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Ch 15: American History 1950 to Present Day

About This Chapter

The second half of the 20th Century was an active time in American history. These lessons cover the causes and effects of many landmark events that shaped that time period, such as the Cold War and civil rights movement, and give context to the political climate of the present day.

American History 1950 to Present Day - Chapter Summary

In this comprehensive chapter, our history instructors have outlined many significant events in American history that occurred in the last half of the 20th century. Starting with Eisenhower and the Cold War, you can study America's involvement in world conflicts centered around Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The civil rights movement is also broken down in several lessons, from which you can gain an understanding of the broader cultural dynamics happening during this important era of American history.

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the timeline of events and President Eisenhower's involvement in the Cold War
  • Compare the conflicts and causes of the Korean and Vietnam wars
  • Discuss the dynamics of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s
  • Summarize the biography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Explain the causes and events of the wars in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan
  • Analyze the United State's response to the September 11th attacks

The lessons in this chapter are presented through short, engaging text and video lessons. The Timeline feature of the video player allows you to quickly review the main points of the lesson, and there are lesson quizzes to help check your comprehension. Be sure to use these self-study and self-assessment resources to enhance your understanding and mastery of the content. Your Dashboard will help you to stay on track and monitor your progress throughout the course.

11 Lessons in Chapter 15: American History 1950 to Present Day
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Cold War: Definition, Causes & Early Events

1. 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.

Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Cold War

2. Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Cold War

President Dwight D. Eisenhower entered office during an amplified period of the Cold War. Learn about Eisenhower's domestic and foreign agenda in dealing with the Cold War during the 1950s.

United States Involvement in the Korean War: Causes and Effects

3. 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

4. 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 Civil Rights Movement During the 1950s

5. The Civil Rights Movement During the 1950s

The 1950s witnessed a rejuvenation of the civil rights movement. Learn about the transformation of the movement, its important events and the impact it had on the 1960s.

The Civil Rights Movement During the 1960s

6. The Civil Rights Movement During the 1960s

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s was an extension of the progress made during the 1950s. Learn about the movement's landmark achievements, its fracturing and its legacies.

Martin Luther King Jr.: Biography, Facts & Quotes

7. Martin Luther King Jr.: Biography, Facts & Quotes

This lesson takes you on a journey of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life. Martin Luther King, Jr. was perhaps the most influential leader of the American Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.

Causes, Events & Political Figures of the Gulf War

8. Causes, Events & Political Figures of the Gulf War

The Gulf War occurred in 1990 and 1991 when Iraq invaded Kuwait. UN, NATO, and United States forces responded by attacking and pushing Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. The war was a decisive victory for American and coalition forces.

September 11th & the War on Terror

9. September 11th & the War on Terror

September 11, 2001 was a day of terrorist attacks by radical Islamists against the United States. In New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, nearly 3,000 people were killed. As a result, the United States launched a War on Terror that has lasted over a decade since.

Understanding the Iraq War

10. Understanding the Iraq War

The Iraq War lasted from 2003-2011. Thousands of American and Coalition forces died during the conflict, as well as many thousands of Iraqis. The American decision to go to war in Iraq remains controversial today.

The War in Afghanistan: Causes, Timeline & Controversy

11. The War in Afghanistan: Causes, Timeline & Controversy

The War in Afghanistan began in 2001 after the September 11 attacks. United States and NATO coalition forces attacked Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. As of 2014, United States personnel are withdrawing from the country, ending over a decade of fighting.

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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