Civil Political and Social Movements – American History

Civil Political and Social Movements – History

This chapter is about some of the most popular civil, political and social movements in American history.

What was Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) :

Student activist movement in the US that was one of the main iconic representations of the country’s New Left

When was Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) :

Mid 1960s

How was Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) :

They addressed problems of poverty, and impoverished neighborhoods; they organized communities to remedy certain situations. They also protested their universities’ academic policies and then, more passionately the Vietnam war.

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS):

Although, they were not too successful, in 1965 they became the most visible group that was protesting about US involvement in the Vietnam War

Brown v. Board of Education

African American could not go to school with white children so her family (Brown) sued challenging the ruling in Plessy vs. Ferguson’s of “separate but equal”.

Brown v. Board of Education When


Brown v. Board of Education Who

Thurgood Marshall (Charles Hamilton Houston’s partner), member of the NAACP defense team took the case

Brown v. Board of Education Why

separating black and white kids in not-so-equal facilities placed a permanent “badge of inferiority” on colored kids

Brown v. Board of Education So What:

Supreme ruled in favor of Brown and school segregation was ruled unconstitutional in 1954 spurring the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Overruled plessy v ferguson(1896)

“Freedom Summer”

1964 civil rights campaign in Mississippi

Montgomery Bus Boycott What

political and social protest during the Civil Rights movement where African Americans refused to use public transportation

Montgomery Bus Boycott When

December 1955-December 1956. Started after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man.

Montgomery Bus Boycott Who

the Women’s Political Council circulated flyers the night of Parks’ arrest calling for the boycott. Many influential figures like MLK Jr. took part in the protest.

Montgomery Bus Boycott Why

tensions had been building in the south following several heated encounters/controversial arrests

Montgomery Bus Boycott So What

ended on December 20, 1956 when the Supreme Court ruled in Browder vs. Gayle that led to bus segregation being deemed Unconstitutional. Upheld the ruling in 1954’s Brown vs. Board of Education.

Social Darwinism What

application of Darwin’s biological theory of evolution by natural selection to the development of society. It was initiated by Herbert Spencer.

Social Darwinism When

Late 19th Century

Social Darwinism How

encouraged the notion that societies progress as a result of competition and “survival of the fittest” Also motivated people to play in the market and the strong be rewarded with riches.

Why was Social Darwinism

intervention by the state in this process thought to be counterproductive because it impeded healthy progress for society

Social Darwinism

Social Darwinists justified the increasing inequality of industrial American society as natural

Populists Party What

new party created by members of Farmer’s Alliance who had given up Democratic/Republican allegiances

Populists Party When


Populists Party How

empowering the constituents, asked for income tax and silver backing of currency, the ability to recall votes, pushed for labor and immigration legislation

Populists Party Why

both parties were seen as having been influenced by big businesses and lacking integrity

Populists Party So What

the first time agrarian protest truly challenged the two-party system, it also involved many women in the movement Hostility to banks, railroads and elites.

When was Cuban Missile Crisis

October 1962

American Federation of Labor When


American Federation of Labor who

formed by Samuel Gompers and for craft unions. Members typically white men, exclusive membership. Had more success with collective bargaining and didn’t challenge capitalism/industrialism. They wanted pure and simple unionism, a bigger piece of the pie.

Anti-war [Vietnam] Movement So What

brought out 20-30,000 citizens, all diverse. Essentially said that war was unwinnable and no American objective is worth the suffering of Vietnamese

Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) What

promoted “industrial unionism”; that is the CIO organized all the workers in an industry, from skilled machinist to broom-pushing janitors, into a single union.

Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) When


Equal Rights Amendment What

Stated that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the US or by any state on account of sex

Equal Rights Amendment When

Originally written in 1923 and reintroduced in 1972

Equal Rights Amendment How

passed both houses of Congress and went to the state legislature for ratification where it failed to receive the requisite number of ratifications therefore it was not adopted

Equal Rights Amendment Why

equality of rights no matter the sex

Detente What

A French term that means “relaxation of tensions” regarding the summits in Beijing and Moscow.

Detente When

During Nixon’s presidency in 1972

How/Why Detente

During his presidency Nixon had his eyes on solving the deteriorating relationship between the Soviet Union and China. These countries were basically fighting a border war. In 1971, Nixon saw an opportunity and sent his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, to Beijing to explore an accommodation. The current leader of China Mao Zedong, and Nixon made preliminary agreements: The US would back away from Chinese Nationalists on Taiwan, permit China’s admission to the United Nations, and eventually grant recognition. Nixon then traveled to China despite publicity to ratify the deal. Nixon then shifted his focus to the Soviet Union. He already had a secret understanding with Leonid Brezhnev about Cuban issues. In exchange for an US promise not to invade, the Soviets would dismantle a submarine base and any missiles from Castro.

Detente So What

The summits in Beijing and Moscow led to the first Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (SALT I) limiting the production and deployment of intercontinental missiles. The treaty was intended as only a first step toward comprehensive arms limitation. The agreements themselves were quite limited, but this marked a turning point in the Cold War. This brought a sense of relief to the three powers.

What was “Watergate”

result of a break-in at the Democratic National Committee Headquarters and the Nixon administration’s attempted cover-up.

