Sunday, July 26, 2009

Macro: The World of the Play

1. War in the World

One issue dominated world politics in the 1960s: the Cold War. The superpowers of the United States and the Soviet Union faced off in a series of crises and proxy wars throughout the decade, all the while developing massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
The US had more than 500,000 troops in Vietnam by 1968 and was drawing heavy casualties.

In spite of the casualties suffered by millions worldwide from WWII, and in spite of peace treaties established by nations around the world, there was yet another reason for more war in the 1960's that would last until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1980.

2. Space Race

The Space Race became an important part of the cultural, technological, and ideological rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Space technology became a particularly important arena in this conflict, because of both its potential military applications and the morale-boosting social benefits.

As nations around the world were evolving and technology was becoming more advanced, nations began exploring the possibilities of expanding beyond the limits of earth's atmosphere.
With Americans participating in space race, a sense of unity and pride could be felt between Americans seeking to lead the world in space technology.

3. Construction of the Berlin Wall

On the evening of August 13, (1961), Governing Mayor Willy Brandt said in a speech to the House of Representatives: “The Berlin Senate publicly condemns the illegal and inhuman measures being taken by those who are dividing Germany, oppressing East Berlin, and threatening West Berlin....”

The construction of the Berlin Wall was a pivitol point in marking the rise of communism, as well as seperating the Western world from the Eastern. It also marked the beginning of the Cold WAr.
4. Nelson Mandela sentenced to prison

On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

In a time of political turmoil and injustice, the clash between unpopular government and it's citizens' led to the rise of rebellious groups, seeking to overthrow corruption.

5. Rise of Communism

The spread of "Communism" after World War II was mostly an anti-imperialist reactionary movement. Communist Parties became popular in Korea, Vietnam, China and Cuba because the people were oppressed by foreign interests within their own countries.

After WWII, communism expanded beyond the borders of the Soviet Union becoming an increased threat not only to America, but to democracy, as well.

6. 1960 Olympics held in Rome

While David Maraniss’s book is about such athletic achievement, it is also about the changing world in which the 1960 Olympics were staged. Political and social events play a central role in the story of the Rome Olympics, from the rise of Communism and the advent of the Cold War to the slow disintegration of racial barriers.

As the Cold War struggle began, America had to unify itself, and pull together the resources its diverse people thus forgetting the issues that divided them like racism and segregation (if not permanently, then at least for the time being).
7. Trouble in Israel: The Six Day War

In 1967 Israel did not wake up one morning and decide to go to war - she woke up one morning and found she had to defend herself.

The birth of Israel as a Jewish nation created tension in the Middle East that would soon create chaos in the Middle East.

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