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Unit 6: Global Struggles 1931-1960. Chapter 22 Postwar America 1945-1960.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 6: Global Struggles 1931-1960. Chapter 22 Postwar America 1945-1960."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit 6: Global Struggles 1931-1960

2 Chapter 22 Postwar America 1945-1960

3 I.Postwar Economic Issues A. The Peacetime Economy 1. Postwar economies often suffer from unemployment and recession 2. After WWII, this was largely avoided – why? a. Increased consumer spending 1) depression over – people can afford to shop 2) rationing over – rush to buy goods that had been unavailable

4 b. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act aka the GI Bill - how did this boost the economy? Provided loans to veterans to: 1) start a business 2) buy homes 3) attend college *** all of this helped alleviate unemployment in the postwar period

5 3. One economic problem that did occur after WWII was inflation inflation: the loss of value of money – causes rising prices a. Higher demand = higher prices (inflation) b. because of inflation, workers wanted higher pay. Led to more labor union activity

6 4. Midterm elections 1946 a. Americans unhappy with labor unrest and high prices – blame Truman and the Democrats b. Republicans win control of both the House and the Senate - 1 st time since 1930

7 4. Congress, to reign in power of labor unions, passed the Taft-Hartley Act a. Outlawed closed shop (an agreement in which a company agrees to hire only union members) b. allowed states to pass right to work laws (law making it illegal to require employees to join a union) which outlawed Union Shops (biz that requires employees to join a union) c. prohibited featherbedding (practice of limiting work output in order to create more jobs)

8 d. Forbade unions from financially supporting political campaigns - Pres Truman vetoed Taft-Hartley, but Congress passed in 1947 over the veto

9 Right to Work States today Right-to-work states shown in turquoise

10 B. Truman’s Presidency 1. 1 st term accomplishments a. Executive Orders: 1) Executive Order 9980: barred discrimination in federal employment 2) Executive Order 9981: ended segregation in the US armed forces (1948) executive order: directive rule or regulation issued by the Pres. – has the effect of law, but does not require Congressional action

11 2. The Results? a. little support from Congress. Most proposals blocked by Republicans and conservative Southern Democrats b. Executive Orders: 1) Executive Order 9980: barred discrimination in federal employment 2) Executive Order 9981: ended segregation in the US armed forces executive order: directive rule or regulation issued by the Pres. – has the effect of law, but does not require Congressional action

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13 2. 1948 Election a. Divisions in the Democratic Party b. Truman’s Republican opponent was Thomas Dewey was popular

14 3. The Campaign a. “whistle-stop campaign”, traveled more than 20,000 miles, gave 350 speeches b. Blamed lack of progress on a “Do- Nothing Congress” (in reality, Congress did a lot…but much of it was in the foreign policy arena) 4. Surprise! Truman wins a. Narrow victory b. Bonus? Democrats regain control of both houses of Congress

15 1948 Election NOT

16 C. Truman’s Fair Deal 1. Fair Deal = Truman’s Domestic Agenda - accomplished? a. minimum wage increased b. Social Security expanded c. Nat’l Housing Act passed – low income housing constructed 2. What Fair Deal legislation did Congress reject? a. did not pass Nat’l health insurance b. no subsidies for farmers c. no federal aid for schools d. no civil rights legislation

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18 D. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Presidency 1. 1952 Election a. Pres. Truman could have run for reelection – but didn’t. Unpopular due to Korean War b. The Candidates 1) Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) vs 2) Adlai Stevenson (D) c. The winner? Easy win for Eisenhower (Ike)

19 1952 Election

20 2. Ike’s Philosophy a. “middle of the road” + business growth + dynamic_conservatism: policy of balancing economic conservatism with some activism b. His conservative side 1) ended gov’t price and rent controls (unnecessary gov’t control over biz) 2) vetoed school construction bill 3) cut gov’t aid to public housing 4) supported modest tax cuts

21 5) attacked “creeping socialism” (gov’t aid to biz) - abolished Reconstruction Finance Corp (RFC) - cut $ to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) RFC

22 c. His activist side (more gov’t spending) 1) Federal Highway Act : largest public works program in US history - constructed a 41,000 mi network of multi-lane interstate highways - Results? - efficient distribution of goods - suburbanization and urban sprawl - Americans pick private car travel over public transportation - travel time reduced - increased national security

