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The Lockport City School District’s eighth grade curriculum includes a study of United States history from
Reconstruction to the present, with an emphasis on the social history and development of contemporary
Students will understand how the US leadership role changed after World War II.
Cold War
 Containment – US foreign policy to contain the spread of Communism.
 McCarthyism – Senator Joe McCarthy lead investigations that were anti-communist and accused
many American’s of being Communist including members of the Government and Army. This is referred
to as the 2nd Red Scare.
 Super Powers
o US and USSR (Russia) had Nuclear Arms
 Sputnik – First satellite launched to space by Russia that scared Americans
 Arms Race – stockpiling of Nuclear weapons by both sides
 NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization – democratic Nations allied against the Communist Nations
who formed their own alliance in the Warsaw Pact. If one Nation was attacked, all would support.
 Cuban Missile Crisis – A threat to US security when the USSR placed Nuclear Weapons into Cuba
o Closest threat of Nuclear War – John Kennedy President
 Baby Boom – Population explosion in the US due to peace and prosperity follow WWII.
Korean War
 US backs Democratic South Korea at request of the United Nations, USSR backs Communist North
 Civil war in Korea
 Result was a Stale Mate and the division of Korea into two separate Nations (North and South
Vietnam War
 Domino Theory – If one Country in South East Asia went Communist, they all would – this was the
fear of the US
 Civil War in Vietnam – US began in a peace keeper role to advise the South Vietnamese against
 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution – Gave the President the authority to take all necessary measures to repel
any armed attack against the forces of the US after a gun boat was shot at in a North Vietnamese
 US Involvement in Vietnam Protested by American’s
 1968
o Tet Offensive – North Viet Kong strike against the US in South Vietnam during the New Year
(Cease Fire) Celebration – Used Guerrilla Warfare (is the unconventional warfare and combat
with which small group combatants (usually civilians) use mobile tactics (ambushes, raids, etc)
to combat a larger, less mobile formal army) tactics
o Richard Nixon elected President – Johnson, the wartime president chooses not to run for
o Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy Assassinated (Killed)
Study Guide – 8 Social-Q4-V12008
o Escalation of US troops in South Vietnam reaches 500,000 troops
Nixon reduces troops in Vietnam and sends them into Cambodia – re-elected on a commitment to
pull troops out of Vietnam
Nixon Impeachment
o Watergate – Authorized the breaking into the Democratic Nation Convention Headquarters at
the Watergate Hotel
Troops removed from Vietnam by 1975 – Communist North Vietnam takes over South Vietnam
resulting in a Communist Vietnam today
Veterans Memorial established 1993 in Washington DC honoring Veterans in the Vietnam War
who were not treated as heroes when they returned to the US as other soldiers had been from past
Civil Rights
 Legalized Segregation
o Plessy vs. Ferguson 1896 (Landmark Supreme Court Ruling) – Separate but equal – okay to
have separate facilities and services for blacks as long as they were equal
 Jim Crow Laws – Laws that enforced segregation
 Brown vs. Board of Education 1954 (Landmark Supreme Court Ruling) – Separate is not equal and
Plessy vs. Ferguson and Jom Crow Laws were not legal anymore – Focused on schools and educational
 Civil Disobedience – Knowingly breaking a law that you believe is unjust
o Rosa Parks – refuses to move to the back of the bus leading to the Montgomery bus boycott
o March on Washington – Over 1 million African American march on Washington and Dr.
Martin Luther King gives his “I Have a Dream” speech
o Sit-in – from of protest where African Americans sat at segregated lunch counters and
requested service and would not leave
 Malcolm X – Nationalist Leader (member of the Church of Islam) who advocated that equality should
be sought by any means necessary even if it resulted in violence – before he was assassinated, he
aligned himself closer to the beliefs of Dr. King. It was the Nation of Islam who assassinated Malcolm X
because they did not like his change in belief
 Martin Luther King – Civil Rights Leader of non-violence who advocated for peaceful resolutions
following Gandhi’s (Indian Civil Rights Leader who protested the British occupation of India) principals.
Assassinated by James Earl Ray, April 4, 1964 in Memphis Tennessee
 Black Power Movement – Black Panthers – social movement that called for African American
independence and equality (through violence)
 Political Changes
o Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968 – ended discrimination based on race and gender (at
least in the law)
 Prohibited Discrimination
 Housing
 Voting (Voting Rights Act of 1965) – provided power to the Federal Government
to protect the voters
 Education
 Jobs
Practice Questions: Cold War
Correct responses are marked with an asterisk (*)
1. From the end of World War II until the 1980's, the United States carried out its foreign policy mainly by
a. giving in to foreign demands
b. avoiding any situation that might involve the nation in a conflict
c. acting forcefully to obtain and control colonies
Study Guide – 8 Social-Q4-V12008
d. taking a variety of actions to prevent the spread of communism*
2. One major cause of the Cold War was
a. trade competition between the United States and Europe
b. different political systems in the U.S. and the Soviet Union*
c. the rejection of Soviet membership in the United Nations
d. the forced relocation of Japanese-Americans in detention camps
3. United States participation in the undeclared war in Vietnam during the 1960's and 1970's raised a serious
question in the United States about the
a. loyalty of United States military commanders
b. authority of the President to make war*
c. intervention of the Supreme Court in matters of national security
d. ability of Congress to finance a war
4. The Marshall Plan and NATO were similar in that both sought to
a. to increase American power in Latin America
b. punish Germany for starting World War II
c. stop the expansion of Communism in Europe*
d. gain military control of European nations
5. The Truman Doctrine and the Berlin Airlift were examples of the United States foreign policy of
a. colonialism
b. detente
c. nonalignment
d. containment*
"Iron Curtain Descends Across Europe"
"Will Berlin Blockade Cause War?"
