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THE 1950s: Chapter 27 Anxiety, Alienation, and Social Unrest ?? Conservatism, Complacency, and Contentment OR.

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Presentation on theme: "THE 1950s: Chapter 27 Anxiety, Alienation, and Social Unrest ?? Conservatism, Complacency, and Contentment OR."— Presentation transcript:

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2 THE 1950s: Chapter 27 Anxiety, Alienation, and Social Unrest ?? Conservatism, Complacency, and Contentment OR

3 The Eisenhower Presidency Grandfatherly war hero Grandfatherly war hero Like after World War I, Americans seek a return to normal life Like after World War I, Americans seek a return to normal life

4 Suburban Living $7,990 or $60/month with no down payment. Levittown, L. I.: The American Dream 1949 William Levitt produced 150 houses per week.

5 Suburban Living: The New American Dream k 1 story high k 12x19 living room k 2 bedrooms k tiled bathroom k garage k small backyard k front lawn By /3 of the U. S. population in the suburbs.

6 Federal Housing Administration Low down payment – low interest loans Low down payment – low interest loans Bias toward suburban middle class Bias toward suburban middle class Favored a policy segregating social and racial classes Favored a policy segregating social and racial classes

7 Suburban Living: The Typical TV Suburban Families The Donna Reed Show Leave It to Beaver Father Knows Best The Ozzie & Harriet Show

8 Religious Revival Today in the U. S., the Christian faith is back in the center of things. -- Time magazine, 1954 Today in the U. S., the Christian faith is back in the center of things. -- Time magazine, 1954 Church membership: ,000, ,000,000 Television Preachers: 1. Catholic Bishop Fulton J. Sheen Life is Worth Living 2. Methodist Minister Norman Vincent Peale The Power of Positive Thinking 3. Reverend Billy Graham ecumenical message; warned against the evils of Communism.

9 Religious Revival Hollywood: apex of the biblical epics. Its un-American to be un-religious! -- The Christian Century, 1954 The Robe The Ten Commandments Ben Hur The Robe The Ten Commandments Ben Hur

10 Well-Defined Gender Roles The ideal modern woman married, cooked and cared for her family, and kept herself busy by joining the local PTA and leading a troop of Campfire Girls. She entertained guests in her familys suburban house and worked out on the trampoline to keep her size 12 figure. -- Life magazine, 1956 Marilyn Monroe The ideal 1950s man was the provider, protector, and the boss of the house. -- Life magazine, William H. Whyte, Jr. The Organization Man A a middle-class, white suburban male is the ideal.

11 Well-Defined Gender Roles Changing Sexual Behavior: Alfred Kinsey: 1948 Sexual Behavior in the Human Male 1953 Sexual Behavior in the Human Female v Premarital sex was common. v Extramarital affairs were frequent among married couples. Kinseys results are an assault on the family as a basic unit of society, a negation of moral law, and a celebration of licentiousness. -- Life magazine, early 1950s

12 A Changing Workplace Automation: factory workers decreased by 4.3%, eliminating 1.5 million blue-collar jobs. By 1956 more white-collar than blue-collar jobs in the U. S. Computers Mark I (1944). First IBM mainframe computer (1951). Corporate Consolidation: By corporations (1/2% of all U. S. companies) accounted for 53% of total corporate income. WHY?? Cold War military buildup.

13 A Changing Workplace New Corporate Culture: The Company Man 1956 Sloan Wilsons The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit 1956 Sloan Wilsons The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Labor unions – shift to service economy – not just for industry as government employees join

14 The Expansion of Higher Education Colleges & Universities Colleges & Universities Faculty research = government grants Faculty research = government grants Businessmen join boards of trustees Businessmen join boards of trustees Led to more businesslike practices Led to more businesslike practices GI Bill and NDEA subsidized costs GI Bill and NDEA subsidized costs

15 Progress Through Science First IBM Mainframe Computer Hydrogen Bomb Test DNA Structure Discovered Salk Vaccine Tested for Polio First Commercial U. S. Nuclear Power Plant NASA Created Press Conference of the First 7 American Astronauts

16 Health & Medicine New developments – vaccines, antibiotics, well-child care (Dr. Benjamin Spock) Health care – many could not afford the latest treatments

17 Baby Boom It seems to me that every other young housewife I see is pregnant. -- British visitor to America, baby born every 7 seconds

18 Baby Boom Dr. Benjamin Spock and the Anderson Quintuplets

19 Conformity & Consumption 1950 Introduction of the Diners Card All babies were potential consumers who spearheaded a brand-new market for food, clothing, and shelter. -- Life Magazine (May, 1958)

