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Cold War alliances mid-1975
1971 Instrument of Surrender
1979 Iranian Revolution
Selassie restored

The 1970s was a decade that began on January 1, 1970, and ended on December 31, 1979. The 1970s are often associated with a period of various global and cultural shifts, including political upheavals, economic changes, and the emergence of new cultural movements. This decade is notably marked by the end of the Vietnam War, the height of the Cold War, and significant advancements in technology and science. Additionally, the 1970s saw the rise of environmentalism, the feminist movement, and a greater awareness of global poverty and hunger issues.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The 1970s were characterized by a continuation of the social changes that began in the 1960s. The early part of the decade saw the close of the Vietnam War in 1975, which left the United States deeply divided. The Watergate scandal led to the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1974, marking the first time in history that an American president resigned from office. The decade also witnessed the oil crisis of 1973 and 1979, which led to economic downturns worldwide and a shift in global economic power.

Culture[edit | edit source]

Culturally, the 1970s were a time of significant change. Music saw the rise of new genres such as punk rock, disco, and heavy metal, with artists like The Ramones, Bee Gees, and Led Zeppelin dominating the airwaves. The film industry experienced the beginning of the blockbuster era with releases like Jaws and Star Wars. In literature, the decade was marked by the works of authors such as Toni Morrison and Hunter S. Thompson, who explored themes of racial identity and the American experience.

Politics and Social Movements[edit | edit source]

Politically, the 1970s were marked by a continuation of the civil rights movement, with a focus on women's rights, environmentalism, and the fight against nuclear power. The feminist movement gained momentum with the establishment of International Women's Day and the fight for equal rights amendments in various countries. Environmental concerns led to the first Earth Day in 1970 and the formation of environmental organizations like Greenpeace.

Technology and Science[edit | edit source]

The 1970s also saw significant advancements in technology and science. The development of the microprocessor in the early part of the decade paved the way for the personal computing revolution. In space exploration, the Apollo program concluded with the historic Apollo 17 mission, and the Viking program sent the first spacecraft to land on Mars. The decade also witnessed the advent of the Concorde, the first supersonic passenger airliner.

Economic Changes[edit | edit source]

Economically, the 1970s were marked by periods of inflation, known as stagflation, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. The oil crises of 1973 and 1979 drastically increased oil prices and contributed to economic instability worldwide. These events led to a greater focus on renewable energy sources and discussions on energy conservation.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

The 1970s were a decade of transformation that affected nearly every aspect of global society. From significant political events and social movements to advancements in technology and culture, the impacts of the 1970s continue to influence the world today.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD