Chapter 28 The Affluent Society By Destiny Johnson, Davina Clay- Runkaputi, and Natasha Popowich
Economic Growth Between 1945-1960 the gross national product grew 250% from $200 billion to over $500 billion. Unemployment during the Depression was 15-25%. In the 1950s and early 1960s it remained 5% or lower. Inflation was around 3% a year or less.Causes of growth:1. Government spending increased growth through fundingschools, housing, veterans benefits, welfare, the $100 billioninterstate highway program, and above all military spending.2. The baby boom contributed to the increase in consumerdemand and expanding economic growth.3. The rapid expansion of suburbs4. The number of privately owned cars was big for the autombileindustry.5. Demand for new homes helped sustain a strong housingindustry6. Construction of roads and highways
Rise of the Modern West● Much of the growth of the West was from federal spending and investment on the dams, power stations, highways, and other infrastructure projects.● Enormous increase in automobile use, suburbanization and improved highway systems gave a large incentive to the petroleum industry and contributed to the rapid growth in oil fields.● State governments invested heavily in their universities. Especially the University of Texas and University of California systems which became the nations center of research that helped attract technology-intensive industries to the region.● Climate also contributed. Especially California, Nevada, and Arizona which attract migrants from the East because of their warm and dry climates.
The New Economics● Keynesian economics which made it possible for government to stabilize the economy without intruding into the private sector.● John Maynard Keynes argued that by varying the flow of government spending and taxation and managing the supply of currency, the government could stimulate the economy to cure recession and dampen growth to prevent inflation.● The new economics confirmed that an increase in private demand stimulated economic growth and reduced unemployment.● By mid-1950s reformers concerned about poverty argued that the solution wasnt in redistribution but in economic growth.
Capital and Labor● Over 4,000 corporate mergers took place in the 1950s and large scale organizations controlled an enormous proportion of the nations economic activity.● Mechanization reduced need of farm labor● Mechanization endangered the family farm● Post War contract helped workers receive generous increases in wages and benefits. In return unions refrained from raising other issues.● December 1955 the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to create the AFL-CIO.● Total union membership remained stable through 1950s at 16 million this was a result of shift in the work force from blue-collar to white-collar jobs, it was also a result of new obstacles in to organization.
Medical Breakthroughs● Antibiotics first started with the discovery of Louis Pasteur and Jules-Francois Joubert in France 1870s where the produced evidence that virulent bacterial infections could be defeated by more ordinary bacteria.● In 1928 Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered antibacterial properties to an organism known as penicillin.● Progress in immunization: smallpox vaccine, vaccine against typhoid, vaccine against tetanus and a vaccine BCG against tuberculosis.● In 1954 Jonas Salk introduced an effective vaccine against the virus that killed and crippled thousands of children and adults (including Franklin Roosevelt).● After 1960 an oracle vaccine developed by Albert Sabin given out in a sugar cube made widespread vaccination easier.
Pesticides● Scientists were trying to develop new chemical pesticides that could protect crops from destruction by insects and protect humans from insect-carried diseases.● DDT was a compound discovered in 1939 by a Swiss chemist named Paul Muller. He found that DDT was harmless to humans and other animals but was extremely toxic towards insects.● DDT was known as a wonderful tool for controlling insects and saved thousands of lives.● Later scientists realized that DDT had long- term toxic effects on animals and humans.
Postwar Electronic Research● In the 1940s the first commercially viable televisions was produced.● Late 1950s scientists developed technology for color television which became available in early 1960s.● In 1948 Bell Labs produced the first transistor that was capable of amplifying electrical signals.● Integrated circuits made it possible to create increasingly complex electronic devices requiring complicated circuitry and especially helped advance the development of the computer.
Postwar Computer Technology● Computers began to perform commercial functions for the first time as data-processing devices.● First significant computer of the 1950s was the Universal Automatic Computer (or UNIVAC) was the first computer able to handle both alphabetical and numerical information.● Mid 1950s the International Business Machines Company (IBM) introduced the first major data processing computers.
Bombs, Rockets, and Missiles● In 1952 the U.S successfully detonated the first hydrogen bomb.● In the U.S early missile research was conducted by the Air Force and there were significant success in developing rockets traveling several hundred miles.● By 1958 scientists created a solid fuel to replace the volatile liquid fuels of the earlier missiles and produced miniature guidance systems ensuring that missiles could travel to reasonable precise destinations.● A new generation of missile known as the Minuteman with a range of several thousand miles was the basis of American atomic weapon arsenal.● Scientists created a nuclear missile that could be used by submarines known as the Polaris which could launch from below the surface of the ocean by compressed air.
The Space Program● The American space program started in 1957 after the Soviet Union announced they launched an earth-orbiting satellite (Sputnik) into outer space.● Centerpiece of space exploration became the manned space program established in 1958 called the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).● May 5, 1961 Alan Shepard was the first American launched into space.● February 2, 1962 John Glenn became the first American to orbit the globe.● July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins successfully traveled in a space capsule into orbit around the moon.● First space shuttle successfully launched in 1982.● January 1986 the Challenger exploded after taking off killing all seven astronauts.