“Watergate” When

June 1972

“Watergate” Why

attempt to gain access to insider information that would aid in Nixon’s reelection campaign.

“Watergate” So What

Lead to Nixon’s eventual resignation as President in 1974.
It revealed 2 issues for Americans: executive privilege (how much power does president have?) and millions of people watched the hearings on TV (demoralized public on economy, cultures = faith in govt was at an all-time low).

Women’s Rights Movement (1960s) When


Spanish-American War What

war with Spain over territories

Spanish-American War When


Spanish-American War How

troops (extra were budgeted for by Congress) fought along with the cuban rebels to attack Guantanamo, San Juan and Daiquiria

Spanish-American War Why

“Spain had sunk” the battleship Maine in the Havana harbor (cuba), and cubans had been rebelling for freedom from Spain

Spanish-American War So What

As a result Spain lost its control over the remains of its overseas empire — Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines Islands, Guam, and other islands.

STOP ERA movement

Campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Played a significant role in the fight against ratification of the ERA during the 1970’s because it would lead to homosexual marriages, women in combat, taxpayer-funded abortions, unisex bathrooms and elimination of Social security benefits for widows.

La Raza Unida When

Established in January 17, 1970.

La Raza Unida

Supported United Farm Workers. Campaigned for better housing, work and educational opportunities for Mexican Americans. Challenged discrimination against Mexican Americans.

Energy Crisis When


Energy Crisis What

period in which the major industrial countries of the world, particularly the US face substantial shortages of petroleum.

Energy Crisis Why

Included the 1973 oil crisis caused by the Arab Oil Embargo of OPEC and the 1979 energy crisis caused by the Iranian Revolution. Led to stagflation (high inflation, slow economic growth and high levels of unemployment)

Economic Libertarianism (laissez-faire)

The idea that the economy can regulate itself without need of government intervention
This was part of the Post WW2 conservatism

Reagan Revolution

term given to Reagan’s presidency in recognition of the political realignment in favor of conservatism and economic liberalism

“Second Industrial Revolution” When


“Second Industrial Revolution” What

Industrial output nearly doubled, new consumer goods (automobiles, electric appliances), technological advances (moving assembly line by Henry Ford), the automobile industry became a model for consumer goods. People could now live in suburbs, which made the construction industry increase.

100% Americanism What

Common ideology of purging nation of elements that aren’t American

100% Americanism When

after WWI

100% Americanism How

Suppression of government opposition

100% Americanism Why

Communist revolutions sprang up in Russia and overtook the government

100% Americanism So What

The American standard was white, protestant and Anglo-Saxon. Basis for the Palmer Raids Traditionalist Revolt in the 1920s teaching of German language, “Liberty Sandwiches”. It was basically an Anti-German hysteria. It does tie in with what mentioned above.

Milton Friedman When

He called for “capitalism and freedom” in 1962

Milton Friedman What

His admirers and critics referred to him as the “father of modern day free market fundamentalism”
He insisted that there be no government regulation and intrusion

Scopes’ Trial What

High school bio teacher arrested for teaching evolution in his class

Scopes’ Trial When


Scopes’ Trial How

Clarence Darrow, a famous criminal lawyer, defended Scopes and William Jennings Bryan, a fundamentalist former Democratic nominee for president, represented the prosecution. TN had passed, by majority, the law to forbid the teaching of evolution in school.

Scopes’ Trial Why

Teaching evolution was illegal in Tennessee

Scopes’ Trial so What

Attracted much national attention for polarizing fundamentalism and secular science and the role of religion in US classroom, as well as because it brought into question whether some things should be above majority rule.

“Moral Majority” When


“Moral Majority” What

Formed by Reverend Jerry Falwell. Part of the New Right that promoted family values and patriotism. Played a key role in Reagan’s race for the Republican presidential nom.

“Dust Bowl” What

Period of dust storms that plagued the Great Plains farmland area

“Dust Bowl” When


“Dust Bowl” How

Winds and poor farming practices allowed for loose dirt to scatter across plains and wipe out many farmers chance for healthy vegetation

“Dust Bowl” Why

Severe drought and unusually high temperatures

“Dust Bowl” So What

Major factor leading to the Great Depression

Bonus Army What

March that had veterans, families and related groups demanding an immediate cash purchase of their service certificates. Each certificate that was issued bore face value equal to the soldier’s promised payment plus compound interest.

Bonus Army When

Spring and Summer of 1932

Bonus Army How

Marched to capital and set up camps near there

Bonus Army Why

Struggling during the depression and needed relief because many were unemployed. Certificates weren’t redeemable until 1945.

Bonus Army so What

This was part of the rising discontent of Americans during the depression. “We were heroes in 1917 but we’re bums now” was a saying that summed up the need for these soldiers to get aid. Significant because this turned into chaos when shots were fired, and shelters and belongings were burned at the campsite.

Civilian Conservation Corps What

Work relief program for unemployed, unmarried men ages 17-23

Civilian Conservation Corps When

1933 – 1942

Civilian Conservation Corps Why

It provided work, ideally, for young men who needed to take care of relief families during the Great Depression

Civilian Conservation Corps How

provided unskilled manual labor jobs in conservation and reforestation to 25,000 young men

Civilian Conservation Corps So What

This was one of the New Deal programs that was a job placement program rather than a monetary handout system