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1950s America

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Holly Loranger

on 4 February 2016

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Transcript of 1950s America

Postwar and 1950s America
Postwar Boom!
Americans demand consumer goods
Lived through 30s Depression
Lived through 40s rationing
War workers & veterans have $ to spend
Demand for Housing:
Levitt: mass-produced homes on small lots
GIs started families
GI Bill of Rights: 1944, financial aid to help soldiers return to civilian life
Growing demand for cars and appliances
Planned obsolescence
Election of 1948:
Truman (D) defeats Thomas Dewey (R)
in a stunning upset
What was Truman's Fair Deal?
Extended New Deal
Minimum wage raised
Social security extended
Financial aid for urban renewal
Low income housing; clean out slums
Truman (D) does not run for reelection
General Dwight Eisenhower runs for presidency (R)
Republicans run on anti-Communism platform
Election of 1952
Eisenhower's VP candidate, Richard Nixon, was accused of accepting bribe money
“Checkers Speech”: saved the election
Ike won and Republicans narrowly won Congress
Eisenhower’s Administration: Dynamic Conservatism
Conservative with $, liberal with human beings
Domestic Stability
Raised minimum wage
Extended social Security
Increased public housing
Businesses appeal directly to teens
Leisure time
The Beat Movement
Rejected conformity of 50s culture
Jack Kerouac: “On the Road”
Allen Ginsberg
Greenwich Village
The 50s were a time of postwar transition
Women return to traditional roles
Men return to jobs & education
Minorities push for an end to discrimination
US factories supplying goods for the world

US was richest in world after WWII
Cold War tensions grow
Popular culture spread through US by TV
America enjoys stability of Eisenhower’s administration; 1960s will bring turmoil
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