The economic growth, cultural innovation and political apathy of the 1920s ended in the Great Depression which spurred new forms of government intervention and renewed labor activism, followed by World War II and an economic resurgence.
The end of the Cold War, shifting geopolitical dynamics, the intensification of the global economy and rapidly changing technologies have given renewed urgency to debates about the United States’ identity, values and role in the world.
Economic expansion and the conquest of indigenous and Mexican territory spurred the agricultural and industrial growth of the United States; led to increasing regional, economic and ethnic divisions; and inspired multiple reform movements.
Regional tensions around economic development, slavery, territorial expansion and governance resulted in a Civil War and a period of Reconstruction that led to the abolition of slavery, a more powerful federal government, a renewed push into indigenous nations’ territory and continuing conflict over racial relations.
Post-World War II United States was shaped by an economic boom, Cold War military engagements, politics and protests, and rights movements to improve the status of racial minorities, women and America’s indigenous peoples.