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history:h_c20d

The 20th Century - 4th Quarter

Overview:

  • the age of computerisation, space travel, rock & roll, genetics, shopping malls, feminism
  • the generation Y:
    • Western people born 1976-1991 (some use 1982-2001)
    • also known as the net/millenial/thumb generation (use of thumbs for computers/mobile phones) or “ferals”
    • grew up with the internet, mobile phones, SMS phone text messaging  & generally well educated 
    • rebel against baby boomers - bare mid-riffs emphasises their youthfulness that the boomers have lost
    • get on well with their grandparents - the “silent generation”, valuing their values of marriage & kids at an earlier age, but perhaps are not ready to commit themselves
    • defining movies: The Matrix trilogy
    • icons: Prince William; Reese Witherspoon; Britney Spears;
    • motto: “I'll email you my digital wedding photos” 
    • fashion faux pas: satin cargo pants
    • tendency to become “parasite singles” (aka the kangaroo generation, nestlings, boomerang children & adulescents) who in their 20's & 30's earn a salary but still live with their parents.
      • term 1st coined by Japanese professor Masahiro Yamada as 10 million salaried singles in Japan live with parents in 2000, with 70% of all single women living with parents
      • in Italy in 2000, 58% of men aged 18-33yrs still live at home “mama's boys”, but in Australia only 7% of 30-34yr olds lived with parents.
      • causes include:
        • increased reluctance to marry young, women seeking wealthier men, women preferring careers over marriage
        • prohibitive rent, high tertiary education costs, less job security
        • unwilling to give up lifestyle of travel, dining out, & luxury goods that marriage & kids usually end
      • ramifications include:
        • dramatically falling birth rates & the economic & social impacts of this in an ageing society
        • is it symptomatic of increasing social isolation & depression amongst this age group
  • late 1970's:
    • the era of rock gradually taken over by more hard core anti-establishment sentiment with punk rock as many adolescents rebelled against high unemployment, high inflation, increasing divorce rates of their parents and cynicism of authority figures following the perceived follies of the Vietnam war, Middle East crises & the many political scandals such as Watergate, the Whitlam dismissal as well as Thatcherism.
  • 1980's:
    • a decade of high inflation, high interest rates, high unemployment, increasing divide between the have-nots and the employed, materialism, selfishness, sexual promiscuity, corporate takeovers culminating in the outbreak of HIV/AIDS then the 1987 stock market crash, massive corporate losses, anti-HIV fear campaigns, homophobia and subsequent recession
  • 1990's:
    • dominated by global recession and sexual conservatism in the first half, the 1991 Iraq war, grunge, “political correctness”, the growth of home computers, mobile phones & the internet which led to a dot net internet technology share boom and crash and subsequent real estate price boom as investors feared the volatility of stock markets, distrusting corporate accounting ethics and preferred the perceived safety of bricks and mortar in a low interest rate environment.
  • literature:
  • art:
    •  
  • music:
    • “classical music” - 
    • musicals - Blues Brothers; Rocky Horror;
    • rock & roll
    • dance - disco, rap, breakdance, rave
  • film:
    • digital special effects become possible and more realistic
    • Australian:
      • Mad Max (1979); Breaker Morant (1980);Gallipoli (1981); 
      • The Man from Snowy River (1982); Monkey Grip (1982); We of the Never Never (1983);
      • Crocodile Dundee; Muriel's Wedding; Priscilla, Queen of the Desert;
    • International:
      • Star Wars; E.T.; 
      • Jurassic Park; Alien; 
      • the X-files series;
    • actors:
      • Clint Eastwood; Mel Gibson; Arnold Scwharzenegger; Bryan Brown;
    • actresses:
      • Meryl Streep; Julia Roberts; Sigourney Weaver; Winona Ryder; 

Britain:

  • 1975:
  • 1976: James Callaghan becomes PM (1976-9);
  • 1979: Margaret Thatcher becomes PM (1979-90);
  • 1988: Lockerbie air terrorism disaster kills 270;
  • 1990: John Major becomes PM (1990-97);
  • 1994: English Channel tunnel opened;
  • 1997: Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in car accident; Tony Blair becomes PM;

Europe:

  • 1975:
  • 1979: Soviets invade Afghanistan;
  • 1980: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev begins program of glastnost, or openness that allowed people to speak freely resulting in Soviet system beginning to unravel.
  • 1981: attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II fails;
  • 1982: Monaco's Princess Grace dies in car accident; Spain joins NATO;
  • 1983: after 19mths, martial law is lifted in Poland;
  • 1986: Chernobyl nuclear reactor partial meltdown in Ukraine;
  • 1989: 
    • demonstrators in E.Germany, Bulgaria & Czechoslovakia bring down their communist governments leading to the Berlin Wall being dismantled after 28yrs and end of Communism in 1990-1 in these regions.
    • Yugoslavia state starts to disintegrate.
    • Gorbachev decides to withdraw Soviet troops from fruitless campaign in Afghanistan
  • 1990: Lech Walesa elected president of Poland; 35,000 killed in Iranian earthquake;
  • 1991: 
    • after failed coup attempt by hard-line communists, Gorbachev resigns & soon Pres. Boris Yeltsin temporarily bans the Communist Party, ending the Bolshevik Revolution as constituent states begin to declare their independence resulting in the USSR falling into disarray and easing of East-West tensions.
    • Bosnian war commences:
      • after break up of Federal Republic, fighting breaks out in Yugoslavia between Serbs, Croats & Muslims when Serb leader Milosovic conjures fear in minority Serb groups in Croatian dominated areas and with the rise of nationalism, commences fire on Croat towns and then starts the massacres of minorities, yet another genocide. The Serbs were reminded of persecution by muslims 600yrs previously and the Serbian genocide by Hitler in WWII, the propaganda engendered hatred and ensured the war would be one of the most bloody in the century & allowed ethnic cleansing to be attempted once again, this time, against the muslims in particular. UN tried to create safe areas and economic sanctions to no avail, and in 1995, under military pressure the UN soldiers left a town to the mercy of Serbs who killed 8,000 men in the town and dumped them in mass graves. Serbs expelled all muslims & Croats from serb-held regions. 
      •  
  • 1994: Russian troops invade Republic of Chechnya in unsuccessful attempt to oppose its independence movement
  • 1995: Chechen fighters seize hospital in Russia, more than 100 hostages killed in botched rescue. Russians forced to let hostage takers go.
  • 1996: Chechen commandos seize hundreds of hostages in village in neighbouring Dagestan, before escaping Russian seige.
  • 1997: Pres. Yeltsin signs formal peace treaty, leaving unresolved question of independence. Chechnya sinks into anarchy & under influence of militant Arab Wahhabi fighters.
  • 1999: Chechen fighters stage incursion into Dagestan, residential blocks blown up in Moscow & Volgadonsk killing 300. Chechen insurgents blamed. War breaks out again.

America:

  • 1975: Gerald Ford (Pres. 1974-7); Watergate cover-up trial;
  • 1976: US Bicentennial;
  • 1977: Jimmy Carter (Pres. 1977-81); Elvis Presley dies;
  • 1979: Hurricanes David & Frederick hit southern Florida causing $45m damages;
  • 1980: Mt St Helens volcano erupts; John Lennon killed;
  • 1981: Ronald Reagan (Pres. 1981-9);
  • 1983: terrorist bombs in Beirut kill 237 US marines;
  • 1986: Space Shuttle Challenger explodes soon after take-off;
  • 1987: nuclear treaty with USSR to ban medium-range weapons;
  • 1989: George Bush Snr (Pres. 1989-93); Gen. Colin Powell becomes 1st black to become Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff; oil tanker Exxon Valdez spills 11m gallons crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound;
  • 1991: US under Pres.Bush invade Iraq to free Kuwait;
  • 1992: 
  • 1993: Bill Clinton (Pres. 1993-2000?);
  • 1995: Oklahoma terrorist bombing;
  •  

South America:

  • 1976: Argentinian President Isabel Peron is deposed in bloodless coup;
  • 1979: Sandinistas seize power in Nicaragua;
  • 1980: Nicaragua's deposed President Somoza is assassinated;
  • 1983: US & Caribbean troops invade Grenada;

Asia:

  • China:
    • 1989: Tiananmen Square demonstrations;
    • becomes a nuclear power
    • 1997: Hong Kong is peacefully returned to China after more than 100yrs British domination;
  • India:
    • 1984: PM Indira Gandhi is assassinated by Sikhs;
    • becomes a nuclear power
    • 1997: Mother Teresa dies;
  • Pakistan:
    • 1988: Benazir Bhutto, 1st Islamic female PM;
    • becomes a nuclear power
  • Japan:
    •  
  • Indonesia:
    • 1975: Indonesia annexes East Timor without UN support.
    • 1991: Indonesian army massacres civilians in East Timor captured on film for western media.
    • 1998: President Suharto resigns, finally freeing Indonesian's from 30yrs of tyrannical rule. He is replaced by Pres. Sukarno's daughter, Megawati.
    • 2002: Nov. - Bali nightclub bombings by muslim extremists kill many tourists esp. Australians.
  • Other Asian:
    • 1979: Vietnam, along with the Cambodian insurgents it backs announce fall of Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, and the collapse of the Pol Pot regime.
    • 1984: NZ declares it a nuclear-free zone;
    • 1986: corrupt Philippine President Marcos (r.1966-86) flees and replaced by Corazon Aquino;
    • 1987: Bangladesh monsoon leaves 24 million homeless;
    • 1991: a military junta headed by Gen. Kongsompong takes power in Thailand;
    • 1992: US forces leave Phillipines after nearly 100yrs presence;
    • 1993: President of Sri Lanka assassinated;

Australia:

New Zealand:

  •  

Africa:

