Presentation on theme: "Ch. 14, Postwar America (1945-1960).. I.Truman & Eisenhower. A.Peacetime Economy. 1.Taft-Hartley Act – passed by conservative Congress (1947). a)Outlawed."— Presentation transcript:
Ch. 14, Postwar America ( ).
I.Truman & Eisenhower. A.Peacetime Economy. 1.Taft-Hartley Act – passed by conservative Congress (1947). a)Outlawed ‘Union Shops’ (which required union membership). The Taft-Hartley Act amended the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), informally the Wagner Act), which Congress passed in GI Bill – Loans to veterans for business, home, or college.
Jackie Robinson “Breaking the Color Line” The first African-American Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Robinson's 1947 Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers ended approximately 60 years of baseball segregation, breaking the baseball color line, or color barrier. At that time in the United States, many white people believed that blacks and whites should be kept apart in many aspects of life, including sports. Some pitchers threw at his head and legs; one national League team threatened to strike to drive him out.
B.Truman’s Domestic Programs. 1.Expansion of Social Security. 2. ↑ min. wage from.45 to.75 an hour. Truman proposed the Civil Rights Act of 1948 which would have protected African American voting rights and abolished poll taxes, and made lynching a federal crime – but it met resistance from Republicans and conservative Southern Democrats like Senator Strom Thurman from South Carolina. Sen. Strom Thurman (R) conducted the longest filibuster in Congressional history to defeat the Civil Rights Act. Had uneasy relationship with Congress; Not able to pass many bills.
3.Election of a)“Do Nothing Congress” (not counting Truman & Marshall Plans). b)Newspaper incorrectly predicts “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Southern Democrats left the party and formed the States’ Rights, or Dixiecrat Party, over objections to Truman’s support for civil rights; nominated Strom Thurman as Presidential candidate. Liberal Democrats left over Truman’s anti-Soviet foreign policy, forming the Progressive Party; nominated Henry Wallace as pres. candidate. The Korean War starts in 1950.
4.Truman’s “Fair Deal” a)National Housing Act of 1949 – low-income housing for 800K people. Apart from the New Deal, Truman said “everyone has a right to expect a Fair Deal from the gov’t.” The conservative Congress refused to pass national health insurance, subsidies for farmers, or federal aid for schools. Congress refused to enact Truman’s civil rights legislation. Sprawling public housing projects like Chicago's Cabrini-Green were one result of the Housing Act of 1949.
C.Eisenhower Years. 1.“Dynamic Conservatism” & middle of the road – balancing economic conservatism w/ some activism. 1.“Dynamic Conservatism” & middle of the road – balancing economic conservatism w/ some activism. Considered himself as middle of the road, balancing activism and economic conservatism. “I Like Ike” campaign slogan. Ike’s running mate was CA Senator Richard Nixon. Eisenhower continued all the major New Deal programs still in operation, especially Social Security. He expanded its programs and rolled them into a new cabinet-level agency, the Dept of Health, Education and Welfare, while extending benefits to an additional ten million workers. 1969
Financial aid to Egypt. Covert ops in Iran and Guatemala (1951 and 1953). Stalin died in 1952, Khrushchev new leader in Revolt in Hungary – June, 1956, Soviet tanks in Budapest to put down uprising. Eisenhower warned of the Military-Industrial Complex as he left the presidency. Berlin Wall, aka Iron Curtain (1961 by Khrushchev until 1989). Uprisings against USSR: Poland in 1952; Hungary in 1956; Czechoslovakia in ► Massive Retaliation – Threaten nuclear war if Communists tried to seize territory by force. ► Brinkmanship – Willingness to go to the brink of war to force the other to back down. ► Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – Used covert operations to fight Communism. ► Developing Nations – Countries with primary agricultural economies (many covert ops). Eisenhower’s Policies: advocated a policy of massive strength to combat Communism.
