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B2 1990s De Zwaan

Page history last edited by Christina 13 years, 11 months ago

 Christina Darin, Nayla Raad,

Emma Burt, Cordell Zachary,

and Sarah Majid



MYP Unit Question: How did culture, events and leadership shape and reflect post-WWII America?


The 1990s




     In the 1990s, education was a priority for many people. Many parents, students, and teachers wanted higher test grades and so much attention was put to the type of education students were receiving. Teachers that weren’t good enough were fired and curriculums that were not challenging enough were changed.  Since the 1960s, the amount of people who stayed in high school for all four years doubled.  Many new styles of learning were practiced such as all year round school or school online. Also, many schools required the students to wear uniforms.


     The government took part in wanting every child to have an education. Congress passed the “Elementary and Secondary School Act” saying that no child should be left behind. Children with disabilities or mental problems could still attend school. Everyone was given equal opportunity to have an education. Also, because the economy was doing well, more money was put into the public schools in America.


     What also came to attention in the 1990s was the use of the drug Ritalin in school. Parents were worried about their children and some schools had to call in the police with dogs to sniff for the drug.


     Because the internet was invented during this time period, school also progressed technologically. Students could research on the internet and computers were more common for students to use. This gave more freedom for both teachers and students in school during the 1990s. The students made better work and because of that scores were raised and both teachers and parents were proud.


     Overall, education in the 1990s was growing and prospering for all. More children were able to go to school and what they studied was improved to be more challenging. One issue was having drugs at school which concerned many parents and also because of the internet, more things could be done in school.





     During the 1990’s decade, fashion changed year by year.  Each year had a new unique style yet there were slight similarities evident through all the trends. 


Bolo ties are popular for mean in the early 1990’s.  Designer Ralph Lauren displays them in his polo line and many celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen are seen sporting them.

Fashion transforms from the “power dressing” of the 1980’s which was very strict and linear and becomes more soft and curvy.


Designers such as Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel grab scissors and add jagged, rough edges to their clothes, including gowns that look as if they have lost their lining.




The “bold red lip” is declared as stylish and beautiful by Vogue. 


The nautical theme of stripes and navy blue blazers becomes popular for men.

Chanel creates the Vamp Nail Polish which come in dark crimson red colors.


Mary Jane shoes become popular amongst women across America for their comfort and school-girl style. 


All the rage is simple chic.  Both men and women go for simple, classic pieces that still have a sense of style.


The minimalism present in the earlier decades is almost completely gone.  It is replaced by luxurious fabrics, beads, and ball gowns.  Popular colors for women are bold and bright including fire-engine red, canary yellow and sapphire blue. 

Khakis ultimately replace denim jeans for both men and women.



Not much was different from 1998, except the tankini became tremendously popular.  This was a bathing suit with bikini bottoms paired with a tank top.






Film and theater

     In the 1990's, movies were most commonly seen and bought in video format. There were many hit films such as Titantic, The Truman Show, Jurassic Park, and Apollo 13. Children's Disney movies were also a big hit in the nineties. Some of the many Disney movies of the time include Beauty and the Beast, the Mighty Ducks, Aladdin, the Three Musketeers, Angels in the Outfield, Pocahontas, the Lion King, Toy Story, 101 Dalmatians, Muland, the Parent Trap, and Tarzan.


     Tv shows were also common for many Americans to watch. In the nineties, the Simpsons became a popular hit and other shows such as Baywatch and Friends got much attention. Humor series were popular and reality television was also popular. Below is the trailer for The Lion King:


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Food &  Drink

     The food and drink of the 1990's varied. Many foods for dinner at home or out to eat were hamburgers, salads, hot dogs, and seafood. During this time many new snacks or candies were first made. Some new sweets included Bottle Pops, Airheads, Zebra gum, and candy necklaces. Other new things were Hot Pockets and Crystal Pepsi (Yes this is Pepsi that is clear!). Gushers and go-gurts also came out.