23 Interstate Highways

24 2) Authorized construction of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway - connected Great Lakes to Atlantic Ocean - expanded int’l trade and shipping

25 3) Expanded New Deal programs - expanded Social Security - extended unemployment compensation - increased minimum wage - continued aid to farmers 3. 1956 Election: Ike reelected easil y Eisenhower (R) vs Adlai Stevenson (D)

26 II. Characteristics of the 1950s A. Era of Affluence 1. The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith: said US affluent with high standard of living b/c of new biz techniques and improved technology affluence:abundance of money, property, and other material goods

27 2. The Statistics: btwn 1940-1960… a. Avg income almost tripled in all classes b. rise in home ownership c. mechanization of farms and factories led to growth of white collar jobs (jobs in fields not requiring work or protective clothes – such as sales) d. growth of multinational corporations : large overseas companies (cheap labor, closer to raw materials) e. growth of franchises f. growth of conglomerates conglomerate: very large company made up of several smaller companies that supply varied products or services

28 3. Conformity – characteristic of the era conformity: behavior that is the same as the behavior of most other people in a society, group, etc. a. Franchises presented uniform look & style b. corporations expected employees to conform to company standards c. “keep up with the Jones’ mentality” 1) had to buy same new products as neighbors (vacuums, air conditioners, coffee makers etc 2) led to growth of advertising (fastest growing industry of the era) to influence choices among brands of goods that were essentially the same – equate products to status symbols

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30 4. Movin’ on up…and out to the suburbs a. Suburb Statistics 1) 85% of new home construction in burbs 2) suburban population doubled, city population grew only 10% b. why move to the ‘burbs? 1) to escape crime & congestion of cities 2) seen as a move UP – American Dream achieved! 3) picturesque environment c. Suburban life became affordable 1) GI bill: low-interest loans made living in the burbs affordable 2) gov’t’s tax deductions for home interest payments and property taxes

31 d. Levittown, NY 1) one of earliest planned residential communities 2) mass-produced hundreds of similar- looking, inexpensive homes in a potato field 10 mi E of NY 3) hundreds of similar communities sprung up nationwide

32 B. 1950s Family 1. Postwar Baby Boom a. 1946-1964: 65m babies born in US b. Why a baby boom? 1) couples marrying after WWII & Korea 2) GI benefits for home purchase encouraged growth of family 3) pop culture celebrated large families, pregnancy, parenthood

33 2. Women in the 50s a. Main role? Homemaker (remember I LOVE LUCY episode – Quiz Show) b. focus on success through HIS job c. still number of women working outside the home increased somewhat during 1950s – by 1960 ~ 1/3 of all married women were part of paid workforce

34 C. Technological Breakthroughs 1. Electronics a. Transistor (1947): made miniaturized radios and calculators possible b. Computer (1946) 1) US Military: ENIAC – to make military calculations 2) later, UNIVAC – to handle biz data c. Result of new technology? Allowed Americans to work more quickly and efficientlyresulting in more free time

35 ENIAC

36 2. Medical Miracles a. Antibiotics: to fight infection b. New drugs: to fight diabetes, cancer etc c. New surgery techniques d. Polio vaccine – developed by Jonas Salk - polio cases fell dramatically to fewer than 5000 by 1960.

37 POLIO highly contagious viral infection that can lead to paralysis, breathing problems, or even death No cure once infected Today, eradicated in all but Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria One treatment for lung paralysis due to polio was to place the patient into an iron lung - a device that would push and pull chest muscles to make them work

38 III. Pop Culture 1950s A. Mass Media in the 50s 1. Television a. available in 40s, but affordable in ‘50s - 80% had TV by 1957 b. The impact of TV 1) info via TV news 2) growth of advertising - commercials 3) televised sports led growth of pro and college sports 4) decline of radio and movies (temporarily) 5) spread of US culture worldwide

39 c. The Programs 1) comedy: sit-coms (I Love Lucy) 2) Action: westerns (Lone Ranger); police (Dragnet) 3) Variety: (Ed Sullivan) 4) Quiz Shows ($64,000 Question) The Ed Sullivan Show

