Inside America: The Rise and Fall of An Empire

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During the eighties gambling and lotteries became more and more legalized in America and soon these industries became big businesses as well and also sources of tax dollars for many state and local governments. The stock market which had boomed for five years finally crashed in 1987 starting a new economic slow-down that would ultimately destroy the presidency of George Bush who succeeded President Reagan in 1989. Also many savings and loan institutions collapsed during the end of the Eighties and American tax payers were forced to bail out these bankrupt thrift institutions. Many stock-traders on Wall Street were convicted of insider trading and sent to jail as the decade ended and corporate scandals dealing with many kinds of stock and bond fraud made Americans weary of the greed disease that had been released with President Reagan's presidency.

America was not at ease. A more conservative movement called the New Christian Right began to demand a movement back to the past. The New Christian Right wanted the Bible to be taught at public schools and also wanted individual and group prayer in public schools to be protected by amendments in the American constitution. The New Christian Right was also against further improvements for women in the social and economic spheres of American life. But American women had made big strides during the Eighties. More women worked outside the home than ever before. An American woman was chosen as a vice-presidential candidate and the first American woman to the supreme court was nominated during President Reagan's administration. Also the first American woman astronaut finally flew into space.

The New Christian Right was also violently against Gay rights and considered the AIDS epidemic an act of God against homosexuals. Abortion was also attacked by the New Christian Right as a sin against God and bitter battles between pro-choice and pro-life groups created greater and greater political conflict between religious and secular groups in America.

But during the Eighties, the New Age movement also continued to grow. This movement was neither religious nor secular. Many Americans in this movement however considered themselves spiritual. It was a new form of life definition for many Americans. As traditional religions weakened many Americans continued to look for private solutions to inner questions. Meditation, self-improvement, and new kinds of healing were being explored in greater and greater numbers by a sizable portion of the American population. Bookstores, radio stations, publications and new organizations catering to the New Agers sprang up in greater and greater numbers. By the Nineties a new economy was forming as well for this new and growing group. New Age music and healing services that connected the mind and body became popular.

Little by little three groups were forming in America and how they would cooperate with each other in the future was still an unknown. We shall come to this subject in greater detail a little later.


November 9th, 1989. Berlin. On this day the twentieth century ended a decade early. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe marked the end of the Cold War to everyone's surprise. President Reagan had started a new arms race and the new leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev knew that the Soviet Union was falling apart and could not compete in such an expensive arms race with America. President Reagan met General Secretary Gorbachev no less than three times during the Eighties and attempts at reducing arms between America and the Soviet Union led to initial successes, but it came too late for the Soviet Union to be of much difference. America had finally won the Cold War. But the price for America had been high. We shall also see later why.

During the Eighties, America's space program had continued to expand, and in 1981, the first space shuttle, Columbia had lifted off. This was America's first re-usable space vehicle. Now photographic shots of Earth had become so routine that few Americans now paid much attention to them. Little by little with satellite communications and more and more space shuttle flights the beginning of a global vision for every human was rapidly becoming a new reality.

In 1986, the Space Shuttle, Challenger blew up killing all seven astronauts on board. It was a great set-back for the American space program. But it was also a great symbol of where humanity was going. The Earth was like a space shuttle with limited resources and how these resources were used would determine whether space shuttle Earth would survive or not. We shall further explore this important concept as we move into the Nineties and beyond.

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All contents of this site copyright by Michael Arthur Finberg