QUIT 27 C H A P T E R The Postwar Boom CHAPTER OBJECTIVE INTERACT WITH HISTORY TIME LINE Postwar America 1 SECTION The American Dream in the Fifties 2 SECTION GRAPH MAP Popular Culture 3 SECTION The Other America 4 SECTION VISUAL SUMMARY
CHAPTER OBJECTIVE HOME 27 C H A P T E R The Postwar Boom To understand the economic, social, and cultural changes that occurred in postwar America
HOME 27 C H A P T E R The Postwar Boom I N T E R A C T W I T H H I S T O R Y You have returned home from serving in World War II to find that your country is changing. The cities have swelled. Outlying suburbs are being built up with almost identical homes. America produces more and cheaper goods. In a booming economy, couples marry and start families in record numbers. As you watch clever ads on TV for the newest labor-saving gadgets, you feel nostalgia for a simpler time. What is the American dream of the 1950s? Examine the Issues • How does pressure to conform affect the American dream? • Who might be excluded from the new prosperity? • How does advertising promote certain lifestyles and ideals?
TIME LINE 1950Korean War begins. 1950’sDisc jockey Alan Freed is the first to use the term “rock ‘n’ roll” on the air. 1954Brown v. Board of Educationof Topeka outlaws school segregation. 1954U.S.S.R. opens the first small nuclear power plant. HOME 27 C H A P T E R The Postwar Boom The United States The World 1946Baby boom begins. 1947Jackie Robinson integrates major league baseball. 1948Harry S. Truman is elected president. 1949Mao Zedong's Communist forces gain control of China. 1952Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected president. 1953Korean War ceasefire is signed. continued . . .
TIME LINE 1956Eisenhower is reelected. 1959Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states. 1956Soviets crush uprising in Hungary. 1959Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba. HOME 27 C H A P T E R The Postwar Boom The United States The World 1957Soviets launch Sputnik 1. 1958NASA—the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—is established. 1960John F. Kennedy is elected president.
1 S E C T I O N Postwar America HOME KEY IDEA As Americans try to put the nightmare of World War II behind them and begin rebuilding their lives, the economy booms and the country becomes conservative. OVERVIEW ASSESSMENT
1 S E C T I O N Postwar America •GI Bill of Rights •Fair Deal •suburb •Dixiecrat •Harry S. Truman HOME OVERVIEW MAIN IDEA WHY IT MATTERS NOW In the years after World War II, the United States became the economic and military power that it still is today. The Truman and Eisenhower administrations led the nation to make social, economic, and political adjustments following World War II. TERMS & NAMES ASSESSMENT
1 S E C T I O N Postwar America ASSESSMENT HOME 1. List the key events relating to postwar America. Use the dates below as a guide. Postwar unemployment peaks; strikes breakout; Republican Party controls the House and Senate; Truman appoints Committee on Civil Rights. Truman integrates the armed forces; Dixiecrates form States’ Rights Democratic Party; Truman wins presidency. Jackie Robinson voted National League’s Most Valuable Player. Congress passes anti-union Taft-Hartley Act. Eisenhower wins presidency. 1946 1947 1948 1949 1952 continued . . .
1 S E C T I O N Postwar America ASSESSMENT HOME 2. Do you think Eisenhower’s actions reflected his philosophy of dynamic conservatism? Why or why not? Think About: •the definition of dynamic conservatism •Eisenhower’s actions on civil rights policies •Eisenhower’s accomplishments on other domestic issues ANSWER Yes—He raised the minimum wage, extended social security and unemployment benefits, and increased funding for public housing. No—He did little to support civil rights. continued . . .
1 S E C T I O N Postwar America ASSESSMENT HOME 3. Why do you think most Americans went along with Eisenhower's conservative approach to domestic policy? ANSWER The Cold War caused many Americans to seek security in traditional conservative values, and Eisenhower’s approach has brought progress and prosperity. continued . . .
1 S E C T I O N Postwar America ASSESSMENT HOME 4. How did presidents Truman and Eisenhower differ regarding civil rights? ANSWER Truman took action. He integrated the military, appointed a committee on civil rights, and had the 1948 Democratic Party’s platform emphasize civil rights. Eisenhower did not believe that the federal government had a role to play in desegregation, but he did uphold existing laws. End of Section 1
2 S E C T I O N The American Dream in the Fifties HOME GRAPH MAP KEY IDEA Many Americans find their dream of material comfort and economic prosperity realized. But some find the cost too high. OVERVIEW ASSESSMENT
2 S E C T I O N The American Dream in the Fifties •conglomerate •consumerism •franchise •baby boom •planned obsolescence •Dr. Jonas Salk HOME GRAPH MAP OVERVIEW MAIN IDEA WHY IT MATTERS NOW During the 1950s, the economy boomed, and many Americans enjoyed material comfort. The “American dream,” a notion that was largely shaped by the fifties, is still pursued today. TERMS & NAMES ASSESSMENT
2 S E C T I O N The American Dream in the Fifties ASSESSMENT The American Dream Values Home/Family Work HOME GRAPH MAP 1. List examples of specific goals that characterized the American dream for suburbanites in the 1950s. Conformity; material goods implied success Two or three children, close family ties; single-family home in suburbia; one or two cars; television Man is the breadwinner, who works at a white-collar job; woman takes care of home and children continued . . .
