1990s

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Hubble Space TelescopeGulf WarOslo AccordsWorld Wide WebDissolution of the Soviet UnionDolly the sheepDeath of Diana, Princess of WalesRwandan genocide1990s
From left, clockwise: The Hubble Space Telescope orbits the earth after it was launched in 1990; American F-16s and F-15s fly over burning oil fields in Operation Desert Storm, also known as the 1991 Gulf War; The signing of the Oslo Accords on 13 September 1993; The World Wide Web gains a public face during the start of decade and as a result gains massive popularity worldwide; Boris Yeltsin and followers stand on a tank in defiance to the August Coup, which leads to the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991; Dolly the sheep is the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell; The funeral procession of Diana, Princess of Wales, who dies in 1997 from a car crash in Paris, and is mourned by millions; Hundreds of thousands of Tutsi people are killed in the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
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The 1990s (pronounced "nineteen-nineties" and abbreviated as the nineties) was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1990, and ended on December 31, 1999.

The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. The calendar spaces leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day tropical year that is determined by the Earth's revolution around the Sun. The rule for leap years is:

Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the year 2000 is.

Contents

Overview

Culturally, the 1990s are characterized by the rise of multiculturalism and alternative media, which continued into the 2000s and 2010s. Movements such as grunge, the rave scene and hip hop spread around the world to young people during that decade, aided by then-new technology such as cable television and the World Wide Web.

Multiculturalism Existence of multiple cultural traditions within a single country

The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology, of political philosophy, and of colloquial use. In sociology and in everyday usage, it is a synonym for "ethnic pluralism", with the two terms often used interchangeably, for example, a cultural pluralism in which various ethnic groups collaborate and enter into a dialogue with one another without having to sacrifice their particular identities. It can describe a mixed ethnic community area where multiple cultural traditions exist or a single country within which they do. Groups associated with an aboriginal or autochthonous ethnic group and foreigner ethnic groups are often the focus.

Alternative media are media that differ from established or dominant types of media in terms of their content, production, or distribution. Alternative media take many forms including print, audio, video, Internet and street art. Some examples include the counter-culture zines of the 1960s, ethnic and indigenous media such as the First People's television network in Canada, and more recently online open publishing journalism sites such as Indymedia.

Grunge is a rock music genre and subculture that emerged during the mid-1980s in the Pacific Northwest U.S. state of Washington, particularly in Seattle and nearby towns. The early grunge movement revolved around Seattle's independent record label Sub Pop and the region's underground music scene. By the early 1990s its popularity had spread, with grunge bands appearing in California, then emerging in other parts of the United States and in Australia, building strong followings and signing major record deals.

In the absence of world communism, which collapsed in the first two years of the decade, the 1990s was politically defined by a movement towards the right-wing, including increase in support for far-right parties in Europe [1] as well as the advent of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party [2] and cuts in social spending in the United States, [3] Canada, [4] New Zealand, [5] and the UK. [6] The United States also saw a massive revival in the use of the death penalty in the 1990s, which reversed in the early 21st century. [7] During the 1990s the character of the European Union and Euro were formed and codified in treaties.

World communism Communism of international scope

World communism is a form of communism which has an international scope. The long-term goal of world communism is a worldwide communist society that is stateless, which may be achieved through an intermediate-term goal of either a voluntary association of sovereign states or a world government. A series of internationals have worked toward world communism and they have included the First International, the Second International, the Third International, the Fourth International, the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the World Socialist Movement and variant offshoots. These are a quite heterogeneous group despite their common ultimate goal of a stateless and global communist society.

Right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics, or tradition. Hierarchy and inequality may be viewed as natural results of traditional social differences or the competition in market economies. The term right-wing can generally refer to "the conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system".

Far-right politics are politics further on the right of the left-right spectrum than the standard political right, particularly in terms of extreme nationalism, nativist ideologies, and authoritarian tendencies.

A combination of factors, including the continued mass mobilization of capital markets through neo-liberalism, the thawing of the decades-long Cold War, the beginning of the widespread proliferation of new media such as the Internet from the middle of the decade onwards, increasing skepticism towards government, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union led to a realignment and reconsolidation of economic and political power across the world and within countries. The dot-com bubble of 1997–2000 brought wealth to some entrepreneurs before its crash between 2000 and 2001.

Capital market financial market for medium and long-term capital raising

A capital market is a financial market in which long-term debt or equity-backed securities are bought and sold. Capital markets channel the wealth of savers to those who can put it to long-term productive use, such as companies or governments making long-term investments. Financial regulators like the Bank of England (BoE) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) oversee capital markets to protect investors against fraud, among other duties.

Cold War Geopolitical tension after World War II between the Eastern and Western Bloc

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and the Truman Doctrine of 1947, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe as well as in other areas, and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.

New media are forms of media that are native to computers, computational and relying on computers for redistribution. Some examples of new media are telephones, computers, virtual worlds, single media, website games, human-computer interface, computer animation and interactive computer installations.

The 1990s saw extreme advances in technology, with the World Wide Web, the first gene therapy trial, and the first designer babies [8] all emerging in 1990 and being improved and built upon throughout the decade.

World Wide Web System of interlinked hypertext documents accessed over the Internet

The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators, which may be interlinked by hypertext, and are accessible over the Internet. The resources of the WWW may be accessed by users by a software application called a web browser.

Gene therapy therapeutic approach that involves inserting nucleic acids into the patients cells

In the medicine field gene therapy is the therapeutic delivery of nucleic acid into a patient's cells as a drug to treat disease. The first attempt at modifying human DNA was performed in 1980 by Martin Cline, but the first successful nuclear gene transfer in humans, approved by the National Institutes of Health, was performed in May 1989. The first therapeutic use of gene transfer as well as the first direct insertion of human DNA into the nuclear genome was performed by French Anderson in a trial starting in September 1990.

New ethnic conflicts emerged in Africa, the Balkans, and the Caucasus, the former two which led to the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides, respectively. Signs of any resolution of tensions between Israel and the Arab world remained elusive despite the progress of the Oslo Accords, though The Troubles in Northern Ireland came to a standstill in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement after 30 years of violence. [9]

Balkans Geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe

The Balkans, also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographic area in southeastern Europe with various definitions and meanings, including geopolitical and historical. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the whole of Bulgaria from the Serbian-Bulgarian border to the Black Sea coast. The Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea on the northwest, the Ionian Sea on the southwest, the Aegean Sea in the south and southeast, and the Black Sea on the east and northeast. The northern border of the peninsula is variously defined. The highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala, 2,925 metres (9,596 ft), in the Rila mountain range.

