Presentation on theme: "Decade Study The 1950s. The American Influence Australia was influenced by other nations, mainly the United States. The 1950s was the decade when the."— Presentation transcript:
Decade Study The 1950s
The American Influence Australia was influenced by other nations, mainly the United States. The 1950s was the decade when the United States put itself on the world map – politically, militarily and culturally. The United States exported its culture through advertising, film, music and tv.
Teenagers Before the 1950s, people were either children or adults. Teenagers became a separate, unique and targeted market for advertisers. US rocknroll music and films like Rebel Without a Cause gave teenagers their own music, language and fashion.
Teenagers were beginning to challenge conservative ideas, challenge their parents ideas and values. Bright shirts and tight jeans, riding motorbikes and looser morals were concerning older people. In Australia, rebellious boys were known as bodgies while the girls were called widgies.
RocknRoll Before the 1950s, music had been nice, sedate and white – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. That changed with Bill Haley and the Comets – Rock around the clock 1954. Elvis Presley really ignited the rocknroll revolution. He frightened white conservative people in the United States.
His music was seen as dangerous, sexual and black. Australian artists copied Elvis, most notably Johnny OKeefe, who was known as The Wild One.
Australian RocknRoll star Johnny OKeefe American actor James Dean
Entertainment Rocknroll was one obvious new style of entertainment. The other was television, which arrived in Australia in 1956. By the end of the 1950s, teenagers were watching up to 12 hours of television a week. Televisions were expensive and required a licence, but by 1960 ½ of Sydney homes had one.
People would invite friends around for tv evenings or stand outside shops and watch the picture. US programs like I Love Lucy were the most popular. Australia was still a movie watching nation and films like Ben Hur and South Pacific ran for weeks.
American shows dominated Australian television. Comedies such as I love Lucy, Gidget and Gilligans Island. Westerns such as Bonanza and Rawhide. Cop and legal shows such as Perry Mason, Hawaiian Eye and 77 Sunset Strip.
Bruce Gyngell First television broadcast in 1956 Graham Kennedy Comedian King of Australian television Australian family watching tv 1950s
Sport In the 1950s Australia was a sporting giant. Australians excelled in Tennis, both at Wimbledon and in the Davis Cup (Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewell). The 1956 Melbourne Olympics showcased Australian athletic excellence – ranked third in the medal tally (Dawn Fraser, Murray Rose, Betty Cuthbert)
Jack Brabham won the Formula One Drivers Championship. Jimmy Carruthers retired as undefeated World Bantamweight boxing champion.
VFL 1950s Dawn Fraser Olympic Gold Medal winner Ken Rosewell Test Cricket Team 1950
Life in the 1950s – the Good and the Not so Good GOOD NOT SO GOOD Parents seemed to have fewer worries about their children. Children usually got themselves to school and they could play in the street. There was little of the stranger danger common today. We now know that child abuse occurred in religious institutions and childrens homes like Fairbridge Farm, but was not raised as a mass media issue that it is today. Children could be children. There was no pressure on them to grow up quickly as primary-school age children have today. Childrens rights were unheard of. It was a case of children should be seen and not heard.
Families were larger and mum usually stayed at home to look after the children. Women had few opportunities and were expected to marry young and raise a family. Women were second-class citizens in Australia. Family life did not include takeaways eaten in front of the tv; children never had the chance to hide in their rooms. Meals tended to be eaten at home, with mum producing wholesome food rather than the US-inspired junk food of today. It would take many years of immigration before Australians had the options of a wide, interesting choice of tastes. In the 50s it was often a case of peas, potato, pumpkin and a chop. People were more resilient. If things went wrong you coped and did not run off to counselling or to sue someone Not everybody could cope.
Family and school discipline was stronger, with much less school violence than today. Children respected their elders. If a student failed, he or she repeated the year. School discipline was often brutal and callous. Age had to be respected, even if it did not merit respect. Education was more firmly grounded in the basics of the Three Rs. Students were taught to rote learn, there was little student- centred learning and sourced of knowledge were limited. Students had a strong diet of British kings and queens. People felt safe and could travel on public transport at night and leave doors unlocked. Homicide rates in Australia rose from 0.9% per 100,000 in 1949 to 1.5% by 1958. An increase of 66%
There was a great sense of community, with neighbours knowing each other and helping each other. Society seemed more cohesive. The impersonal and stressful nature of life today was largely absent. Migrants were often subject to prejudice and discrimination. Indigenous people did not count, and many still lived under strict institutional supervision. Life was slower, pubs and clubs were not open all hours, shops were allowed to close on Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday. For much of the 1950s, pubs closed at 6.00 pm which gave Australia the six oclock swill. The 1950s was a period of seemingly higher moral values. There was certainly none of the profanity of today, there was a greater emphasis on modesty, and censorship attempted to maintain standards. It was a time when domestic violence was brushed under the carpet, when great works of literature were banned and pregnant women had to undergo backyard abortions if they did not want to have a child.
Class rooms 1950s
Politics Cold war: Space race. The Soviet Union put the first man in space and Sputnik was the first craft in space. Fear of communism. Robert Menzies was Prime Minister and he was anti-communist. Korean War.
Transport The most obvious change in Australian life in the 1950s was the growing use and reliance on the motor vehicle. In 1949, 130 people out of every 1000 had a car; by 1961 it was 271. The dominate car of the 1950s was the Holden. The first Holden sold for 675 pounds plus tax. In 1953, Holden introduced the FJ. 170,000 were sold.