The 21st century was marked by a large number of changes in a short amount of time. During these 20 years, the world has evolved drastically, and the United States was the setting for a large number of these changes. The changes came mostly in the shape of various events, whose effects and consequences were felt all over the world.
This is, of course, because the U.S. is one of the largest and most powerful nations in the world. The changes happened everywhere, in politics, technology, and everyday lives, and these were the most important events that lead to those changes.
7. Donald Trump Is Elected President
In a shocking turn of events for many, Donald Trump, a man that had no political aspirations for the majority of his life, had won the presidential election in 2016. He defeated Hillary Clinton, and this event was heavily criticized across the globe. Until then, he was known as a businessman and a reality TV star, and suddenly he was the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. Not only that, but his views were considered too traditional by many.
He started denying immigrants their rights and was opposing most of the liberal ideas that were becoming the main train of thought in the current era. Not only that, but he was also only the fifth president in history to have won the presidency despite losing the popular vote. It is safe to say that many opposed this decision and are eagerly awaiting for the moment he is replaced.
6. The Invasion Of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq was just the first step of the Iraq War. It started in March of 2003 and continued for over a month. This included many large scale combat operations, where the U.S. soldiers received help from other countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland.
On May 1st of the same year, the first stage of the war ended, but almost 200,000 soldiers were sent to invade Iraq, and a large number of them stayed stationed there. The U.S. forces did not withdraw until 2011. Protesters heavily criticized this act across the world. People believed that the age of wars was left behind us once we entered the new millennium, but they could not have been more wrong.
5. The Boston Marathon Bombing
We are continuing with more negative events, but this is another one that was especially painful and memorable. On April 15th, 2013, during the Boston Marathon, two homemade bombs were detonated near the finish line and killed three people, while also severely injuring hundreds more. The suspects were swiftly identified, and the police started looking for them soon after that.
There were two suspects, and one was killed while resisting arrest, while the other one was arrested after a long chase. He confessed to the bombing and said extreme Islamist beliefs inspired them. He also said that this wasn’t the only bombing they had planned, which instilled even more fear of terrorist attacks into Americans. He was sentenced to death just two months after the bombing.
4. Hurricane Katrina
A tropical cyclone of a magnitude that was not recorded until then hit the southeastern parts of the United States in August 2005. It caused a large number of deaths and extreme damage all across the coast, but it was most severely felt in New Orleans. Many consider this hurricane to be the biggest natural disaster ever to hit the United States.
The public reaction was swift; however, money was donated from all across the world, and numerous celebrities jumped in to help during this event. Notably, rapper Kanye West accused George Bush, the President of the U.S. back then, of not caring for black people, because of his neglect of the damaged cities.
On September 11th, 2001, an event happened that left an enormous negative impact on the United States of America. Its impact was felt across the world. It was a terrorist attack performed by hijacking planes and crashing them into the World Trade Center, and also the Pentagon.
Thousands of people lost their lives, and the consequences of this attack are still felt to this day. The country was never the same after this, and the leisure spirit of the nineties was slowly replaced by a more cynical outlook on the world. This event also marked the start of the war on terror. The United States has been in a state of national emergency ever since.
2. Obergefell v. Hodges
Although this title may confuse you, the explanation is quite simple. It is the name of the crucial civil rights case that led to the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriages were legal all across the United States. This was another massive victory for the civil rights movement, in a country that is often plagued by problems that take away rights from most minorities.
This decision was made on June 26th, 2015, and it required all fifty states to recognize same-sex marriages as equally valuable as the marriages between people of the opposite sex. This case took several years to finish, but when it finally happened, the country suddenly felt like a better place. It was indeed a momentous occasion, one whose consequences will make life easier for millions of people.
1. The First Black President
In a country plagued by racism throughout its entire history, and still is to a degree, this event is a huge deal. Scratch that, a humongous deal. It is impossible to overstate how important the election of Barack Obama as the U.S. president was. It gave a large number of people hope, hope that a change can be made and that their status in society can change for the better.
Barack Obama was elected as U.S. President on November 4th, 2008, and he became the first African-American president. He was also re-elected for a second term, which was almost as impressive as the first time it happened, although less surprising.