ERIC Number: ED365597
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
American History Since 1945: A Framework for Periodization. Occasional Paper.
Teachers can approach U.S. history since 1945 in two time periods. The first is "Postwar America" (1945-1973), the playing out of the economic, cultural, social, cultural/intellectual, and foreign policy thrusts and attitudes that grew out of the Great Depression and World War II. The second era, "Recent America" (1973-present), comprises an erosion and reshaping of those earlier attitudes in a process whose full configuration remains incomplete. Postwar economics consisted of a consumer-led boom fueled by a generation of pent-up demand. Society and culture were related closely to and supportive of the economy. Contemporary politics continues to reflect the rhetoric of the New Deal and World War II, as does foreign policy. However, a meaningful historical divide occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Civil rights and cultural revolutions brought enormous social and cultural changes. Inflation, lower productivity, and higher unemployment altered the economy. Politics has become factionalized. U.S. foreign policy and economic relations with other nations have changed greatly. It is time to give students a fuller, more accurate sense of the emerging contours of the recent U.S. past: the past that perhaps means most to them. (SG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: National Council for History Education, Inc., Westlake, OH.