The Consumer Culture● Among the most striking social developments of the postwar era was the rapid expansion of a middle-class lifestyle● Growing absorption with consumer goods was a result of: ○ Increased prosperity ○ Increasing variety and availability of products ○ Advertisers ability in creating a demand for products ○ Growth of consumer credit● Prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s was consumer driven as opposed to investment driven● Consumer crazes ○ Hula hoop ○ The Mickey Mouse Club creates demand for Mickey Mouse products
The Landscape and theAutomobile● The Federal Highway Act of 1956, which took $25 billion for highway construction, was one of the most important alterations of the national landscape in modern history● Encouraged movement of economic activities out of cities and into suburban areas ○ "Edge cities"● More automobiles and highways = easier for families to move into homes that were far from where they worked● Shift from train to automobile led to: ○ Proliferation of motels ○ Spread of drive-in theaters ○ Encouraged the creation of fast-food chains and large supermarket chains
The Suburban Nation and Family● Suburbanization was partly a result of important innovations in home-building, which made single-family houses affordable to millions of people● William Levitt, made use of mass-production techniques to construct a large housing development on Long Island, near New York City ("Levittown")● Many Americans wanted to move to the suburbs because ○ The enormous importance postwar Americans placed on family life after five years of disruptive war ○ Attraction to the idea of living in a community populated by people of similar age and background● Most suburbs were restricted to whites● Like earlier urban neighborhoods a hierarchy emerged of upper-class suburban neighborhoods and more modest ones
The Suburban Nation and Family(Cont.)● The enormous cultural emphasis on family life in the 1950s strengthened popular prejudices against women occupying jobs● Dr. Benjamin Spocks Baby and Child Care was first published in 1946 ○ Approach to raising babies was child-centered, as opposed to parent-centered ○ The purpose of motherhood, was to help children learn and grow and realize their potential● As expectations of material comfort rose, many middle-class families needed a second income to maintain the standard of living they desired - led to women working outside of home despite social pressure to stay out of workplace
The Birth of Television● In 1946, there were only 17,000 sets in the country; by 1957, there were 10 million television sets in use - almost as many sets as there were families● The television industry emerged directly out of the radio industry and like radio, the television business was driven by advertising● By the late 1950s, television news had replaced newspapers, magazines, and radios as the nations most important vehicle of information● Much of the programming created reated a common image of American life - an image that was predominantly white, middle-class, and suburban ○ Ozzie and Harriet ○ Leave It to Beaver● Also contributed to the sense of alienation and powerlessness among groups excluded from the world it portrayed
Travel, Outdoor Recreation, andEnvironmentalism● Construction of the interstate highway system and the increasing ability to buy cars due to prosperity contributed dramatically to the growth of travel● Many visitors to national parks came in search of wilderness which is evident in the fight to preserve Echo Park● Bureau of Reclamation proposed building a dam across the Green River, which runs through Echo Valley, to create a lake for recreation and a source of hydroelectric power● In 1956 Congress - bowing to public pressure - blocked the project and preserved Echo Park in its natural state● The controversy was a major victory for those who wished to preserve national parks
Organized Society and ItsDetractors● For the first time in the 1950s, white-collar workers came to outnumber blue-collar laborers which led to more Americans becoming convinced that the key to a successful future was to acquire specialized skills necessary for working in large organizations● The American educational system began experimenting with changes in curriculum and philosophy ○ Elementary schools gave increased attention to the teaching of science, mathematics, and foreign languages● "Multiversity" - represented a commitment to making higher education a training ground for specialists in a wide variety of fields● William H. Whyte Jr. - The Organization Man (1956)● David Riesman - The Lonely Crowd (1950)
The Beats, the Restless Culture ofYouth, and Rock n Roll● Other critics of bureaucracy, and of middle class society in general, were a group of young poets, writers, and artists generally known as the "beats" (derived from "beatniks") ○ Jack Kerouac - On the Road (1957)● This restlessness among young Americans was a result of prosperity itself and a growing sense among young people of limitless possibilities, and of the declining power of such traditional values as discipline and self-restraint● Tremendous public attention was directed at the phenomenon of "juvenile delinquency," and in both politics and popular culture there were dire warnings about the growing criminality of American youth, however youth crime did not dramatically increase in the 1950s● James Dean became an icon among the youth
The Beats, the Restless Culture ofYouth, and Rock n Roll (Cont.)● Elvis Presley became a symbol of a youth determination to push at the borders at the conventional and acceptable● The rise of such white rock musicians as Presley was a result in part of the limited willingness of white audiences to accept black musicians● The rapid rise and enormous popularity of rock owed a great deal to innovations in radio and television programming ○ "Disk jockeys" ○ Encouraged the sale of records● "Payola" scandals - secret payments from record promoters to station owners and disk jockeys to encourage them to showcase their artists
On the Margins of the AffluentSociety● Michael Harrington - The Other America● Most of the poor experience poverty temporarily which was an indication of how unstable employment could be at the lower levels of the job market● Native Americans constituted the single poorest group in the country, a result of government policies that undermined the economies of the reservations and drove many Indians into cities, where some lived in a poverty worse than that they had left● Rural Americans ○ Steadily shrinking farm population ○ Declining farm prices● Black sharecroppers and tenant farmers continued to live at or below subsistence level throughout the rural South● Migrant farmworkers (Mexican-American and Asian- American workers) and those living in rural areas without much commercial agriculture lived in desperate poverty
The Inner Cities● White families moving from cities to suburbs and African Americans moving from the countryside into industrial cities led to inner-city neighborhoods becoming poor "ghettos"● Similar migrations from Mexico and Puerto Rico expanded Hispanic neighborhoods at the same time● Inner-city communities remained poor during growing affluence because: ○ New migrants were victims of their own pasts ○ Creation of a "culture of poverty" ○ Combination of declining blue-collar jobs and racism● Economic opportunities that had helped earlier immigrant groups rise up from poverty were unavailable to most of the postwar migrants● "Urban renewal": the effort to tear down buildings in the poorest and most degraded areas to provide new public housing for poor city residents
The Civil Rights Movement● Brown v. Brown Board of Education of Topeka (1954) ○ Opposing Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) ■ Led to Brown II decision ■ Massive Resistance in the South ● 100 Southern Congress members signed a Manifesto ● Ignoring of Ruling by Some White School Districts ● Pupil Placement Laws ○ Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham Board of Education ■ Desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas ● Eisenhower federalized National Guard and sent troops to Little Rock
Civil Rights Cont.● December 1, 1955 : Rosa Parks arrested in Montgomery, Alabama. ○ Leads to Bus Boycott by African Americans ○ Supreme Court declaring segregated seating in public transportation illegal● Jackie Robinson signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers (1947)● Civil Rights Act (1957) : desegregate the federal workforce and provide federal protection to African Americans that wanted to vote
Causes of the Civil Rights Movement● Growth of an Urban Black Middle Class● Television : national audience● Cold War : embarrassed the United States● Political Mobilization of Blacks
Eisenhower Republicanism● Cabinet filled with wealthy corporate lawyers and business executives ○ Charles Wilson : "What was good for our country was good for General motors, and vice versa."● Supported private development of natural resources ○ lowered federal suppot for farm prices ○ removed the last limited wage and price controls ○ opposed the creation of new social service programs● Extended the Social Security System to 10 million people and unemployment compensation to 4 million● Federal Highway Act of 1956
Adios McCarthyism!● January 1954, McCarthy attacks Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens and armed services ○ Army-McCarthy Hearings ■ 1st congressional hearings to be televised ○ December 1954, Senate votes 67 to 22 to condemen McCarty for "conduct unbecoming of a senator"
War and Stuff!● Secretary of State: John Foster Dulles introduces "massive retaliation"● Korean War ended on July 27, 1953 at Panmunjom ○ cease fire line created at 38th parallel● France v. Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam ○ 12,000 French troops surrounded at the village of Dien Bien Phu ○ French defense collapses on May 7, 1954 ○ Agreement reached at Geneva convention
Cold War Crises● May 14, 1948 : Israel declares independence ○ Palestine begins fighting new state● Muhammad Mossadegh :nationalist prime minister of Iran resists Western Corporations ○ U.S. CIA elevates Muhammad Reza Pahlevi to absolute ruler● Egypt develops trade relationship with the Soviet Union
Crises Cont.● 1956 : Dulles withdraws American forces from Aswan Dam ○ Nasser seizes control of the Suez Canal from the British● October 29, 1956, Israeli forces attack Egypt● Britain and France invade, but failure of the U.S. to join forces them to leave
More Crises..... :/● In 1954: Eisenhower toppled leftist government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman in Guatemala● In Cuba, Fulgencio Batista (friendly with U.S.) had been in charge since 1952 ○ 1957: popular movement of resistance to Batista gains strenth with Fidel Castro in charge ○ January 1, 1959, Castro establishes new government in Havana● Castro and Soviet Union strike an alliance
Europe and the Soviet Union● 1955: Eisenhower and NATO leaders meet with Nikolai Bulganin at Geneva Conference● Hungarian Revolution begins in 1956 ○ Sours relations betweens the Soviet Union and the West ○ Soviets enter Budapest to crush uprising ○ U.S. refuse to intervene
U-2 Crisis● November 1958: Nikita Khrushchev demanded that NATO powers abandon West Berlin● Eisenhower and Khrushchev agree to meet in each others countries and in Paris in 1960● Soviet Union shoots down American U-2 ○ No more Paris and No more visit to Soviet Union