I need to write two big summaries that talk about politics in the 1960s. They both need to fill up an entire front page and cover the topics comprehensively.

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The 1960s was a transformational era in politics in many countries of the world, with countercultural and protest movements especially popular in the western world, and communist regimes dominating many of the larger nations of the east. Because this period was the height of the Cold War, in which western democracies and eastern communist regimes existed in a state of general hostility to one another, you could focus one article on the west and the other on the east.

The Western 1960s:

The European Union: In Europe, perhaps the most important change was the development of the European Economic Community or Common Market, and its gradual evolution into the European Union, which included both a currency union and a customs union. 

Building of the Berlin Wall: In 1961, the Soviet Union built the Berlin Wall, partitioning East from West Germany; the breaking of the wall in 1989 was the key event in the reunification of Germany.

Bay of Pigs/Cuban Missile Crisis: This series of incidents of 1960-1962 determined the relationship of the United States to Cuba and also perhaps the closest that the U.S. and Soviet Union have come to nuclear war. 

Civil Rights Movement: In the United States, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark in the development of racial equality. The 1960s were a period of protest, in which various disenfranchized groups, including ethnic minorities, gays, and women began demanding equal rights in law and practice.

Student/Countercultural Movements: The well-known student protests and countercultural movements were associated with oppposition to war and support of civil rights.

Environmental Movement: Beginning with the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and culminating with the first Earth Day in 1970, the 1960s were a landmark in the growth of the environmental movement.

The 1960s in the East:

In China, the major event of the 1960s was Mao's Cultural Revolution in 1966 which involved massive purges of not only actual dissidents but intellectuals, displacing millions of people, and in many ways destroying China's economy and harming its cultural heritage.

In the Soviet Union, the 1960s were dominted by  Leonid Brezhnev, whose rule emphasized a return to social and economic stability. It was a period of massive industrialization, and increased centralization of Soviet authority in Russia. The middle class grew, as did the beginnings of consumer society. During this period, the intelligensia became increasingly disenchanted with communism, but tended to be deported rather than persecuted as they had been under Stalin. 

thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A country's leaders are another element of the political picture. Please ask a second question (rather than adding a reply to this one) if need help with the topic of presidents during the period. 

Read the study guide:
American Literature in the 1960's

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