What Are the Three Most Important Events in American History Since 1877 and Why?

Since 1877, American history has witnessed several important events that have had a significant impact on the country and the world at large. These events have shaped America’s political, social, and economic landscape, and continue to influence the nation’s present and future. In this article, we will discuss the three most important events in American history since 1877 and why they hold such significance.

The Great Depression (1929-1939)

The Great Depression was a period of economic crisis that began in 1929 and lasted for almost a decade. It was triggered by the stock market crash of October 1929, which led to a massive decline in consumer spending and investment. The Depression had far-reaching consequences for America’s economy, society, and politics.

Impact on Economy

The Great Depression led to massive unemployment rates as businesses shut down across the country. This created widespread poverty and hunger as people struggled to feed themselves and their families. The government responded with a series of programs aimed at stimulating economic growth and providing relief to those affected by the crisis.

Social Impact

The Great Depression had a profound impact on American society. It exposed deep inequalities in wealth distribution as many people lost their life savings while others remained untouched by the crisis. This led to widespread social unrest as people demanded greater economic justice.

Political Impact

The Great Depression also had significant political consequences. It undermined faith in capitalism as many people blamed it for causing the crisis. It also paved the way for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, which aimed to provide relief to those affected by the crisis while also reforming America’s economic system.

The Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968)

The Civil Rights Movement was a social movement aimed at ending racial discrimination against African Americans in America. It began in earnest after the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, which declared segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional.

Impact on Society

The Civil Rights Movement had a profound impact on American society. It challenged deeply ingrained racial prejudices and forced Americans to confront the reality of institutionalized racism. It also inspired other social movements, such as the feminist and LGBTQ+ movements, which sought to challenge other forms of discrimination.

The Civil Rights Movement also had significant political consequences. It led to the passage of several landmark pieces of legislation aimed at ending racial discrimination, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. These laws helped to ensure greater equality for African Americans in America.

Cultural Impact

The Civil Rights Movement also had a significant cultural impact. It inspired a generation of artists and writers who used their work to challenge racial prejudice and promote greater understanding between different races.

The September 11 Attacks (2001)

The September 11 Attacks were a series of coordinated terrorist attacks carried out by Al-Qaeda against Targets in the United States on September 11, 2001. The attacks had far-reaching consequences for America’s foreign policy, security, and civil liberties.

Impact on Security

The September 11 Attacks led to a massive overhaul of America’s security apparatus. The government created new agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and passed legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act in order to enhance national security.

Foreign Policy Impact

The attacks also had a significant impact on America’s foreign policy. They led to military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the War on Terror, which aimed to combat terrorism around the world.

Civil Liberties Impact

Finally, the September 11 Attacks also had an impact on civil liberties in America. The government’s response to the attacks led to increased surveillance of American citizens and restrictions on civil liberties such as freedom of speech and privacy.


In conclusion, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, and the September 11 Attacks are three of the most important events in American history since 1877. Each event had far-reaching consequences for America’s economy, society, politics, foreign policy, and security. By understanding these events and their impact on America, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the country’s history and its ongoing struggles to ensure greater justice and equality for all.