Unit 3 - A Half-Century of Crisis & Achievement (early 1900's-1970's)

Why this Unit?
This teaching unit will help students understand a Half-Century of Crisis & Achievement (early 1900's - 1970's). New international alliances, treaties, fight to maintain national identities, revolutions, and independence movements established a foundation for the political crisis that dominated this time period. Financial crisis, in the form of the Great Depression, drove already fragile countries as a result of World War I into a tailspin. Millions of people unemployed, wages dropping, and an ever-increasing sense of insecurity contributed to the rise of fascism in Germany and Italy. Efforts to regain Germany's national identity and power gave rise to Hitler and served as a catalyst for World War II.
When the dust settled, two superpowers emerged - the United States of America and the Soviet Union. With weakened European political and economic systems, decolonization and independence movements became the cry heard throughout Africa and Southeast Asia. Colonial powers continued to exert force and use of their allies to try and maintain a hold on their colonies. In addition, the ideas of communism were spreading to the decolonized, newly formed countries. Communist ideals clashed with the ideals of democracy and capitalism. So, in order to preven the spread of Communism and to promote democracy, crisis arose in places like Korea and Vietnam and resulted in the Cold War between the Soviets and the Americans - as both had demonstrated nuclear supremacy.
Despite all the political and economic problems, this was a time of great technological innovation. The Manhattan Project that gave birth to the atomic bomb also placed greater emphasis on science which would lead to the race for space and new technologies. Communication systems, transportation systems, and cultural institutions were greatly impacted by the mass production of telephones, cars, radios, videos, and computer technology.
These events created a sense of promise for the future but also sset up many paradoxes tor contradictions that contained within them a grain of truth.
Enduring Understandings: 
  • Scientific and technological innovations have had global implications.
  • Ideals of freedom, equality, justice, and citizenship have changed over time and across societies.
  • Increasing global economic interdependence defines/redefines political and economic alliances.
  • Migration, trade, and wars lead to the diffusion of language, religion, customs, ideals, and changes in economic and governmental policies.
    • Interacting cultures create social, political, economic, and cultural change.
    • Technology can be used to modify the physical environment but may cause negative environmental effects.
Essential Questions:

1.  How does increased global interaction affect the political, economic, cultural and environmental systems?
2.  How do advancements affect the political, economic, cultural, and environmental systems?
3.  How does change happen in society and what are the ramifications?

NCSCOS Goals & Clarifying Objectives:
7.H.1 - Use historical thinking to analyze various societies.
  • 7.H.1.1 - Construct charts, graphs, and historical narratives to explain particular events or issues over time.
  • 7.H.1.2 - Summarize the literal meaning of historical documents in order to establish context.
  • 7.H.1.3 - Use primary and secondary sources to interpret various historical perspectives.
7.H.2 - Understand the implications of global interactions.
  • 7.H.2.1 - Analyze the effects of social, economic, military, and political conflict among nations, regions, and groups.
  • 7.H.2.2 - Evaluate the effectiveness of cooperative efforts and consensus building among nations, regions, and groups.
  • 7.H.2.3 - Explain how increased global interaction accelerates the pace of innovation in modern societies.
  • 7.H.2.4 - Analyze the economic, political, and social impacts of disease in modern societies.
7.G.1 - Understand how geography, demographic trends, and environmental conditions shape modern societies and regions.
  • 7.G.1.1 - Explain how environmental conditions and human response to those conditions influence modern societies and regions.
  • 7.G.1.2 - Explain how demographic trends lead to conflict, negotiation, and compromise in modern socieites and regions.
  • 7.G.1.3 - Explain how natural disasters, preservation efforts, and human modification of the environment affect modern societies and regions.
7.G.2 - Apply the tools of a geographer to understand societies and regions.
  • 7.G.2.1 - Construct maps, charts, and graphs to explain data about geographic phenomena.
  • 7.G.2.2 - Use maps, charts, graphs, geographic data, and available technology tools to interpret and draw conclusions about social, economic, and environmental issues in modern societies and regions.
7.E.1 - Understand the economic activities of societies and regions.
  • 7.E.1.1 - Explain how competition for resources affects the economic relationships among nations.
  • 7.E.1.2 - Explain the implications of economic decisions in national and international affairs.
  • 7.E.1.3 - Summarize the main characteristics of various economic systems.
  • 7.E.1.4 - Explain how personal financial decision-making impacts quality of life.
7.C.&G.1 - Understand the development of government in modern societies and regions.
  • 7.C.&G.1.1 - Summarize the ideas that have shaped political thought in various societies and regions.
  • 7.C.&G.1.2 - Evaluate how the Western concept of democracy has influenced the political ideas of modern societies.
  • 7.C.&G.1.3 - Compare the requirements for and responsibilities of citizenship under various governments in modern societies.
  • 7.C.&G.1.4 - Compare the sources of power and governmental authority in various societies.
7.C.1 - Understand how cultural values influence relationships between individuals, groups and political entities in modern societies and regions.
  • 7.C.1.1 - Explain how culture unites and divides modern societies and regions.
  • 7.C.1.2 - Explain how cultural expressions influence modern societies.
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