Standard assigned:
Understand the rise and continuing international influence of the United States as a world leader and the impact of contemporary social and political movements on American life.

By: Leah Smartt and Cale Steele

Benchmark 1-- Identify Causes for Post World War II Prosperity and Its Affects on the American People.

January 24, 2011
BENCHMARK ONE: The thriving American economy during, and at the end of World War II can be somewhat credited to the impact the Great Depression had on American society. The stock market crash of 1929 caused the loss of jobs for millions of Americans.

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As Americans entered World War II, the need for weapons and war supplies created millions of jobs for many. Those left jobless by the Great Depression were able to find work in factories producing goods for World War 2. More people returning the workforce caused the economy to thrive.
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Also, a need for more advanced war technologies invoked more scientific research; the scientific advances, in turn, also boosted the economic world status of the United States. The government began to gain more control over the United States economy, which contributed to the economy’s successes during that time period. The government collected the first general income tax during the war, these collected taxes created great revenues for the United States government. Economies of countries devastated by the war depended on the United States to help rebuild. The U.S.capitalized on the devastated countries and in turn European countries became the largest consumer of United States goods. Thus the United States gained economic dominance.

The family became a central focal point for Americans after World War 2. The wealthy American families moved to suburbia. The mass production of the automobile allowed Americans this expansion. Suburbanization created further segregation between different social classes. This new era issued in the “American Dream”. defines the “American Dream” as, “The widespread aspiration of Americans to live better than their parents did.” Americans became more of a consumerist nation, and therefore they were able to live the “American Dream”, having the opportunity to purchase goods that were beyond their immediate needs. This new found prosperity for Americans was due to United States capitalization on other countries. Companies moved overseas reducing costs and lowering prices for American consumers. The popularity of the television had a huge impact on American society, introducing new products and new ways of life. Americans also became conformists, creating one standard of living. Men were expected to work and women were expected to stay at home. Many people “rebelled” from the conformist American society. The “rebels” formed many social movements that made a huge impact on American society.
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Below is an old Coca-Cola add from the post World War 2 period:

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Benchmark 2-- Compare the Prosperity of Different Ethnic Groups and Social Classes in the Post-World War II Period

February 9, 2011

BENCHMARK TWO: After World War II ended, Americans began to make more money and become more prosperous. Middle class Americans wanted a better life than the life they had in the city. The Suburbs offered a better life with more opportunities and was a better place to raise a family. Most of the middle class Americans who moved to the suburbs were white American citizens. Lower class citizens tended to stay in the cities because they did not have enough money to move into the suburbs. As African Americans became more prosperous, their prosperity lead to opportunities to push for their civil rights. Other ethnic groups also had the same opportunities opened up to them the same as African Americans. All in all, different ethnic groups became prosperous at the end of World War II.

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Benchmark 3-- Examine the Changing Status of Women in the United States from the Post World War II Period to Present. banana

January 28, 2011
BENCHMARK: THREE During World War II, women had to step into the workforce and provide for their families while their husbands fought and were unable to do so. In 1941, women's participation in the workforce increased by 60% __( Many women found work in factories, producing goods and weapons for the war. When the war ended, women were forced out of the workforce and back into the home.

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Below is a video clip from a 1943 film that’s goal was to recruit women into the workforce:

During the late 40’s and 50’s, women were expected to stay at home, care for the children, and keep house while fathers worked and provided income for the family to live off of. Highly increases birth rates kept women at home; family was a huge priority. Men’s high wages allowed women to stay at home and be at the leisure of not working. Some women did work, but the majority of middle and upper-class did not.
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More women were in the workforce than ever in the early 1960’s. In the sixties and seventies, women fought to set a more defined, and more respected place in America for themselves. The women fought for equal rights under the constitution. Feminist groups like NOW were formed (National Organization for Women). A majority of women did stay at home, caring for the family during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
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Below is a video about women’s feminist movements:

In the later half of the 20th century, and into the new millennium, women established a set place in the American world where they were not considered inferior to men. More percentages of women started attending colleges, started careers, while still being able to raise families. Women are on the whole more appreciated and recognized, though some discrimination does still occur.

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Benchmark 4-- Evaluate the Successes of 1960s Era Presidents' Foreign and Domestic Policies.

