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Ch 11: 20th Century Wars, Cultures & Legacies

About This Chapter

Study cultural movements, the causes and effects of various wars in the 20th century, and the ramifications of both through video lessons. These lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

20th-Century Wars, Cultures and Legacies - Chapter Summary

Use the lessons in this chapter to refresh your memory on major events, people and ideologies that have characterized the 20th century. Throughout the 20th century, regional conflicts and World Wars have been balanced with efforts to promote peace and unity through international cooperation, like the United Nations. These geopolitical moves were made against a backdrop of social, cultural and scientific changes.

In these lessons, you'll learn more about the causes and effects of these military conflicts. You'll also learn more about the people who shaped history, and their efforts to unite countries and people for common good, such as the Olympic games. Discover the impact that advances and changes in technology and global economic development have had, as well as the changes brought about by major environmental issues. Lessons in this chapter cover the following and much more:

  • The Balkan Wars
  • Post-World War II independence movements
  • The Cold War
  • The Korean War
  • The Vietnam War
  • The breakup of the Soviet Union
  • The Gulf War
  • Arts, culture, science and politics - post-1945
  • International cooperation, from the League of Nations to the United Nations

In addition to the brief video presentations, this chapter on 20th-century wars, cultures and legacies features written transcripts of each lesson. The transcripts often contain links to some of our other resources, which can lead to more in-depth exploration of key terms or concepts, helping you better understand the material presented in the videos.

16 Lessons in Chapter 11: 20th Century Wars, Cultures & Legacies
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Causes of World War I: Factors That Led to War

1. Causes of World War I: Factors That Led to War

Although World War I began in Europe, it is important to take a look at World War I in relation to U.S. history as well. The U.S. was greatly affected by the war. In this lesson, we'll take a quick and direct look at the causes that led up the war and the assassination that was the final catalyst.

World War II: The Start of the Second World War

2. World War II: The Start of the Second World War

Learn all about the start of World War II and why the League of Nations could not stop aggression by Italy, Germany and Japan in the 1930s, which led to the outbreak of this second global conflict.

The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany

3. The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany

The Holocaust was the persecution and mass murder of as many as 11 million people by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. Learn about the people they targeted, the progression of events leading up to the Final Solution and the end of the genocide in this lesson.

The Creation of Israel in 1948: Timeline & Resulting Conflicts

4. The Creation of Israel in 1948: Timeline & Resulting Conflicts

In this lesson, we explore the movements and political developments that led to the creation of the state of Israel and the subsequent backlash from the Arab world.

Post-WWII Independence Movements Around the World: History & Examples

5. Post-WWII Independence Movements Around the World: History & Examples

In this lesson, we explore the diverse and varied experience of decolonization in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa after World War II when Western Europe began to withdraw its claims to far away territory and colonies.

The Cold War: Definition, Causes & Early Events

6. The Cold War: Definition, Causes & Early Events

The period of distrust between the Soviet Union and United States was known as the Cold War. Learn about the origins of the era, essential events and the shaping of the national security state.

United States Involvement in the Korean War: Causes and Effects

7. United States Involvement in the Korean War: Causes and Effects

The Korean War was a short but bloody war with more than five million casualties. Find out what caused this deadly and destructive war, how the United States came to be involved and how the war affected Korea and its allies.

The Vietnam War: Causes, Conflicts & Effects

8. The Vietnam War: Causes, Conflicts & Effects

The Vietnam War was the longest and most polarizing conflict in the history of the United States. Learn about the causes of the war as well as its effects on the United States.

The Space Race: Definition, History & Timeline

9. The Space Race: Definition, History & Timeline

In this lesson, we explore the 20th century's space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, where both superpowers competed to be the first in space and the first to reach the moon.

Fall of the Soviet Union and End of the Cold War: Causes & Timeline

10. Fall of the Soviet Union and End of the Cold War: Causes & Timeline

In this lesson, we chart the reforms made by Russian premier Mikhail Gorbachev attempting to save the Soviet Union and the communist federation's eventual dissolution in 1991.

Religion & Philosophy Since 1945

11. Religion & Philosophy Since 1945

In this lesson, we explore some of the major developments in the world of ideas since the end of World War II, from the increased public engagement of professional philosophy and Catholicism to the growth of Islam.

The Advance of Science & Technology Since 1945: Developments & Impact

12. The Advance of Science & Technology Since 1945: Developments & Impact

In this lesson, we explore just a few of the numerous advances and innovations made in the worlds of sciences and technology, from automobiles and televisions to computers and phones that can fit in the palm of your hand.

Social & Political Developments Since 1945

13. Social & Political Developments Since 1945

In this lesson, we examine several social and political developments in the United States and in Western Europe since 1945, from the civil rights movement to the creation of the European Union.

Art & Culture Since 1945: Types & Artists

14. Art & Culture Since 1945: Types & Artists

In this lesson, we explore the art and culture of post-World War II Western society, from the fledgling television programming to the disparate directions of 20th-century art.

The Olympic Games: History & Developments

15. The Olympic Games: History & Developments

Everyone loves the Olympics, but where did this tradition come from? In this lesson we'll cover the creation of these modern games and how they have developed over the last century.

Causes & Impacts of the First & Second Balkan Wars

16. Causes & Impacts of the First & Second Balkan Wars

The First and Second Balkan Wars drastically reorganized power in Southeastern Europe. It marked the demise of the Ottoman Empire, and would ultimately lead to World War I.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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