The history of the United States of America is a combination of the successful and failing policies taken by the Governments led by 44 Presidents. The focus of this paper is one of the most difficult periods in US history – the period of economic stagnation, political scandals and social issues, i. e. Retrenchment of 1969 – 1980. This period is chosen because it shaped the future directions of the development of the American nation in its foreign and domestic policies.
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To start with, it is necessary to state that the book by Moss (2005) is a great source of information about the development of the American people in the period after World War II. The research methods used by the author are mainly qualitative, i. e. directed at finding out the reasons for certain events rather than merely stating them as facts. The bulk of the research is the study of previous works by other authors in this field (Moss, 2005). Another step in Moss’ research is the synthesis of the data obtained to present a reader with a comprehensive and readable work. Thus, for example, the Calming Down is a chapter about the policies of President Nixon directed at stabilization of the domestic situation and settling all the foreign policy disputes faced by the USA. Accordingly, Moss explains how Nixon managed to calm the society down after the disastrous presidency of Lyndon Johnson. 1968, the year when Nixon became President, saw the severest economic stagnation in the USA history since 1893, and the new President was to deal with this (Moss, 2005).
Further on, Nixon had to deal with serious political challenges including the continuing Cold War with the USSR, Vietnam War and conflicts with other Communist countries in the world. As a result, during Nixon’s term in office, the so-called Détente started as a process of improving the US relations with the USSR. Moreover, the then events created the conflict between the largest Communist powers of that time – China and the USSR. Accordingly, the USA had time to settle its Vietnam issues, and could afford friendship with the Soviet Union, which was, however, broken, in the early 1980s (Moss, 2005). Also, the Presidency of Nixon was marked by the serious changes in the social attitudes of the Americans. For example, the processes of busing and desegregation were started in the 1970s granting the African Americans, women and other discriminated minorities equal rights with whites, men, etc (Moss, 2005). Abortion legalization, homosexual rights and economic issues were also crucial for the period discussed and marked the so-called era of limits. Finally, the Americans of 1970s were a quite different nation from the one of the 1950s. Their attitudes towards morale, social duties and rights changed making all racial and sexual groups equal in their educational and employment opportunities (Moss, 2005).
Accordingly, to get a better understanding of the module, it is necessary to address the scholarly articles on this issue. Two articles were chosen for this purpose. One of them, Globalization and America since 1945, is retrieved from the reputable International Journal on World Peace. The author of this article develops the topic of globalization and the role of the American foreign policies in it. Moreover, Jackson (2003) considers the implications of globalization upon the domestic policies of the countries, and explains the relation between Nixon and Ford’s policies and the modern economic and political situation in the world (p. 84). Accordingly, there is a clear connection of the issues studied in the module and discussed by Jackson in his article. The value of the latter lies in presenting the broad context to the events and processes studied in class.
Further on, the second article considered is also a reputable source of the necessary information. It is taken from the Canadian Journal of Sociology and is titled Fighting “Big Government”: Frames, Federalism, and Social Policy Reform in the United States. Beland and De Chantal (2004) are concerned with the issues of different policies implemented by the Governments under Johnson, Nixon and Ford. Among others, their interest is concentrated on the federalism policies and various modifications, including retrenchment, carried out by the above-mentioned leaders and Ronald Reagan as well (Beland and De Chantal, 2004, p. 241). Accordingly, this article also adds greatly to the knowledge acquired during the module study and discloses such specific details as reasons for Retrenchment and its major types.
So, it is necessary to state that the history of the United States is a rather complicated phenomenon to study. Moreover, the US history is the history of the American people in all its aspects including racial and sexual discrimination, Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, Watergate issue, and many others. Accordingly, the module on Retrenchment and the articles considered to develop the knowledge in this field are the sources of information about the period in the US history that shaped the basics of what the American nation is today.
Beland, D., & De Chantal, F. (2004). Fighting “Big Government”: Frames, Federalism, and Social Policy Reform in the United States. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 29(2), 241+.
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Jackson, E. R. (2003). Globalization and America since 1945. International Journal on World Peace, 20(3), 84+.
Moss, G. D. (2005). Moving On: The American People Since 1945, 3/E, Prentice Hall.