February 13, 2011
BENCHMARK FOUR: The Space Race was a very important part of American History in which the presidents of this era had to make important decisions. The Space Race occurred during the Cold War era. The Space Race was basically a competition between the United States and the Soviet Union to see which country could become the most technologically advanced. Up until that point in American History, Americans believed themselves to be the “pacesetters” of the world. In October of 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, which became the worlds first artificial satellite. Congress passed education aid measures after the launch of Sputnik that put special emphasis on sciences. President John F. Kennedy promised congress and the United States that the United Stated would land land a man on the moon before the 1960’s ended. On July 20, 1969 (After John F. Kennedy’s Assassination and while Lydon B Johnson was president), Apollo 11 landed on the moon and the astronauts walked on it.
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Below is a video about the Space Race:

In 1964 Lydon B. Johnson introduced a reform program to American called “The Great Society”. President Johnson first sought to guarantee Civil Rights and to reduce taxes. He then sought to aid the poor in several ways such as education and housing. Johnson started two health care programs called Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is an insurance program for the elderly and Medicaid is a program that provides health care assistance for the poor. Johnson also succeeded in providing financial aid to schools with less-fortunate children. Johnson established a Department of Housing and Urban Development during his presidency. He also established programs for safer transportation. Some of the programs did not lead up to what they were expected to be, but they still helped the poor.
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Below is a video about the Great Society:

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Benchmark 5-- Compare Violent and Non-Violent Approaches Utilized by Groups (African Americans, Women, Native Americans, Hispanics) to Achieve Civil Rights.

January 28, 2011

BENCHMARK FIVE: African Americans, women, Native Americans, and Hispanics were all suppressed by laws, government, and prejudices of others throughout history. Although the groups all had different ways of achieving their civil rights, they all wanted equality in the country that they lived in. Violent and nonviolent approached were used by all of the groups. The African American Civil Rights Movement occurred from 1955-1968. This was a time when African American citizens fought for the same equality that the white American citizens had. African Americans’ protests were usually very civil; many did not use violence in their protests, though violence was used against them. Police forces and white activist groups stopped many protests with violence, gunfire, and gasses. The Watts riots were one of the more violent acts to achieve civil rights. The Watts riots left many dead, injured, and many citizens were arrested. Sit-ins were non-violent approaches to achieving civil rights. The Greensboro Sit-ins are one of the most famous that sparked sit-ins all across the south for African American citizens.
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Below is a video on the Civil Rights movement: During the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, women fought for freedom from the male-dominant society. Women held protests, sit-ins, and published works promoting the feminist movement to achieve equal rights. The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan, was published in 1963 and it sparked the idea in the hearts of many women to fight for equal rights. Protests such as the New York Abortion Speakout and the Ladies Home Journal Sit-in were non-violent.
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The Chicano movement was the movement in which Hispanic Americans fought for their civil rights, just like African Americans and women. The Chicano movement took place in the late 60’s to early 70’s. The Brown Berets Chicano activist group was influential in starting a series of high school “blowouts” in 1968. Students would walk out of school to protest against the unequal treatment they were receiving. Protests were usually non-violent.
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Native Americans became inspired for fighting for their own rights after watching the African American community achieve civil rights. The Native American movement took place in the 60’s and the 70’s. Various Native American groups fought to win back their lands that the US government had taken. The American Indian Movement (AIM) was founded in 1968. A group of Native Americans seized and held Alcatraz island in 1969 until federal officials removed them in 1971. There were more violent Native American protest than other ethnic groups to achieve civil rights.
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Benchmark 6-- Assess Key Figures and Organizations in Shaping the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement.

February 4, 2011
BENCHMARK SIX: There were many important figures who influenced the Civil Rights movement. People like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, and the Little Rock Nine are some of the more prominent figures. Rosa Parks was the woman who, through her heroic actions, led many African Americans to stand up for themselves and fight for their rights. Rosa Parks boarded a crowded bus in Montgomery, Alabama on her way home from work one day. As the bus crowded, the bus driver asked Rosa Parks and three other African-American gentlemen to move to the “colored” section of the bus. Rosa refused and was taken to jail and was bailed out later that evening. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. heard about Rosa refusing to leave her seat and he started a bus boycott in Montgomery Alabama that lasted for a year. Rosa and her husband were involved in the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The NAACP worked to gain rights for African Americans. Rosa Parks won many awards for her courage. Some of these awards include The Rosa Parks Peace Prize (1994), The Presidential Medal of Freedom (1996) and the Congressional Gold Medal (1999).

