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18&19 The Post War Era


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18&19 The Post War Era

  1. 1. The Post War Era Objective: Analyze life in America during the 1950’s
  2. 2. Economic Growth <ul><li>After “going without” during the Great Depression and the war, Americans were ready to spend </li></ul><ul><li>GNP increased from 100 billion in 1940 to 300 billion by 1950 and 500 billion by 1960 </li></ul><ul><li>Americans had a lot of discretionary income to buy what they needed as well as what they wanted </li></ul>
  3. 3. GI Bill <ul><li>The bill offered returning veterans college and housing benefits </li></ul><ul><li>As a result of the GI Bill the greatest wave of college building in the nation’s history took place </li></ul><ul><li>The housing market exploded when over 13 million new homes were built in the 1950’s </li></ul>
  4. 4. Taft-Hartley Bill <ul><li>Sought to limit the power of unions </li></ul><ul><li>By banning closed shops, a workplace where only union members could be hired </li></ul><ul><li>President Truman called it “a slave labor bill” </li></ul><ul><li>The bill tipped the balance of power toward of management </li></ul>
  5. 5. Red Scare McCarthyism <ul><li>Because of fear of Communism Truman had 3 million federal workers checked </li></ul><ul><li>House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) </li></ul><ul><li>McCarthyism is a fear of communist takeover </li></ul><ul><li>Senator Joseph McCarthy worked to uncover alleged communists within the government </li></ul>
  6. 6. Alger Hiss <ul><li>Was a graduate of Harvard </li></ul><ul><li>Had served in various high ranking government posts </li></ul><ul><li>Was accused of spying for the Soviets by the HUAC </li></ul><ul><li>Was charged with two counts of perjury and sentenced to five years in prison </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Rosenbergs <ul><li>Ethel and Julius were charge with giving nuclear secrets to the Soviets </li></ul><ul><li>Both were convicted and sentence to death </li></ul><ul><li>Both died protesting their innocence </li></ul><ul><li>After the Cold War, Soviet documents confirmed their guilt </li></ul>
  8. 8. President Eisenhower Legacy <ul><li>Extended Social Security and unemployment </li></ul><ul><li>Increased the minimum wage from 75 cents to 1 dollar </li></ul><ul><li>Ike created the Interstate Highway System (1956) </li></ul><ul><li>Was built to increase safety and unify the country </li></ul>
  9. 9. Review <ul><li>Who created the Interstate Highway system? </li></ul><ul><li>Ans. Eisenhower </li></ul><ul><li>Who worked to uncover alleged communists within the government? </li></ul><ul><li>Ans. Senator Joseph McCarthy </li></ul><ul><li>What is McCarthyism? </li></ul><ul><li>Ans. McCarthyism is a fear of communist takeover </li></ul>