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Chapter 13: Postwar Confidence and Anxiety Demobilization – decreasing the man power in the military by allowing service men and women to return home.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 13: Postwar Confidence and Anxiety Demobilization – decreasing the man power in the military by allowing service men and women to return home."— Presentation transcript:


2 Chapter 13: Postwar Confidence and Anxiety Demobilization – decreasing the man power in the military by allowing service men and women to return home GI Bill of Rights – Federal law that granted benefits to veteran’s 1.A year of unemployment benefits if they could not find a job 2.Financial aid for college 3.Government loans for building and starting businesses.

3 1 A. Baby Boom It seems to me that every other young housewife I see is pregnant. -- British visitor to America, 1958 1957  1 baby born every 7 seconds

4 1 B. Baby Boom Dr. Benjamin Spock and the Anderson Quintuplets

5 Converting War Time Economy Inflation most painful economic problem after war U.S. untouched by war’s devastation – U.S. produce 50% of world’s output Technology improves productivity – Use of computers began in business Increased military spending leads to new technologies – Development of plastics and light metal alloys – Marshall Plan increased demand for American goods

6 The Taft-Hartley Act Republicans take control of both houses of Congress in 1946 and seek to return to a conservative government: – Lower taxes – Reduced government regulation – Support for business – Anti-Union – reduce the power of unions to aid business – End price controls passed during the war Taft, a conservative Republican Senator sponsored act – Authorized President- 80 day cooling off period for strikes in essential industries – Banned shops closed to non-union members Truman Vetoes but is overridden

7 Truman and Civil Rights Supports the trend in post war America against intolerance- Lesson of discrimination of the Nazis- rings loud and clear- Nuremberg Trials began, the truth of Nazi racism comes out War was fought for freedom- freedom should be available at home Some former soldiers don’t like racism in USA American society is developing conditions for change emerge

8 Incremental Civil Rights for African Americans 1946 Morgan v. Virginia- segregation in public interstate travel was unconstitutional 1950- Shelley v. Kraemer- restrictive covenants in housing- not selling property to members of certain groups violated the Constitution

9 Civil Rights Truman desegregated the Military and Federal Civil Service Big step in the early struggle for an end to discrimination

10 Election 1948 Southern Democrats leave national party in response to Truman's support for Civil Rights Dixicrats Strom Thurmond- South Carolina Senator, runs for president Dewey runs for the Republicans Truman appeared to lose- but appeals directly to the people citing the “Do nothing Republican Congress” and Wins the Election


12 Fair Deal Liberal programs of Truman similar to New Deal – National health insurance Limited and refused by Republican Congress 1946

13 Eisenhower Charts Middle Path Eisenhower popular choice for president in 1952 – both parties wanted him!! First elected post he ever held was president Charted middle course – Agreed government was too big, but did not repeal New Deal programs – Federal spending increased during his presidency

14 Automania Cheap, plentiful gas, easy credit, advertising increase car sales No public transit in suburbs; cars necessary The Car Culture NEXT Car Culture Takes Over Depended on cars to get to work Cars necessary to grocery shop or go to new suburban shopping malls Fast food restaurants and drive-in movies capitalize on car Towns near highways prosper; those near older, smaller roads decline

15 Mobility Takes Its Toll Cars create social, environmental problems— e.g. accidents, pollution Upper-, middle-class whites leave cities; jobs, businesses follow Economic gulf widens between suburban and urban - also widens gap between middle class and the poor continued The Car Culture NEXT

16 Chapter 13: Postwar Confidence and Anxiety Interstate Highway Act 1.$$$ to build 41,000 miles of highway consisting of multilane expressways that would connect the nation’s major cities 2.Biggest public works expenditure in history 3.Modeled after the German Autobahn that Hitler built 4.Ike’s plan for rapid mobilization in times of international crisis. 5.In 1990, became known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways



19 Chapter 13: Postwar Confidence and Anxiety Sunbelt – Name given to southern and western states during the migration of the U.S population from eastern and northern cities Houston, TX - Benefited from boom in petrochemical and aerospace business Migration had a heavy impact on the shift of representative power in Congress California and Texas are now players in the Electoral College game Factors in move – Climate – Large number of jobs (especially defense industries) – Air conditioning – Influx of Latino populations

20 Chapter 13: Postwar Confidence and Anxiety

21 The Organization and the Organization Man Employment in the U.S. By 1956, majority of Americans not in blue-collar (industrial) jobs More in higher-paying, white-collar (office, professional) positions Many in services, like sales, advertising, insurance, communications (service sector) NEXT Conglomerates Conglomerates—corporation that owns smaller, unrelated companies Diversify to protect from downturns in individual industries

22 The Organization and the Organization Man Franchises Franchise—company offers similar products, services in many places - also the right to use company name and system Fast-food restaurants among first, most successful franchises NEXT Social Conformity Many employees with well-paid, secure jobs lose individuality Personality tests see if job candidates fit in company culture Companies reward teamwork, loyalty, encourage conformity

23 Chapter 13: Postwar Confidence and Anxiety Multinational Corporation - Companies that produced and sold their goods and services all over the world and established branches abroad. General Motors, General Electric, International Business Machines, Coca-Cola Consumerism – large-scale buying, most of it on credit Union Gains – 1955 AFL and CIO combine to form AFL-CIO Educational Opportunities – Number of young people attending college increase – Government funds education (science and math) – California Master Plan

