The Spanish-American War led America into the modern era. When President Teddy Roosevelt left the White House to lead the charge on San Juan Hill, it was a dramatic moment. The Spanish American War victory gave America possession of Cuba, the Philippines, Panama and the Virgin Islands. Once in control of Panama, the Americans began to build their canal. It took about ten years to build, but it was worth it because they got much money from the canal traffic.
After Woodrow Wilson became President, war broke out in Europe. They called it World War I at the time. America immediately joined in and helped the Allies defeat the Axis powers. The incredible economic benefits of the war effort led America into the Roaring 20s. President Calvin Coolidge presided over a decade of peace in America. He was defeated in 1928 by Republican Herbert Hoover, who immediately ended the prosperity and caused the Great Depression. The Stock Market Crash of 1928 was a very sad event which led to the closing of all stocks and banks.
Americans knew it was time to elect a bold leader. Franklin David Roosevelt, or FDR, was America’s savior. Elected in 1933, Roosevelt quickly institued various reforms to help stimulate the sagging economy. For example, he made Social Security that helped old people get money after they retired. He also instituted IRS, or Internal Revenue Service.
What really stimulated the economy, ironically, was World War II. At first we didn’t want to join the war, but Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1942 so we had very little choice. FDR called it “a day which will live in infomy.” With General Dwight D. Eisenhower in command of the allied Forces, we were able to launch a surprise on D-Day, which was so named because of Eisenhower’s initials.
Swiftly winning the war, Americans entered the 50s. The 50s were an era of Rock n Roll. Elvis Pressly, a famous rock star, became popular among teenage girls. There was great prosperity at home and General Eisenhower was elected the president of the U.S. In the 60s, John F. Kennedy, or JFK, was elected president. However he was shot in 1964 and replaced by Lyndon Byrnes Johnson. About this time the Vietnam War was breaking out. People protested against the Vietnam War; they felt people had no right to intervene in Vietnam because it was bad.
Richard “Dick” Nixon took office in 1968. He was most famous for the Watergate scandal. He was the only president to resign. Ronald Regan then took office. He made the deficits really high and wanted Star Wars a military space program. However his efforts did not succeed. During George Bush’s term the Soviet Union began to crumble due to a spy sent by Reagan.
However it was not until Clinton that the economy went better again. Bill Clinton was a young man from Arkansas. He had a scandal-filled presidency but brought unpresidented economic booms to the country. For eight years we had a bear market for once which is good. However, then George W. Bush was elected and the economy started going south. Things don’t look so good now!