VARIOUS ISSUES AND EVENTS OF THE 20TH CENTURY
*Civil Rights Movement – movement toward equal rights for African Americans, included landmark cases that ended racial segregation in public schools and other public places
- Cold War (1946-1989) The U.S. and the Soviet Union emerged as superpowers. The two nations never went to war directly, but stockpiled nuclear warheads in preparation for a third world war.
- Korean Conflict (1950-1953) A cold war conflict. Korea had been ruled by Japan; the end of WWII resulted in drawing a line along the 38th parallel for administration purposes, the North being administered by the USSR and the South by the United States. The North developed a communist government and then attacked the South in an attempt to reunify the sections under a communist government with the help of communist China and the USSR. The United States and United Nations came to the aid of South Korea in what was called a “police action”; war was not declared. An armistice halted the conflict, but there has been no official end to the conflict; enmity continues.
- Vietnam War (1955- 1975) A cold war military conflict. Since the 1860’s, Vietnam had been aFrench territory; when the French left in 1955, a communist regime took hold in the North and the South formed the Republic of Vietnam. China and the USSR backed the North Vietnamese in an effort to control the whole country. The US backed the South Vietnamese in an effort to stop the spread of communism (Domino Theory) through a policy of “containment.” The US left Vietnam in 1975 after the fall of Saigon. Vietnam today, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is now united under a communist government.