The development of the United States in the twentieth century was shaped by several challenges: an economic collapse, global war, and social and political upheaval at home. The economic collapse that preceded the Great Depression brought high unemployment, increased prices for goods, and displaced populations across the United States. President Franklin Roosevelt promised a “New Deal” for Americans, and during his administration the federal government intervened in the American economy with regulations and stimulus, changing the relationship between the states and the federal government.
The aftermath of the Second World War brought the United States to greater international prominence, but the following geopolitical and ideological struggle with the Soviet Union divided the planet and threatened interntional destruction through the use of thermonuclear weapons.
At the same time as the United States was expanding its role as an international power, many domestic protest movements challenged institutional discrimination and unequal systems of power in federal and state governments. Their victories resulted in legislation and legal precedents that changed the complexion of American society.
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Examine several major events that shaped modern American society.
Consider how the New Deal policies were designed to ameliorate the effects of the Great Depression, how the Cold War was waged both internationally and domestically, and how the civil rights movement challenged the perceived assumptions of American society.
Explain how the end of World War II contributed to the rise of Cold War tensions by doing the following:
1. Discuss the effect of the arms race on the rise of Cold War tensions.
2. Describe how differing ideologies led to increased Cold War tensions.
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