Postwar America at Home, 1945 1960

Uploaded on


  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. 1950S: AMERICA AT HOME United States Studies
  • 2. The Ideal wife???
  • 3. Economic Boom
  • 4. The Thriving Peacetime Economy
    • 1950s—one of the longest sustained economic expansions in US history (no war depression—many entered Middle Class)
    • G.I. Bill helped ($500/year for college; low-interest home loans)
    • Car industry played a key role: many produced; interstate system built
  • 5.  
  • 6. Car Culture
    • 1945-60: From 26 to 60 million cars
    • Led to:
      • Suburbs
      • Drive-In Movies
      • Car Hops
      • Malls
  • 7.  
  • 8. Changing Work Patterns
    • United States stopped being primarily a goods producer and began a new path as a service provider (examples)
    • People enjoyed the leisure resulting from work which was characterized by conformity and “belongingness.”
    • White-collar and blue-collar workers enjoyed a higher standard of living than ever before
  • 9.  
  • 10. Franchises Franchise: Company distributes a business model through local retailers owned by independent operators
  • 11. Failed McDonald’s Menu Items
    • The Arch Deluxe: supposed to appeal to adult tastes with a secret mustard-mayonnaise sauce
  • 12. Failed McDonald’s Menu Items
    • The “McLean Deluxe“: Designed for people watching their weight. It contained Seaweed and water as a replacement for the fat content
  • 13. Failed McDonald’s Menu Items
    • McPizza
  • 14. Failed McDonald’s Menu Items
    • The “Hula Burger" -- grilled pineapple with cheese on a bun
  • 15. Demographic & Technology Shifts
  • 16. Population Growth
    • During the Great Depression, the birthrate had dropped to an all-time low
    • The birth rate exploded as millions of postwar Americans began families (Baby Boom—peak: baby born every 7 seconds)
    • From 1940 to 1955: U.S. population went from 130 to 165 million
    • The death rate was also declining due to peacetime and new medical breakthroughs (Dr. Salk—polio vaccine)
  • 17.  
  • 18. Movement West
    • More mobile than ever before; most headed west and south
    • Cities throughout the Sunbelt South and West coast saw enormous growth.
    • Air conditioning allowed living in these areas.
    • Areas are still growing today
    • Population also shifted away from the traditional city centers to outlying suburbs where housing was cheaper
  • 19.  
  • 20.  
  • 21.  
  • 22. Suburbs—Why?
    • Urban housing shortage
    • Cities became crowded
    • Cheaper, mass-produced housing (Levittown: $52.00 month
    • FHA Loans
    • Interstates—could live farther away from work
  • 23. Levittown
  • 24. American Dream
  • 25. Technology
    • The WWII research efforts of the Atomic Commission turned to creating consumer goods (improve transportation, satellites, radios, TVs)
    • New field of computers also reflected the technology of the era; tiny transistors would help miniaturize computers for use in many items from ovens to vacuum cleaners
  • 26.  
  • 27. Consensus and Conformity
  • 28. Traditional Roles for Men &Women
    • The necessities of World War II had interrupted the natural progression of social roles for men and women
    • Postwar, men and women had different expectations: education and business for men and homemaking and childrearing for women
    • Slow change during the decade reestablished the working patterns of the war: women found more entry points into corporate America
  • 29. Youth Culture
  • 30. Teenagers
    • A new concept
    • No longer have to work
    • High school became the norm
    • Youth “culture” develops
    • Media targeted to teens
    • Music:
      • Old
      • New: Elvis
      • New: Ray Charles
  • 31. Politics
  • 32. Truman’s Presidency
    • Lots of strikes (RR strike—seized them; threatened to draft workers)
    • Taft-Hartley Act (outlawed closed shop—Truman veto)
    • Integrated military—helped Civil Rights Movement
    • Fair Deal (extension of New Deal—not passed because of Republican Congress)
  • 33. Eisenhower Administration
    • Courted by both Dems & Reps
    • Was a moderate (neither Liberal or Conservative)
    • Interstate Highway System
    • 1957 Civil Rights Act
    • Little Rock 9