Modern US

Vietnam - Today

Vietnam Conflict (1954 - 1975)

( The Americans, Ch.22, 23 sec3)

 Main Ideas:

 1. The “Domino Theory” led to the gradual involvement of US forces in Vietnam.

2. The war protest movement led to a change in foreign policy.

3. The outcome of the Vietnam Conflict was the limitation of the president’s power to involve the US in an undeclared war.

 Material Covered:

 1. Early History

2. Domino Theory

3. Civil War: Guerrilla Warfare

4. LBJ and Americanization

            a. Escalation: Tet offensive

5. Student Protest

            a. Draft dodging: Canada

            b. Political radicals (SDS)

            c. Cultural Radicals

            d. Democratic Convention

6. Nixon

            a. Vietnamization

            b. Invasion of Cambodia

            c. Pentagon Papers

            d. Withdraw - fall of Saigon

7. War Powers Act


 Age of Limits: Nixon, Ford, Carter ( 1968 - 1980)

(The Americans, Ch. 24)


Main Ideas:

 1. The Watergate Crisis established the fact that the president was not above the law.

2. America entered an economic recession when the oil shortage paralyzed the nation.

Material Covered:

 1. Nixon - New Federalism

            a. Environmental protection agency

            b. 26th Amendment

            c. Title 9 Equal Education

2. Nixon - Foreign Policy

            a. Henry Kissinger

            b. Nixon Doctrine

            c. China

            d. Detente - SALT

            e. Middle East relations

3. President under fire

            a. Spiro Agnew

            b. Watergate - effect

            c. U.S. v. Nixon ( 1974 )

            d. Impeachment process: resignation

4. Gerald Ford

            a. Appointed president

            b. Pardoned Nixon - Draft Amnesty

            c. South Vietnam falls to the communists. (1975)

5. Jimmy Carter

            a. Oil Crisis

            b. Environmental concerns

                        1.) Three mile island ( p.811 text)

                        2.) Acid rain

                        3.) Toxic waist

            c. Camp David Accords

            d. Afghanistan invasion by the Soviets

            e. Hostage crisis


The Conservative Tide : Ronald Reagan and George Bush (senior)

(The Americans, Ch 25)

 Main Ideas:

 1. The federal government began to decrease in size and become less involved in the economy.

2. The cold war ends after the economic and political collapse of the Soviet Union.

Material Covered:

 1. Reagan - Domestic policy

            a. Supply - side economics : “Trickle down” theory

            b. Tax policy and deficits

            c. Environmental and civil rights policies

            d. Selection of minorities: Thomas

            e. Supreme Court and Schools

                        1.) Engle v. Vitale

                        2.) Tinker v. DeMoines

2. Reagan - Foreign Policy : Increase US power. “USSR is an evil empire”

            a. Central America: Contras

            b. Middle East

            c. US - Soviet Relations

                        1.) Gorbachev

                        2.) Star Wars

                        3.) Fall of the USSR - Military spending is cut.

3. George Bush

            a. 1988 Election

                        1.) Rise of third parties (Perot)

                        2.) Demographic

                        3.) PAC

            b. Domestic

                        1.) Environmental concerns

                        2.) Immigration

                        3.) Savings and loans

                        4.) “Read my lips.... no new taxes.”

            c. Foreign Policy

                        1.) Dissolution of the USSR

                        2.) Fall of the Berlin Wall & Reunification of Germany

                        3.) Bosnia

                        4.) Persian Gulf War


The Clinton Years ( 1992 - 2000)

(The Americans, Ch 26 sec 1)

 Main Ideas:

1. The technological revolution has led to an economic boom during the later 1990’s.

2. The democratic president has been at odds with the republican led congress.

3. The Clinton impeachment has soured the public toward the political process.

Material Covered:

1. Clinton - Domestic

            a. Heath Care

            b. Education

            c. Welfare reform

2. Clinton - Foreign Policy

            a. African aid

            b. Invasion of Kosovo 

3. Impeachment

Modern Issues

(The Americans, Ch 25 sect 3, Ch 26 sect 2 - 4, P.876)

    Material Covered:   

           1. Global Economy: NAFTA & European Union

            2. Technology & Modern Life

                        a. Internet issues

                        b. 1996 Telecommunications Act

            3. Health Care

                        a. Aids

                        b. Genetic Engineering (Cloning)

            4. Space exploration

            5. Environment

                        a. Love canal

                        b. Cleaner car emissions

            6. Changing face of America

                        a. Urban flight

                        b. Graying of population

                                    1.) Social Security Effect

                        c. Immigration

                        d. Violence in school

                        e. Handgun restrictions proposed : bitter debate.