2.Federal Highway Act (1956) – largest public works program in history. $25 Billion over 10 years for 40,000 miles of highway; St. Lawrence Seaway (connect Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence River, completed with Canada). Ike expanded the New Deal, extended Social Security to an additional 10 million people; extended unemployment compensation to an additional 4 million; raised min. wage to $1. an hour; some gov’t aid to farmers. Complete transition to peacetime economy (1956) by Ike’s second term. Prosperous times. States admitted to the Union Alaska – January 3, 1959 = 49th state Hawaii – August 21, 1959 = 50th state Dollar coin issued by the U.S. Mint from honoring Ike. Inspired by Germany’s Autobahn
Federal Highway Act of 1956: Creating the Interstate System The Cold War has left a large footprint on the U.S. landscape with the Interstate Highway System: ► Interstates helped make suburbs possible, trumpeted the power of capitalism. ► Helped build the trucking industry, carrying the country's freight. ► Aid in the movement of troops and material and speed the evacuation of cities if attacked. ► All 45, miles of the interstate system are built to uniform design standards. ► Quarter mile section that’s straight for military planes to land. 12-foot-wide lanes, designed for mph travel, at least two lanes in each direction & no traffic lights/intersections.
II.The Affluent Society. An increase in service sector and professional jobs led to a great increase in American income from 1940 to 1955.
A.John Kenneth Galbraith – Economist published The Affluent Society (1958): postwar prosperity was a new phenomenon. “Economy of abundance” – abundance of goods and services that allowed people to enjoy a standard of living they never thought possible. The Affluent Society by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith sought to clearly outline the manner in which the post-WWII America was becoming wealthy in the private sector but remained poor in the public sector, lacking social and physical infrastructure, and perpetuating income disparities. The book sparked much public discussion at the time, and it is widely remembered for Galbraith's popularizing of the term "conventional wisdom".
B.Spread of Wealth. 1.White-collar jobs – sales & management; ↑. 2.Blue-collar jobs – physical labor in industry; ↓. Origin of the term: The term 'white-collar' possibly derives from the clerical collar of a priest's clothing who used to not only performed ecclesiastical duties, but also served as physicians, lawyers, scribes, and accountants. A more popular theory is that the during most of the twentieth century (male) office workers almost always had to wear dress shirts, which had a white collar.
C.Multinationals and Franchises. 1.Multinational Corporations – Located near raw materials & use cheap labor. 2.Franchises – A person owns/runs a store in a chain. Multinational Corps created mostly white-collar jobs. Franchise = McDonalds, El Pollo Loco, Snap on Tools, etc. A corporation or enterprise manages production or delivers services in at least two countries. Very large multinationals have budgets that exceed those of many countries and have a powerful influence in international relations and local economies. They also play an important role in globalization. One of many Franchise businesses
Some of the worst ‘Multinational Corporations’ since 2001 Paint sludge in NJ
GATT created the World Trade Organization (WTO) on January 1, The ‘General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade’ (GATT) in 1947 expanded international trade by mutual reduction of tariffs. Current WTO members in green Protesting the WTO In Hong Kong, 2005.
D.The Growth of Suburbia. 1.Levittown – Outside NYC; 1 st planned suburb. 1949, Levittown was a planned residential community by Bill Levitt; mass produced (like cars) hundreds of simple & similar looking homes in a potato field 10 miles east of NYC (Long Island). Between , thousands of GIs & families rushed to buy the inexpensive homes; other suburbs sprang up across America. $7,990 or $60 a month
E.The 1950’s Family. 1.‘Baby Boom’ – U.S. birthrate exploded after WWII. 2.From , 65 million children. At its height, a child was born every 7 seconds. 1950
F.Women in the 1950’s – Emphasis on making a “happy home,” but women working outside of the home ↑. By 1960, nearly 1/3 of all married women worked outside the home. The 50’s set the stage for rebelling against traditional female roles and the feminist movement in 1960’s.
