The 1950s (Post War Economy, Truman's Fair Deal, Technology, Suburbia)


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The 1950s (Post War Economy, Truman's Fair Deal, Technology, Suburbia)

  1. 1. THE 1950S After the War
  2. 2. The Economy <ul><li>Time for the businesses to reorganize! Major switch from military production to domestic. </li></ul><ul><li>Considered to be one of the United States’ greatest periods of economic expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Gross National Product (GNP) went from $212 billion on 1945 to $504 billion in 1960 </li></ul><ul><li>Per capita income increased from $1,223 in 1945 to $2,219 in 1960. </li></ul><ul><li>Industrialists fully intended to provide consumers with the goods that they desired. </li></ul><ul><li>During wartime the government was practically in control of the economy and the amount of goods that were being produced. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Economy <ul><li>In July of 1946 the government began to slowly ease out of control of the industries and the prices of goods shot up 25%. </li></ul><ul><li>Beginning to look like the economy post WWI </li></ul><ul><li>With this, wages of the workers could not keep up with the prices. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Economy <ul><li>In 1946 about 4.6 million workers would potentially go on strike for better wages. </li></ul><ul><li>This affected the Auto, steel, electric, coal, and rail road businesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Truman feared that if the workers wages increased so would the prices of goods causing inflation. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Economy <ul><li>In the Spring of 1946 the railroad strike took a blow to economy. </li></ul><ul><li>Truman became so frustrated that he asked Congress to use the peacetime draft in order to draft the strikers and order them to work. </li></ul><ul><li>Truman took another step towards stopping the strikers when John L. Lewis and his United Mine Workers Union defied a court order against a strike. Lewis was fined $10,000 personally and the union $3.5 million. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Economy <ul><li>In 1947 Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This allowed the President to declare an 80 day cooling off period during which strikers had to return to work, if the industry was one that affected the countries economy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also required that all unions sign a contract stating that they were not communist. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Truman’s Fair Deal <ul><li>An extension of FDR’s New Deal’s goals. </li></ul><ul><li>The government needed to play a role in securing economic justice for all Americans. </li></ul><ul><li>21-point program: designed to promote full employment, rise in minimum wage, greater unemployment compensation, housing assistance, etc. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Truman’s Fair Deal <ul><li>Many politicians disagreed. </li></ul><ul><li>Employment Act of 1946 created the Council of Economic Advisors for the President. </li></ul><ul><li>This caused Truman’s popularity to drop, form 87% approval after taking over the presidency to 32% in November of that year. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Economy <ul><li>Caused Truman to lose both the House and Senate during mid-term elections. </li></ul><ul><li>New Speaker of the House Robert A. Taft, and fellow Republicans made it their job to block many of Truman’s liberal goals. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also wanted to reduce the power of the federal government and decrease taxes. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Economy <ul><li>Not everything was bad. </li></ul><ul><li>American industries had benefited from the technological advances made during the war. </li></ul><ul><li>All research had been funded by the government. </li></ul><ul><li>Helped create radar, the computer, etc. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Economy <ul><li>This created big name companies that are still in business today, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, General Electric, Westinghouse, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conglomerate: a corporation made up of 3 or more unrelated businesses. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. International telephone purchased Avis Rent-a-car, Sheraton Hotels, Hartford Fire Insurance and Continental Banking. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Franchise <ul><li>Fast food expansion began in 1954 with Ray Kroc and McDonalds’. </li></ul><ul><li>He got the idea when two brothers came into his milkshake business and ordered 18 milkshake machines. </li></ul><ul><li>The brothers prided themselves on their fast service. </li></ul>
  13. 15. Franchise <ul><li>“ assembly food-production line.” </li></ul><ul><li>Franchise: a business that contracts to offer certain goods and services from a larger parent company. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not only in food but clothing, auto shops, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Individual businesses had trouble keeping up with them. </li></ul>
  14. 16. Technology <ul><li>Production of hundreds of new products like dish washers and gas powered lawn mowers increased saving the population time and money. </li></ul>
  15. 17. Television <ul><li>American’s fell in love with the Television and its programs. </li></ul><ul><li>Developed in 1920-1930, but stalled during the war. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1955 the average American watched 4.5 hours of TV a day </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Mickey Mouse Club, Howdy Doody, American Bandstand, I Love Lucy, Father Knows Best. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 18. Television <ul><li>By 1949 many expressed the importance of television in their family, “Many couples credit TV, which simultaneously eased baby-sitting, entertainment and financial problems with having brought them closer… Though often contemptuous of many programs, they speak of TV gratefully as ‘something we can share.’” </li></ul>
  17. 19. Mickey Mouse Club
  18. 20. Father Knows Best
  19. 21. Commercials
  20. 22. Computers in the 1950s <ul><li>First more like very powerful calculators. Equations that use to take days could be solved within a matter of seconds. </li></ul><ul><li>Used mainly for military purposes, now was being used in businesses and homes. </li></ul><ul><li>They began to have more programming and software. </li></ul>