Caucasus region in Eurasia bordered on the south by Iran, on the southwest by Turkey, on the west by the Black Sea, on the east by the Caspian Sea, and on the north by Russia

The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia as well as parts of Iran, Russia and Turkey. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus mountain range, which has historically been considered a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

Rwandan genocide 1994 genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda during April–July 1994

The Rwandan genocide, also known as the genocide against the Tutsi, was a mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda, which took place between 7 April and 15 July 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War.

Politics and wars

Wars

The most prominent armed conflicts of the decade include:

International wars

The Gulf War. Gulf War Photobox.jpg
The Gulf War.
  • The Gulf War – Iraq was left in severe debt after the 1980s war with Iran. President Saddam Hussein accused Kuwait of flooding the market with oil and driving down prices. As a result, on 2 August 1990, Iraqi forces invaded and conquered Kuwait. The UN immediately condemned the action, and a coalition force led by the United States was sent to the Persian Gulf. Aerial bombing of Iraq began in January 1991 (see also Gulf War), and a month later, the UN forces drove the Iraqi army from Kuwait in just four days. In the aftermath of the war, the Kurds in the north of Iraq and the Shiites in the south rose up in revolt, and Saddam Hussein barely managed to hold onto power. Until the US invasion in 2003, Iraq was cut off from much of the world.
  • The Chechen wars break out in the 1990s:
  • The Kargil War (1999) – In May 1999, Pakistan sent troops covertly to occupy strategic peaks in Kashmir. A month later the Kargil War with India results in a political fiasco for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, followed by a Pakistani military withdrawal to the Line of Control. The incident leads to a military coup in October, in which Sharif is ousted by Army Chief Pervez Musharraf. This conflict remains the only war fought between two declared nuclear powers.
Bosnian parliament building burns after being hit by Bosnian Serb artillery. Evstafiev-sarajevo-building-burns.jpg
Bosnian parliament building burns after being hit by Bosnian Serb artillery.

Civil Wars and guerrilla wars

Rwandan Genocide: Genocide victims in Murambi Technical School. Estimates put the death toll of the Rwandan Genocide as high as 800,000 people. Rwandan Genocide Murambi skulls.jpg
Rwandan Genocide: Genocide victims in Murambi Technical School. Estimates put the death toll of the Rwandan Genocide as high as 800,000 people.
  • The Rwandan Genocide – between 6 April 1994 until mid-July 1994 a mass killing of hundreds of thousands of Rwanda's Tutsis and Hutu political moderates occurred by the Hutu dominated government under the Hutu Power ideology. Over the course of approximately 100 days, at least 500,000 people were killed. [11] Estimates of the death toll have ranged between 500,000 and 1,000,000, [12] or as much as 20% of the total population of the country. It resulted in serious criticism of the United Nations and major countries for failing to stop the genocide.
  • In Algeria a long period of violence in the north African country starts by the cancellation of the first ever held democratic elections by a group of high-ranking army officers.
  • The Ethiopian Civil War ends in 1991, ending over twenty years of internal conflict. The end of the war coincides with the establishment of a coalition government of various factions.
  • Oka Crisis takes place in 1990 involving an armed standoff between people of the Mohawk nation (North American indigenous peoples in Canada), and the Canadian military over a dispute involving land held via treaty to the Mohawk people.
  • A large number of the Zapatista indigenous people of Mexico join the Zapatista Army of National Liberation that begins armed conflict with the Mexican government in 1994 and continues through the 1990s.
  • The Taliban seize control of Afghanistan in 1996.
  • The 1992 Los Angeles riots occurred, with 53 deaths and 5,500 property fires in a 100-square-mile (260 km2) riot zone. The riots were a result of the state court acquittal of three White and one Hispanic L.A. police officers by an all-white jury in a police brutality case involving motorist Rodney King, but in 1993, all four officers were convicted in a federal civil rights case.
  • The Somali Civil War (1991 – present) and the Battle of Mogadishu.
  • Severe political deadlock between Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the Supreme Soviet (Russia's parliament at this time) result in Yeltsin ordering the controversial shelling of the Russian parliament building by tanks in 1993.
  • The Tajikistan civil war, which pits the Tajikistan government against the United Tajik Opposition, lasts from 1992 until 1997 and results in the death of 50,000 to 100,000 people.
  • After over 30 years of fighting, The Troubles in Northern Ireland end on 10 April 1998 when the Good Friday Agreement is signed.

Coups

Terrorist attacks

Oklahoma City bombing. Oklahomacitybombing-DF-ST-98-01356.jpg
Oklahoma City bombing.

Decolonization and independence

Prominent political events

Africa

South Africa
Nelson Mandela. Mandela voting in 1994.jpg
Nelson Mandela.
  • The release of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela from jail in February 1990 after thirty years of imprisonment for opposing apartheid and white-minority rule in South Africa. This would resolve with the end of Apartheid in South Africa in 1994.
  • Nelson Mandela is elected President of South Africa in 1994, becoming the first black President in South African history ending a long legacy of apartheid white-rule in the country.

North America

During the late 90s a move was made to oust the American president Bill Clinton following the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal. This attempt did not succeed and Clinton continued to serve as the president until the end of his term in January 2001.

The enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on 1 January 1994, creating a North American free trade zone consisting of Canada, Mexico, and the United States

Canada
  • Canadian politics is radically altered in the 1993 federal election with the collapse of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, (a major political party in Canada since 1867) from being in government to only 2 seats and the New Democratic Party collapsing from 44 seats to 9. The Liberal Party of Canada is the only genuine national political party that remains while the regionally based parties such as the Quebec-based Bloc Québécois and the almost entirely Western Canada-based Reform Party of Canada rise from political insignificance to being major political parties.
  • After the collapse of the Meech Lake constitutional accord in 1990, the province of Quebec in Canada experienced a rekindled wave of separatism by francophone Québécois nationalists, who sought for Quebec to become an independent country. In 1995, during a referendum on Quebec sovereignty, Quebec voters narrowly reject the vote for independence.
  • The 1995 Quebec referendum on sovereignty is held in the predominantly francophone province of Quebec in Canada, a majority anglophone country. If accepted Quebec would become an independent country with an economic association with Canada. The proposal is narrowly rejected by Quebec's voters by 50.4% no, and 49.6% yes.
Haiti
United States
  • United States President Bill Clinton was a dominant political figure in international affairs during the 1990s known especially for his attempts to negotiate peace in the Middle East and end the ongoing wars occurring in the former Yugoslavia; his promotion of international action to decrease human-created climate change; and his endorsement of advancing free trade in the Americas.
  • Lewinsky scandal – US president Bill Clinton was caught in a media-frenzied scandal involving inappropriate relations with a White House intern Monica Lewinsky, first announced on 21 January 1998. After the United States House of Representatives impeached Clinton on 19 December 1998 for perjury under oath, following an investigation by federal prosecutor Kenneth Starr, the Senate acquitted Clinton of the charges on 12 February 1999 and he finished his second term.
  • California voters passed Proposition 215 in 1996, to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes. The debate over legalization of marijuana in the United States goes on today.
  • The enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on 1 January 1994, creating a North American free trade zone consisting of Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Asia

Middle East
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, United States President Bill Clinton, and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat during the signing of the Oslo Accords on 13 September 1993. Bill Clinton, Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat at the White House 1993-09-13.jpg
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, United States President Bill Clinton, and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat during the signing of the Oslo Accords on 13 September 1993.
Far East
  • Lee Kuan Yew relinquished prime-ministership of Singapore on 28 November 1990, a position he held since 1959, to Goh Chok Tong. He remained in the cabinet as Senior Minister.
  • In July 1994, North Korean leader Kim Il-sung died, having ruled the country since its founding in 1948. His son Kim Jong-il succeeded him, taking over a nation on the brink of complete economic collapse. Famine caused a great number of deaths in the late '90s, and North Korea would gain a reputation for being a large source of money laundering, counterfeiting, and weapons proliferation. The country's ability to produce and sell nuclear weapons became a focus of concern in the international community.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy in Burma wins a majority of seats in the first free elections in 30 years in 1990, yet the Burmese military junta refuses to relinquish power, beginning an ongoing peaceful struggle throughout the 1990s to the present by Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters to demand the end of military rule in Burma.
  • In the Philippines two Presidents were elected, Fidel V. Ramos in 1992 and Joseph Estrada in 1998.
  • Indonesian president Suharto resigned after ruling for 32 years (1966–1998).

Europe

  • The improvement in relations between the countries of NATO and the former members of the Warsaw Pact ended the Cold War both in Europe and other parts of the world.
  • German reunification – Germany reunified on 3 October 1990 as a result of the fall of the Berlin Wall and after integrating the economic structure and provincial governments, focused on modernization of the former communist East. People who were brought up in a socialist culture became integrated with those living in capitalist western Germany.
  • Margaret Thatcher who had been the United Kingdom's Prime Minister since 1979 resigned as Prime Minister on 22 November 1990 after being challenged for the leadership of the Conservative Party by Michael Heseltine because of widespread opposition to the introduction of the controversial Community Charge and the fact that her key allies such as Nigel Lawson and Geoffrey Howe resigned over the deeply sensitive issues of the Maastricht Treaty and Margaret Thatcher's resistance to Britain joining the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. Less than two years later on the infamous Black Wednesday of September 1992, the pound sterling crashed out of the system after the pound fell below the agreed exchange rate with the Deutsche Mark.
  • John Major replaces Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in 1990.
  • The restructuring of the Soviet Union destabilizes, as nationalist and separatist demagogues gain popularity. Boris Yeltsin, then chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Russia, resigns from the Communist Party and becomes the opposition leader against Mikhail Gorbachev. The Communist Party loses its status as the governing force of the country and is banned after a coup attempt by Communist hardliners attempted to revert the effects of Gorbachev's policies. Yeltsin's counter-revolution is victorious on 25 December 1991 with the resignation of Gorbachev from presidency and the dissolution of the USSR. Yeltsin became president of the successor Russian Federation and presided over a period of political unrest, economic crisis, and social anarchy. On 31 December 1999, Yeltsin resigned leaving Vladimir Putin as acting president.
  • The European Union forms in 1992 under the Maastricht Treaty.
  • The Downing Street Declaration 15 December 1993 by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, John Major, and the Taoiseach of Ireland, Albert Reynolds at the British Prime Minister's office in 10 Downing Street. It affirmed both the right of the people of Ireland to self-determination, and that Northern Ireland would be transferred to the Republic of Ireland from the United Kingdom only if a majority of its population was in favour of such a move. It included, as part of the prospective of the so-called "Irish dimension", the principle of consent that the people of the island of Ireland, had the exclusive right to solve the issues between North and South by mutual consent. [14] [15] The latter statement, which later would become one of the points of the Good Friday Agreement, [16] was key to produce a positive change of attitude by the republicans towards a negotiated settlement. The joint declaration also pledged the governments to seek a peaceful constitutional settlement, and promised that parties linked with paramilitaries (such as Sinn Féin) could take part in the talks, so long as they abandoned violence. [17]
  • The IRA agreed to a truce in 1994. This marked the beginning of the end of 25 years of violence between the IRA and the United Kingdom, and the start of political negotiations.
  • Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister in 1997 following the 1997 United Kingdom general election.
  • The Belfast Agreement (a.k.a. the Good Friday Agreement) is signed by U.K. and Irish politicians on 10 April 1998, declaring a joint commitment to a peaceful resolution of the territorial dispute between Ireland and the United Kingdom over Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement referendum, 1998 was held on 22 May 1998. There was a large majority of 'Yes'. A total of 1,738 ballots were spoiled. Turnout, at 81.1% was very high for a developed country where voting is not compulsory. [18] Turnout in the equivalent referendum in the Republic of Ireland was average for a constitutional referendum but returned almost universal approval (94.39%).
  • The National Assembly for Wales established following the Welsh devolution referendum, 1997 was held on 18 September 1997 in which voters approved the creation of the National Assembly for Wales by a majority of 6,712 votes, or 50.3% of the vote. [19] The following year the Government of Wales Act was passed by the United Kingdom parliament, establishing the Assembly
  • The Scottish Parliament established following a referendum in September 1997, the 1997 Scottish devolution referendum was put to the Scottish electorate and secured a majority in favour of the establishment of a new devolved Scottish Parliament, with tax-varying powers, in Edinburgh. [20] An election was held on 6 May 1999, and on 1 July of that year power was transferred from Westminster to the new Parliament. [21]

South America

Peru

Notable world leaders

Note: Names of world leaders shown below in bold remained in power continuously throughout the decade.