20 The Culture of the Car Car registrations: ,000, ,000,000 2-family cars doubles from Interstate Highway Act largest public works project in American history! Å Cost $32 billion. Å 41,000 miles of new highways built Chevy Corvette 1958 Pink Cadillac

21 The Culture of the Car First McDonalds (1955) America became a more homogeneous nation because of the automobile.America became a more homogeneous nation because of the automobile. Federal Highway Act leads to decline in mass transitFederal Highway Act leads to decline in mass transit Drive-In Movies Howard Johnsons

22 The Culture of the Car The U. S. population was on the move in the 1950s. NE & Mid-W S & SW (Sunbelt states) 1955 Disneyland opened in Southern California. (40% of the guests came from outside California, most by car.) Frontier Land Main Street Tomorrow Land

23 Teen Culture In the 1950s the word teenager entered the American language. By million teens with $7 billion to spend a year race music ROCK N ROLL Elvis Presley The King

24 Teen Culture Teenagers try to act like adults Teenagers try to act like adults Social climate of junior high schools Social climate of junior high schools Availability of cars Availability of cars Getting married at younger ages Getting married at younger ages Menstruation starts occurring at an earlier age Menstruation starts occurring at an earlier age Mass media & teen publications develop Mass media & teen publications develop Become a unique consumer market Become a unique consumer market Influenced family purchasing decisions Influenced family purchasing decisions Had common experience fostered by public schools Had common experience fostered by public schools

25 Teen Culture Behavioral Rules of the 1950s: Obey Authority. Control Your Emotions. Dont Make Waves Fit in with the Group. Dont Even Think About Sex!!!

26 Teen Culture Juvenile Delinquency ??? Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953) James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) 1951 J. D. Salingers A Catcher in the Rye

27 Deviance & Delinquency Crime statistics backed up rise – especially in suburbs Crime statistics backed up rise – especially in suburbs Efforts were made to censor and regulate media Efforts were made to censor and regulate media U.S. Senate was even concerned about it U.S. Senate was even concerned about it Widespread media coverage made it seem like a crisis Widespread media coverage made it seem like a crisis

28 Television ,000 TV sets in the U. S ,000,000 TV sets in the U. S. Mass Audience TV celebrated traditional American values. Television is a vast wasteland. Newton Minnow, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, 1961 Truth, Justice, and the American way!

29 Television – The Western Davy Crockett King of the Wild Frontier The Lone Ranger (and his faithful sidekick, Tonto): Who is that masked man?? Sheriff Matt Dillon, Gunsmoke

30 Television - Family Shows I Love Lucy The Honeymooners Glossy view of mostly middle-class suburban life. But... Social Winners?... AND… Losers?

31 The Beats The Beat Generation : Jack Kerouac On The Road Allen Ginsberg poem, Howl Neal Cassady William S. Burroughs Beatnik Clean Teen Objections: Conformity Technology Materialism Militarism

32 Robin Hood, banned from many schools because of its communist ideas

33 Truman vs. Eisenhower 1.Marshall Plan 2.Truman Doctrine 3.Berlin Airlift 4.NATO 5.NSC #68 6.Korean War 1.Mutual security agreements. 2.Massive retaliation. 3.M. A. D. 4.Domino Theory 5.CIA & covert operations 6.Eisenhower Doctrine 7.$ Diplomacy – Part II Containment [George Kennan] Brinksmanship [John Foster Dulles]

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35 John Foster Dulles – Very righteous, missionary-like approach to job

36 "If a Nation would dare to attack us, or perchance one of our allies, with a force of X, it would become incumbent upon us to respond with a force of 2X. Needless to say, we would retaliate at a time of our choosing, in a place of our choosing, and in a method of our choosing. This is what we would like to call 'Massive Retaliation'." John Foster Dulles

37 The Hungarian Uprising: 1956 Imre Nagy, Hungarian Prime Minister }Promised free elections. }This could lead to the end of communist rule in Hungary.

38 Sputnik I (1957) The Russians have beaten America in spacethey have the technological edge! Creation of NASA NDEA – funding for education in math & science Accelerated arms race Demand for national program to build fallout shelters

39 Progress Through Science UFO Sightings skyrocketed in the 1950s. War of the Worlds Hollywood used aliens as a metaphor for whom ??

40 The 50s Come to a Close 1959 Nixon-Khrushchev Kitchen Debate Cold War -----> Tensions <----- Technology & Affluence


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