Chapter 27 - Postwar America

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Chapter 27 - Postwar America

  1. 1. Chapter 27
  2. 2. Return to a Peacetime Economy <ul><li>Economy increases = increased consumer spending </li></ul><ul><li>GI Bill –loans to veterans </li></ul><ul><li>Increased spending = increased prices (inflation) </li></ul><ul><li>Workers go on strike for higher wages </li></ul><ul><li>Taft-Hartley Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outlawed the closed shop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outlawed featherbedding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowed states to pass right-to-work laws outlawing union shops </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Truman’s Domestic Policy <ul><li>Truman has little success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Congress gets in the way </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Truman labels Congress a “Do-Nothing Congress” </li></ul><ul><li>Mid-term elections see the Democrats win majorities in Congress </li></ul><ul><li>“ Fair Deal” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum wage increased </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Security expanded </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Eisenhower Years <ul><li>Eisenhower - midway between conservative and liberal </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic conservatism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>balancing of economic conservatism with some activism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conservative Side: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ended price and rent controls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cut aid for public housing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supported tax reductions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Activist Side: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal Highway Act – created 40,000 miles of interstate highways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provided $25 billion for the construction of these roadways </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wartime to peacetime economy </li></ul>
  5. 5. American Abundance <ul><li>John Kenneth Galbraith – The Affluent Society: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New business techniques and improved technology </li></ul></ul><ul><li>White-collared jobs (sales, management, services) begin to outnumber blue-collared jobs (physical labor industry) </li></ul><ul><li>Multinational corporations – located near raw materials, and cheap labor </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in franchises </li></ul><ul><li>Conform to company standards. </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising: fastest growing industries </li></ul><ul><li>Suburbs: Levittown, NY: become the symbol of the American dream – example of American conformity </li></ul>
  6. 6. The 1950s Family <ul><li>Families grow larger and women enter the workforce </li></ul><ul><li>1941-1965 – baby boom – more than 65 million children born in the United States </li></ul><ul><li>Popular culture embraced and encouraged large families </li></ul><ul><li>Women expected to stay home, but many enter the workforce </li></ul>
  7. 7. Technological Breakthroughs <ul><li>ENIAC and UNIVAC – 1 st computers developed in the US – useful for business data </li></ul><ul><li>Development of antibiotics; drugs for arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease; and advances in surgical techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Jonas Salk – invented the polio vaccine </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial planes made smoother and faster </li></ul>
  8. 8. New Mass Media <ul><li>Television popularity – advertising and sporting events </li></ul><ul><li>Comedy, action and adventure, variety shows, and quiz shows </li></ul><ul><ul><li>21 – Cheating scandal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Movie industry losses viewers – innovation of the cinemascope and 3-d glasses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stereotypical roles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Radios expanded their programming: Music, news, talk shows, weather, and public service programming </li></ul>
  9. 9. New Youth Culture <ul><li>Young Americans look to break from conformity </li></ul><ul><li>Alan Freed plays rock ‘n’ roll for the 1 st time on the radio </li></ul><ul><li>Elvis Presley becomes a hero to teenagers – parents fear music’s influence </li></ul><ul><li>Generation gap – cultural separation between children and parents </li></ul><ul><li>Beats – group of artists who highlighted the generation gap in the US </li></ul><ul><li>Jack Kerouac – On The Road </li></ul>
  10. 10. African American Entertainers <ul><li>Found acceptance as music performers </li></ul><ul><li>Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Little Richard </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s groups – The Crystals, the Chiffons, the Shirelles </li></ul>
  11. 11. Poverty Amidst Prosperity <ul><li>1950s – 1 in 5 Americans lived below the poverty line </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Harrington’s “The Other America” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Single mothers, elderly, minority immigrants, rural Americans, Appalachians, and Native Americans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Americans move to suburbs, urban areas become home to poorer, less educated minority groups </li></ul><ul><li>Urban renewal programs – tore down slums, built high-rise projects </li></ul>
  12. 12. Minority Ethnic Groups in the 50s <ul><li>African American salaries were 51% of white salaries </li></ul><ul><li>NAACP and Congress on Racial Equality push for equality, but have little success </li></ul><ul><li>Bracero program – 5 million Mexican immigrants to come to the US for agricultural needs – struggle with poverty and poor working conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Native Americans the poorest group in the country </li></ul><ul><li>Termination policy – US government withdraws recognition of Native Americans as legal entities </li></ul>
  13. 13. Juvenile Delinquency <ul><li>Rise in anti-social or criminal behavior amongst youths </li></ul><ul><li>Youths were stereotyped if they did not conform to social norms </li></ul><ul><li>As baby boomers enter school, schools suffer building and teacher shortages </li></ul><ul><li>Schools criticized for lack of technical education – improvement made in math and science education </li></ul>

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