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Below is a short biography on Rosa Parks:

Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged other African-Americans to fight for their rights in a non-violent manner. Martin Luther King Jr. founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 which encouraged African Americans to use non-violent approached to achieve their civil rights. SCLC is still around today. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial to civil rights marchers. Many Americans are still inspired by his “I Have a Dream” speech to this day. He also won a Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Martin Luther was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
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Below is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" Speech:

Thurgood Marshall was a civil rights lawyer during the Civil Rights Era. He realized that one of the best ways to bring about change was through the legal system. Thurgood Marshall presented over 30 cases to the Supreme Court and he won 29 of those cases. Thurgood Marshall was involved in the Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. He won the case which made segregation in public schools illegal. Thurgood Marshall became the first African American Supreme Court Judge in American history.
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Below is a short biography on Thurgood Marshall:

The Little Rock Nine were also very influential in the Civil Rights Movement. These students were the first African American students to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Even with segregation being made illegal in public schools, many disobeyed the law. The Little Rock Nine were threatened by mobs, spat at, and were even made death threats. On the first day of school the students had to enter the rear entrance of the school to avoid being beaten by white mobs. President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne Division to protect the students. All of the former Central High School students are living successful lives.

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Below is a short film on the "Little Rock Nine":

The Black Power Movement took place after the Civil Rights Movement but it was never a formal movement. The Black Power Movement encourages African Americans to realize their potential in the American world and help them realize their independence. One of the influential figures of this movement was Malcolm X. Malcolm X was a minister in the Nation of Islam and civil rights activist. Later in life he separated from the Nation of Islam and created his own organization Muslim Mosque, Inc. Malcolm X continued to support African American rights throughout his life. His life works led many African Americans to realize their importance and independence.

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Benchmark 7-- Assess the Building of Coalitions Between African Americans, Whites, and Other Groups in Achieving Integration and Equal Rights.

February 7, 2011
BENCHMARK 7: During the Civil Rights Era, different ethnic groups formed coalitions to bring about the civil rights of another group. Wikipedia defines a coalition as, “An alliance among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause.” ( There we coalitions between whites, African Americans and other groups as they fought for a common cause, Civil Rights. The summer of 1964 is also know as the “Freedom Summer”. During that summer, African Americans and whites formed a coalition to bring about African American voting rights in the deep south. Many of the whites who volunteered to bring about the voting rights of African Americans were college students from the north. Involving the white students from the north lead to much publicity for the movement though under the fifteenth amendment African Americans were legally allowed to vote, they were suppressed by whites and unable to exercise their rights. The Freedom Summer campaign was organized by a coalition group called Mississippi Council of Federated Organizations which included these groups, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Student volunteers organized schools that offered better education for African American children. The schools were called Freedom Schools. Three student volunteers were murdered for supporting the African Americans in this movement during the Freedom Summer, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.
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Below is a video about the Freedom Summer:

There were coalitions formed between whites and African Americans during several bus boycotts. One of the first was the Montgomery Bus Boycott beginning in 1955. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a year long boycott to eliminate segregation on buses in Montgomery, Alabama. People who supported the boycott took taxis, carpooled, and waked throughout Montgomery instead of riding the buses. People who supported the bus boycott underwent heavy persecution from white supremacist groups. Bombings, jailing, beatings and much more took place during the boycott. While the Montgomery Bus Boycott took place, A bus boycott began in Tallahassee, Florida. The Tallahassee bus boycott began in 1956 with two female African American FAMU students refusing to give up their seats on a public bus. The two students were jailed and the boycott started. People who supported the Tallahassee Bus Boycott followed the boycott model of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Carpooling was made illegal which made boycotting more difficult. Shortly after carpooling was made illegal, the case for desegregation on public buses made it to the Supreme Court in 1956 and the Supreme Court made it illegal to segregate seating on public buses. This was a huge victory for all those who supported Civil Rights. The NAACP was involved in both Montgomery and Tallahassee bus boycotts. After the law for desegregation on public buses was passed, in 1961 many SNCC members tested out the laws passed by riding buses starting in Washington, D.C., throughout the deep south. These rides were called the Freedom Rides. SNCC members wanted to see if the new laws were being followed; desegregation in public transportation and in public transportation terminals. The SNCC members encountered many problems, such as large mobs, beatings, and the burning of a bus that they were riding. After the first initial rides, many more continued. The Freedom Rides were more successful in the upper south than the deep south.
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Below is a video about the Montgomery Bus Boycotts:

Below is a video about the Freedom Rides:

The March on Washington is probably the greatest representation of a coalition between African Americans and whites in the 1960’s. This march was organized to promote peacefully the Civil Rights Movement. There were many prominent Civil Rights activists in charge of the March on Washington, namely, A. Phillip Randolph, Whitney Young, James Farmer, John Lewis, Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King Jr. 250,000 people met in front of the Lincoln Memorial for speeches and songs. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech during the March on Washington. The march happened on August 28, 1963 and was televised throughout the United States. After the march the organisers met with President Kennedy. In whole, the March on Washington was very beneficial to the Civil Rights Movement.
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Below is a video about the March on Washington:

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Benchmark 8--Analyze Significant Supreme Court Decisions Relation to Integration, Busing, Affirmative Action, the Rights of the Accused and Reproductive Rights.

