Subject Material

American History after 1945

Published: 06.08.2012, Updated: 04.03.2017
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Post-War AmericaPost-War America
Opphavsmann: Åse Elin Langeland

The following articles provide a historical overview of the American post-war era, taking you through the last half of the 20th century and into the new millennium. Each article lists additional sources and activities which should help you gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the US after WWII including those in the present day.



The Cold War Era – A Precarious Peace

The Fifties and the Sixties 

The Seventies and the Eighties 

The 1990s – The Electronic Age 

Into a New Millenium



Film Recommendation

Forrest Gump is a film based on a novel by the same name. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis in 1994, and Forrest, portrayed by Tom Hanks, immediately became one of the most popular film characters ever. In the film we get to meet the physically and mentally disabled boy Forrest who was born in Alabama in 1944. We are admitted to his life story from his birth until his beloved Jenny dies in 1982. As a backdrop to his extraordinary life, we are witnesses to many historical events and “hot” social issues from the 50s right up to the early 80s.


See Forrest Gump - Revisited.


Scrap Book

Make a digital scrap book where you provide five pictures/photos that illustrate crucial events in one decade of American post-war history. Add brief subtitles. You should also decorate by using scrap book props, i.e. symbols, emoticons, posters, slogans and pieces of art.

You may take prints and display the posters in your class room.


Comprehension and Vocabulary

We recommend the digital tool to make multiple choice questions and vocabulary tests for these articles. Let the students make these "tests" themselves, sharing and challenging their classmates.


Word Clouds

Word clouds are collections of words from a document or documents that show the frequency of word use by their size, and are often designed in a unique manner. (See the word cloud at the top of this page.) Reading through the articles on American history you can create word clouds using the application Wordle Create. These word clouds are useful tools for reflection. You can compare your word cloud with those of other students and discuss choice and frequency of words. You can also print them to decorate your classroom or embed them on your website.



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