Modern Era (1946 ~ present)

New York Harbor
New York harbor on a hazy day with a silhouette of the statue of liberty in the background.

The development and growth of the United States during this era was influenced by helping Europe recover from World War II and U.S. involvement in other wars–mainly the Cold War with the Soviet Union and the Vietnam and Korean Wars. (The Cold War was not a real war with the Soviet Union; this term refers to the chilly relations the U.S. had with the formerly communist nation, which, since its breakup, is called Russia.) In the States, the “Red Scare” of communism of 1950 resulted in the McCarthy hearings. Senator Joseph McCarthy accused many Americans of being communists, which led to loss of employment for many artists, teachers, and government employees.

Several prominent figures, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., John Kennedy, and Richard Nixon, helped shape America’s modern era. During this time, Americans went to the moon, ushered in the civil rights movement and the fight for equal rights for women, established relations with China, and witnessed the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe.