Life Since the 1950s

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Spread of Independence

Between 1945 and 1962, many nations in Asia and Africa achieved freedom from Western influence. After WWII, many Jews returned to Israel, their Jewish homeland. Palestinian Arabs resisted this “invasion.” In 1947, the United Nations voted for separate Jewish and Palestinian states. War ensued almost immediately between Arabs and Israelis. Israel won and expanded the borders into Arab held land. Thousands of Palestinians became refugees. There have been numerous wars and intermittent peace in this region since the establishment of Israel.

Korean War

After WWII, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel line. The Soviet Union occupied the north and the United States had troops in the south. North Korea became a communist nation called the Democratic People’s Republic. South Korea became a democratic nation called the Republic of Korea. In 1950, North Korean troops invaded South Korea. The United Nations sent troops, mostly from the United States, to intervene and help defend South Korea. Chinese troops joined the North Koreans. The UN troops forced the Koreans and the Chinese back behind the 38th parallel. In 1953, an armistice was signed by both sides.

African independence

By 1980, almost all African countries became free from European rule. Libya and Egypt were both independent by 1952. In 1957, Ghana, led by Kwame Nkrumah, became the first Sub-Saharan African country to gain independence. This inspired the Kikuyus of Kenya, led by Jomo Kenyatta, to gain independence from Britain in 1963. Although South Africa gained independence from Britain in 1934, the fight against apartheid, or racial separation, was ongoing. Under the pressure of western nations, apartheid was reformed and eventually outlawed in 1994.

Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was one of the most controversial conflicts in the history of America. In the early 1950s, the French fought to gain back control of Vietnam and were defeated in 1954. The war between Vietnam and France was called the First IndoChina War.

The Geneva Accords were the peace negotiations following France's defeat. The agreement split Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh, the leader of North Vietnam, wanted Vietnam to be united and independent of outside control. He wanted it to be a communist-ruled country. The United States supported South Vietnam, a non-communist nation, with troops and money to avoid the spread of communism.

American troops began arriving in Vietnam in 1961. At that time, the troops were called "advisors" and were not intended to be in combat. Year after year, more and more American troops were sent to Vietnam.

In 1973, the U.S. withdrew troops after a cease-fire agreement was signed. The North Vietnamese troops took over South Vietnam completely by 1975 and formed the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976.

Communist Revolution in Cuba

In 1959, Fidel Castro led a revolution against the Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Bautista, and set up a communist government. A communist nation aligned with the Soviet Union, just 90 miles off the coast of Florida, made American leaders uneasy. The U.S. involvement in the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 were results of this tension.

Terrorist Attacks

On September 11, 2001 members of the terrorist group al-Qaeda, hijacked 4 passenger jets. Two jets were intentionally crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and the fourth crashed in Pennsylvania. Approximately 3000 people died. The U.S. government then led the War on Terrorism. Afghanistan and Iraq were deemed the heart of terrorist activity and the United States invaded. The United States Department of Homeland Security was formed to coordinate counter-terrorism activities. The USA Patriot Act was also enacted to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and to deter and punish terrorist acts in the U.S. and around the world.

Now that you have learned about several important events since the 1950s, as museum director you will need to summarize this information for the students visiting the museum.

Create 10 well-developed original headlines from the lesson.

  • Life Since the 1950s -

    How would you like us to help you with this assignment?

  • Life Since the 1950s -

    I need to create 10 headlines from that. and this is what I got so far

    2. The Korean War- Communist against Democrat
    3. The Most Controversial Conflicts : Vietnam
    4. Fidel Castro stands tall, a new revolution
    5. One inspires all, Africa gets it's Independence!
    6. Terror strikes in the midst of America!

  • Life Since the 1950s -

    Your headlines are good. Here are a couple more.

    Jewish Homeland Created

    North, South Korea Separated

  • Life Since the 1950s -

    for what numbers should I put that in??

  • Life Since the 1950s -

    If you can't tell, then you need to read more about these events.

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