  21. 23. Computers <ul><li>Grace Hopper, researcher at Harvard’s Computer Lab, pioneered the creation of software that ran computers. </li></ul><ul><li>She also introduced the term of “debugging.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How did this term start? </li></ul></ul>
  22. 24. Computers <ul><li>In 1947 Bell Telephone Lab invented the first “transistor” or a tiny circuit device that amplifies, controls, and generates electrical signals. </li></ul><ul><li>Used in radios, computers, television, and other electronic devices. </li></ul><ul><li>The first was bought to tally the 1950 Census. </li></ul>
  23. 25. Nuclear Power <ul><li>Generation of electricity using atomic energy resulting from the development of the atomic bomb. </li></ul><ul><li>What is nuclear fission? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Involves splitting uranium or plutonium atoms, could produce a huge explosion if done quickly. But if controlled carefully, could also produce heat and generate steam that could drive electrical turbines. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 26. Nuclear Power <ul><li>1954 the Navy produced the first nuclear powered submarine. </li></ul><ul><li>This led to the first nuclear plant on land in Shippingport, PA in 1957. </li></ul><ul><li>Walt Disney published the Story of Our Friend the Atom, written by scientist Heinz Haber. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explored the potential uses of Atomic energy. Film accompanied it and gave the first glimpse into the “Atomic Age.” </li></ul></ul>
  25. 27. Medicine <ul><li>In 1954 Dr. Jonas Salk and Dr. Thomas Francis conducted the first successful test of a vaccine to prevent poliomyethis, aka polio. </li></ul><ul><li>20,000 children died from polio each year, FDR also suffered from polio later in life. </li></ul><ul><li>Surgical techniques developed making doctors able to correct heart defects. The amount of heart surgery rose. </li></ul>
  26. 28. Medicine <ul><li>“ The scientific report, that may mark the beginning of the end of the scourge of polio, it is to be made the Tenth Anniversary of Mr. Roosevelt’s untimely death. Wherever you may be, or whatever your thoughts, I would like you to know that a part of his great spirit will be with me, living as it was during his great life, while we all share the knowledge that may bring the fulfillment of the dream he had many years ago.”-Salk to FDR’s wife </li></ul>
  27. 29. The Work Force <ul><li>Most Americans post World War II worked in blue collar jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>After the war, new machines assumed many of the jobs previously preformed by people. (automation) </li></ul><ul><li>Young people with new college degrees also chose white collar jobs. </li></ul>
  28. 30. The Work Force <ul><li>Corporation expansion meant that more people were needed to keep growing and to keep organizations running. </li></ul><ul><li>White collar workers felt encouraged by the working conditions… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clean buildings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bright offices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less exhausting and dangerous. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 31. The Work Force <ul><li>Drawbacks… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very impersonal employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less connection with the product and services. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Felt pressured to dress, think and act alike. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>C. Wright Mills: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ When white-collar people get jobs, they sell not only their time and energy but their personalities as well.” </li></ul></ul>
  30. 32. The Work Force <ul><li>Prosperity also brought the blue-collar workers into the middle class improving wages and conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1955 33% of the total labor force was unionized. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AFL (American Federation of Labor) and CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizatoins) merged together to create the AFL-CIO which is still a popular union today. </li></ul></ul>
  31. 33. Suburbia <ul><li>The Baby Boom: Began during the mid 1940’s. During the there were 19 babies born per 1,000 people and peaked in 1957 up to 25 per 1,000. </li></ul><ul><li>Families began to grow and there wasn’t much room in the cities beginning a suburb expansion. </li></ul>
  32. 34. Suburbia <ul><li>WWII vets expanded opportunities with the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 or the GI Bill of Rights. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gave low interest on mortgages to purchase new homes and provided them with education stipends for college or grad school. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 35. Suburbia <ul><li>With more mortgages being affordable developers, like William J. Leavitt began to cater to the demand for more homes. </li></ul><ul><li>Mass production techniques were used. </li></ul><ul><li>Took weeks instead of months to build a home. </li></ul><ul><li>Gained the nickname “Leavitt town.” </li></ul><ul><li>Actual Leavitttown is on Long Island where he built 17,000 homes , another in Bucks County in PA he built 16,000, and in Willingboro, NJ. </li></ul>
  34. 36. Suburbia <ul><li>Malvina Reynolds “Little Boxes” </li></ul>
  35. 37. Cars and Highways <ul><li>Stores moved from cities to shopping centers in the suburbs beyond the reach of public transit. </li></ul><ul><li>Auto designer began introducing new care designs every year. </li></ul><ul><li>During the 1950’s auto industries produced 8 million cares every year. </li></ul><ul><li>Between 1948 and 1958 the sale of passenger cars rose 50%. </li></ul>
  36. 38. Cars and Highways <ul><li>This influx of cars resulted in new roads! </li></ul><ul><li>In 1956 the Federal Highway Act provided $25 billion to build an interstate highway system more than 40,000 miles long. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Created new businesses such as gas stations, repair shops, parts stores, drive in movies and restuarnt, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  37. 39. Consumer Credit