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8.15 Continuity and Change in Period 8

2 min readjune 2, 2020

Robby May

Robby May


AP US History 🇺🇸

454 resources
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Period 8 (1945-1980) is a MASSIVE unit, making up 10-17% of the exam. So while it’s getting towards the end of the school year and you’ve just been about APUSHed off a cliff, don’t give up now! 
WWII has ended, and just about as soon as the parties have ended, the Cold War begins. Cold has nothing to do with a global ice age, but instead the fact that unlike any previous war, this one didn’t always involve actual conflict, but the threat of conflict was always there, and the possibility of world-wide destruction (thanks to nuclear weapons) was a very real concern. The world’s two sole superpowers (and nuclear powers), the United States and the USSR, faced off over and over again between 1945 and 1992. We’d end up seeing major military conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, but we would also see dangerous situations in Cuba and Latin America. Both nations continued to amp up arms production and entered a race for both arms and space. 
The United States was also going through great change, as a mass population boom occured and families started to leave the city for life in the new suburbs. These new baby boomers would have a profound impact on America, creating the idea of a teenager in the 1950s and jamming to the new rock-n-roll, and becoming politically active in the 60s and 70s, calling into question the governments role in Vietnam, which at the same time experimenting with new music, drugs, and sex. 
Civil rights movements for African Americans, women, LGBT persons, Native Americans, and others take off during the period. Major advancement is made, but there are setbacks as well too. 
The government would take a larger role than it ever had in the past as both the federal budget and debt grew. LBJ would unleash a massive domestic policy program he called the Great Society, creating many new federal programs to combat poverty, aid education, and help with medical expenses. Nixon would come to the office and reverse that government growth, moving much of it to the state and local governments. 
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🦃Unit 2 – Colonial Society, 1607-1754
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🥶Unit 8 – The Postwar Period & Cold War, 1945-1980
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