Ch 24_The 1950s

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  • 1. Chapter 24
  • 2. Election of 1952 Eisenhower (President); Richard Nixon (VP)  Classic “Good cop, bad cop” personalities; Eisenhower (Ike) espoused morality and took the high road regarding criticizing the Democrats  Nixon had no problem at all verbally abusing the Democrats Democrat opponent was Adlai Stevenson  Truman chose not to run again  Truman was getting too old and was extremely unpopular because of the Korean War
  • 3. Election of 1952 Eisenhower ran on a platform that promised to end the Korean War officially  Settled for a armistice shortly after he enters office Democrats try to discredit Nixon by implicating him as a receiver of inappropriate funds/gifts  Nixon goes on television and bears his entire personal life (including finances) in the “Checkers Speech”
  • 4. Election of 1952 After this, Eisenhower and Nixon easily win the presidency Eisenhower becomes the sterling example of a moderate, stable, and unflappable president  Gave the American people a sense of security amidst a country filled with fear, suspicion, and the terror of nuclear war becoming a reality at any moment.  “I Like Ike” becomes the slogan of the campaign
  • 5. Modern Republicanism Eisenhower surprised many as he kept a good majority of the social programs from the New Deal  However, he reigned in the federal budget whenever possible  Demonstrated his “flexible” conservative agenda
  • 6. Modern Republicanism “New Look” for the military  Massive deterrence over traditional military might  Allowed the government to cut defense budgets while engaging in more covert actions; everyone has to be watching all over the world to protect themselves
  • 7. Modern Republicanism “New Look” for the military  This becomes the stage for the classic James Bond movies of the 1960s  The new Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) works quickly behind the scenes to illicit (and sometimes coerce) changes inside countries that they felt were causing problems for America (aiding the communist cause)  Eventually, the area that gave them the most trouble was Vietnam (sort of a second Korean conflict, initially)
  • 8. Vietnam (Before the War) Was a colony of France that proved vital in the American (and French) fight against communism Vital to keep the spread of communism from affecting the whole country, yet America rejected France‟s request for active military aid to retain Indochina (including Vietnam) as a colony
  • 9. Vietnam (Before the War) However, Ike prevents an election in Vietnam that would have allowed Communist Ho Chi Minh from being placed in control of the entire nation  Ironic?  This is again reinforcing the idea of fascism over communism
  • 10. Vietnam (Before the War) China becomes stuck during this time period  They cannot trust Russia whenever they are threatened, but they certainly can‟t trust the Americans  Eisenhower realizes their weakness with Russia and decides to take a tough approach to them ○ Eisenhower did not realize the differences between Russia and China, squandering potential with China throughout the 1960s
  • 11. Birth of the Civil Rights Era Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka  Huge landmark case that led the Supreme Court to strike down Plessy v. Ferguson ○ The ruling from 1896 that allowed “separate but equal” facilities  Racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause (14th Amendment) ○ “No state shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”  This ruling paved the way for public school integration and the Civil Rights Movement
  • 12. Birth of the Civil Rights Era Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56  Brought prominence to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks as activists  Showed civil rights activists the efficiency of economic boycotts  Here‟s a throwback to the colonial era! This is the Boston Tea Party for the sake of civil rights.  The government starts to listen after the economy gets threatened.
  • 13. The Golden Age Seems to be the “Era of Good Feelings” with TVs, Quiz Shows, and Suburban Culture  President James Monroe probably would have been proud of Eisenhower for taking such a deliberate middle course domestically The economy is surprisingly well in the 1950s  Readily shifting away from industrial manufacturing  Also shifting away from high numbers of farms, yet farming efficiency is growing in Texas, Arizona, and California
  • 14. The Golden Age  The main engines of economic growth during the 1950s were residential construction and spending on consumer goods ○ Shopping malls come into fad  People were alright living in perpetual economic debt for the sake of owning „pretty things‟
  • 15. The Golden Age Californiabecomes the symbol of the post-war suburban boom  Western cities become decentralized clusters of single-family homes and businesses become connected by highways (Federal Highway Act of 1956)  Ushers in an era of “Leave it to Beaver” ideals Such an odd paradigm amidst an era of paranoia and fear of nuclear attack
  • 16. The Golden Age Television  Replaces newspapers as the most common source of information about public events; quickly connects Americans with a common cultural experience (unifies different regions and backgrounds of people)  Becomes the most effective advertising medium ever invented.  Deliberately showed the virtues of a bland, middle-class life ○ Trying to prevent paranoia (which the news media and Joseph McCarthy fueled)