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B3 1970s Convery

Page history last edited by Cory Marshall 10 years, 1 month ago

Alycia Holmyard

Cory Marshall

Benjamin Giddings

Blaine Mizer



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



Business & the Economy


     Many people had great expectations for the economy in the 1970's. They had pictured progress in many aspects of the economy. But along with their hopes and aspirations, it began to drop. Two oil crisises within the 1970's made the economy plunge. Unemployment rates rose as well as inflation, and more foreign companies began producing in the United States. More companies went bankrupt and droughts threatened the economy. All-in-all, the economic hopes of the 70's were filled with disappointment.


     During the 70's, economic strikes took place. One example is when Northwest Airline workers were on strike for five months. People were suffereing because of low wages and high prices of goods in the economy. The arilin workers wanted a higher salary and that is just what they got. Other strikes took place too, and people tried to get their moeny any way they can. People began suing companies. For example, Occidental Petroleum was sued for dumping chemical waste and Anaconda Wire and Cable was fined for polluting the water. Recalls, embezzlement charges and an increase in power of President Nixon over the economy al lead to a downfall in the economy.




     During the 1970’s, education became increasingly significant to the American people. As individuals received more education, their primary statement was that the overall success of any institution depended on the education of its members who were not achieving, compared to those who are achieving highly.As in earlier decades the minorities- collectively blacks, handicapped, immigrants, and, to an extent, women- were receiving less education than those not considered as parts of the minorities. Formerly, all-white schools began to witness the attendance of minorities. 


     Major issues were desegregation, with great strides being made in the South to increase integration in schools, with a rather wide margin of integration having come from southern schools. Along with that, debates for a much more liberal curriculum began, with one side, traditionalists as they were called, arguing that the students learn much easier in a structured style, with much more emphasis memorization and specific performance standards. Progessives believed that students need much more freedom and time to learn what is necessary, and that structure was more so for the convenience of the teacher.



Hot pants  



     During the 1970’s, fashion was mostly influenced by protests of the 1960’s. The clothes were durable, exchangeable, and simple. This way, a person could own fewer clothes but still have many outfits. Also, furs were no longer in the picture because people were becoming more eco-friendly. This decade focused a lot on the independence of women. Many women showed their personality and spirit through their clothing. Because of this, women began to reveal more skin. Some pieces of clothing that were popular in the 1970’s were miniskirts, short shorts and “hot pants”. People during the 1970’s loved to stand out. They wore wild patterns and used sparkles and glitter on their bodies. Although they wore patterns that made everyone look, they still liked grayish colors. Soft and subdued colors were favorable. (Baughman)



Film and theater


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     The film industry in the 1970s was thriving. The movies did what television could not: tell stories that were way more complicated, violent, frightening, and sexy to be shown on on T.V. to families at home. Filmmakers began thinking of film as an art, and began to make films that were intellectually challenging. Studios made, “blockbusters”, which attracted huge audiences. Money spent on movies grew dramatically in this decade. The Godfather (1972) broke all box-office records and fit in to the whole “violent, sexy, compelling” theme that filmmakers found attractive in their films in the 1970s. Also, science-fiction films were very popular as well, such as, Star Wars (1977). This film used a lot of special effects to narrate this extravagantly compelling space adventure.


     The film and theatre of the 1970s reflects a lot upon the 1970s and post WWII.  The film and theatre show that science fiction was really popular in the 1970s, such as Star Wars and Willy Wonka.  It shows how filmmakers enjoyed making movies that were intellectually challenging and made one think.  Also, the movies in the 1970s were also very popular for involving sexy, compelling, and violent themes.  This shows that people in the 1970s were starting to get attracted to the more adventurous films.  However, some films were too sexy or violent that they couldn't be shown to families.  This shows how families in the 1970s wouldn't watch these violent and sexy movies "together" as a family, however, they may have still been interested like many people in the 1970s were.  Shows like The Brady Bunch, a 1970's tv show, could give a wonderful example of how 1970s families functioned.  Also, Star Wars is a wonderful example of the technology created to create the special effects.  Also, from the movie's stand point, Star Wars showed peoples interest in space travel, which might have came up in the 1970s.  So film making in the 1970s was very unique and creative.  It involved science-fiction movies, and also sexy and violent ones as well. 


