Presentation on theme: "THE AMERICAN DREAM IN THE 1950S"— Presentation transcript:
1 THE AMERICAN DREAM IN THE 1950S THE POSTWAR BOOMTHE AMERICAN DREAM IN THE 1950S
2 Chapter 19.1 Essential Questions What economic and social problems faced Americans after World War II?How did the desire for stability lead to political conservatism?What were causes and effects of social unrest in the postwar period?How was Truman’s domestic policy different from Eisenhower’s?
3 SECTION 1: POSTWAR AMERICA After WWII, returning vets faced a severe housing shortageIn response to the crisis, developers used assembly-line methods to mass-produce housesDeveloper William Levitt bragged that his company could build a home in 16 minutes for $7,000Suburbs were bornWith the help of low-interest loans from the GI Bill, many veterans moved into suburbs
4 REDEFINING THE FAMILYA return to traditional roles after the war was the normMen were expected to work, while women were expected to stay home and care for the childrenConflict emerged as many women wanted to stay in the workforceDivorce rates surged but were highly frowned upon
5 REMARKABLE ECONOMIC RECOVERY Experts who predicted a postwar depression were proved wrong as they failed to consider the $135 billion in savings Americans had accumulated from defense work, service pay, and investments in war bondsAmericans were ready to buy consumer goods
6 DESPITE GROWTH, ISSUES PERSIST One persistent postwar issue involved labor strikesIn 1946 alone, 4.5 million discontented workers, including Steelworkers, coal miners and railroad workers went on strike
7 TRUMAN TOUGH ON STRIKERS Truman refused to let strikes cripple the nationHe threatened to draft the striking workers and then order them as soldiers to return to workThe strategy worked as strikers returned to their jobs
8 SOCIAL UNREST PERSISTS African Americans felt they deserved equal rights, especially after hundreds of thousands served in WWIITruman took action in 1948 by desegregating the armed forcesAdditionally, Truman ordered an end to discrimination in the hiring of governmental employees
9 THE 1948 ELECTIONDeweyThe Democrats nominated President Truman in 1948The Republicans nominated New York Governor Thomas DeweyPolls showed Dewey held a comfortable lead going into election day
10 TRUMAN WINS IN A STUNNING UPSET Truman’s “Give ‘em hell, Harry” campaign workedTruman won a very close race against DeweyTruman holds a now infamous Chicago Tribune announcing (incorrectly) Dewey’s victory
11 To protest Truman’s emphasis on Civil Rights, Southern Democrats, or “Dixiecrats”, opted to run a third candidate, South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond
12 Truman’s “Fair Deal” He proposed: Truman proposed an ambitious economic program- it was supposed to be an extension of FDR’s “New Deal”He proposed:A nationwide system of compulsory health insurance (can anyone say Obamacare?) (Def)A crop-subsidy system for farmers (Def)Raising the minimum wage (P)Extending Social Security to more people (P)Initiating flood control and irrigation projects (P)Secured federal funding for low-income housing
13 REPUBLICANS PLAN FOR 1952 ELECTION By 1951 Truman’s approval rating sank to an all-time low of just 23%Why? Korean War, rising tide of McCarthyism, and a general impression of ineffectivenessTruman decides not to run againThe Republicans (right) were chomping at the bit in the ’52 election
14 STEVENSON VS. IKE 1952 ELECTION The Democrats nominated intellectual Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson while the Republicans nominated war hero Dwight David EisenhowerIkeStevenson
15 “I LIKE IKE”Eisenhower used the slogan, “I Like Ike” for his presidential campaignRepublicans used Ike’s strong military background to emphasize his ability to combat Communism worldwide
16 Nixon and his dog Checkers IKE’S VP SLIP-UPOne potential disaster for Ike was his running mate’s alleged “slush fund”Richard Nixon responded by going on T.V. and delivering an emotional speech denying charges but admitting to accepting one gift for his children – a dog named CheckersThe “Checkers speech” saved the ticket; notice again the power of TV!Nixon and his dog Checkers
18 Ike’s Hit’s and Misses… Pressed hard to bring about a balanced budget and tax cutsRaised the minimum wageExtended Social Security and unemployment benefitsIncreased funding for public housingBacked the creation of the Interstate Highway SystemTried to avoid controversy.Was forced to intervene in the Little Rock (AR) Central HS crisisBrown v. Board of Education ruling took place in 1954Rosa Parks/Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955Ike did not press for an end to segregation
19 Ike Walks the Middle of the Road… Ike’s approach to politics- “Dynamic Conservatism” (also known as modern Republicanism)He wanted government to be “conservative when it comes to money and liberal when it comes to human beings.”
20 Ch.19.2 Essential Questions How did changes in business affect workers?What was the suburban lifestyle like in the 1950s?What were the causes and effects in the automobile industry boom?Why was there an increase in consumerism in the 1950s?
21 SECTION 2: THE AMERICAN DREAM IN THE FIFTIES After WWII ended, Americans turned their attention to their families and jobsNew businesses and technology created opportunities for manyBy the end of the 1950s, Americans were enjoying the highest standard of living in the worldOzzie and Harriet reflected the perfect American family
22 THE ORGANIZATION AND THE ORGANIZATION MAN During the 1950s, businesses expanded rapidlyMore and more people held “white-collar” jobs - clerical, management, or professional jobsThe fields of sales, advertising, insurance and communications explodedWhite Collar jobs expanded greatly in the 1950s
23 SOCIAL CONFORMITYAmerican workers found themselves becoming standardizedCalled the “Organization Man,” the modern worker struggled with a loss of individualismBusinesses did not want creative thinkers, rebels or anyone that would “rock the boat”
24 Despite their success, some workers questioned whether pursuing the American dream exacted too high a price, as conformity replaced individuality
25 CONGLOMERATES EMERGEConglomerates, major corporations that include a number of smaller companies in unrelated fields, emerged in the 1950sOne conglomerate, International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT), bought rental car companies and hotel chains
26 McDonald’s is one of the leading franchises in the world FRANCHISES EMERGEAnother strategy for business expansion was franchisingA franchise is a company that offers similar services in many locationsFast food restaurants developed the first franchises in AmericaMcDonald’s is one of the leading franchises in the world
27 THE SUBURBAN LIFESTYLE Most Americans worked in cities, but fewer and fewer of them lived thereNew highways and the affordability of cars and gasoline made commuting possibleOf the 13 million homes built in the 1950s, 85% were built in suburbsFor many, the suburbs were the American DreamThe American Dream complete with a white picket fence
28 THE BABY BOOMDuring the late 1940s and through the early 1960s the birthrate in the U.S. soaredAt its height in 1957, a baby was born in America every 7 seconds (over 4.3 million babies in ’57 alone)Baby boomers represent the largest generation in the nation’s history
29 What are the official years of the Baby Boom Generation? saw a marked increase in the number of births in North America.How did the birthrate rise and fall during the baby boom years in the US?19402,559,000 births per year19463,311,000 births per year19554,097,000 births per year19574,300,000 births per year19644,027,000 births per year19743,160,000 births per year
30 WHY SO MANY BABIES? Why did the baby boom occur when it did? Husbands returning from warDecreasing marriage ageDesirability of large familiesConfidence in economyAdvances in medicine
31 WHAT IT WILL MEAN TO YOUYour generation will be supporting an increasingly aging American population
32 ADVANCES IN MEDICINE AND CHILDCARE Advances in the treatment of childhood diseases included drugs to combat typhoid fever and polio (Jonas Salk)Dr. Salk was instrumental in the eradication of polio
33 DR. SPOCK ADVISES PARENTS Many parents raised their children according to the guidelines of pediatrician Dr. Benjamin SpockHe thought children should be allowed to express themselves and parents should never physically punish their kidsDr. Spock’s book sold 10 million copies in the 1950s
34 IMPACT OF BABY BOOMAs a result of the baby boom 10 million students entered elementary schools in the 1950sCalifornia built a new school every 7 days in the late ’50sToy sales reached an all-time high in 1958 when $1.25 billion in toys were sold
35 Symbols of the Baby Boom in Suburbia 19501960Hot Dog Production (millions of lbs)7501050Potato Chip Production (millions of lbs)320532Sales of lawn and porch furniture (millions of dollars)53.6145.2Sales of power mowers (millions of dollars)1.03.8Sales of floor polishers (millions of dollars)0.24Sales of Encyclopaedia (millions of dollars)72300Number of Children age 5-1424.335.5Number of baseball Little Leagues7765,700
36 Fads of the Baby Boomers Hula HoopsFrozen FoodsPoodle Skirts and Saddle ShoesPanty RaidsBarbie and GI Joe DollsBikinisFrisbeesYo-yosOuija BoardsDune BuggiesWhat celebrity deaths have most affected the Baby Boomers?John F. KennedyMarilyn MonroeMartin Luther KingJohn Lennon
37 WOMEN’S ROLES IN THE 1950SDuring the 1950s, the role of homemaker and mother was glorified in popular magazines, movies and television
38 WOMEN AT WORKThose women who did work were finding job opportunities limited to fields such as nursing, teaching and office supportWomen earned far less than man for comparable jobs
39 LEISURE IN THE 1950sAmericans experienced shorter work weeks and more vacation time than ever beforeLeisure time activities became a multi-billion dollar industryLabor-saving devices added more spare timeLabor-saving devices provided more leisure time for Americans
40 POPULAR LEISURE ACTIVITES In 1953 alone Americans spent $30 billion on leisurePopular activities included fishing, bowling, hunting and golfAmericans attended, or watched on T.V., football, baseball and basketball gamesBowling remains one of the top leisure activities in the U.S.
