Presentation on theme: "March 31, 2014 Pencil/Pen 1950’s Chart GFTD: What you need:"— Presentation transcript:
1March 31, 2014 Pencil/Pen 1950’s Chart GFTD: What you need: “Father Knows Best”The Post-War World:How does the Epic Movie paint the 1950s?The “new” American DreamProsperityCulture of ConformityHW: NonePencil/Pen1950’s Chart
2Big Picture: The 1950s are similar to the 1920s and the Gilded Age On the surface things look greatDig deeper, things are more complexWe will start by looking at what was good, the surface…
31950s: The Good Stuff…American Dream seemed more accessible than ever.How did you achieve it in the 1950s?Own land in the new suburbsHave a “perfect” American nuclear familyMass MediaConform to 1950s cultureConsumer Culture – own a car, own newest appliancesWhat made this possible?
41950s: Time of Prosperity Booming economy Rebuilding Europe hungry for American goodsEconomy grew by 37% in 1950sBy 1959, average American family had 30% more purchasing power than when decade began. Means more spending.4.5% unemploymentStandard of Living in U.S. is unthinkable in other parts of world
5Booming Economy: Consumerism After years of doing without, Americans wanted goods. In addition, people had jobs (and therefore the money) to buy new goods.The auto industry produced 2 million cars in 1946 and almost two times that in 1955.By % of American households had at least one car.
6Booming Economy: Consumerism In 1948 Americans bought 975,000 TV sets. By two years later, they had purchased 7.5 million sets.By % of all American households had a television
71950s TV Commercials:The increase in products like television and radio increased the mass media and conformity.Commercials reached more people and gave them “the ideal” to strive towardWestinghouse TV CommercialKool Aid CommercialCoca-Cola Commercial
8How to Achieve the American Dream: Mass Media Images of Americans Shows called “sitcoms" like The Honeymooners, Lassie, Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy were popular.
9How to Live the American Dream: Music Rock ‘n roll became popular. Developed from a blend of Southern blues and gospel music with an added strong back beat, this type of music was popular with teenagers who were trying to break out of the mainstream conservative American middle class mold. Popular artists included Billy Haley, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.
10How to Achieve the American Dream: 1950s style The GI Bill helped people achieve the AD….Purpose:Gave veterans affordable access to college education. More education = higher salaryGave low-interest mortgages so more people could buy homes.
11How to Achieve the American Dream: 1950s style One developer, William Levitt had the idea to build a community of homes.
12How to Achieve the American Dream: 1950s style He took 1,200 acres of potato farmland…
13How to Achieve the American Dream: 1950s style And built communities in Long Island and Pennsylvania. (The picture to the right is of the concrete slabs for the floors of the homes. The picture above is an aerial view.)
14How to Achieve the American Dream: 1950s style Each house was almost identical. The area included shopping centers, pools, parks and more.Each home in Long Island cost $7,900. Levittown became a white middle class dream…