The US in the 70's

By Sophia Sload


Detente is the French word for relaxation. It means relaxation or to lesson tensions between people, groups, or countries. This was an important policy in the 70's because of what happened between the United States and the Soviet Union. The tension was very high between them throughout the cold war especially pertaining to communism and nuclear weapons. But the detente meant that these tension were being lessened. This occurred because of a peace accord signed called the Helsinki Accord. It granted free election in Europe causing more freedom to other countries.

Kent State Protest

These were protests that occurred on the Kent State campus in Ohio during the year of 1970. They happened after President Nixon announced that 150,000 more men would be drafted for war in Vietnam. These young people were very against this. These young men were the ones who would be drafted and they were not happy about serving in a war they did not agree with. During the protests the students set fire to buildings and 900 national guards men had to come to the campus. They ended up firing into the crowd killing 4 students and injury 9 others. This shows the young peoples mentality to the war.

Environmental Protection Agencies

This agency was officially established on December 7, 1970. It was passed by president Richard Nixon after he announced the reconstruction plan. The goal of this essential agency was to protect human health. Because of this they keep water clean, land safe, and air clean as well as much more. They started by enacting the Clean Air Act less then a month later. During the 1970's the government finally realized that America was beginning to become polluted and that if they wanted to save our earth and our health we would have to stop the pollution. I know that lots of the public became concerned about the earth including hippies so this social change may have impacted the government.

The Watergate Scandal

The Watergate Scandal was an attempt to steal information illegally from the democratic party during President Nixon's re-election campaign. Technological geniuses and top officials from Nixon's re-election campaign broke into the Watergate hotel and were found looking through the other parties documents and trying to set up listening devises. Once they were caught Nixon was asked about this. he said that he had no relations to it. Many of the men involved went to jail. A little later into the scandal it was found out that many knew about this but were just payed off to lie. One of the ones who knew about the scandal was president Nixon. Once the news got out that he was cheating and lying. The public did not like him and he resigned from the presidency.

Camp David Accords

The Camp David Accord was the important peace treaty that stopped war between two middle eastern countries. It was signed September 17, 1978. Israel and Egypt were at war but the United States decided to intervene. Jimmy Carter who was president at this time called for a twelve day government retreat at the presidents camp. These almost 2 weeks resulted in secret negotiations included this treaty between Menachem Begin who was the Israeli Prime Minister and Anwar Sadat who was the Egyptian President. This ended the war between the two and the Israelis promised to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula. This shows great improvement for the US at this time. It shows that the United States could create peace between two countries even though Vietnam efforts were unsuccessful.

President Nixon's Accomplishments

Richard Nixon was are 37th president of the United States and even though he only served from 1969 through 1974 he had many major accomplishments for America. Nixon's New Federalism policy gave states more rights which ended up leading to desegregation especially in the South. He also fought for women's rights which lead to the Presidential Task Force on Women's Rights. Nixon also appointed several more women to his administration then the presidents in the past. He helped to keep our air and water pollution free by signing the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and Clean Air Act of 1970. Nixon also promoted peace among the US and foreign nations. The Paris Peace Accords was signed by him. He promoted peace in China and ended the draft as well. This shows how he didn't want the war to continue or escalate later in his presidency.

Three Mile Island Crisis

The Three Mile Island (TMI) crisis occurred in March of 1979. It was a devastating nuclear meltdown at a plant located in the American state of Pennsylvania. It was actually two different problems that happened during a few days span. First the nuclear plant was malfunctioning and the cooling water was flowing out of an open valve. But then a few days later radiation was coming off of the plant. This had a huge effect on the environment and caused lot of wildlife to die in the area. It also caused harm to human by causing a rise in cancer and birth mortality rates in a close range that would be effected. It effected America economically because less nuclear plants would be build after this. Now they had to find an efficient way of creating energy and distributing the money.

Iranian Hostage Crisis

There was a popular religious nationalist in Iran named Ayatollah Khomeini. He hated the country of America and the citizens. Even though this man was exiled he returned to Iran and started anti-Americanism. He ordered Iranian militants to attack the United States. Back in Iran 66 US diplomats and citizens were captured and kept in the American Embassies in Terheran, Iran on November 4, 1979. They released the women, African-Americans, and the ill. But they kept the rest here for 444 days. This had a huge impact on the economy because the US stopped oil imports from Iran. Now they had to create another source for oil. They also from 8 million Iranian assets. A social change because of this was how Iranian-Americans were treated. Many were expelled from the US and the ones who weren't were treated unfair.

Swann vs. Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

This was a supreme court case where Darius and Vera Swann sued the Charlotte Mecklenburg schools for not letting their son go to an integrated school that was closest to their home. This brought attention to how few integrated schools there were in this area. They still had a large amount of segregation. The city schools were mostly African-American while the suburban schools were white. It also brought to attention that attendance zones were not successful in desegregation. The court came to the conclusion of allowing the use of quotas but disregarding attendance zones. They also provided free transportation by buses to student so schools would have more balance between races. This brought social change to this area and influenced America greatly.


This is an economic condition that occurred in the 1970's in America. A result of this was rising inflation and no business increases or stagnant business activity. Since prices went up people in the work force were let off. The unemployment rate increased. The president at the time was President Carter. He thought that increasing government spending would lead to a stop in the stagflation. The Federal Reserves also played a big part in the stagflation in America. The Fed didn't supply enough money to stop the stagflation. Then this made interest rates go up causing business borrowing to slow. This spiraled the economy into a deep recession.


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