Print Culture


     Before the 1900’s people would always read their novels, magazines and newspapers on paper. After the revolution of the internet and the use of tapes, there was a significant change in the print culture. During this decade recorded books became popular because the prices of these items dropped, and the opportunity of being able to listen to tapes in the car, even though recorded books has been around for a long time. The invention “e-books” which was another electronic type of print media, brought major alteration as well in print culture. Using e-books, readers could download books onto personal devices, such as the computer, and be able to read at their convenience. Not only were books being made into electronic versions, but magazines and newspaper publishers were using it too. Websites were largely known for their reading materials online, and are still used today.  




     Although these new ways of media was highly popular, a lot of Americans were still fixed with the same popular newspapers, magazines and best sellers. Some of the names that continued to stay as the best sellers of the decade were Stephen King, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, and Michael Crichton. A lot of the novels promptly became movies such as Jurassic Park. Another novel that was a stir to not only the United States, but the entire world, was Harry Potter. Although many admired the book, many also prohibited it because it was accused of promoting witchcraft. Many sequels were able to follow and it led to a great success. This decade was truly a major change in print media, and a step forward into America’s future.


Business and Economy


     America’s economy during the 1990’s did not start off so well. There was a recession that lasted from July 1990 all the way to March 1991. In this time the economy proved to have the least growth rate since the Great Depression. There was a loss of 1.9 million jobs through early 1992, and if it was not for enlarged government expenditure it could have been just as bad as the Great Depression. Many experts blame the recession towards industrial overcapacity, which led to declining benefit standards for many businesses. Since oil prices increased because of the Persian Gulf War and the delay in the rate of population growth, the overall decrease in consumption was an effect, which was another reason for the recession.


     During this decade the U.S. faced its longest era of economic development. After the 1990 recession, individual profits had nearly doubled, and there was advanced productivity overall. The invention of the internet was a big contribution towards this change. The internet was a key change for most Americans. The internet brought accessibility to a selection of information which allowed people and businesses to work more competently and beneficially. New technology brought in endless potential as well. Online companies were able to outshine even famous corporations, investment and advertising became more available and resourceful, and bureaucracies were knocked down. This time known to as the “New Economy” defied the perception that inflation would consequence from a growth rate higher than 2.5 percent joined with an unemployment rate under 5 percent. Since the 1970’s America was able to surpass these rates after 1993.




     Due to the economic changes companies had changed their organization technique and strategies as well as their business process and performance. An example of a change in method was reengineering, where a company could recognize their activities and procedures and make them as competent as possible. The “New Economy” affected different divisions of the labor force in a range of ways. The summit percentile of workers got towering salaries, and many times there were not enough people to fill in the roles of people with this specific skillfulness. At the same time economic globalization was all the time more controlled by the multinational corporations.


     Although many multibillion companies were dominating the economy, many of the small companies prospered as well. Small businesses were successful three of out the five businesses made. It continued to linger as a good option to potential investors. In disparity, some workers who were in short of education and skills were often absent in the innovative information supported economy. Overall due to the major revolutionized inventions such as the internet, this decade was able to take a major turn into a more well-off economy.


Sports &  Games


      Television was a household necessity and sports games were being viewed at an alarming rate.  In basketball sports heroes like Michael Jordan were coming at their peek and blazing to a spot in the hall of fame. Michael won his first NBA championship between the hall of famer Magic Johnson. He went on to win 5 more titles and became the widely proclaimed best basketball player in history of the NBA.  Baseball was controlled by to heavy hitters Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were competing for a record of most home runs hit in a single season.

     The Woman’s National Basketball Association was founded and wasn’t as popular as the other sports in the era. Also, another accomplishment by women was U.S.’s winning of the first Women’s World Cup. Also, tennis was being revolutionized by the terrible tandem of Venus and Serena Williams who dominated Women’s tennis in the 1990’s and in 1999 Serena won her first US. Open. The 1990’s were full of rivalries, record breaking performances which made the era great for sports.  Also, 21 year old Tiger Woods becoming both the youngest and the first American of multiracial descent to win the Masters.

     When children weren’t watching their favorite athlete they were playing on their video game consoles which were very popular in the 90’s. With new consoles such as the Nitendo 64 and the Sega Dreamcast the number of people going to arcades declined since the games could be played at home. The Playstation was the best of its time and included popular games such as Super Mario, Tomb Raider, and Pokemon.