"Why We Must Stop Stalin in Asia"
6. The titles of the above magazine articles were most probably written in the time period between
a. the Spanish-American War and World War I
b. World War I and World War II
c. World War II and the end of the Korean War*
d. 1980 and today
7. A cause of public controversy in the United States during both the Korean War and the Vietnam War was
that in each conflict
a. a President fired a popular general
b. the United States used atomic weapons
c. no declaration of war was authorized by Congress*
d. guerrilla warfare frustrated military and civilian leaders
Practice Questions: Civil Rights
Correct responses are marked with an asterisk (*)
1. Which statement most closely reflects the views of Martin Luther King, Jr.?
a. All Americans have a right to equality. Any means, including violence, can be used to attain it.
b. Unjust laws must be disobeyed and the consequences accepted peacefully. *
Study Guide – 8 Social-Q4-V12008
c. African Americans will never gain equality. We really have no choice but to have the two races
d. African Americans must be patient and aim first for economic advancement. Social and political
equality will come later.
2. The major goal of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950's and 1960's was to
a. gain voting rights for women
b. stop the spread of communism
c. end racial segregation in the United States*
d. discourage African Americans from traveling to Africa
3. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, ... by reason of the segregation, the
plaintiffs are deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment."
What action was a direct result of this U.S. Supreme Court decision?
a. Women were given the right to attend schools.
b. World War II veterans were given educational benefits.
c. Racially segregated public schools became illegal.*
d. Prison inmates were given access to educational programs.
4. Dr.
Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech was important because it
led to improved living standards for immigrants
called for a violent revolution in America
drew attention to the inequalities faced by African Americans*
demanded voting rights for 18-year-olds
5. Which black leader is correctly matched with his accomplishment?
a. Booker T. Washington - civil rights leader of the 1950's and 60's.
b. Thurgood Marshall - first black Supreme Court Justice*
c. W. E. B. DuBois - established the first technical college in the South to educate blacks
d. Martin Luther King - founded the N.A.A.C.P.
6. Brown vs. Board of Education was important because it established
a. greater rights for accused persons
b. the right of women to vote
c. the "separate but equal" principle
d. the illegality of segregated public schools*
7. The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed primarily to
a. replace disabled workers in the workplace
b. relieve government of its responsibility for disabled workers
c. ban discrimination against disabled people*
d. control the political power of disabled people
Study Guide – 8 Social-Q4-V12008
1985 - PRESENT
Ronald Regan
 Trickle Down Economics – Stimulate the top small percentage of the economy in hopes that the
economic overflow of money would trickle into the middle and lower classes (Reganomics) – hurt the
economy by increasing the gap between socioeconomic classes
 Initiated the Opening of the USSR – improved relations and lead to the collapse of the Soviet
Union and their push for independence.
H. W. George Bush
 Persian Gulf War – War with Iraq – Kuwait was liberated of Saddam Hussein and Iraq was
sanctioned (restricted economically)
 Final Collapse of the Soviet Union
William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton
 NAFTA – North American Free Trade Agreement – Free trade between Mexico, Canada and the
US – boosted trade relations
 Balanced the Budget – For the first time since the cold war
 Bosnia (Balkans – former Yugoslavia in the Soviet Union) – Stopped the genocide
(extermination) of Albanians by Serbia
 Impeachment Scandal – Lied about an extramarital affair while under oath committing the crime of
 Hillary Clinton – First Lady becomes a Senator of NY following Bill’s Presidency
George W. Bush
 Election of 2000 – Disputed election went to the Supreme Court where it was decided that there
would not be a recount of the votes in Florida
 9/11/2001 – Terrorist Attacks by Al Qaeda on the United States hijacking commercial airplanes and
crashing them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and one crashing outside of Pittsburg when
Citizens foiled the attack and crashed the plane before reaching the target which was believed to be
the White House or the Capital Building in Washington DC
 War on Terror
o Afghanistan
 Removed the Taliban Leadership and established Afghanistan as a Democratic Country
 Osama Bin Laden – Muslim Leader of Al Qaeda who was a target for removal from
o Iraq
 Weapons of Mass Destruction suspected that lead to attacks by the US and Brittan
 Saddam Hussein (Dictator) removed from power and a Democratic Government was
 Civil Unrest during US and British Occupation and conflict among groups of Muslims in
Practice Questions:
Correct responses are marked with an asterisk (*)
1. On
September 11, 2001 foreign terrorists hijacked airplanes and crashed them into the
Empire State Building
World Trade Center*
Statue of Liberty
U.S. Capitol
Study Guide – 8 Social-Q4-V12008
2. A possible difference between the future population of the United States and its population in the mid1800's is that in the future
a. the U.S. population will decrease
b. the number of agricultural laborers will rise dramatically.
c. there will be a growth in manufacturing jobs
d. non-white Americans may eventually out-number white Americans*
3. U.S. and U.N. troops went to Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990's because of international concern over
a. Trade agreement violations
b. Access to world oil reserves
c. Human rights violations*
d. Monetary policies
4. The United States attacked Afghanistan after 9/11 because the Taliban government of Afghanistan
a. Held American hostages who were journalists
b. Violated the human rights of its women
c. Possessed nuclear weapons for use against the U.S.
d. Protected terrorist groups that ordered and financed the attacks*
5. The United States went to war in Iraq in 1991 for which reasons?
a. To protect US oil interests in Kuwait
b. To liberate the Kuwait citizens
c. To stop an aggressive movement by Sadaam Hussein
d. All of the above*
6. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that
a. the Court can declare federal laws unconstitutional
b. racial segregation is unconstitutional
c. defendants must be informed of their rights
d. states cannot ban abortion for women in the early months of pregnancy*
Study Guide – 8 Social-Q4-V12008