"the '70s" in U.S. is from late '73 gas lines to Reagan's optimism after near brush March 30, 1981?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by GeographyDude, Mar 14, 2019 at 3:44 PM.

  1. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Thesis:

    The beginning of the '70s period of "blah" and diminished expectations started slowly over a matter of months from the Oct. '73 OPEC oil embargo and resulting price rises to the gas lines in late '73 and early '74.

    "The '70s" ended abruptly with Reagan's optimism and good cheer following Hinckley's assassination attempt on March 30, 1981. That evening on the news and in the days following, it was widely reported that Ronnie had said to Nancy, "Honey, I forgot to duck," and that he had asked his aides, "Who's minding the store?" and that he had said to the doctors, "Please tell me you're all Republicans." And actually Dr. Joe Giordano, although a liberal Democrat, rose to meet the moment and said, "We're all Republicans today."

    The feeling was that we were lucky to have a guy with this kind of optimism and can-do spirit.
     
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  2. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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  3. Sam R. Well-Known Member

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    For whom?

    The Australian left’s 70s are Whitlam’s first failure in the 60s and the Balmain Soviet/Australian film renaissance through to the Tasmanian ALP conference in the 80s.

    I think it is important to not totalise cultures. US sci-fi wasn’t blah. Rather than stab-in-the-back US civilians with military experience conducted self reflection involving some rather culturally mature existentialism. Etc. political Christianity began another revival.
     
  4. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Some individual citizens decided, yes, we can be in the wrong during a war, and realizing this can be part of growing maturity. But it wasn’t enough to change the political center of gravity.

    For example, we continued propping up dictatorships.
     
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  5. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Maybe this is true for how the 1970s is remembered in American pop culture, but I don't think we should use this framework when looking back on the decade as historical observers. To truly understand the decade, start in 1970 and end in 1980. The seventies began as an extension of the chaos of the 1960s, developed into a time of malaise, then gave way to the conservative 1980s. Simply looking at 1973-1981 doesn't give you a full or accurate picture of what the whole decade of the 1970s was really like.
     
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  6. Mad Bad Rabbit Well-Known Member

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    Counterthesis: the American pop culture 1970s began and ended with Don Kirshner's Rock Concert.
     
  7. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    I just respectfully disagree.

    I think it’s also valuable to look for a theme which grabs most of a ten year period, but maybe not all of it.
     
  8. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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  9. marathag Well-Known Member

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    To me, '60s ended with the Manson Family murders of Tate and LaBianca in August '69, and '80s began with MTV in August 1981, while other pick December 1980 when John Lennon was shot
     
  10. freivolk Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this thesis and I want to expand it, that 1968-1973 orm their own specific period.
     
  11. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    What if we roll it back a year to the police riot at the ‘68 Democratic convention, and it really was a police riot,

    and also the violence in Paris and Czechoslovakia?
     
  12. Driftless Geezer Donor

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    You need to include Watergate and the drawn-out fallout from that event, that arguably has never ended. That series of events has completely altered political discourse in the US ever since.
     
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  13. marathag Well-Known Member

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    '70s were the 'Me' decade, so more about acts of smaller groups and individuals making their mark, and less about large groups and movements.
     
  14. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    I’m pretty open to this idea, but not quite sure what to call it, maybe an interregnum?
     
  15. Sam R. Well-Known Member

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    I’d call Dubcek to Pinochet as an international revolutionary crisis in both capitalist blocs (Soviet and Western).
     
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  16. freivolk Well-Known Member

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    Don´t know if its fit, because interregnum sounds stagnant. Its more a period of transformation.
     
  17. Landmass Wave Well-Known Member

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    This is a solid thesis. I took a class in college that was based on a similar theme. Music in Contemporary Society. Covered the music and lyrics from each decade and tied it in to cultural trends.

    The professor defined the 50s as the ten years after the war, the 60s as 1955-64, etc.

    From a musical perspective, Doris Day's "A Guy Is A Guy" is the song I remember from the cultural 1950s.

    1955 is when rock and roll (the devil's music) really took off. Also when the civil rights movement, and Dixiecrat resistance, kicked into high gear. So you had rebellious music, not only the new sound from the fusion of country with R&B but also with suggestive lyrics and widespread questioning of authority.

    1965 is when the cultural 1960s began. Vietnam escalated and you had the urban riots. In society at large, it was a harbinger of things to come. You had the shift in music from Elvis to Bob Dylan. While the king was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown. The Beatles transitioned from the original boy band to hippie type music. They also took advantage of new recording technology to create previously impossible sounds when they produced A Day In The Life, and made a thematic pivot with songs like Come Together.
     
  18. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, Pinochet in Chile is probably a top 5 example of how crappy our foreign policy was during the bad ‘ol days of the cold war.

    So much so, that the real challenge is to ferret out a few positive examples, and perhaps talk about how things could have the U.S. and the Soviets competing much more on economic terms. For example, a number of poorer countries benefiting from sweetheart trade deals with both superpowers. But sure didn’t work out this way!

    Do you mean that both systems are top down and bureaucratic?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 10:50 AM
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  19. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    I actually think Watergate wasn’t all that important.

    The Republican Party recovered quite nicely by 1980. We as citizens still believe the president is more powerful than he or she realistically is. And it’s not even like future presidents learned their lesson. The Reagan administration got involved in Iran-Contra. And on the back of a note from his national security guy Bud McFarlane, Reagan wrote, “Mum’s the word.”
    https://books.google.com/books?id=C...e word and sent it back to McFarlane”&f=false

    So, no, other than some nostalgic news items, I don’t see much effect from Watergate.
     
  20. marathag Well-Known Member

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    other than over the next 30 years, every governmental related scandal had -gate added to it?
     
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