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The 1950’s.

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Presentation on theme: "The 1950’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 1950’s

2 Truman’s FAIR DEAL Fair Deal- Truman’s package of reforms after WWII
Increase minimum wage Increase aid to agriculture and education Enact a national health insurance program War ends, labor demanded decreases, unemployment increases Price controls lifted, prices sky rocket, inflation increases, workers demand higher wages, strikes occur

3 Republican Congress 22nd amendment- two term limit of president
Taft-Hartley Act- limited the power of labor unions and outlawed closed shop (workplace in which the employer agrees to hire only members of a certain union) Congress refused to act on civil rights but Truman issued an executive order of desegregated troops.


5 Truman to Eisenhower Truman wins 1948 election although newspapers predicts Wallace to defeat him. For the next 4 years Truman battled with Congress over Fair Deal legislation. 1952 Republican Eisenhower defeats Stevenson “I like IKE” popular campaign slogan Took a middle of the road approach “modern republicanism”

6 Economic Growth Emergence of McDonalds 1940’s- two brothers Dick and Mac opened the first “fast food” restaurant Real Income grew after WWII. People in the 1950’s had twice as much money as people in the 1920’s. People were SPENDING MONEY and shopping centers grew Business Methods grew to encourage growth in 3 ways Advertising Buy now, pay later Planned obsolescence (buying goods that go out of date)


8 Shifting Economy General Motors- 1st corporation to earn 1 billion dollars a year Cost of living Index- measures differences in wages and goods over time (GM had a agreement with workers, as Cost of living Index rose, so did their wages) Blue-Collar workers to White-Collar workers- workforce changed from factory or skill trade jobs to professionals such as lawyers, doctors, engineers, sales, and managers.

9 Marriage, families, & a BABY BOOM
Marriages increased in 1946 (soldiers returned home from war) which led to…. BABY BOOM- large increase in the number of babies born from This led to an increase in… Diaper services Bottles Maternity wards Homes/ appliances Schools Family Roles: Stay-at-home moms and working dads Many books published and tv shows encouraged women to stay at home including “Leave It To Beaver” Women forwent college and stayed at home

10 Population Shifts Suburbs grew Migration to the Sunbelt
Levittown- first planned community in nation in Long Island, New York Migration to the Sunbelt Shift of manufacturing and other businesses to warm-weather states including, Texas, California, and Florida and 10 other states. Shift made available due to water projects in the arid SW and development of air conditioners

11 The Automobile Middle Class dream to have Two cars in every garage
Fathers commuted to jobs in nearby cities Mothers could run to the shopping centers and supermarkets Status Symbol Cars were a sign of consumer culture wealth and prestige Interstate Highway System 1956 construction started and completed 10,000 miles of highway by 1960 (today we have over 45,000 miles)

12 1956 Highway Act

13 Technological Advances
Polio Vaccine- Dr. Jonas Stalk – made up of small parts of the polio virus so people could develop antibodies to protect them from the actual virus. million school children took part in trials and was deemed successful Surgical techniques advanced Open heart surgery Kidney transplant Life Expectancy increased from 68 in 1950 to 69.7 by 1960

14 Technological Advances
Nuclear Energy- electricity, x-rays, and radioactive iodine to treat cancer Computers enter the workplace 1946- ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), 18,000 vacuum tubes, 1,500 square feet of floor space (a Levittown home), and could perform 300 multiplications per second. 1952- UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer I)- same as above but could handle letters and words

15 Critics of Suburbia Suburbia- critics saw suburbia as a wasteland of conformity and materialism (needed wealth) The Organization Man- book by William Whyte- saw the suburbs as packaged villages that have become the dormitory of a new generation of organization men. Defense of Suburbia- although no African American’s there were many different religious and ethnic groups present in Suburbs

16 Nonconformity Beat Movement- writers and poets who were either beaten down or beatific( blissfully happy)- Beatniks Started New York City Rejected all forms of convention or ways of living Obscene writing- morally offensive

17 Nonconformity Youth Culture rebelled against the world of their parents through music, dance, movies, and slang Alan Freed- disc Jockey Cleveland Ohio played black rhythm and blues (Rock’n’roll) ELVIS PRESLEY “Elvis the Pelvis” James Dean- Rebel Without a Cause “Big Daddies” (older people), “Boss” (great), “Threads” (clothes), “radioactive” (really popular), “Don’t have a cow”, “Cool it”

18 Art and Comics The American Way- comics broke from convention “Tales from the Crypt” Parents were horrified by new comics Taught the youth how to lie, rob, assault, cheat, steal and break into houses Abstract Expressionism- new form of art that expressed emotions Vivid and unstructured Jackson Pollock “The source of my painting is the unconscious”

19 Poverty in Society People felt poverty was a moral condition and an economic problem Pauperism- people depending on government assistance or pubic assistance Working poor- more respected than paupers but little difference Poverty line-minimum amount of income one would need to meet basic needs $2,000 families 2008-$22,000 family of four An Invisible Class “The Other America” by Harrington ¼ of society lived in poverty Poor cities, elderly, no political power

20 Landscape of Poverty Inner Cities African Americans moved from the south into northern cities as whites moved to the suburbs Housing Act of 1949-urban renewal, replacing slums with high rise apartments in cities became “the projects” American Farmers- lived in poverty Agribusiness- food production by corporate farms put small farmers out of business Mexican braceros- worked for low wages on corporate farms Appalachia- mountainous poor region in the South Poorest Citizens- American Indians Termination Policy- ended federal aid to tribes Voluntary Relocation Program- encouraged Indians to move to cities 100 tribes were terminated, land was sold, and poverty grew worse By 1963, termination was a failure and abandoned

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