February 11, 2011
BENCHMARK 8: One of the most important cases that the Supreme Court made a decision on regarding integration was Brown vs. Board of Education which ruled, unanimously, that segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. This ruling did not completely desegregate children in public schools because school boards in various states were still prejudice, but this ruling did put the Constitution on the side of the Civil Rights Movement. The Brown vs Board case did not pertain to desegregation in anywhere but public schools. Later, in Cooper vs Aaron (1958) the Supreme Court ruled that states had to follow the integration laws.

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Below is a video on Brown vs. Board of Education:

Regents of the University of California vs. Bakke (1978) was an important case regarding to affirmative action. This case ruled that racial “quotas” for admittance into schools are unconstitutional but “affirmative action” programs, in most cases, are constitutional. The University of California reserved 16 seats out of 100 seats in the medical program for minority students. Allan Bakke, a non-minority student applying to the University of California’s medical school was not admitted to the school even though he had higher test scores than many minority students. The Supreme Court ruled that a student could not be discriminated against admittance to the schools medical program because of their race over someone who had less qualifications. The Supreme Court then ruled that schools could use race as a factor in determining admittance of students to a school when used alongside other factors.
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Relating to to the rights of the accused, the cases Miranda vs Arizona (1966) and Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963) were important case for the Supreme Court to decide on. In Miranda vs Arizona, the Supreme Court ruled that criminals in custody must be informed of their constitutional rights and their rights to an attorney before they are questioned by the police. Ernesto Miranda who was charged with robbery, kidnapping, and rape was not given these rights because the police failed to inform him. Miranda confessed his crimes before being informed of his rights, and court intended to use that against him in his conviction. Miranda took his case to the Supreme Court and the Justices ruled that his prison sentence was unconstitutional because he had not been read his rights. The Supreme Court also ruled that any person arrested must be read their “Miranda Rights”. Ernesto Miranda was later tried again under the new laws and convicted. In the Gideon vs Wainwright case, Clarence Earl Gideon was charged with robbery in Panama City, Florida and was unable financially to provide a lawyer for himself, and was relying on his right to a defence lawyer provided by the court. Gideon was told that Florida only provided defense lawyers for those charged with greater crimes that resulted in greater convictions (ex. death penalty). Gideon was sentenced to prison and appealed his case after his release. Eventually, his case made it to the Supreme Court and the Justices ruled his jail sentence unconstitutional because he had not been given a defence lawyer. The Supreme Court ruled that all criminals charged with serious crimes who were unable to afford their own defence attorney must be provided one from the state under the Constitution. Below are pictures of Miranda and Gideon:

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Below is a video on the Gideon vs. Wainwright case:

Regarding reproductive rights, Roe vs Wade (1973) was an important case that the Supreme Court decided on. Norma L McCorvey “Jane Roe”, appealed to the Supreme Court saying that denying her an abortion violated her constitutional right to a “zone of privacy”. At this time in history, under law abortions were only legal if the life of the mother was endangered by the fetus. McCorvey’s life was not endangered, but she believed that she (and other women) should have the option of an abortion if they were unable or did not want a child. The Roe vs Wade case was very controversial. McCorvey won her case and the Supreme Court ruled that states could not outlaw abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy, regulations to abortion could only be enacted in the second and third trimesters if the health of the mother was in danger, and regulations to the health of the fetus could only be enacted in the third trimester. They ruled that it was up to the woman and her doctor to decide if abortion was right for the mother.

Below is a video on the Roe vs. Wade case:
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Below is a video on the Roe vs. Wade case:

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Standard 9: Examine the similarities of social movements (Native Americans, Hispanics, women, anti-war protesters) of the 1960s and 1970s.

Standard 10: Analyze the significance of Vietnam and Watergate on the government and people of the United States.=


Standard 11: Analyze the foreign policy of the United States as it relates to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East.=


Standard 12: An alyze political, economic, and social concerns that emerged at the end of the 20th century and into the 21st century.=


Standard 13: Analyze the attempts to extend New Deal legislation through the Great Society and the successes and failures of these programs to promote social and economic stability.=


Standard 14: Review the role of the United States as a participant in the global economy (trade agreements, international competition, impact on American labor, environmental concerns). =


Standard 15: Analyze the effects of foreign and domestic terrorism on the American people.=


Standard 16: Examine changes in immigration policy and attitudes toward immigration since 1950.=

Standard 17: Examine key events and key people in Florida history as they relate to United States history. Check my pages - Los Angeles DUI Lawyer & Attorneys