Recent Eras of the United States


Victoria Era was Queen Victoria’s reign, 1837 to 1901.

The term Gay Nineties refers to the 1890’s. It began to be used in the 1920s in the United States and is believed to have been created by the artist Richard V. Culter, who first released a series of drawings in Life magazine entitled "the Gay Nineties" and later published a book of drawings with the same name.

Edwardian Era was King Edward’s reign, 1901-1910.

World War I was 1914 to 1918. The US was only directly involved in the last year. After the war, the entire map of eastern Europe, western Asia, and north Africa were redrawn with the intent of creating a more stable world.

The 1920s was the first decade to have a nickname at the time: “Roaring 20s" or "Jazz Age." It was a decade of prosperity and dissipation, and of jazz bands, bootleggers, raccoon coats, bathtub gin, flappers, flagpole sitters and marathon dancers.

The 1930s were defined by the Great Depression. They spanned almost exactly the time from the stock market collapse of late 1929 until the beginning of World War II in Europe around 1939.

Pre-War Era The several years leading to up WW II. For cars, it refers to all models up to when manufacturing of cars mostly stopped in 1942.

World War II 1939 to 1945. The AXIS and the ALLIES fought on fronts around the world. The powerful Axis was finally defeated by a massive invasion by the US in Europe, and by equally massive sea maneuvers in the Pacific, capped by the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One result of the war seems to have been to solidify the idea that the post-WWI map of the world was not to be violated by countries seeking to expand their territory.

The late 1940s. The second half of the 1940s was a post-WWII recovery period. The events of WWII caused many lingering effects, especially the ongoing development of nuclear weapons, the devastation of European economies, and the acceleration of the US economy. 

Cold War Era 1947-1991. The US and its allies opposed the rise of Russia after WWII, especially regarding stockpiling of ever more and larger nuclear weapons.

The 1950s. This decade was a golden age for America, having triumphed in World War II, and being essentially the only superpower in the world, as Russia was unsuccessfully recovering from World War II due to Communism; China was not yet a world power; Britain was declining; and the rest of Europe had a long road to recovery from the war. In the U.S. it was an era of prosperity, population growth, progress, and a sense of normality.

Elizabethan Era of 1952 to now is defined by the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

The 1960s. In contrast to the 1950’s, this decade was a time of upheaval and change, with the new generation of Baby Boomers reaching college age during the time of the unpopular war in Viet Nam. This coincided with a new awareness and popularity of psychically active drugs like LSD among the young, as well as use of cocaine by many successful pre-baby boomers, and addiction to heroin by the underprivileged. All this resulted in a spirit of rebellion against the “establishment”, which came to mean the current government, especially at the national level, as well as most other institutions.

The 1970s are remembered as an era when the women's rights, gay rights and environmental movements competed with the Watergate scandal, the energy crisis and the ongoing Vietnam War for the world's attention.

The 1980s are remembered for conservative politics and Reaganomics which held sway as the Berlin Wall crumbled, new computer technologies emerged and blockbuster movies and MTV reshaped pop culture. It is also remembered as a period of greed, partly due to large fortunes beginning to be made in the stock markets. It was also a period of growing personal and financial freedom.

The 1990s are often remembered as a decade of relative peace and prosperity: The Soviet Union fell, ending the decades-long Cold War, and the rise of the Internet ushered in a radical new era of communication, business, and entertainment. The Dotcom Bubble was a rapid rise in U.S. technology stock equity valuations fueled by investments in Internet-based companies in the late 1990s. The value of equity markets grew exponentially during the dotcom bubble, with the Nasdaq rising from under 1,000 to more than 5,000 between 1995 and 2000.


The 2000s began with the Arab attack on the US’ World Trade Center by hijacked airliners flown by suicide Arab pilots. Echos of this event continued for the next 20 years as US troops were mired in resisting Islamic extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan and terrorism elsewhere. The decade of the 2000s was also marked by the rise of a global economy and Third World consumerism, and an increase in private enterprise. Effects of global warming and rising sea levels began to seem more unavoidable.

The 2010s began with the “Arab Spring” which led to mixed outcomes in the Arab world, resulting in several civil wars and governments overthrown.[8] The United States has remained the global superpower, while China is now considered as an emerging global superpower.



Recent Generations of the United States

(Picture is from Wikipedia’s article on Generation X)

Greatest Generation, also known as the G.I. Generation and the World War II generation, is most often defined as individuals born between 1901 and 1927. They were shaped by the Great Depression and were the primary participants in World War II.

Silent Generation is most often defined as individuals born between roughly 1928 and 1945. The number of people in this generation was comparatively small because the Great Depression of the 1930’s and World War II (from 1939 to 1945) caused people to have fewer children.

Baby-Boomer Generation is most often defined as individuals born between 1946 and 1964, during the post–World War II baby boom.

Generation X is most often defined as individuals born roughly from 1965 to late 1980.

Generation Y (or Gen Y for short), also called Millennials, are those born between from about 1981 to 1996.

Generation Z (or Gen Z for short) is most often defined as people born roughly from 1997 to 2012. Members of Generation Z have used digital technology since a young age.

Generation Alpha (or Gen Alpha for short) is most often defined as those born from the early 2010s to the mid-2020s. Named after the first letter in the Greek alphabet, Generation Alpha is the first to be born entirely in the 21st century. Most members of Generation Alpha are the children of the Millennials.