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Modern America 5/16/13 Test
Terms in this set (24)
January 30, 1968, attack by North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces on key cities and every major American base in South Vietnam. Militarily, the Communists suffered a defeat, losing ten times as many soldiers as ARVN and U.S. forces, but the attacks cast doubts on the optimistic statements of U.S. leaders about the war.
1968 Democratic Convention
Site of violent confrontations between antiwar demonstrators and Chicago police that took place in late August of that year. After taunting by some in the crowd, the police responded with mace and nightsticks, clubbing both disruptive and peaceful protesters as well as reporters and convention delegates. The bloodshed horrified those who witnessed it but had little effect on the convention's outcome.
Richard M. Nixon
Republican president who narrowly won the 1968 election and held office until his resignation in 1974. He made dramatic overtures in pursuit of detente with both the Soviet Union and China and oversaw the eventual withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam.
Henry A. Kissinger
Key foreign policy adviser to President Nixon. Kissinger and Nixon pursued a policy of detente, their term for easing conflict with the Soviet Union. To this end, they pursued closer relationships with both China and the Soviet Union, not abandoning containment, but instead focusing on issues of common concern, such as arms control and trade.
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT)
1972 treaty between the US and the Soviet Union in which the superpowers agreed to limit antiballistic missiles (ABMs) to two each. Limiting the capacity to mount a defense against nuclear attacks was significant because it prevented either nation from building so secure an ABM defense against a nuclear attack that it would risk a first strike.
1967 conflict between Israel and the Arab nations of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Israel attacked Egypt after that nation had massed troops on its border and cut off the sea passage to Israel's southern port. Although Syria and Jordan joined the war on Egypt's side, Israel won a stunning victory, seizing territory that amounted to twice its original size.
Kent State University/Jackson State College
College campuses that were the sites of violent confrontations between demonstrating students and those sent to disperse them. On May 4, 1970, at Ohio's Kent State, nervous National Guard troops fired at students who were protesting the war in Vietnam, killing four and wounding ten others. On May 14, 1970, police called to Jackson State College shot into a dormitory and killed two black students.
Secret government documents published by the NY Times in 1971 consisting mostly of an internal study of the war begun in 1967. The documents undermined public trust in government by revealing that officials harbored considerable pessimism even as they made rosy public pronouncements about the progress of the war. Government efforts to stop publication of the documents were blocked by the Supreme Court.
The 1972 break-in at Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate complex by men working for President Nixon's re-election, along with Nixon's efforts to cover it up. The Watergate scandal led to President Nixon's resignation.
Gerald R. Ford
House minority leader from Michigan who became Nixon's vice president in 1973 and president in 1974, when Nixon resigned. Ford was popular for his integrity and humility, but his decision to pardon Nixon provoked widespread outrage and strengthened the Democratic Party.
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter Jr.
Democratic president who served from 1977 until 1981 and moved the party away from the liberalism of the 1960s. Carter's modest lifestyle, religious commitment, and status as a Washington outsider appealed to a nation reeling from the scandals of the Nixon administration. Nevertheless, his performance in office in the face of domestic and foreign crises did not inspire confidence, and he lost his bid for reelection.
Camp David Accords
Agreements between Egypt and Israel reached at the 1979 talks held at Camp David. In the accords, Egypt became the first Arab state to recognize Israel, and Israel agreed to gradual withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, which it had seized in the 1967 Six-Day War. President Carter played a key role in bringing the two parties together and ensuring that the talks were a success.
Iran Hostage Crisis
Crisis that began in 1979 after the Iranian revolution against the shah. Iranians broke into the US Embassy in Teheran and took 66 Americans hostage. The hostage crisis undermined the Carter presidency and damaged his chances at reelection.
Republican president who held office from 1981 until 1989. The enormously popular former actor and governor of California implemented a wide-ranging conservative agenda that rolled back taxes, industry regulations, environmental protections, and social welfare programs. Reagan also oversaw a dramatic thawing in US-Soviet relations.
Term for new conservatives who attacked what they saw as immorality in public life and who called for return to traditional or "family" values. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson were key leaders of the Christian Right.
Economic theory that held that cutting taxes would lead to economic growth by increasing demand for goods and services. Despite proponents' promises to the contrary, under Ronald Reagan supply-side economics led to large increases in the federal budget deficit.
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
Constitutional amendment intended to guarantee women equality of rights under the law. Time ran out for ratification of the ERA in 1982.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Deadly disease discovered in 1981. Because the disease at first disproportionately affected male homosexuals in the US, AIDS education, prevention, and treatment became central concerns of gay rights activists.
Reagan administration scandal that involved the sale of arms to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages held by Middle Eastern extremist groups, and the redirection of the proceeds of those sales to the Nicaraguan Contras. The Iran-Contra scandal was the most serious case of executive branch misconduct since Watergate.
Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Agreement
Nuclear disarmament agreement reached between the US and the Soviet Union in 1987, signifying a major thaw in the Cold War. The treaty eliminated all short- and medium- range missiles from Europe and provided for on-site inspection for the first time.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H. W. Bush and secretary of state under President George W. Bush. In 2001, Powell became the first African American secretary of state. Disagreements between Powell and other members of the Bush administration over the Iraq War led to his resignation in 2005.
Iraqi dictator from 1979 to 2003. Hussein's decision to invade Kuwait in 1990 sparked the Persian Gulf War. In 2003, President Bush declared war on Iraq, citing Hussein's violation of UN resolutions to Al Qaeda. Hussein's government was quickly toppled, and he was eventually executed by Iraqi officials.
Persian Gulf War
1991 war between Iraq and an international coalition headed by the US. The war was sparked by the 1990 invasion of Kuwait of Iraqi forces. Overwhelming American military superiority led to a quick victory fro coalition forces. The Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was, however, left in power.
"Don't ask, don't tell" policy
Military policy announced by President Clinton in 1993 that barred officials from inquiring into the sexual orientation of military personnel but permitted the dismissal of personnel who admitted to being gay or engaged in homosexual behavior. The policy represented a retreat from Clinton's campaign promise to lift the ban on gays in the military and resulted in a significant increase in discharges of homosexuals from the armed forces.
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