3 main areas of developments: Military technology Space technology Information technology Military technology



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Essay Question

  • In what ways has the USA established itself as a world leader in military, space and information technology?

3 main areas of developments:

  • Military technology
  • Space technology
  • Information technology

Military technology

  • USA LED THE WAY AFTER WWII BECAUSE OF: 
    • INVOLVEMENT IN WARS
    • POWERFUL ECONOMY
    • COMPETITION WITH USSR
    • PUBLIC OPINION WANTED IT
    • MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS TOOK PLACE IN TWO MAIN AREAS

Nuclear weapons

  • USA DEVELOPED THE ATOMIC BOMB
  • H-BOMB DEVELOPED LATER
  • NUCLEAR MISSILES DEVELOPED ALSO
  • PERSHING MISSILES – 400 MILE RANGE
  • INTER CONTINENTAL BALLISTIC MISSILES ICBM’s - NUCLEAR WARHEADS
  • LAUNCHED - UNDERGROUND SILOS
  • SUBMARINES COULD LAUNCH NUCLEAR MISSILES

Conventional weapons

  • POWERFUL FIGHTER JETS
  • NEW BOMBER AIRCRAFT
  • SPY PLANES
  • HELICOPTER GUNSHIPS
  • SURFACE TO AIR MISSILES
  • AIRCRAFT CARRIERS
  • FASTER TANKS

The Space Race

  • 1950’S WAS COLD WAR ERA
  • USSR SENT SPUTNIK-1 INTO SPACE
  • USSR WAS IN LEAD IN SPACE RACE
  • USA SHOCKED BY THIS
  • USSR ALSO FIRST MAN IN SPACE
  • BLOW TO USA MORALE
  • FELT NATIONAL SECURITY THREATENED

USA response

  • SET UP NASA
  • HUGE EMPHASIS ON SCIENCES IN SCHOOLS
  • LAUNCHED OWN FIRST SATELLITE EXPLORER 1
  • JFK VOWED TO HAVE MAN ON MOON WITHIN DECADE

The Space Race

  • MERCURY PROJECT CREATED - JOHN GLENN
  • APOLLO MISSION – 3 MAN SPACECRAFT DEVELOPED
  • APOLLO 11 MISSION
  • NEIL ARMSTRONG
  • BUZZ ALDRIN
  • MICHAEL COLLINS
  • LANDED ON MOON
  • FURTHER MISSIONS CONTINUED INTO 1970s

Later developments

  • INVOLVED UNMANNED SPACECRAFT TO PLANETS
  • NASA DEVELOPED SKYLAB
  • USA DEVELOPED SPACE SHUTTLE
  • FIRST WAS COLUMBIA IN 1981
  • DISASTER IN 1986 – CHALLENGER EXPLODED
  • MAJOR ADVANCES IN WEATHER FORECASTING
  • HUGE NUMBER OF SATELLITES

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

  • FIRST COMPUTERS – DEVELOPED AROUND WW2 YEARS
  • FIRST CALLED ENIAC – BASED IN MARYLAND, USA
  • WEIGHED 30 TONS – 8 FEET HIGH – 100 FEET LONG 
  • HUNGARIAN BORN MATHEMATICIAN BUILT FIRST COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE COMPUTER – USED IN 1951 TO COUNT THE USA CENSUS – COMPUTERS STILL HUGE IN SIZE

Smaller computers

  • INVENTION OF THE TRANSISTOR IN USA ELIMINATED MILES OF WIRING – MADE COMPUTERS SMALL AND CHEAP TO PRODUCE – STILL ONLY 2000 COMPUTERS SOLD IN 1960 
  • 1975 – FIRST PERSONAL COMPUTER PRODUCED – 2 YEARS LATER STEVE JOBS INTRODUCED THE APPLE II – BROUGHT PC’s WITHIN RANGE OF SMALL BUSINESS, FAMILIES AND SCHOOLS

Developments in 1980’s

  • 1980’s – IBM ENTERED PC BUSINESS – LED TO DRAMATIC EXPANSION
  • DEVELOPMENT OF MICROSOFT BY BILL GATES MADE PC’s MUCH MORE USER FRIENDLY – MILLIONS OF COMPUTERS SOLD AS A RESULT
  • BY LATE 1980’s – USA LARGEST COMPUTER INDUSTRY IN WORLD
  • EMPLOYED ONE MILLION PEOPLE – DELL, APPLE, MICROSOFT
  • HALF OF ALL COMPUTERS IN WORLD IN USA

Impact of computers

  • CREATED A REVOLUTION IN HOW INFORMATION IS GATHERED AND STORED
  • MASSIVE NUMBER OF NEW JOBS CREATED
    • HARDWARE
    • SOFTWARE

CONCLUSION

  • BY 1989 USA WAS THE WORLD LEADING ECONOMY
  • BIGGEST IT BUSINESS – Apple, Dell, Microsoft
  • BIGGEST SPACE EXPLORATION
  • ONE OF LEADING NATIONS IN MILITARY HARDWARE


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