Portal:1980s

The 1980s Portal

The 1980s (pronounced "nineteen-eighties", shortened to "the '80s") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1980, and ended on December 31, 1989.

The decade saw major socioeconomic change due to advances in technology and a worldwide move away from planned economies and towards laissez-faire capitalism.

As economic deconstruction increased in the developed world, multiple multinational corporations associated with the manufacturing industry relocated into Thailand, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. Japan and West Germany saw large economic growth during this decade. The AIDS epidemic became recognized in the 1980s and has since killed an estimated 39 million people (). Global warming became well known to the scientific and political community in the 1980s.

The United Kingdom and the United States moved closer to supply-side economic policies beginning a trend towards global instability of international trade that would pick up more steam in the following decade as the fall of the USSR made right wing economic policy more powerful.

The final decade of the Cold War opened with the US-Soviet confrontation continuing largely without any interruption. Superpower tensions escalated rapidly as President Reagan scrapped the policy of détente and adopted a new, much more aggressive stance on the Soviet Union. The world came perilously close to nuclear war for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis 20 years earlier, but the second half of the decade saw a dramatic easing of superpower tensions and ultimately the total collapse of Soviet communism.

Developing countries across the world faced economic and social difficulties as they suffered from multiple debt crises in the 1980s, requiring many of these countries to apply for financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Ethiopia witnessed widespread famine in the mid-1980s during the corrupt rule of Mengistu Haile Mariam, resulting in the country having to depend on foreign aid to provide food to its population and worldwide efforts to address and raise money to help Ethiopians, such as the Live Aid concert in 1985.

Major civil discontent and violence occurred in the Middle East, including the Iran–Iraq War, the Soviet–Afghan War, the 1982 Lebanon War, the Nagorno-Karabakh War, the Bombing of Libya in 1986, and the First Intifada in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Islamism became a powerful political force in the 1980s and many terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda, started.

By 1986, nationalism was making a comeback in the Eastern Bloc and desire for democracy in communist-led socialist states combined with economic recession resulted in Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika, which reduced Communist Party power, legalized dissent and sanctioned limited forms of capitalism such as joint ventures with Western firms. After newly heated tension for most of the decade, by 1988 relations between the West and East had improved significantly and the Soviet Union was increasingly unwilling to defend its governments in satellite states.

1989 brought the overthrow and attempted overthrow of a number of governments led by communist parties, such as in Hungary, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in China, the Czechoslovak "Velvet Revolution", Erich Honecker's East German regime, Poland's Soviet-backed government, and the violent overthrow of the Nicolae Ceauşescu regime in Romania. Destruction of the 155-km Berlin Wall, at the end of the decade, signalled a seismic geopolitical shift. The Cold War ended in the early 1990s with the successful Reunification of Germany and the USSR's demise after the August Coup of 1991.

The 1980s saw great advances in genetic and digital technology. After years of animal experimentation since 1985 the first genetic modification of 10 adult human beings took place in May 1989, a gene tagging experiment which led to the first true gene therapy implementation in September 1990. The first "designer babies", a pair of female twins were created in a laboratory in late 1989 and born in July 1990 after being sex-selected via the controversial assisted reproductive technology procedure preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Gestational surrogacy was first performed in 1985 with the first birth in 1986, making it possible for a woman to become a biological mother without experiencing pregnancy for the first time in history.

The 1980s was also an era of tremendous population growth around the world, surpassing even the 1970s and 1990s, thus arguably being the largest in human history. Population growth was particularly rapid in a number of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian countries during this decade, with rates of natural increase close to or exceeding 4% annually.

The 1980s saw the advent of the ongoing practice of sex-selective abortion in China and India as ultrasound technology permitted parents to selectively abort baby girls.

The global Internet took shape in academia by the second half of the 1980s as well as many other computer networks of both academic and commercial use such as USENET, Fidonet and the Bulletin Board System. By 1989 the Internet and the networks linked to it were a global system with extensive transoceanic satellite links and nodes in most rich countries. Based on earlier work from 1980 onwards Tim Berners Lee formalized the concept of the World Wide Web by 1989 and performed its earliest demonstrations in December 1990 and 1991. Television viewing became commonplace in the Third World, with the number of TV sets in China and India increasing by 15 and 10 times respectively.

Video game consoles released in this decade included the continuing popularity of Atari 2600, Intellivision, Vectrex, Colecovision, SG-1000, NES/Famicom, Sega Master System, PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16, Mega Drive/Genesis and Game Boy. Super Mario Bros. and Tetris were the decade's two best selling and most popular video games. 1980's Atari VCS port of Space Invaders was the first killer app. Pac-Man was the decade's highest grossing arcade game. Home computers in that decade include the Commodore 64, VIC-20, the Apple II series, the Atari 8-bit family, Atari ST, Amiga, ZX Spectrum and MSX. Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows and IBM PC compatible were also introduced in that decade and helped popularize personal computers.