41 THE AUTOMOBILE CULTURE After the rationing of WWII, inexpensive and plentiful fuel and easy credit led many to buy carsBy 1960, over 60 million Americans owned autos
42 INTERSTATE HIGHWAY ACT 1956 In 1956 Ike authorized a nationwide highway network – 41,000 miles of road linking America
43 THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM “Automania” spurred the construction of roads linking major cities while connecting schools, shopping centers and workplaces to residential suburbs
44 Trucking is the #1 means of moving cargo in the United States today IMPACT OF THE HIGHWAYThe Interstate Highway system resulted in:More truckingLess railroadMore suburbs, further awayTrucking is the #1 means of moving cargo in the United States today
45 HIGHWAYS “HOMOGENIZE” AMERICA Another effect of the highway system was that the scenery of America began to look the sameRestaurants, motels, highway billboards, gas stations, etc. all began to look similarThe nation had become “homogenized”Anytown, USA
46 John Keats, The Insolent Chariots 1958 “Our new roads, with their ancillaries, the motels, filling stations, and restaurants advertising eats, have made it possible for you to drive from Brooklyn to Los Angeles without a change of diet, scenery, or culture.”John Keats, The Insolent Chariots
47 DOWNSIDE TO MOBILITYWhile the car industry boom stimulated production, jobs, shopping centers, and the restaurant industry, it also had negative effectsNoisePollutionAccidentsTraffic JamsStressDecline of publictransportation
48 RISE OF CONSUMERISMBy the mid-1950s, nearly 60% of Americans were members of the middle classConsumerism (buying material goods) came to be equated with success and status“Keeping up with the Jones’s”
49 NEW PRODUCTS One new product after another appeared in the marketplace Appliances, electronics, and other household goods were especially popularThe first credit card (Diner’s Club) appeared in 1950 and American Express was introduced in 1958Personal debt increased nearly 3x in the 1950s
50 Advertising is everywhere today in America THE ADVERTISING AGEThe advertising industry capitalized on runaway consumerism by encouraging more spendingAds were everywhereAd agencies increased their spending 50% during the 1950sAdvertising is everywhere today in America
51 Ch.19.3 Essential Questions: How did television programs in the 1950s reflect middle-class values?How did the beat movement androck ‘n’ roll music clash with middle-class values?How did African-American entertainers help to integrate the media in the 1950s?
52 SECTION 3: POPULAR CULTURE A new era of mass media led by television emerged in the 1950sIn 1948, only 9% of homes had T.VIn 1950, 55% of homes had T.V.By 1960, 90% of American homes had T.V.
53 THE GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION Mass media- the means of communication that reach large audiencesThe 1950s was known as the “Golden Age of Television”Comedies were the main attraction as Milton Berle, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were very popularDesi Arnaz and Lucille Ball starred in I Love Lucy
54 TELEVISION EXPERIMENTS WITH VARIOUS FORMATS The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) did its best to regulate television and radioTelevision innovations like on-the-scene-news reporting, interviews, westerns and sporting events offered the viewer a variety of showsKids’ shows like The Howdy Doody Show and The Mickey Mouse Club were extremely popular
55 TV ADS, TV GUIDES AND TV DINNERS EXPAND TV advertising soared from $170 million in 1950 to nearly $2 billion in 1960TV Guide magazine quickly became the best selling magazineFrozen TV dinners were introduced in 1954 – these complete ready-to-heat meals on disposable aluminum trays made it easy for people to eat without missing their favorite shows
56 A Downside to TV???Critics objected to its effects on children (exposure to violence)Women appeared in stereotypical rolesMale characters outnumbered female by 3 to 1African-Americans and Latinos rarely appeared in television programs at all1950s television portrayed an idealized white America, with no references to poverty, diversity or contemporary conflicts
57 Would the Birth of Television Lead to the Death of Radio and the Movies? Radio and movies survived because they adapted and evolved.Radio stations now offered news, weather, and more importantly- rock ‘n’ rollMovie theatres also had some advantages over TV- size, color, and soundJames Dean, a teenage idol, died atthe age of 24 in a car accident.