24 New Products 60% of Americans in middle class; twice as many as before WW II Consumerism (buying material goods) equated with success Numerous new products appear on market in response to demand Consumerism Unbound NEXT Planned Obsolescence Planned obsolescence—making products that get outdated, wear out - makes consumers buy or want to buy new ones

25 Buy Now, Pay Later Credit purchases, credit cards, installments extend payment period Private debt grows; consumers confident of future prosperity continued Consumerism Unbound The Advertising Age Most people have satisfied basic needs; ads encourage extra spending Psychological appeals in ads lure consumers to particular products Ads appear in all media; television emerges as powerful new tool

26 Consumerism

27 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 family’s 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, 1955 1956  William H. Whyte, Jr.  The Organization Man A a middle-class, white suburban male is the ideal.

28 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: 1940  64,000,000 1960  114,000,000 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.

29 Religious Revival Hollywood: apex of the biblical epics. It’s un-American to be un-religious! -- The Christian Century, 1954 The Robe The Ten Commandments Ben Hur 1953 1956 1959 The Robe The Ten Commandments Ben Hur 1953 1956 1959

30 The Suburban Lifestyle NEXT Advances in Medicine and Childcare New drugs fight, prevent childhood diseases Dr. Jonas Salk develops vaccine for poliomyelitis Pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock writes popular guide for parents Baby boom impacts economy, educational system

31 NEXT New Era of the Mass Media The Rise of Television Mass media—means of communication that reach large audiences TV first widely available 1948; in almost 90% of homes in 1960 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates communications By 1956, FCC allows 500 stations to broadcast Programs: comedies, news, dramas, variety shows, children’s shows Lifestyle changes: TV Guide is popular magazine; TV dinners Popular Culture

32 NEXT New Era of the Mass Media Stereotypes and Gunslingers Women, minorities on TV are stereotypes; few blacks, Latinos Westerns glorify historical frontier conflicts Raise concerns about effect of violence on children Radio and Movies Television cuts into radio, movie markets Radio turns to local news, weather, music, community affairs Movies capitalize on size, color, sound advantages; try gimmicks

33 Television 1946  7,000 TV sets in the U. S. 1950  50,000,000 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!

34 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

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

36 NEXT Rock ‘n’ Roll Black musicians add electric instruments to blues—rhythm and blues Rock ‘n’ roll—mix of rhythm and blues, country, pop Has heavy rhythm, simple melodies, lyrics about teenage concerns Music appeals to newly affluent teens who can buy records Many adults concerned music will lead to delinquency, immorality African Americans and Rock ‘n’ Roll

37 Teen Culture In the 1950s the word “teenager” “teenager” entered the American language. By 1956 13 mil. teens with $7 bil. to spend a year. 1951  “race music”  “ROCK ‘N ROLL” Elvis Presley  “The King”

38 Teen Culture Behavioral Rules of the 1950s: U Obey Authority. U Control Your Emotions. U Don’t Make Waves  Fit in with the Group.

39 NEXT The Beat Movement Beat movement—writers, artists express social, literary nonconformity Poets, writers use free, open form; read works aloud in coffeehouses Beatnik attitudes, way of life attract media attention, students A Subculture Emerges

40 The “Beat” Generation : f Jack Kerouac  On The Road f Allen Ginsberg  poem, “Howl” f Neal Cassady f William S. Burroughs “Beatnik” “Clean” Teen

41 NEXT The Urban Poor White Flight 1962, 25% of Americans below poverty level Post WW II–1960, 5 million blacks go from rural South to urban North White flight results in loss of businesses, tax payers to cities Cities can no longer afford to maintain or improve: - schools, public transportation, police and fire departments The Other America by Michael Harrington – documents changes in cities The Other America Continued...

42 NEXT The Inner Cities Poverty grows rapidly in decaying inner cities Poor economic conditions lead to illness and terrible conditions continued The Urban Poor Urban Renewal Urban renewal—replace rundown buildings with new low-income housing Housing and Urban Development Dept. created to improve conditions Not enough housing built for displaced people

43 Rural Poor Plight of rural poor just as bad Included Mississippi delta sharecroppers, miners in Appalachia and farmers in remote areas Corporations and large farmers dominated farm production, forcing small farmers out of business Many left to the urban areas, some remained behind hoping for better economic times

44 NEXT Mexicans Seek Employment Many Southwest Mexicans become U.S. citizens after Mexican War 1942–47, Mexican braceros, hired hands, allowed into U.S. to work After war, many remain illegally; many others enter to look for work Poverty Leads to Activism The Longoria Incident Undertaker refuses funeral services to Felix Longoria, WW II veteran Outraged Mexican-American veterans organize G.I. Forum Unity League of CA registers voters, promotes responsive candidates Continued...

45 NEXT Native Americans Continue their Struggle During Depression, U.S. policy of Native American autonomy National Congress of American Indians: civil rights, maintain customs U.S. stops family allotments, wages; outsiders take tribal lands continued Poverty Leads to Activism The Termination Policy Termination policy cuts economic support, gives land to individuals Bureau of Indian Affairs helps resettlement in cities Termination policy is a failure; abandoned in 1963

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