Assassinations and attempts

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

Yitzhak Rabin. Yitzhak Rabin (1986) cropped.jpg
Yitzhak Rabin.

Disasters

Natural disasters

The 1999 Izmit earthquake which occurred in the northwestern of Turkey killed 17,217 and injured 43,959. Izmit eart3.jpg
The 1999 İzmit earthquake which occurred in the northwestern of Turkey killed 17,217 and injured 43,959.

Non-natural disasters

The crash site of El Al Flight 1862 in 1992. Bijlmerramp2 without link.jpg
The crash site of El Al Flight 1862 in 1992.

Economics

North America

The Dow Jones Index of the 1990s. Dow jones.png
The Dow Jones Index of the 1990s.

Asia

Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton share a laugh in October 1995. Boris Yeltsin with Bill Clinton-1.jpg
Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton share a laugh in October 1995.

Europe

South America

Technology and science

Technology

The 1990s were a revolutionary decade for digital technology. Between 1990 and 1997, individual personal computer ownership in the US rose from 15% to 35%. [23] Cell phones of the early-1990s and earlier ones were very large, lacked extra features, and were used by only a few percent of the population of even the wealthiest nations. Only a few million people used online services in 1990, and the World Wide Web had only just been invented. The first web browser went online in 1993 [24] and by 2001, more than 50% of some Western countries had Internet access, and more than 25% had cell phone access.

Electronics and communications

The "historical" World Wide Web project logo designed by Robert Cailliau. WWW logo by Robert Cailliau.svg
The "historical" World Wide Web project logo designed by Robert Cailliau.
The logo created by The President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion, for use on Y2K.gov Y2K Logo.gif
The logo created by The President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion, for use on Y2K.gov
  • On August 6, 1991, CERN, a pan European organization for particle research, publicized the new World Wide Web project. [25] Although the basic applications and guidelines that make the Internet possible had existed for almost two decades, the network did not gain a public face until the 1990s.
  • Driven by mass adoption, consumer personal computer specifications increased dramatically during the 1990s, from 512 KB RAM 12 MHz Turbo XTs in 1990, [26] to 25–66 MHz 80486-class processor at the start of the popularization of the World Wide Web mid-decade, [27] to over 1 GHz CPUs with close to a gigabyte of RAM by 2000.
  • Y2K spread fear throughout the United States and eventually the world in the last half of the decade, particularly in 1999, about possible massive computer malfunctions on January 1, 2000. As a result, many people stocked up on supplies for fear of a worldwide disaster. After significant effort to upgrade systems on the part of software engineers, no failures occurred when the clocks rolled over into 2000.
  • Advancements in computer modems, ISDN, cable modems, and DSL lead to faster connections to the Internet.
  • The first Pentium microprocessor is introduced and developed by the Intel Corporation.
  • Email becomes popular; as a result, Microsoft acquires the popular Hotmail webmail service.
  • Instant messaging and the buddy list feature becomes popular. AIM and ICQ are two early protocols.
  • Businesses start to build e-commerce websites; e-commerce-only companies such as Amazon.com, eBay, AOL, and Yahoo! grow rapidly.
  • The introduction of affordable, smaller satellite dishes and the DVB-S standard in the mid-1990s expanded satellite television services that carried up to 500 television channels.
  • The first MP3 player, the MPMan, is released in late spring of 1998. It came with 32 MB of flash memory expandable to 64 MB. By the mid-2000s, the MP3 player would overtake the CD player in popularity.
  • The first GSM network is launched in Finland in 1991.
  • Digital single-lens reflex cameras and regular digital cameras become commercially available. They would replace film cameras by the mid-2000s.
  • IBM introduces the 1-inch (25 mm) wide Microdrive hard drive in 170 MB and 340 MB capacities.
  • Apple in 1998 introduces the iMac all-in-one computer, initiating a trend in computer design towards translucent plastics and multicolor case design, discontinuing many legacy technologies like serial ports, and beginning a resurgence in the company's fortunes that continues to this day.
  • CD burner drives are introduced.
  • The CD-ROM drive became standard for most personal computers during the decade.
  • The DVD media format is developed and popularized along with a plethora of Flash memory card standards in 1994.
  • Pagers are initially popular but ultimately are replaced by mobile phones by the early-2000s.
  • Hand-held satellite phones are introduced towards the end of the decade.
  • The 24-hour news cycle becomes popular with the Gulf War between late 1990 and early 1991 and CNN's coverage of Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Though CNN had been running 24-hour newscasts since 1980, it was not until the Gulf War that the general public took large notice and others imitated CNN's non-stop news approach. [28]
  • Portable CD players, introduced during the late 1980s, became very popular and had a profound impact on the music industry and youth culture during the 1990s.

Software

Eurostars

The opening of the Channel Tunnel between France and the United Kingdom saw the commencement by the three national railway companies of Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, respectively SNCB/NMBS, SNCF and British Rail of the joint Eurostar service.

Eurostar logo 1994-2011 Eurostar.svg
Eurostar logo 1994–2011

On 14 November 1994 Eurostar services began between Waterloo International station in London, Gare du Nord in Paris and Brussels South in Brussels. [29] [30] [31] In 1995 Eurostar was achieving an average end-to-end speed of 171.5 km/h (106.6 mph) between London and Paris. [32] On 8 January 1996 Eurostar launched services from a second railway station in the UK when Ashford International was opened. [33] Journey times between London and Brussels were reduced by the opening of HSL 1 on 14 December 1997.

A pair of Eurostar trains at the former Waterloo International since moved to St Pancras International railway station. Eurostars at waterloo international.jpg
A pair of Eurostar trains at the former Waterloo International since moved to St Pancras International railway station.

The trains are based on the TGV and are British Rail Class 373.