  • 1976:
    • Idi Amin declares himself president of Uganda for life, instigating a reign of terror in which many of Obote's supporters were murdered, the Asian minority expelled, & the electorate wooed by mocking the former colonial powers.
  • 1979:
    • Idi Amin's reign in Uganda overthrown after a Tanzanian invasion, supporting Obote, provoked by an unsuccessful Ugandan attack, enabled Obote to return to power in 1980. Idi Amin fled to Libya then Saudi Arabia.
  • 1984: 
    • Sth African Bishop Desmond Tutu receives Nobel Prize for his work against apartheid;
    • severe drought devastates central Africa including Rwanda
  • 1989:
    • UN successfully sends military peace keeping force to help oversee the birth of an independent Namibia - only the 2nd time the UN has sent military to Africa (the 1st in 1960-64 for the Congo civil war).
    • Rwanda in crisis:
      • collapse of world coffee prices hits coffee-dependent Rwanda hard as the farmer's price falls 50%, and the price paid to them is only 1/20th the retail price in international countries. The IMF devalues Rwandan currency by 40% in 1990 and another 15% in 1992 resulting in inflation rising from 2.6% in 1988 to 28% in 1991 and the forced privatisation of health & education made these inaccessible. Only $60m of the promised $90m from the World bank was ever allocated. 
      • in 10yrs from 1985 to 1995, Rwanda's foreign debt doubled to $US39m and in 1993 was 62% of GNP.
      • The combination of reduced income & increased expenses & taxes hit the farmers hard. In 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) consisting of Tutsi refugees invaded from Uganda in an attempt to democratise the authoritarian Hutu government and win the right for Tutsi refugees to return. By 1992, the RPF had captured much of Rwanda's northern region. The IMF insisted the Hutu government begin a dialogue with the RPF and form a multi-party democracy which the extremist Hutus opposed leading to the genocide of 1994. 
  • 1990: apartheid abolished & Nelson Mandela freed from prison in Sth Africa;
  • 1994: Nelson Mandela becomes president of Sth Africa; 
    • Rwanda - genocide in 100 days of slaughter:
      • with a population of 7.5 million and 90% of its labour force relying on agriculture (mainly coffee & tea), at least 800,000 die - mainly Tutsis - in Rwanda tribal warfare after the majority (84%) Hutu tribe became in conflict with the minority tribe (15%) the Tutsis who had been in power since the Belgians left in 1959. Hutu extremists killed their own moderate Hutu leader (President Habyarimana) along with the Burundian President by shooting down his plane & framing the murder on the Tutsis. Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) join with Hutu militia death squads (the interahamwe) armed with machetes and machine guns who roamed the country, setting up road blocks and moving from house to house killing all Tutsis and even any Hutus who opposed. Many of the surviving woman were raped and acquired HIV from the death squad soldiers, forcing them to abort subsequent pregnancies.
      • it took more than two months and more than half a million deaths before the UN started to use the term “genocide” in its legal context which would force it to intervene with French forces creating a “safe area” and eventually the Tutsi RPF forces capture Kigali & the Hutu government flees to Zaire, followed by a tide of 2 million Hutu refugees. 120,000 mainly Hutu men are imprisoned without trial for their alleged part in the genocide.
      • the RPF-led authoritarian government is seen by the UN to be better than anarchy & that the genocidal MRND has no role in Rwanda's future. But this creates a vicious cycle with the majority Hutus seeing the RPF as an occupying force maintaining its power through the use of arrest and intimidation. 
  • 1997:
    • Congo/Zaire civil war:
      • aided by Uganda & Rwanda, Tutsis captured the Zaire capital & renamed it to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and installed long-time activist Laurent Kabila as President who promptly cut his ties with Rwanda & Uganda and allied himself with Hutu militias instead to appease his Congolese constituency. He sought help from Zimbabwe, Namibia & Angola to help fight off Rwanda/Uganda backed Tutsi rebel groups. Despite peace talks, some 2,600 civilians died per day in the conflict with perhaps 2.5million dying between 1998-2001 with a third of these excess deaths being children.
  • 1998:   
    • UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan apologises to the Rwandan Parliament for failing the people of Rwanda in their greatest hour of need.

Science & Technology:

  • 1978: 1st test tube baby;
  • 1979: Sony Walkman;
  • 1981: 1st space shuttle; IBM PC desktop computer;
  • 1984: HIV discovered;
  • 1986: desktop computers start to become widespread;
  • 1990: Hubble space telescope launched; MS Windows 3.0 provides a graphical interface;
  • 1992: 
  • 1994: Intel's Pentium chips;
  • 1995: MS Windows 95; most new software now on CD ROM;
  • 1996: internet usage starts to revolutionise society;
  • 1997: DVD players; Bose-Einstein condensate created - a new form of matter;
  • 1998: Viagra; digital cameras start to become popular; MS Windows 98; USB interfaces in computers; re-writable CD drives enables CD burning of audio CDs, etc. “Slow light” - Light slowed down using Bose-Einstein condensates and then an impulse of light was able to be trapped for 1msec.
  • 1999: 

see also: History of computing

history/h_c20d.txt · Last modified: 2020/06/14 15:24 by gary1