Presentation on theme: "Postwar Confidence and Anxiety"— Presentation transcript:
1 Postwar Confidence and Anxiety 1945-60 Chapter 17Postwar Confidence and Anxiety
2 Post War ChangesFear of continued Depression (12 million GIs returning home)Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (GI Bill) 1944 “the American Dream”1 year unemployment payCollege tuitionHome and business loansBaby Boom- 27% increase in populationBoomers created structural problems at every stage of development (hospitals, schools, jobs, Social Security)1948=GNP ↑ for 20 years, income doubled1952 election= Dwight D. Eisenhower (moderate Republican)
4 America on the MoveGrowth of the suburbs (40 million moved between )- home loans from Federal Housing Administration and VABaby Boom= new families!Levittown on Long Island 1947Mass produced housing to meet demandInterstate Highway Act 1956= 41,000 milesAmerica= car culture in the suburbs!Growth of the Sunbelt after war (southern/western states)Climate (air conditioners), defense industry jobs
9 New EconomyMovement to a post industrial society (service and information related businesses)= white collar jobsGrowth of middle class aided by GI Bill!Growth of agribusiness (less farmers, but big business used new technology to grow food)Higher standard of livingCulture of consumerismLiving on credit (median income doubled in 1950s)Wanted modern conveniences
15 Changes in Culture Pressure on women to become homemakers again Media pushed image (I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver)New focus on child rearing (Baby Boom)Dr. Spock’s Common Sense Book of Baby and Child CareRock and Roll African American music sung by whites= new marketElvis PresleySymbol of youth culture
16 Opposition to 1950sThe Lonely Crowd : US has traded individualism for sameness!Franchise businesses, media’s pressure to be a certain wayThe Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and The Feminine Mystique: pressure on men and women is stifling!Beatniks: writers and artists who rejected traditional values and conformity (Allen Ginsburg)Predecessors to the Hippies in 1960sThe Other America 1962: widespread poverty in America (50 million)Blacks in inner city, whites in rural areas, migrant HispanicsPoverty is ignored by middle classNeed social change!