Automobiles

The 1990s began with another recession that dampened car sales. General Motors continued to suffer huge losses thanks to an inefficient structure, stale designs, and poor quality. Sales improved with the economy by the mid-1990s, but GM's US market share gradually declined to less than 40% (from a peak of 50% in the 1970s). While the new Saturn division fared well, Oldsmobile declined sharply, and attempts to remake the division as a European-style luxury car were unsuccessful.

Cars in the 1990s had a rounder, more streamlined shape than those from the 1970s and 1980s; this style would continue early into the 2000s and to a lesser extent later on.

Chrysler ran into financial troubles again as the 1990s started. Like GM, the company too had a stale model lineup (except for the best-selling minivans) that was largely based on the aging K-car platform. In 1992, chairman Lee Iacocca retired, and the company began a remarkable revival, introducing the new LH platform and "Cab-Forward" styling, along with a highly successful redesign of the full-sized Dodge Ram in 1994. Chrysler's minivans continued to dominate the market despite increasing competition. In 1998, Daimler-Benz (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz) merged with Chrysler. The following year, it was decided to retire Plymouth, which had been on a long decline since the 1970s. Ford continued to fare well in the 1990s, with the second and third generations of the Ford Taurus being named the best selling car in the United States from 1992 to 1996. However, the Taurus would be outsold and dethroned by the Toyota Camry starting in 1997, which became the best selling car in the United States for the rest of the decade and into the 2000s. Ford also introduced the Ford Explorer, 1991 being the first model year. Fords Explorer became the best selling SUV on the market; out selling both the Chevy Blazer and Jeep Cherokee

Japanese cars continued to be highly successful during the decade. The Honda Accord vied with the Taurus most years for being the best-selling car in the United States during the early part of the decade. Although launched in 1989, the luxury brands Lexus and Infiniti began car sales of 1990 model year vehicles and saw great success. Lexus would go on to outsell Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the United States by 1991, and would outsell Cadillac and Lincoln by the end of the decade. SUVs and trucks became hugely popular during the economic boom in the second half of the decade. Many makes that had never built a truck before started selling SUVs. Car styling during the 1990s became gradually more round and ovoid, the third-generation Taurus and Mercury Sable being some of the more extreme examples. Safety features such as airbags and shoulder belts became mandatory equipment on new cars.

Science

Dolly the sheep is the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell. Dollyscotland (crop).jpg
Dolly the sheep is the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell.
Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble 01.jpg
Hubble Space Telescope.

Environment

NASA satellite observation of deforestation in the Mato Grosso state of Brazil. The transformation from forest to farm is evident by the paler square shaped areas under development. DeforestationinBrazil2.jpg
NASA satellite observation of deforestation in the Mato Grosso state of Brazil. The transformation from forest to farm is evident by the paler square shaped areas under development.

At the beginning of the decade, sustainable development and environmental protection became serious issues for governments and the international community. In 1987, the publication of the Brundtland Report by the United Nations had paved the way to establish an environmental governance. In 1992 the Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro, in which several countries committed to protect the environment, signing a Convention on Biological Diversity.

The prevention of the destruction of the tropical rainforests of the world is a major environmental cause that first came into wide public concern in the early 1990s, and has continued and accelerated.

The Chernobyl disaster had significant impact on public opinion at the end of the 1980s, and the fallout was still causing cancer deaths well into the 1990s and possibly even into the 21st century.[ citation needed ] All along the 1990s, several environmental NGOs helped improve environmental awareness among public opinion and governments. The most famous of these organizations during this decade was Greenpeace, which did not hesitate to lead illegal actions in the name of environmental preservation. These organizations also drawn attention on the large deforestion of the Amazon Rainforest during the period.

Global warming as an aspect of climate change also became a major concern, and the creation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) after the Earth Summit helped coordinate efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere. From 1995, the UNFCCC held annual summits on climate change, leading to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in December 1997, a binding agreement signed by several developed countries.

Society

The 1990s represented continuing social liberalization in most countries, though coupled with an increase in the influence of capitalism, which would continue until the Great Recession of the late 2000s/early 2010s.

Youth culture in the 1990s responded to this by embracing both environmentalism and entrepreneurship. Western world fashions reflected this by often turning highly individualistic and/or counter-cultural, which was influenced by Generation X and Generation Y/Millennials: tattoos and body piercing gained popularity, and "retro" styles inspired by fashions of the 1960s and 1970s were also prevalent. Some young people became increasingly involved in extreme sports and outdoor activities that combined embracing athletics with the appreciation of nature.

Those born in the 1990s are usually considered part of the Millennial Generation, along with those born in the late 1970s and 1980s. However, dates vary, with many demographers considering those born from 1995 onward as part of Generation Z, the post-Millennial generation. [34]

The slacker and Valley Girl cultures were prevalent, and the decade was heavily influenced by Californian culture.

In 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of diseases. Increasing acceptance of homosexuality occurred in the western world, slowly starting in the early 1990s. [35]

Third-wave feminism

Women's rights demonstration in Paris, November 1995 3evague.jpg
Women's rights demonstration in Paris, November 1995

Additional significant worldwide events

Europe

Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, 1997. Diana's funeral.jpg
Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, 1997.

North America

Asia

Film

The highest-grossing film of the decade was Titanic (1997) Titanic Movie Cinema shooting. Airstar Lighting balloons.jpg
The highest-grossing film of the decade was Titanic (1997)

Dogme 95 becomes an important European artistic motion picture movement by the end of the decade. The first full-length CGI movie, Pixar's Toy Story , is released, revolutionizing animated films. Titanic becomes a cultural phenomenon throughout the world, and eventually becomes the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing over $1.8 billion worldwide. It would hold this record for over a decade until 2010 when director James Cameron had another one of his films take the title, that being Avatar . [36]

The films produced by the Walt Disney Animation Studios became popular once more when the studio returned to making traditionally animated musical family classics such as Beauty and the Beast , Aladdin , and The Lion King . This era was known as the Disney Renaissance.

Actors / Entertainers

Filmmakers

Music

Spice Girls became one of the biggest global pop acts of the decade. Spice Girls (6 janv) 56.jpg
Spice Girls became one of the biggest global pop acts of the decade.
Nirvana performing at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. Nirvana around 1992.jpg
Nirvana performing at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.
Mariah Carey at Edwards Air Force Base during the making of "I Still Believe" video in 1998. Mariah Carey13 Edwards Dec 1998.jpg
Mariah Carey at Edwards Air Force Base during the making of "I Still Believe" video in 1998.

The 1990s were a decade that saw marketing become more segmented, as MTV gradually shifted away from music videos beginning in 1992 and radio splintered into narrower formats aimed at different niches. [57] [58] [59] [60] However, they are perhaps best known for grunge, gangsta rap, R&B, teen pop; eurodance, electronic dance music, the renewed popularity of punk rock mainly because of the band Green Day (which would also help create a new genre pop punk) and for being the decade that alternative rock became mainstream. U2 was one of the most popular 1990s bands, their groundbreaking Zoo TV and PopMart tours were the top selling tours of 1992 and 1997. Glam metal dies out through its own accord in the music mainstream by 1991. [61] Grunge became popular in the early 90s due to the success of Nirvana's Nevermind , Pearl Jam's Ten , Alice in Chains' Dirt and Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger . [62] Pop punk also becomes popular with such artists as Green Day, Blink-182, Weezer, Social Distortion, the Offspring, Bad Religion, NOFX and Rancid. [63] Other successful alternative acts included Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Nickelback, Creed, Radiohead, Gin Blossoms, Soul Asylum, Third Eye Blind, Stone Temple Pilots, Faith No More, the Smashing Pumpkins, Live, Everclear, Bush, Screaming Trees and Ween. [64]

Dr. Dre's 1992 album The Chronic provided a template for modern gangsta rap. [65] Due to the success of Death Row Records, West Coast gangsta rap commercially dominated hip hop during the early 1990s, along with the Notorious B.I.G. on the East Coast. [66] Hip hop became the best selling music genre by the mid-1990s. [67] [68]

In the United Kingdom, the uniquely British alternative rock Britpop genre emerged as part of the more general Cool Britannia culture, with Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Suede, Supergrass and Elastica. The impact of boy band pop sensation Take That lead to the formation of other boy bands in the UK and Ireland such as East 17 and Boyzone. Female pop icons Spice Girls took the world by storm, becoming the most commercially successful British group since the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. [69] [70] Their global success brought about a widespread scene of teen pop acts around the world [71] [72] such as All Saints, Backstreet Boys, Hanson, N Sync, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera who came to prominence into the new millennium. [73] 1991 also saw the death of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury from AIDS-related pneumonia.

Contemporary R&B and quiet storm continued in popularity among adult audiences, which began during the 1980s. Popular American contemporary R&B artists included Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, D'Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston, Brandy, Sade, En Vogue, TLC, Destiny's Child, Toni Braxton, Boyz II Men, Dru Hill and Vanessa L. Williams.

The Tibetan Freedom Concert brought 120,000 people together in the interest of increased human rights and autonomy for Tibet from China. Freddie Mercury, Kurt Cobain, Selena, Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. are the most publicized music-related deaths of the decade, in 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 respectively.

Richey Edwards of Manic Street Preachers was publicized in the media in 1991 following an incident involving Steve Lamacq backstage after a live show, in which Edwards carved '4 Real' into his arm. Edwards disappeared in 1995, which was highly publicized. He is still missing, but was presumed dead in 2008.

Controversy surrounded the Prodigy with the release of the track "Smack My Bitch Up". The National Organization for Women (NOW) claimed that the track was "advocating violence against women" due to the lyrics of that song. The music video (directed by Jonas Åkerlund) featured a first-person POV of someone going clubbing, indulging in drugs and alcohol, getting into fist fights, abusing women and picking up a prostitute. At the end of the video the camera pans over to a mirror, revealing the subject to be a woman.

1994 became a breakthrough year for punk rock in California, with the success of bands like Bad Religion, Social Distortion, Blink-182, Green Day, the Offspring, Rancid and similar groups following. This success would continue to grow over the next decade, the 2000s. The 1990s also became the most important decade for ska punk/reggae rock, with the success of many bands like Buck-O-Nine, Goldfinger, Less Than Jake, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Murphy's Law, No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, Save Ferris, Sublime and Sugar Ray.

The rave movement that emerged in the late 1980s rose. Rave spawned genres such as Intelligent dance music and Drum and bass. The latter is an offshoot of jungle techno and breakbeat. Popular artists included Moby, Fatboy Slim, Björk, Aphex Twin, Orbital, the Orb, the Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx, Todd Terry, 808 State, Primal Scream, the Shamen, the KLF and the Prodigy.

The rise of industrial music, somewhat a fusion of synthpop and heavy metal, rose to worldwide popularity with bands like Godflesh, Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, Ministry and Marilyn Manson. Groove metal was born through the efforts of Pantera, whose seventh studio album Far Beyond Driven (1994) was notable for going number one on Billboard 200. Another heavy metal subgenre called nu metal, which mixed metal with hip hop influences, becomes popular with bands like Korn, Slipknot and Limp Bizkit selling millions of albums worldwide. Metallica's 1991 eponymous album Metallica is the best-selling album of the SoundScan era, while extreme metal acts such as Death, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Emperor, Cannibal Corpse and others experienced popularity throughout the decade.

In the 1990s, country music became a worldwide phenomenon thanks to Billy Ray Cyrus, Shania Twain and Garth Brooks. [74] [75] [76] The latter enjoyed one of the most successful careers in popular music history, breaking records for both sales and concert attendance throughout the decade. The RIAA has certified his recordings at a combined (128× platinum), denoting roughly 113 million United States shipments. [77] Other artists that experienced success during this time included Clint Black, Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin, Travis Tritt, Suzy Bogguss, Alan Jackson, Lorrie Morgan and the newly formed duo of Brooks & Dunn; George Strait, whose career began in the 1980s, also continued to have widespread success in this decade and beyond. Female artists such as Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Deana Carter, LeAnn Rimes and Mary Chapin Carpenter all released platinum selling albums in the 1990s. The Dixie Chicks became one of the most popular country bands in the 1990s and early 2000s. Their 1998 debut album Wide Open Spaces went on to become certified 12x platinum while their 1999 album Fly went on to become 10x platinum.

Musicians and bands

Television

Friends which premiered on NBC in 1994 became one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. Friends actors montage.jpg
Friends which premiered on NBC in 1994 became one of the most popular sitcoms of all time.
Seinfeld premiered on NBC in 1989, becoming a commercial success and cultural phenomenon by 1993. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time. Seinfeld actors montage.jpg
Seinfeld premiered on NBC in 1989, becoming a commercial success and cultural phenomenon by 1993. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.

