Trends and Themes of the Era
  • The Cold War varied in intensity during this 30-year period. Nevertheless, it dominated foreign policy throughout the era and influenced domestic policy, as well. The Cold War ended in 1989 with the fall of the Soviet Union.
  • After the fall of the Soviet Union, the world stage changed dramatically. U.S. interests ceased to be so easily defined, because there was no longer a huge entity to oppose. As the sole superpower, the U.S. debated about but ultimately maintained its role as an international policeman.
  • Domestically, the United States underwent cycles of economic boom and bust, and shifted between Republican and Democratic presidents.
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