Ch 24_The 1950s


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Ch 24_The 1950s

  1. 1. Chapter 24
  2. 2. Election of 1952  Eisenhower (President); Richard Nixon (VP)  Classic “Good cop, bad cop” personalities; Eisenhower (Ike) espoused morality and took the high road and refrained from criticizing the Democrats  However, Nixon had no problem verbally abusing the Democrats  Adlai Stevenson (Democratic candidate)  Truman chose not to run again  He was getting too old and became extremely unpopular due to the Korean War
  3. 3. Election of 1952  Eisenhower ran a campaign that promised to end the Korean War officially  Settled for a armistice shortly after he enters office  Democrats tried 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. 4. Election of 1952  Despite the attacks on Nixon, Eisenhower easily won 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  “I Like Ike” becomes the slogan of the campaign and his tenure as president
  5. 5. Modern Republicanism  Eisenhower surprised many as he retained a majority of the social programs from the New Deal  However, he reigned in the federal budget whenever possible  Fiscal conservatism combined with retention of New Deal programs demonstrated his “flexible” conservative agenda
  6. 6. Modern Republicanism  “New Look” for the military  Eisenhower favored massive deterrence over traditional military might  Allowed the government to cut defense budgets while engaging in more covert actions  The Cold War mentality became entrenched ○ World-wide intelligence gathering became a priority
  7. 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) worked quickly behind the scenes to illicit (and sometimes coerce) changes inside countries that they felt were causing problems for America ○ Primarily Communist-influenced countries  Eventually, the area that gave them the most trouble was Vietnam ○ (sort of a second Korean conflict, initially)
  8. 8. Vietnam (Before the War)  Initially, Vietnam was a colony of France that proved vital in the American and French fight against communism  Prioritized blocking the spread of communism within the country  However, America rejected France’s request for active military aid to retain Indochina (including Vietnam) as a colony  As a result, France lost control of Vietnam
  9. 9. Vietnam (Before the War)  After France lost control of Vietnam, Eisenhower actively attempted to prevent the election of Communist dictator Ho Chi Minh  Ironic?  This is again reinforcing the post-World War II ideal of fascism over communism
  10. 10. Vietnam (Before the War)  Communist China becomes politically deadlocked during the 1950s  They cannot trust Russia to respond whenever they are threatened, but they certainly can’t trust the Americans  Eisenhower realized China’s weakness with Russia and decided to take a tough approach with them ○ Eisenhower did not realize the differences between Russia and China and squandered potential reciprocity with China throughout the 1950s
  11. 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 ○ Plessy -- 1896 ruling 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. 12. Birth of the Civil Rights Era  Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks rose to prominence as civil rights activists  The bus boycott demonstrated the efficiency of economic boycotts ○ Here’s a throwback to the colonial era! This is the 1760s-era boycotts for the sake of civil rights.  The federal government opened a dialogue with civil rights activists after the economy was threatened.
  13. 13. The Golden Age  Appears to be the “Era of Good Feelings” (1820s) with TVs, Quiz Shows, and Suburban Culture  President James Monroe likely would have been proud of Eisenhower for taking such a deliberate middle course domestically  The economy is surprisingly stable in the 1950s  The economy began shifting away from industrial manufacturing and large-scale farming ○ However, farming efficiency grew in Texas, Arizona, and California
  14. 14. The Golden Age  The primary factors of economic growth during the 1950s were residential construction and consumer spending ○ Shopping malls become commonplace  Americans became accustomed to living in perpetual economic debt for the sake of owning ‘pretty things’ ○ Cars, homes, appliances, electronics, etc.
  15. 15. The Golden Age  California became the symbol of the post-war suburban boom  Western cities became 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 utter paranoia and fear of nuclear attack
  16. 16. The Golden Age  Television  Replaced newspapers as the most common source of information about public events ○ Quickly connected Americans with a common cultural experience ○ Unifies different regions, cultural differences, and economic backgrounds  Becomes the most effective advertising medium ever invented  Deliberately championed the virtues of a bland, middle-class life ○ Sitcoms attempted to distract Americans from the paranoia the nightly news fueled
  17. 17. Check my SlideShare page (rfair07) for more lectures  Lectures posted for:  United States History before 1877  United States History after 1877  Texas History  United States (Federal) Government  Texas Government  If you would like a great study resource for United States History (college or AP exam), check out the following:  AP U.S. History Exam Study