TV shows, mostly sitcoms, were popular with the American audience. Series such as Roseanne , Coach , Empty Nest , Mr. Belvedere , 227 , Cheers , The Cosby Show , Growing Pains , Night Court , The Hogan Family , A Different World , Amen , ALF , Perfect Strangers , Family Matters , Charles in Charge , Saved by the Bell , My Two Dads , Newhart , Dear John , Designing Women , The Golden Girls , Who's the Boss? , Head of the Class , and Seinfeld , which premiered in the eighties, and Frasier , a spin-off of the 1980s hit Cheers were viewed throughout the 1990s. These sitcoms, along with Friends , That '70s Show , Ellen , The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air , Full House , Nurses , Murphy Brown , The Wonder Years , Living Single , Step by Step , NewsRadio , Blossom , The King of Queens , Major Dad , Fired Up , Jesse , Parker Lewis Can't Lose , For Your Love , The Steve Harvey Show , The Larry Sanders Show , Sex and the City , Arliss , Dream On , Grace Under Fire , Mad About You , Sabrina the Teenage Witch , The Naked Truth , The Jeff Foxworthy Show , The Jamie Foxx Show , Smart Guy , The Wayans Bros. , Malcolm & Eddie , Clueless , Moesha , The Parent 'Hood , Unhappily Ever After , Roc , Martin , Hangin' with Mr. Cooper , Sister, Sister , Boy Meets World , Ned and Stacey , Becker , Veronica's Closet , Two Guys and a Girl , The Drew Carey Show , Wings , The John Larroquette Show , Caroline in the City , Sports Night , Home Improvement , Will & Grace , Married... with Children , Evening Shade , Cosby , Spin City , The Nanny , 3rd Rock from the Sun , Suddenly Susan , Cybill , Just Shoot Me! , Everybody Loves Raymond , and Dharma and Greg turned TV in new directions and defined the humor of the decade.

In early 1993, one of the last westerns ever to air on television was Walker, Texas Ranger , a crime drama which also starred Chuck Norris as the title character. Lasting for 9 seasons, the show tackled a wide variety of subjects, and was one of the few shows ever to perform karate.

1993 also saw its debut of the medicalmystery drama, Diagnosis Murder , a comeback vehicle for Dick Van Dyke, who guest-starred on an episode of its sequel, Jake and The Fatman , where the show got off to a rocky start, and became one of television's long-running mysteries, that lasted until its cancelation in 2001.

Medical dramas started to come into television in the '90s. One show stood out as a critical and ratings success for NBC. In 1994, ER , which starred Anthony Edwards and George Clooney, was a domestic and international success, lasting until 2009 and spawning series such as Grey's Anatomy (2005–present). It made NBC the most watched channel in the United States.[ citation needed ] This show launched the career of George Clooney. That same year, Chicago Hope , that starred Héctor Elizondo, Mandy Patinkin and Adam Arkin, was also a popular series for CBS, lasting between 1994 and 2000.

Beverly Hills, 90210 ran on Fox from 1990 to 2000. It established the teen soap genre paving the way for Dawson's Creek , Felicity , and other shows airing in later years. The show was then remade and renamed simply 90210 and premiered in 2008. Beverly Hills, 90210 spun-off Melrose Place , a popular TV show that dominated throughout the '90s as well. Baywatch , a popular TV show that dominated throughout the '90s, became the most watched TV show in history and influenced pop culture.

Sex and the City's frank portrayal of relationships and sexuality caused controversy and acclaim, leading to a new generation of sexually progressive television shows that would be seen in the 2000s.

Fantasy was popular on television, with CBS airing Touched By an Angel , beginning in 1994. The series was intended as the comeback vehicle of Della Reese, and also launched the career of Roma Downey. It wasn't an immediate hit, and was canceled the following year, but revived the following year, thanks to die hard fans who approached a letter-writing campaign, where it ran for 8 more seasons.

Crime drama and police detective shows returned after soap-operas died down. After the successful debuts of Law & Order , NYPD Blue and Homicide: Life on the Street , Nash Bridges , a comeback vehicle for Don Johnson, lasting 6 seasons (1996–2001) which also dealt with escapist entertainment, rather than tackling issues. [78]

Reality television began on MTV; this would grow in importance in the western world into the next decade.

During the mid-1990s, two of the biggest professional wrestling companies: World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Federation were in a ratings battle that was dubbed the Monday Night Wars (1995–2001). Each company fought to draw more viewers to their respective Monday night wrestling show. The "War" ended in 2001 when WWE bought WCW . In November 2001, there was a Winner Takes All match with both companies in a Pay-Per-View called Survivor Series . WWF won the match; putting a final end to WCW.

As an animated sitcom, The Simpsons , debuted in December 1989, became a domestic and international success in the 1990s. The show has aired more than 600 episodes and has become an institution of pop culture. It has spawned the adult-oriented animated sitcom genre, inspiring racier shows such as Beavis and Butt-head (1993–1997), Daria (1997–2001), along with South Park and Family Guy , the latter two of which began in 1997 and 1999 respectively and continue to air new episodes through the 2000s and into the 2010s.

Anime was popular in the 1980s, and expanded to a worldwide audience by the 1990s, for its expansive spectrum of story subjects and themes not limited to comedy and superhero action found in the US, and well produced, and well written, visual and story content, that held emotional and intellectual depth and integrity to its viewers, and which also expanded to older and adult ages in the medium of animation. TV shows such as Sailor Moon , Digimon , Pokémon , Tenchi Muyo! , Dragon Ball Z , Gundam Wing , Neon Genesis Evangelion , Ranma 1/2 , Dirty Pair , Slayers , Rurouni Kenshin , Gunsmith Cats , to anime movies such as Akira , Vampire Hunter D , My Neighbor Totoro , Princess Mononoke , Castle in the Sky , The Castle of Cagliostro , and imports by various distributors such as Viz, AnimEigo, Central Park Media, A.D. Vision, Pioneer Entertainment, Media Blasters, Manga Entertainment, and Celebrity, helped begin the mid to late 1990s and early to mid-1900s introductory anime craze in the US, and the Cartoon Network anime block Toonami in 1997.

