Theme: As the war in
Vietnam finally came to a disastrous conclusion, the United States struggled
to create a more stable international climate. Détente with the two
communist powers temporarily reduced Cold War tensions, but trouble in the
Middle East threatened Americas energy supplies and economic stability.
Theme: Weakened by
political difficulties of their own and others making, the administrations
of the 1970s had trouble coping with Americas growing economic problems.
The public also had trouble facing up to a sharp sense of limits and a general
disillusionment with society. With the notable exception of the highly successful
feminist movement, the social reform efforts of the 1960s fractured and stalled,
as the country settled into a frustrating and politically divisive stalemate.