Food and Drink 

  •  Mug-o-lunch
  •  Passion purple soda
  •  T.V. Dinners
  •  Ding Dongs
  •  Doritos
  •  Mr. Pibb
  •  Moon Pies
  •  Nabisco Cookies
  •  Nerds
  • A&W (and the rootbeer floats) 


     There are, of course, many common foods that were popular in the 1970s, however, there is a common theme with all these foods; they are all prepackaged. The 1970s was a big time for all these foods to make there name in the world, and with all the technology, such as microwaves and toaster ovens, prepackaged foods such as T.V. Dinners, are possible. Also, women and men worked in this era, so it made it hard for proper and hearty meals to be made; so this is when prepackaged foods are useful.  And with all these "new" foods, demand grew higher because of the curiosity of people of the era, and their love of new possibilites (especially of food).


     The food and drink of the 1970s reflect a lot upon the era and the post WWII.  In this era, many technological advances were introduced to the kitchen, such popular devices include, microwave, toaster over, and the crock pot.  Such advances encouraged the production of many prepackaged foods.  Since people were working, nicely prepared meals couldn't have always been prepared.  So meals such as T.V. dinners were made.  Also, fast food restauraunts were popular, such as A&W.  Many prepackaged snack foods, suck as Ding Dongs and Doritos were also popular.  This shows how people in the 1970s didn't have a lot of time for cooking or preparing, so quick foods were very popular.


Print Culture

Writing during the 1970s was much less done by American male writers, and started to be seen more from women and minorities, such as Toni Morrison. Critics published a survey stating that novels were dead, and no longer published were great works of literature.


 Fiction of the time was based more on "trash fiction," which uses heavy doses of sex, money and power. Spy novels became increasingly popular, with on of the famous writers being Robert Ludlum (famous for the Bourne series). A new type of romance genre known as Harlequin Romance sprouted, with these primarily intended for, and more popular amongst, female audiences. The 1970s also gave way to one of the most dominant bestselling writers of the century: horror writer Stephen King. Magazines of the time included People, Ms. which catered to more feminist audiences, and Hustler. 

Sports &  Games


     During the 1970s, money was one of the true driving factors of sports, primarily in football and baseball. Players organized unions in order to get increased pay, and more freedom when it came to team-changing. Baseball started the "free agency," which helped the movement of players, and allowed players to reach more than $1 million a year.


     Baseball was dominated, at the time, by the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Oreoles. In pro football, the team to beat was the Pittsburgh Steelers, who, at the time, had won four Super Bowls. Leading players of the decade included O.J. Simpson (later convicted of murder), Roger Staubach, "Mean" Joe Greene, and Terry Bradshaw.


     However, pro basketball was at a bit of a slump. Still, one of the most dominant players was superstar Julius "Dr. J" Irving of the Philadelphia 76ers. College sports began to increase in popularity, with college basketball and football beginning to be shown on television.



     Popular music of the time was rock-and-roll and funk, with many rock-and-roll musicians having hailed from the United Kingdom. During this time, hard rock became increasingly popular, with such artists as KISS, Queen, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin. KISS, however, was much more famous for the costumes they wore on stage.


     Along with Hard Rock, Punk rock and New Wave rock took hold, Punk having a much harder and louder sound than New Wave, and being much louder. New Wave was much more polished in its playing, but had a very wry humor in it.

Of Punk Rock, bands included the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and the Clash, while prominent bands in New Wave included the Talking Heads and The Cars.

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Queen performing "Bohemian Rhapsody"

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Satyin' Alive by the Bee Gees


 Alongside Hard Rock, Funk became an increasingly popular style to listen to, being made as a dance-type of style, with artists and groups such as Parliament-Funkadelic (technically they were two different bands), who became famous for both their music and the ridiculous outfits they wore onstage, James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, both of whom used a style which rock, Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Jazz, and Funk, which later became associated with the  "Black Pride" movement during the time.


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"The Way We Lived"    

     In the 1970’s, day-to-day life was profoundly affected by the radical ideas of the sixties. One example of this was with environmentalism, or more commonly known as “Green Politics.”A prime example of environmentalism was the first Earth Day held in 1970.

     The 1970s will also be remembered as the decade of fads. Fads such as jogging and aerobics, became vastly used due to their style of exercise and people could wear just about anything while working out. Other popular fads of the 1970s included streaking, running naked in public places such as college campuses, and the purchasing of pet rocks and mood rings.

     As the fads of the 1970's set in, the youthful baby boomers, who had largely populated the activist movements of the 1960s, were settling down. As they did, they looked inward, towards self reflection, instead of outward. As a result of this period of settling down and self-reflection, fewer people protested in the streets, and many more visited therapists or sought to improve their spiritual lives. This quest for individual perfection led to a growth divorce rate, as people found it more acceptable to leave a marriage, if it did not make them happy or fulfilled.

Government & Politics

     It was in the 1970s that the Vietnam War had started to end. The war had caused a lengthy division of Americans: those who were in support of the war, and those who were opposed. President Richard Nixon had begun talks with the USSR about the Cold War, and talks with diplomatic talks with China about an arms-agreement, as the detente era of the Cold War had begun.


     At the same time, in the U.S., trade balances began to decline, and the U.S. saw a loss of power in the world markets. This came primarily from an increase in Japanese and European activity, and led to imbalances in the U.S. oil market and an increased trade deficit. America tried to conduct a less ambitious foreign policy, but due to president Jimmy Carter's human rights policy, the attempts to do this were completely undermined. America was unable to interfere with incursions by the Soviet Union in Africa, and, in 1979, was utterly defenseless against a seizure of American diplomats by Iranian diplomats in Tehran. After this, other countries began to see the U.S. as a "second-rate power."





  • On August 9th, 1974, the day that president Nixon resigned from his presidency, I, Gerald Ford, took oath as the new president of the United States.

  • While I was in office, there was a democratic majority in office, and they passed legislation without listening to my views, knowing that I was unpopular.

  • As a result, I vetoed legislation which made an uneasy government.

  • In 1973, when Nixon was in office, Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, had agreed to “accept joint responsibility for preserving international peace by refraining from the threat or use of force,” (576 Ford).

  • My country felt betrayed when the Soviets assisted Egypt and Syria in attacking Israel.

  • I tried easing tension by providing assistance to Israel and Egypt.

  • My successful effort convinced the two countries to halt the fighting temporarily.

  • I also continued improving our relations with the Soviet Union and worked with Soviet leaders to have further limitations on nuclear weapons.

Although he won the election of 1976, he lost to his democratic rival, Jimmy Carter


Jimmy Carter:

     Carter had many difficulties while he was in office. The fact that he couldn't convince congress or the American public to adopt his energy plan was a BIG reason for the problems he placed while in office. Many people viewed him as an unskilled legislative worker. However, he has had success; he founded the departments of energy and education.


     The leadership of the U.S. during the 1970s reflects a lot upon this era and post WWII.  For one, many of the leaders began to ease relations between countries.  Such as, Nixon easing relations with soviet leader, Leonid Brezhniv, and Ford easing relations with Israel and Egypt.  For the leadership of the era, many of the leaders tried to begin new possibilites, and so many things were founded.  Such as Jimmy Carter and his finding of the departments of energy and education.  The motivation of the leaders reflects upon America, and the motivation of the people of America during the 1970s.  The leaders tried making new beginnings, while at the same time new beginnings were happening for America as well.  Gerald Ford came into office with a positive additude after Nixon resigned because of the watergate scandal.  So the leaders of America during the 1970s strived for helping America and new beginnings.