58 A SUBCULTURE EMERGESAlthough mass media and television were wildly popular in the 1950s, dissenting voices emergedThe “Beat Movement” in literature, art and poetry celebrated a nonconformist lifestyle and attitudeRock n’ roll clashed with tidy suburban views of life and was originally called “race music”.
59 BEATNIKS FOLLOW OWN PATH Centered in San Francisco, L.A. and New York’s Greenwich Village, the Beat Movement expressed social nonconformityFollowers, called “beatniks”, tended to shun work and sought understanding through Zen Buddhism, music, and sometimes drugsBeatniks often performed poetry or music in coffeehouses or bars
60 MUSIC IN THE 1950sMusicians in the 1950s added electronic instruments to traditional blues music, creating rhythm and bluesCleveland DJ Alan Freed was the first to play this music in 1951– he called it “rock and roll”First called “race music”- the early performers were mostly black, but the audience was mostly whiteFREED
61 ROCK N’ ROLLIn the early and mid-fifties, Richard Penniman, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and the Comets, and especially Elvis Presley brought rock and roll to the forefrontThe driving rhythm and lyrics featuring love, cars, and problems of being young captivated teenagers across the country
62 THE KING OF ROCK AND ROLL Presley’s rebellious style captured young audiencesGirls screamed and fainted, and boys tried to imitate him
63 SECTION 4: THE OTHER AMERICA In 1962, nearly one out of every four Americans was living below the poverty levelMost of these poor were the elderly, single women and their children, and/or minorities
64 WHITE FLIGHTIn the 1950s, millions of middle-class white Americans left the cities for the suburbsAt the same time millions of African American rural poor migrated to the citiesThe so-called “White Flight” drained cities of valuable resources, money and taxes
65 Urban RenewalMost African Americans, Native Americans and Latinos in the cities had to live in dirty, crowded slums.One proposed solution was “urban renewal”. The National Housing Act of 1949 called for the tearing down of rundown neighborhoods and constructing low-income housingAlthough the tearing down did occur, parking lots, shopping centers, highways, parks and factories were constructed on much of the cleared landUrban renewal simply became “urban removal” as many people simply had to move from one ghetto to another.Dodger Stadium- An example of urban renewal
66 Poverty Leads to Activism… When the United States entered WWII, a shortage of agricultural workers spurred the government to initiate a program in which Mexican braceros, or hired hands, were allowed into the U.S. to harvest crops fromThey were expected to return to Mexico once their employment ended; but many remained in the U.S. illegally to escape the poor economic conditions in Mexico.As a result, prejudice against Mexicans and Mexican-Americans rose dramatically
67 The Longoria IncidentFelix Longoria was a Mexican-American WWII hero who had been killed in the Philippines.The only undertaker in his Texas hometown refused to provide his family with funeral servicesOutraged Mexican Americans stepped up their efforts to stamp out discrimination by creating the G.I. Forum and the Unity League of CaliforniaBoth were designed to register Mexican American voters and to promote candidates who would represent their interests.
68 Native Americans Continue Their Struggle… From 1887 to 1934, the government policy towards Native Americans was one of “Americanization” and assimilation.In 1953 the federal government announced it would give up its responsibility for Native American tribes.The new approach, known as the “termination policy” eliminated federal economic support, discontinued the reservation system, and redistributed tribal lands to individual Native Americans.Native Americans were encouraged to resettle in cities.The policy was a dismal failure. Most couldn’t find jobs because of poor training and racial prejudice. In 1963, the termination policy was abandonedThe National Congress of American Indians was formed to 1) Ensure civil rights for Native Americans and 2) enable Indians on reservations to retain their own customs
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