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     During the 1990's hip hop became very popular. Teen pop and grunge music was also a big hit. Popular singers and band groups include Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, N' Sync, and the Backstreet Boys. The rave movement also was popular in the nineties. Below is the music video for Everybody by the Backstreet Boys.



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"The Way We Lived"


     The 1990's was a decade that was special to the evolution of America turning into the greatest nation on earth. The main contribution of evolution of the 1990's was the new technology. The internet was invented and this made it easier for friends and family to talk online. This increased communication and knowledge. Although personal computers grew popular in the 1980's the invention of the World Wide Web and the use of email made personal computers a necessity for living. The use of computers was sky rocketing and soon people were able to shop, communicate, and do many other things while sitting in their home office.




     When people weren't on the computer, they were at work, school, or eating with the family. The role of family was very important during the 1990s. Parents cared about what was happening at school with their children. Also, people enjoyed their time with their extended family having get togethers and large parties. Enjoying oneself and their family was important in everyday life in the 1900s.


     Even though families were close teens seemed to go through many hardships that was not seen in previous decades. Classes and campaigns had warned the people of the deadliness of Aids but even with the threat of AIDS, the number of sexually active teens is significantly higher than it was in the 80's.


     Life in the 1990s was stressful to young people, the numbers of teenage pregnancies continue to rise, The number of minorities living at the poverty level grew to a very high number, and there are a growing number of single parent households. These and other things caused a rise in suicide rates amongst teens to about 18 suicides per 100,000 teen.


     The 90's also had a lighter side, new technology and discoveries led different American drug companies to new cures for certain illnesses such as Prozac for depression and Viagra for male impotence. Also, kids were having fun with their various toys and activities. Beanie Babies were very cute and children collected them heavily. Also, babies loved the playful voice of Tickle Me Elmo which was created from the character from the hit show Sesame Street. Also, the invention of roller blades created an activity that teens could participate in with their friends to partake in exercise and enjoyment.




Government & Politics

     The President holding office during the 1990's was President Bill Clinton and the first lady Hillary Clinton who recently ran for a spot in the elections against Obama and others of the democratic party. Clinton was the first president to be born after World War II marking a turning point in the government and times moving forward in peace.


     Some of the issues that Clinton wanted to focus on were national health insurance, civil rights and education. As far as civil rights, Clinton promised through his speeches that he would give more equality to the gay and lesbian community. Clinton's solution to this was to introduce the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to the army. This angered many Americans of both straight and gay orientation.   


     By the end of his first term however in contrast to the rough start with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, there was peace with foreign nations and a prosperous economy so Clinton was easily re-elected to his second term in office. During this second term, a young intern Monica Lewinsky was given a chance to work with the president and the two were accused of having an inappropriate relationship. Clinton denied all the accusations and continually made public statements saying that the rumors about the two were false. This as well as other elements brought Clinton to the supreme court where he was tried for impeachment where it was found that he did in fact have a non business relationship with Lewinsky, leading to his impeachment. 


Negative Comic on the honesty of President Bill Clinton 





For the first time in 53 years, Romania held free elections.

Smoking on domestic flights is banned.

Saddam Hussein sends Iraq into Kuwait.



US and UN soldiers invade Iraq.

Iraq later accepts peace terms. (Gulf War)



President Bush and the Russian President Boris Yeltsin meet to formally end the Cold War.

Hurricane Andrew hits the Florida coast and moves over Louisiana. This is the most costly hurricane to date costing $15 to $20 million.

The World Wide Web can now be used for use at home



Bill Clinton is inaugurated

26 of February, a bomb explodes in the basement of the World Trade Center



US seizes Haiti

A 6.6 earthquake hits California

President Nixon dies

Clinton is accused of having sexual relations when he was governor of Arkansas



Ramzi Ahmed Youset is arrested for the bombing of the World Trade Center



Terrorist bombs at Atlanta Summer Olympics

Madeleine Korbel was appointed as first female secretary of state



Princess Diana was killed in a car accident

Clinton re-elected

First cloning of Dolly the sheep



Clinton denies alleged affair with Lewinsky

Clinton admits his affair in front of the grand jury



Clinton fights off impeachment





     People of intrest during the 1990's included Carol Moseley Braun, who in 1992 became the first African American woman to a position in the senate. In her first year, Braun 'sponsored several pieces of civil rights legislation, including the Gender Equity in Education Act and the 1993 Violence Against Women Act, and reintroduced the Equal Rights Amendment' (Russell). After her term in the senate, Braun became the US embassador to New Zealand, after loosing her chance at re-election.