Law &  Justice


     In the 1970’s, death penalty was an extremely controversial issue. Most said that it was unconstitutional and cruel but others believed it to be a good punishment for some crimes. A popular case is Furman v. Georgia. In this case, the justices were split; mostly because the criteria for the death penalty was random and therefore one could not tell for sure whether or not they crime deserved the penalty. After this case, more states rewrote the criteria for the penalty so there would be less confusion. Although there were tighter restrictions on who deserves the death penalty, groups such as the Legal Defense and Education Fund still fought against it. Throughout the late 1970's, the number of criminals on the death penalty list increased but less people wre being executed.



     Palimony became an issue in the 1970's. Palimony is the splitting of money and property, as if in a divorce, but between two people who are not married. It was in almost every newspaper and was very popular. Divorces and Palimony are different though. One person gets a total of 2-years salary instead of half of the property, money and belongings.




Because of WWII, church attendance had declined. More people stayed

 home and watched church on the television.

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     Because of the “baby boom” in the 1960’s, church attendance increased. More and more families attended church to instill a religious factor into their children’s lives, preferably Christian.  There was a point during the early 1970’s when more and more protests initiated. People began to conform to more unconventional types of religions such as Buddhism, yoga, and meditation. But as the “baby boomers” grew up to be middle-aged citizens, they began to seek spiritual support. Most went back to the churches where they grew up and wanted to discover their inner selves. They were all about individuality and wanted to find some religion or practice that fit them. To them, religion was less about being religious and more about being spiritual.



Positive Political Cartoon




"There's no need for an independent investigation–We have everything well in hand"

Negative Political Cartoon



"Now, as I was saying four years ago-"  


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



     Culture reflected America in many ways in the 1970s. Film and theatre were big on sex, violence, and compelling themes, which were not able to be shown on family televisions. This shows how filmmakers made movies in a different view and made them intellectually challenging. Science fiction theme was popular, and represented America's interest in technology and space travel. Also, the interest in technology plays in to the food and drink aspect of the 1970s. Many technological advances were created, which allowed prepackaged foods to be prepared quickly when time was short.


     Leadership reflected America in many ways in the 1970s. The leaders of the country were all about improving things and starting new beginnings, just like the film age and food aspect of this era. Nixon resolved conflicts with soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev; Ford eased tensions with Israel and Egypt; and Carter founded the departments of Energy and Education. These leaders were interested in solving problems, and beginning a new era, the 1970s.




Works Cited 

"1970s: Music." Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th-Century America. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 4: 1960s-1970s. Detroit: UXL, 2002. 981-982. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 2 June 2010.

"The 1970s: Education: Overview." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 8: 1970-1979. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 June 2010.


"Women's Fashion." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 8: 1970-1979. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 26 May 2010.


 "Ford, Gerald R." U*X*L Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E. Brannen, Jr., and Rebecca Valentine. Ed. Lawrence W. Baker and Sarah Hermsen. Vol. 3. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 573-577. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 1 June 2010.


"Carter, Jimmy." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity, Jr. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 450-452. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 1 June 2010.
"1970s: Film and Theater." Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th-Century America. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 4: 1960s-1970s. Detroit: UXL, 2002. 961-962. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 June 2010.
Grosvenor Jr., Charles R., Home Page. Worcester. 9 June 2010 <http://www.inthe70s.com/food/>


“The Death Penalty.” American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 8: 1970-1979. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 26 May 2010.


"The 1970s: Religion: Overview." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 8: 1970-1979. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 26 May 2010.


"Marvin, Michelle 1931-." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 8: 1970-1979. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 26 May 2010.


"The 1970s: Business and the Economy: Overview." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 8: 1970-1979. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 June 2010. 


"Business and the Economy: Important Events of the 1970s." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 8: 1970-1979. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 June 2010.  


 "1970s: Print Culture." Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th-Century America. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 4: 1960s-1970s. Detroit: UXL, 2002. 997. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 June 2010.

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