Nickelodeon's first animated series ( Doug , Rugrats , The Ren & Stimpy Show ) debuted in 1991. One of Nickelodeon's most popular and longest running series, SpongeBob SquarePants , started in 1999 and became a huge success.

American animated children's programs went through a renaissance during the decade with studios producing many critically acclaimed shows. Examples include Tiny Toon Adventures , Animaniacs , Phantom 2040 , Batman: The Animated Series , and Superman: The Animated Series .

The late 90s also saw the evolution of a new TV genre: primetime game shows, popularized by the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? , hosted by Regis Philbin on ABC, as well as other first-run game shows aired in primetime on the newly launched Game Show Network.

Fashion

Grunge-style flannel shirt and curtained hair Jonathan Brandis Wiki.jpg
Grunge-style flannel shirt and curtained hair

Significant fashion trends of the 1990s include:

Video games

Popular notable video games of the 1990s include: Metal Gear Solid , Super Mario World , Doom (1993 video game) , Donkey Kong Country , Pokémon Red and Blue Versions, Pokémon Yellow Version , GoldenEye 007 , Super Mario 64 , The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time , Gran Turismo , Mario Kart 64 , Half-Life , Super Mario Kart , Star Fox (series), Tomb Raider series, Final Fantasy , Sonic the Hedgehog series, Crash Bandicoot series, Resident Evil series, Street Fighter II , Spyro the Dragon series, Commander Keen series, Test Drive series, Monkey Island series, Dune series, Mortal Kombat series, Warcraft series, Duke Nukem 3D , Tekken series, EarthBound , Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game , and StarCraft .

Sony's PlayStation becomes the top selling game console and changes the standard media storage type from cartridges to compact discs in consoles. Crash Bandicoot is released on 9 September 1996, becoming one of the most successful platforming series for the Sony PlayStation. Tomb Raider 's (PlayStation) Lara Croft became a video game sex symbol, becoming a recognizable figure in the entertainment industry throughout the late 1990s.

3-D graphics become the standard by end of decade. Although FPSs had long since seen the transition to full 3D, other genres begin to copy this trend by the end of the decade. Most notable first shooter games in the 1990s are GoldenEye 007 and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six .

The console wars, primarily between Sega (Mega Drive, marketed as the Sega Genesis in North America, introduced in 1988) and Nintendo (Super NES, introduced in 1990), sees the entrance of Sony with the PlayStation in 1994, which becomes the first successful CD-based console (as opposed to cartridges). By the end of the decade, Sega's hold on the market becomes tenuous after the end of the Saturn in 1999 and the Dreamcast in 2002.

Mario as Nintendo's mascot finds a rival in Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog with the release of Sonic the Hedgehog on the Genesis in 1991.

Arcade games rapidly decrease in popularity. [79]

Fighting games like Capcom's Street Fighter II , Sega's futuristic Virtua Fighter , and especially the more violent Mortal Kombat from Midway prompted the video game industry to adopt a game rating system. Hundreds of knock-offs are widely popular in the mid-to-late 1990s. Doom (1993) bursts onto the world scene, and instantly popularizes the FPS genre. Half-Life (1998) features the next evolutionary step in the genre with continual progression of the game (no levels in the traditional sense) and an entirely in-person view, and becomes one of the most popular computer games in history.

The real-time strategy (RTS) genre is introduced in 1992 with the release of Dune II . Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (1994) popularizes the genre, with Command & Conquer and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness in 1995, setting up the first major real-time strategy competition and popularizing multiplayer capabilities in RTS games. StarCraft in 1998 becomes the second best-selling computer game of all time. It remains among the most popular multiplayer RTS games to this day, especially in South Korea. Homeworld in 1999 becomes the first successful 3d RTS game. The rise of the RTS genre is often credited with the fall of the turn-based strategy (TBS) genre, popularized with Civilization in 1991. Final Fantasy debuted (in North America) in 1990 for the NES, and remains among the most popular video game franchises, with many new titles to date and more in development, plus numerous spin-offs, sequels, films and related titles. Final Fantasy VII , released in 1997, especially popularized the series.

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) see their entrance into the computer game world with Ultima Online in 1997, although they don't gain widespread popularity until EverQuest and Asheron's Call in 1999. MMORPGs go on to become among the most popular genres in the first decade of the 21st century.

Pokémon enters the world scene with the release of the original Game Boy Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green games in Japan in 1996, later changed to Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue for worldwide release in 1998. It soon becomes popular in the United States, spurring the term Pokémania and is adapted into a popular anime series and trading card game, among other media forms.

Resident Evil is released in 1996. It becomes the most popular survival-horror series in video gaming well into the next decade and inspires several films.

Crash Bandicoot is released in September 1996, becoming an innovative platformer for the PlayStation.

Internet

Architecture

The Petronas Twin Towers were the world's tallest buildings when completed in 1999. Twin Towers in all its Glory.JPG
The Petronas Twin Towers were the world's tallest buildings when completed in 1999.

Sports

Fireworks in the SkyDome after Joe Carter's World Series-winning home run, as the Canadian Toronto Blue Jays won their second straight World Series title in 1993 against the US' Philadelphia Phillies. Blue Jays Win the 1993 World Series.jpg
Fireworks in the SkyDome after Joe Carter's World Series-winning home run, as the Canadian Toronto Blue Jays won their second straight World Series title in 1993 against the US' Philadelphia Phillies.

Literature

See also

Timeline

The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events of the decade:

1990199119921993199419951996199719981999

Related Research Articles

The decade of the 1990s in film involved many significant developments in cinema. Continuing from the 1980s, low-budget independent films unceasingly rose and maintained their popularity in the industry within the decade. Peanut Butter also became really popular in the 90s soaring astoundly to $ 1,920,123,312 when it was released in theaters in May 4, 1994.

Ronald Gordon King-Smith OBE, Hon.MEd, was a prolific English writer of children's books, primarily using the pen name Dick King-Smith. He is best known for The Sheep-Pig (1983), or Babe the Gallant Pig in the US. It was adapted as the movie Babe (1995) and translations have been published in fifteen languages. He was awarded an Honorary Master of Education degree by the University of the West of England in 1999 and appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours. Dick and Myrle had three children – two daughters and one son (Giles). Dick King-Smith's first book, The Foxbusters, was published in 1978.

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North Carolina Tar Heels intercollegiate sports teams of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Further reading