2 S E C T I O N The American Dream in the Fifties ASSESSMENT HOME GRAPH MAP 2. In what ways do you think current environmental consciousness is related to the “throwaway society” of the 1950s? Think About: •the purchasing habits of 1950s consumers •the effects of planned obsolescence •today’s emphasis on recycling ANSWER Today’s common practice of recycling discarded items and trash, reusing empty food and other containers, and buying products with long-term warranties might be seen as necessary steps to reverse the “throwaway” trend of the 1950s. continued . . .
2 S E C T I O N The American Dream in the Fifties ASSESSMENT HOME GRAPH MAP 3. Do you think that the life of a typical suburban homemaker during the 1950s was fulfilling or not? ANSWER Yes—had a home in the suburbs, a car, children, material comforts, and did not have to work outside the home No—tied to her home and family and had no time or encouragement to develop her own interests End of Section 2
3 S E C T I O N Popular Culture HOME KEY IDEA Mass popular culture booms, largely because of television. While the media generally reflect mainstream middle-class values, a vital counterculture flourishes. OVERVIEW ASSESSMENT
3 S E C T I O N Popular Culture •beat movement •rock ‘n’ roll •jazz •mass media •Federal Communications Commission (FCC) HOME OVERVIEW MAIN IDEA WHY IT MATTERS NOW Mainstream Americans, as well as the nation’s subcultures, embraced new forms of entertainment during the 1950s. Television and rock ‘n’ roll, integral parts of the nation’s culture today, emerged during the postwar era. TERMS & NAMES ASSESSMENT
3 S E C T I O N Popular Culture ASSESSMENT Person Art Form Achievements HOME 1. List some popular culture idols of the 1950’s, and identify the art form and major achievements associated with each person. Lucille Ball Television Star of I Love Lucy Edward R. Murrow Television Host of Person to Person Elvis Presley Music Rock ‘n’ roll singer continued . . .
3 S E C T I O N Popular Culture ASSESSMENT HOME 2. Do you agree with Newton Minow’s statement that TV was “a vast wasteland”? ANSWER Agree—TV presented idealized white values and ignored the problems of minorities. Disagree—TV programs provided needed escape for many people and also portrayed the ideal family life that many valued. continued . . .
3 S E C T I O N Popular Culture ASSESSMENT HOME 3. How did radio, TV, and the movies contribute to the success of rock ‘n’ roll? ANSWER They carried images of singers and the sounds of their music to most Americans. continued . . .
3 S E C T I O N Popular Culture ASSESSMENT HOME 4. In what ways were the rock ‘n’ roll musicians and the beat poets of the 1950s similar? Think About: •the values the musicians and poets believed in •people’s reactions to the musicians, poets, and writers ANSWER Both were rebellious, experimental, and innovative; often wore nonconformist clothing; attracted the young, as well as older, middle-class Americans; and performed for live audiences. End of Section 3
4 S E C T I O N The Other America HOME KEY IDEA Many Americans suffer from poverty and racial discrimination, despite unprecedented economic prosperity in the nation. OVERVIEW ASSESSMENT
4 S E C T I O N The Other America •urban renewal •bracero •termination policy HOME OVERVIEW MAIN IDEA WHY IT MATTERS NOW Amidst the prosperity of the 1950s, millions of Americans lived in poverty. America today continues to experience a marked income gap between affluent and nonaffluent people. TERMS & NAMES ASSESSMENT
4 S E C T I O N The Other America ASSESSMENT AfricanAmericans MexicanAmericans NativeAmericans HOME 1. Identify the common problems that African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans faced during the 1950s. • Poverty • Inadequate housing • Discrimination and social injustice • Harsh or ineffective government policies • Few advocates among mainstream public • Exclusion from the American Dream • Second-class citizenship • Limited job opportunities • Limited social mobility continued . . .
4 S E C T I O N The Other America ASSESSMENT HOME 2. Do you think that urban renewal was an effective approach to the housing problem in inner cities? Think About: •the goals of the National Housing Act of 1949 •the claims made by some critics of urban renewal •the residents’ best interest ANSWER Effective—The ultimate goal was to construct affordable housing for the poor, and it did tear down many bad areas and put up new housing. Ineffective—It did not provide enough new housing and displaced many poor people when old housing was torn down. continued . . .
4 S E C T I O N The Other America ASSESSMENT HOME 3. How did Native Americans work to increase their participation in the U.S. political process? ANSWER Native Americans formed organizations to register voters and protest discrimination. continued . . .
4 S E C T I O N The Other America ASSESSMENT HOME 4. Which major population shift—“white flight,” migration from Mexico, or relocation of Native Americans—do you think had the greatest impact on U.S. society? Why? Think About: •the impact of “white flight” •the influx of “braceros” •the effects of the termination policy ANSWER White flight—It caused polarization of rich and poor and suburban and urban cultures. Migration of Mexicans—They met with opposition because they provided job competition. Native American relocation—It displaced an entire group of people. End of Section 4