Today, I had to decide what to write about for my history class. I was told to choose one topic to write about, however there were two that really interested me so I decided to make a fusion of topics. The topic of Space Exploration is something that probably interested everyone at one point, but the recession of the 70’s is something a little less well-known. So, without any further adieu, let’s get into the essay.
Let’s start with Space Exploration, just to get you into the mood of the essay. The first country to get a man-made object into space was actually…. Nazi Germany. The fact that they were able to get to send something to space, while at war is amazing, but also very scary.
After Nazi Germany had sent their man-made object into space, a new organization was created. This organization was then called the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles or ICBM for short. Their purpose was to launch nuclear missiles to create a “mutually assured destruction” situation.
Later on, in the Space Race, the country with the most “firsts” to its credit was the U.S.S.R. (Russia). Unfortunately this means that they had done things before other countries had the chance to. Which, in the end, resulted in the U.S.S.R technically winning the Space Race. However we (U.S.) hold the first man on the moon to our credit. Speaking of people getting on the moon, want to guess how many people have stepped foot on the moon? I bet you guessed about 5, well that’s wrong… 12 people have stepped foot on the moon. The first of which was Neil Armstrong.
There was a group of space shuttles known as the 5 space shuttles. Can you guess what their names were? They were called: Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavor. Now, I know that I listed six. This is because of the Challenger disaster. The Challenger was launched to go to space, but it exploded before it even left the atmosphere. The thing that really made this incident super-famous was that there was a teacher on the shuttle going to space. Her name was Sharon Christa McAuliffe.
Now we will talk about the recession of the 1970’s. To start, the longest sustained period of growth in U.S. history, before 1990, was from 1961 to 1968. (Note that this is all information from 2013. This may be out of date.) Now this growth is growth in the economy. This is where the stock market was up and businesses are doing very well. This is a very long time for things to be running on time, so naturally it has to fall apart.
Now, there are four phases of the business cycle. These steps/phases are Expansion, Boom, Recession, and Depression. The recession has the root word recede. Recede means to move backwards. In this case it means to slow and start to backtrack on progress made. In this scenario, the recession is a very bad thing. This is because after the business has been doing so well, they didn’t see anything coming their way to stop them from doing so well, now they are going to lose a lot of what they just earned. This was the recession of 1969. Luckily this recession only lasted about a year is lasted from 1969 to 1970.
Then there was Nixon. Nixon was the president at the time, and he didn’t know what to do to stop this. So, he pulled the U.S. off of it’s fixed exchange rate for gold. This was probably a good thing, because the U.S.’s gold reserves started to shrink very quickly.
Meanwhile oil was being sold very cheap, because it was easy to get. However, after the Nixon Shock, OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) chose to cut back on its oil production, which in turn raised the price per barrel to $12.
One thing that President Nixon and Ford had in common was that they both tried to do something that was ultimately very bad. This is one of the problems that we have today, inflation. They both tried to continue inflation to get the economy back on its feet. So, this didn’t work for either administration and the people were not very happy that they even tried that.
The third highest period of oil prices in history, when you account for inflation, was in 1979 where the price per barrel was $24. That is just a fun fact that I thought would be important. (Plus it was in my video!)
In conclusion, Space and the 1970’s recession were both pretty important times in American history. They both had different end results, but they were both very significant. I hope that this essay broadened your understanding. Please like and subscribe for more. Also, be sure to Share your favorite essays and pieces to your friends!
Until next time, your friendly neighborhood Homeschooler…