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The Close of the 20th Century, 1992-2000 • America on the Move
Classroom Activities

Objective: Characterize the late 20th century through the creation of a virtual time capsule.

Key Questions:

  • What changes did America's economy and work force face during the late 20th century?
  • What are the effects of the global economy on the U.S. economy and work force? What are the risks and benefits of participation in a global economy?
  • What is the sun belt? Why was there an increase in the sun belt's population?

Notes on Implementation:

  • You many want to direct student to produce their time capsule in particular format.
  • This activity can be completed by students individually, in pairs, or in small groups.

Student Activity: Students can access the below activity in The Close of the 20th Century Topic Center within the American History database.

In the late 20th century, Americans faced many changes. Some of them were global, as the finances of the world's nations became more and more interdependent. Others arose from economic changes at home, like shifts in industry toward newer high-tech manufacturing and services. The nation's cities also changed as people moved from older, established cities to the expanding Sun Belt region. Each of those changes grew from a myriad of factors and in turn brought about many interrelated changes.

In this activity, you will create a virtual time capsule to characterize the end of the 20th century. To complete this activity review the resources and the Apply section.



  • Read and review the Overview and Visual.
  • Select images, media, documents, and other resources to capture the time.
  • Use the Library in the Topic Center to help you locate resources.
  • Include the following themes:
    • Global Economy
    • Transforming Industries
    • Growth of the Sunbelt
  • Choose a format for displaying your virtual time capsule, consider Google Slides or PowerPoint.


Key Understandings:

  • A democratic nations social and cultural norms and practices are likely to change

Possible Answers for Activity:

The following outline is information that characterized the end of the 20th century and could be used in students' time capsules.

Global Economy

U.S. trend toward economic globalism

  • IMF, World Bank
  • Invested in capitalism in "third-world" former colonies
  • World focused on economic globalization due to new technologies
  • Free trade
  • Fair trade

Transforming Industries


  • Working from home
  • Companies laid off unnecessary workers
  • Affected every large U.S. industry
  • Auto companies especially hard hit

New technology

  • New lifestyles centered on information age
  • Service industries depended less on raw materials, offered skilled jobs

Changes in daily life

  • E-mail
  • Online banking/bill paying
  • Worldwide online connections
  • Telecommuting on home computers

Growth of the Sun Belt

Shifting economy

  • Factories around traditional urban centers closed
  • Companies exported jobs overseas
  • Comprehensive downsizing of company personnel

Shifting workforce

  • Abandoned traditional family-centered towns
  • No company loyalty keeping workers where they lived
  • Jobs portable with new telecommuting tools

Sun Belt in 1990s

  • Includes Florida, Texas, Arizona, California
  • Second wave of movement to area
  • Relocated for communications, digital upstarts
  • Attracted young college graduates

MLA Citation

"America on the Move." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/2036?cid=71. Accessed 16 Feb. 2019.

View all citation styles.

Entry ID: 2042989

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