President Roosevelt imple­mented a set of programs called the New Deal. Identify the problem that the New Deal was designed to deal with. list other possible solutions and their advantages and disadvantages. Then, write a short evaluation of the chosen solution.

Glencoe's Skillbuilder Interactive Workbook CD-ROM, Level 1, provides instruction and practice in key social studies skills.



Modern America

Guide to Reading

Main Idea

The end of the Cold War brought new challenges to the United States—both it home and abroad.

Key Terms

e material in Section 2 about the Viet­nam War. Use that information and the steps above to answer the following questions.

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