The decade was great socioeconomic change due to advances in technology and a worldwide move away from planned economies and towards laissez-faire capitalism.

The 1980s was an era of tremendous population growth around the world, surpassing even the 1970s and 1990s, thus arguably being the largest in human history. Population growth was particularly rapid in a number of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian countries during this decade, with rates of natural increase close to or exceeding 4% annually.

The AIDS epidemic became recognized in the 1980s and has since killed an estimated 39 million people (as of 2013).[1] Global warming became well known to the scientific and political community in the 1980s.

The 1980s saw great advances in genetic and digital technology. After years of animal experimentation since 1985 the first genetic modification of 10 adult human beings took place in May 1989, a gene tagging experiment[2] which led to the first true gene therapy implementation in September 1990. The first "designer babies", a pair of female twins were created in a laboratory in late 1989 and born in July 1990 after being sex-selected via the controversial assisted reproductive technology procedure preimplantation genetic diagnosis.[3] Gestational surrogacy was first performed in 1985 with the first birth in 1986, making it possible for a woman to become a biological mother without experiencing pregnancy for the first time in history.[4]

The global Internet took shape in academia by the second half of the 1980s as well as many other computer networks of both academic and commercial use such as USENET, Fidonet and the Bulletin Board System. By 1989 the Internet and the networks linked to it were a global system with extensive transoceanic satellite links and nodes in most rich countries.[5] Based on earlier work from 1980 onwards Tim Berners Lee formalized the concept of the World Wide Web by 1989 and performed its earliest demonstrations in December 1990 and 1991. Television viewing became commonplace in the Third World, with the number of TV sets in China and India increasing by 15 and 10 times respectively.[6]

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Indiana Jones is an American media franchise based on the adventures of Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., a fictional professor of archaeology that began in 1981 with the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. In 1984, a prequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, was released, and in 1989, a sequel, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. A fourth film followed in 2008, titled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. A fifth film is in development and is provisionally scheduled to be released in 2022. The series was created by George Lucas and stars Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. All four films were directed by Steven Spielberg.

In 1992, the franchise expanded to a television series with The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, portraying the character in his childhood and youth, and including adventures with his father. Marvel Comics began publishing The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones in 1983, and Dark Horse Comics gained the comic book rights to the character in 1991. Novelizations of the films have been published, as well as many novels with original adventures, including a series of German novels by Wolfgang Hohlbein, twelve novels set before the films published by Bantam Books, and a series set during the character's childhood inspired by the television show. Numerous Indiana Jones video games have been released since 1982. Read more...
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Deng Xiaoping in 1979, with US President Jimmy Carter in the background

Deng Xiaoping (/ˈdʌŋ ˌʃˈpɪŋ/, also UK: /ˈdɛŋ -, - ˈsjpɪŋ/; courtesy name Xixian; 22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997) was a Chinese politician who was the paramount leader of the People's Republic of China from 1978 until 1989. After Chairman Mao Zedong's death in 1976, Deng gradually rose to power and led China through a series of far-reaching market-economy reforms, which earned him the reputation as the "Architect of Modern China".

Born into an educated land-owning family in Sichuan province, Deng studied and worked in France in the 1920s, where he became a follower of Marxism–Leninism. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1923. Upon returning to China, Deng joined the party organization in Shanghai, becoming a political commissar for the Red Army in rural regions. In 1931, he was demoted within the party due to his support of Mao Zedong, but was promoted again during the 1935 Zunyi Conference. By the late 1930s, Deng was considered a "revolutionary veteran" because he participated in the Long March. Following the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Deng worked in Tibet as well as in southwest China to consolidate Communist control. As the party's Secretary-general in the 1950s, Deng presided over the Anti-Rightist Campaign launched by Mao and became instrumental in China's economic reconstruction following the Great Leap Forward (1958–1960). However, his economic policies caused him to fall out of favor with Mao Zedong and he was purged twice during the Cultural Revolution. Read more...
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Did you know...

...that the first Laser tag arena opened in 1984?
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  1. ^ "Global HIV/AIDS Overview". aids.gov. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Recent advances in pediatrics-17". Jaypee Brothers Publishers. ISBN 978-81-8448-103-7. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Genetic Defect Screened Out; Healthy Twins Born". latimes. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  4. ^ "And Baby Makes Four: for the First Time a Surrogate Bears a Child Genetically Not Her Own". people.com. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  5. ^ Ian Brown (2013). Research Handbook on Governance of the Internet. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-84980-504-9.
  6. ^ Singhal, Arvind; Doshi, J.K.; Rogers, Everett M.; Rahman, S. Adnan. "The Diffusion of Television in India" (PDF). Media Asia. 15 (4): 222–229. Retrieved 2015-04-18.

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