OCR GCSE History: The USA 1945–1974

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The USA 1945–1974

This depth study focuses on the relationship between the people and the state in the USA

from 1945–1974. Learners will need to be familiar with the key issues specified in the introduction to the non-British depth studies on page 14 of the specification. These issues will be assessed.

Post-war challenges in the USA 1945–1954

  • Concerns of US government about the influence of Communism in the USA and responses to these concerns, including media campaigns highlighting American values and institutions;
  • The Red Scare of the late 1940s, including the role of Herbert Hoover and the Rosenberg case;
  • Reaction to the Red Scare;
  • The nature of, support for and opposition to McCarthyism;
  • The position of African Americans in US society, including the Jim Crow Laws, access to education, voting rights and lack of equality in employment.

Civil Rights in the USA 1954–1964

  • The development and achievements of the civil rights movement, including Brown vs. Board of Education 1954;
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott 1956; leadership of Martin Luther King in civil rights campaigns;
  • Roles of the SNCC, SCLC, NAACP in civil rights campaigns;
  • Opposition to the civil rights movement, including illegal organisations and the police and state authorities;
  • The contribution of government and official institutions in improving civil rights, including the roles of the Supreme Court in civil rights campaigns;
  • The roles of Kennedy and Johnson in civil rights campaigns;
  • Reasons for, and impact of, the Civil Rights Act 1964.

Government and dissent c.1964–1974

  • Development and impact of African American radical movements and leaders, including Malcolm X and Black Power;
  • Impact of civil rights campaigns for Native Americans and Chicanos;
  • Development of feminist movements, including Betty Friedan and National Organisation for Women;
  • The impact of feminism, including Status Commission 1963, Equal Pay Act, use of Civil Rights Act, the 1972 Supreme Court ruling on equal rights;
  • Stonewall riots 1969;
  • Political, economic and social divisions in the USA: anti-Vietnam War protests, campaigns to improve welfare of the poor, Johnson’s ‘Great Society’, Nixon’s pledges on welfare.

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