“Leave it to Beaver” tv show
G.Technological Breakthroughs – Electronics, computers, medicine, & space. 1.Jonas Salk – Vaccine for polio. Jan 31, 1958, (4 months after Sputnik) US launches its own satellite. Jonas Salk on cover of Time Magazine, Polio epidemics in 1916 left about 6K dead & 27K paralyzed in the U.S. After the vaccine was available, polio cases dropped by 85-90% in only two years.
III.Popular Culture of the 1950’s. A.New Mass Media. 1.Rise of T.V. Popularity. Only 7-8K t.v. sets in 1946; About 40 million sets in I Love Lucy, The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, and Dragnet. “The only thing ‘Red’ about Lucy is her hair.” “I Love Lucy” “The Lone Ranger” Edward R. Murrow & Transcontinental TV in 1951.
Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town – mix of comedy, song, and dance. Twenty-One – 1956 scandal, contestant Charles Van Doren and others received answers. After TV copied the radio’s concepts, radio ratings fell, but then specialized in playing recorded music and flourished (doubled from 1948 to 1957). Ed Sullivan Twenty One host Jack Barry (center), with contestants Vivienne Nearing & Charles Van Doren.
B.New Youth Culture. 1.Rock ‘n’ Roll. Radio disk jockey Alan Freed, in Cleveland on July 11, 1951, noticed white teenagers buying African American rhythm & blues records and dancing to the music; Put on a “rock ‘n’ roll party” after his classical program, called himself “Moondog” ; Extremely popular! Soon after, white artists began making music that stemmed from African American rhythms and sounds, creating a new form of music called rock ‘n’ roll. Elvis Presley Cover of “The King’s” debut RCA Victor album. Photo taken on January 31, 1955.
Presley's "gyrations" created a storm of controversy — even eclipsing the 'communist threat' headlines prevalent at the time. The press described his performance as "vulgar" and "obscene". Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show. Toward the end of the 1950's Rock and Roll lost many of its great artists. Elvis Presley was drafted into the Army (died in ’77); Little Richard quit Rock and Roll; Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, & the Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash. Rock and Roll lost its edge and became bland and safe Little Richard
2.Generation Gap – Cultural separation between children & parents. The Beats – sought to live unconventional lives as fugitives from a culture they despised; Hated the sterilization and conformity of American society in the 1950’s. Jack Kerouac – (a Beat) published On the Road (1957) – Adventures about a car thief and con artist. James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (mid-1950’s) – Popular actor who died in car crash at age 24. Jack Kerouac, "About the Beat Generation," (1957).
C.African American Entertainers. Although few performed on t.v., many had an impact on early rock ‘n’ roll. Nat King Cole – 1956, Had his own 15-minute musical variety show, cancelled after 64 shows in 1957 due to no national sponsor. Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Little Richard, and the Drifters. Little Richard and Chuck Berry influenced the Beatles (1960’s). Chuck Berry
The late 1950’s saw several women’s groups: Crystals, Chiffons, Shirelles, and Ronettes. The Supremes and Martha and the Vandellas (1960’s). Despite innovations in music and economic boom of the 1950’s, for many American poor and minorities the American dream was well out of reach.
IV.The Other Side of American Life. A.Poverty Amidst Prosperity. 1.Poverty Line – Gov’t sets minimum income required to support a family. In 2006, in the U.S., the poverty threshold for a single person under 65 was $10,488; The threshold for a family group of four, including two children, was $20,444.
2.Michael Harrington – The Other America (1962); hidden U.S. poverty. 3.Urban Renewal – 1950’s, programs to eliminate poverty by tearing down slums & erect new buildings. Urban Renewal
4.Termination policy – Federal gov’t withdrew recognition of Native American groups as legal entities. Encouraged off the reservations and into cities (Minneapolis, MN); Developers wanted their land.
5.Juvenile Delinquency – Anti-social or criminal behavior of young people. Between 1948 and 1953, U.S. had a 45% increase in delinquency crime rates (vehicle theft). Education worries increased after the 1957 Sputnik launch.