by Judith Stein

Long overshadowed by the tumultuous 1960s and the transformative 1980s, the 1970s has finally been recognized as an era in its own right. And it is more than Watergate, big hair, and disco. During the 1970s, postwar affluence was undermined by new international competition with Japan and Europe and high-priced oil. The mixed economy bolstered by Keynesian aggregate demand could not right the ship and new economic principles privileging markets and capital were embraced by the victorious Republican Party in 1980. Nevertheless, the movements to redress racial and gender inequalities begun in the 1960s continued. The war in Vietnam, the source of so much conflict in the late 1960s, ended, although the American objective, a non-Communist South Vietnam, was not achieved. The Communist North united the country in 1975. But if Cold War issues receded during this era of detente, foreign economic policies assumed a new importance during the decade.More »

Featured Primary Sources

J. Edgar Hoover, 1961 (Library of Congress)

J. Edgar Hoover on campus unrest, 1970

Creator: J. Edgar Hoover Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:
Gerald Ford, ca. 1979 (GLC05508.103.03)

President Ford’s remarks in Japan, 1974

Creator: Gerald R. Ford Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Gerald Ford appears before Congress on Nixon's pardon. (Library of Congress)

President Ford’s statement on pardoning Richard Nixon, 1974

Creator: Gerald R. Ford Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
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