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Contemporary United States
1968 - Present


This era is, in large part, a study of the United States as a global power – politically, economically, and militarily. The detente with communist China under President Richard Nixon began a shift from the “Domino Theory” of foreight policy in Asia. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War changed how the United States interacted with Europe. At the same time, interventions increased in our own hemisphere and in the Middle East. Terrorism also became a driving force behind foreign policy.

Socially, this time period saw for the first time immigration primarily from Asia and Central America. A new wave of reform movements promoted environmental, feminist, and civil rights agendas. There was also a resurgence of religious evangelicalism. Technological advances once again redefined not only the economic landscape of America, but also the lives of everyday citizens.

Learn more in the National U.S. History Content Standards.

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