GCSE History Revision Notes

A bunch of revision notes that talk about USA in the 1920's and 30's. Also notes on the Cold War and various events of the time. Does not include British Depth Study or other depth studies. After reading these notes, please try the test i have made to go with them! HERE.

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  • Created on: 13-05-12 12:51
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History Revision Notes
The Roaring twenties:
America entered the age of consumerism where people had money to spend on consumer
This spending stimulated industry and business, leading to massive changes in entertainment
and leisure.
Fashion for women changed, bringing in bobbed hair, shorter skirts, make-up and cigarettes.
These women were known as flappers.
Certain women won the right to vote, and new laws meant that women could now file for
However, more than 60% of Americans lived below the poverty line.
Industry and Social Change:
Industrial production virtually doubled in the 1920s. America was in the cycle of prosperity.
The five causes of this were isolationism, technology, mass production, hire purchase
and shares.
Isolationism - the government imposed high import tariffs to limit foreign competition.
Technology - advances led to the rise in the electrical, chemical and film industries, and new
products were available to buy.
Mass production - Henry Ford's assembly line method increased car production. Other
factories copied this so mass production spread.
Hire purchase - buying now and paying later meant more people could afford products and
increased the demand for goods.
Shares - business raised money for expansion by selling shares on the Stock Exchange.
Problems in the 1920s:
Farmers, industrial workers and African-Americans all struggled in this period.
Farms were producing too much, which led to food prices dropping.
Farm labourers earned only $49 a month whereas a skilled factory worker could earn $140
a month.
Because of America's high import tariffs, countries put customs duties on all American
goods. This reduced American exports.
Modern machinery and electricity meant factories needed fewer people.
Revival of the Ku Klux Klan put pressure on African-Americans.
African-Americans were forced to do the worst jobs for the lowest pay.
Prohibition and Crime:
1920 - the 18th Amendment was passed, which banned the production, transportation or
selling of alcohol. This was called Prohibition.
There were 4 main reasons why Prohibition was introduced: the national mood, the
Anti-Saloon League, the Christian Temperance Movement and supplies.
1929 - the Wickersham report stated that Prohibition was not working.
Many Americans were against Prohibition and would drink in speakeasies.
The demand for illegal alcohol led to major organised crime, led by gang leaders like Al

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Congress passed the 21st amendment, to abolish Prohibition.
The Wall Street Crash and Depression:
October 29th 1929 - the Wall Street stock market crashed. Shareholders and businesses
lost millions of dollars, industrial production dropped by 45% and 5,000 banks went out of
By 1932 America was in the greatest economic depression in its history. 13 million people
were unemployed.…read more

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Yalta and Potsdam:
At the Yalta and Potsdam conferences, the Allies discussed what to do with Europe once
the war was over.
Yalta Conference, February 1945 - the war was not yet over. Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt
agree that Germany should pay reparations and be split into 4 zones of occupation.
Potsdam Conference, July 1945 - the war was over. Stalin, Attlee and Truman met to
discuss Germany. There were open disagreements.…read more

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The Korean War:
1945 - Korea was split between a communist north, and a non-communist south.
1949 - China becomes communist
1950 - The North Korean People's Army (NKPA) invaded the South with the support of
China and the Soviet Union.
September 1950 - U.N troops landed in the south, and drove the North Koreans back.
The sides pushed back and forth, and fought along the border.…read more

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The Berlin Wall:
Nearly 2,000 refugees were escaping from impoverished East Germany, to West Berlin
every day.
West Berlin was a centre for US espionage.
Vienna Summit 1961 - Khrushchev demanded that the US leave West Berlin within 6 months.
They refused.
13th August 1961 - Khrushchev closed the border between East and West Berlin, and
started building the Berlin wall.
Causes of the Cuban Missile Crisis:
1959 - Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. He nationalised American companies in Cuba.…read more

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Ho Chi Minh set up a communist army in South Vietnam, called the National
Liberation Front (NLF). They started a guerrilla war.
The Americans called the NLF the Vietcong and supported Diem.
By 1963 most of South Vietnam was under Vietcong control.
1965 - President Johnson declared was on North Vietnam.
The Americans ended up at war for 4 main reasons: containment, domino theory, the
weakness of South Vietnam and as retaliation for being attacked.…read more

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