   Dee Dee Myers was made Bill Clintons Press Secretary in 1993, the first woman to hold this position in history. Not only being the first woman, Myers was the second youngest press secretary to serve in office. In this position, Myers made moves to show the world that women are not to be overlooked in the White House. After her term as Press Secretary, Myers went on to write a book entitled, Why Women Should Rule the World.




Law &  Justice


     One of the biggest cases that took place in the 1990's was that of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. During his terms in office, Clinton was accused of having an affair with an intern in the white house Monica Lewinsky. Denying this accusations Clinton assured the public that there was nothing between himself and the young intern. 


     Later being put on trial for his statements about the extent of a relationship he had with Lewinsky, Clinton confessed under oath to have had some form of relations with the intern. Not only had the president of the United States cheated on his wife, but lied to the nation. After all of this Clinton was impeached. 








     In the 1990s, religion was varied in the United States. Some people were following Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. Others were Buddhist or Hindus. 40 percent of Americans went to a relgious service on a daily basis. 95 percent of American believed in God. At this time, people were allowed to believe in what they wanted to and that it why America had so many different religions. America was very diverse i nthe 1990s and with this, so was the religion. Also, people were also spending time doing other things like spending time with family or hanging out with friends at the time so going to a religious service was important but sometimes was pushed out of the way. 


Positive Political Cartoon


U.S Farmers leaving the dark 80's for the bright 90's 


Negative Political Cartoon





MYP Unit Question: How did culture, events and leadership shape and reflect post-WWII America?


     The 1990’s in America was a decade full of music, fashion, key political movements and portrayed an overall vivid, upbeat lifestyle.  Throughout all of the events, culture and different types of leadership that were seen throughout the 90’s, many of these in fact shape and reflect post-WWII America.  Coming 45 years after the end of World War II, it is evident that the people and actions of the 90’s are often shaped by the historical war that would never be forgotten even in numerous decades to come. 

     In terms of culture, the 1990’s were lively and energetic even amongst the poorest of people.  People in all types of communities enjoyed going out with family friends to eat burgers, fries, watch movies, and listen to music, dance, and play sports.  This vibrant culture was not very similar to the lifestyle during the 40’s and 50’s.  The Great Depression and World War II had cast a heavy, glooming shadow over America in those essential decades and yet the decades following including the 1990’s demonstrate the recovery spirit that many Americans chose to follow.  American culture represented the prosperity that the nation needed to recover from one of the most memorable wars in history. 

     The major events that happened in the 1990s also took part in shaping America after World War II. In the early 1990s, there was the Gulf War against Iraq and then there was also many terrorist attacks in the United States. These events shaped the feelings of many Americans and changed their views of other countries around the world. People became very cautious pertaining towards immigrants and who they trusted outside of the United States.

      Another major event of the 1990s was the Clinton Scandal. President Clinton was accused of having sexual relations with a woman. At a press conference he said that the accusations were false. Later in court, he admited to the charges. To the American people, this was very outrageous. The person who was in charge of making decisions for the country lied to them. The people began to not trust their leader and this caused much discomfort for many politicians and the American public. This was one event of the 1990s that shaped America after World War II.

     Overall, to a great extent culture, events, and leadership did shape American post World War II. These three things shaped the emotions, trends, and lives of the American people. Because of the pop culture, the Gulf War feelings, and the Clinton Scandal, the identity of America was changed during the 1990s.




Works Cited

"Important Events of the 1990s." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 10: 1990-1999. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 4 June 2010.


"Overview." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 10: 1990-1999. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 8 June 2010.


"People in the News." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 10: 1990-1999. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 June 2010.


Russell, Thaddeus. "Moseley-Braun, Carol." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Ed. Colin A. Palmer. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006. 1492. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 June 2010.


"The 1940s: Lifestyles and Social Trends: Overview." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 5: 1940-1949. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 June 2010.


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