40 2. The Movies a. As TV popularity grew, movie attendance fell b. New innovations to attract viewers 1) 3-D movies/glasses 2) cinemascope: large, panoramic screen shows 3) made movies especially for TV 4) sold old movies for rebroadcast on TV c. Starring roles 1) single women played roles of women hoping to get married 2) black actors played stereotypical roles such as maids or servants

41 3. Radio a. As TV popularity grew, radio popularity fell b. TV took over many of radio’s concepts (comedy, soap-opera, dramas etc) c. To win back audiences, Radio turned to targeted programming 1) aired recorded music, news, talk shows, weather, etc… 2) led to growth of radio industry in this era

42 B. The New Youth Culture 1. Rock ‘n’ Roll a. a new American form of music - 1950s 1) incorporates rhythm and blues, country, and gospel 2) use of electronically amplified instruments and a loud and heavy beat b. Elvis Presley = King of Rock ‘n’ Roll 1) known for his moves (gyrating hips) and his music 2) record deals, movie contract, TV appearances Elvis!

43 Elvis

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45 c. The Generation Gap 1) parents condemned rock ‘n’ roll as loud, mindless, dangerous, devil music 2) teens bought rock ‘n’ roll music in record numbers 3) created a generation gap: cultural separation between children and their parents Parents: Big Band Music Frank Sinatra Artie Shaw Glenn Miller Kids: Rock n Roll Elvis Presley Little Richard Chuck Berry

46 2. Country Music a. Popular Stars: Johnny Cash; Patsy Cline: Hank Williams b. appealed to both urban and rural audiences c. themes of drinking, loving and losing Walkin’ After Midnight

47 3. The Beats (sometimes called beatniks) a. beatnik: one who participated in a social movement of the 1950s - stressed artistic self-expression and the rejection of the conformity of conventional society b. The “beat generation” embraced originality and individuality – experimented with drugs, free love, communal living c. criticized the sterility and conformity of American life, the meaninglessness of American politics d. John Kerouac wrote On the Road about a freewheeling adventures with a car thief – shocked readers

48 C. Black Entertainers 1. TV a. blacks largely shut out of TV b. Exception was Nat King Cole who had a 15 min. variety show in 1956 c. show canceled after 2 yrs b/c of difficulty attracting a sponsor for a show hosted by a black man 2. Rock ‘n’ Roll a. more acceptance b. top black rock ‘n’ rollers of the 1950s - Chuck Berry; Little Richard; Ray Charles - Chiffons, Shirelles, the Supremes The Shirelles

49 IV. The Other Side of American Life A. Some left out of prosperity of the ‘50s 1. Statistics a. overall, a reduction of poverty 1) 1950: 1 in 3 poor 2) 1959; just 1 in 5 poor but still 30 m below poverty line: level of personal or family income below which one is classified as poor by the gov’t b. Michael Harrington wrote The Other America 1) alerted readers to poverty pockets in US 2) single moms, immigrants, inner city etc.

50 2. Decline of Inner City a. whites moved to suburbs - inner cities now home to poorer, less educated minority groups b. when whites moved, tax $ went with them - deprived inner cities of $ needed to provide adequate public transportation, housing etc. – area deteriorated

51 c. Govt attempts to help 1) urban renewal: gov’t programs that attempt to eliminate poverty and revitalize urban areas 2) tore down slums, built high rise projects d. Problems with urban renewal 1) violence in projects 2) gov’t encouraged residents of public housing to remain poor by evicting them as soon as they began earning money 3) destroyed housing space – destroyed poor people’s homes to make way roads, parks, etc.. Cabrini Green Projects: Chicago Cabrini Green Projects: Den of gang violence and poverty

52 3. Black Americans a. many black Americans in cities due to Great Migrations b. fewer factory jobs after wartime c. racial discrimination in schools, housing, hiring, salaries d. 1958: earned average of 51% of whites

53 4. Hispanics a. Bracero program brought 5 m Mexicans to US – 350,000 stayed b. migrant farm workers experienced low pay, long hours, terrible living conditions

54 5. Native Americans a. made up less than 1% of US population b. poorest group in the nation c. Termination Policy: an attempt at assimilate NAs into US mainstream society by withdrawing recognition of NA groups as legal entities 1) encouraged them to move off reservations and into cities 2) disastrous results – deepened poverty 3) NAs remain the poorest sector in US society

55 6. Appalachia a. poor non-minority region in Appalachian mts b. many moved to city and left behind elderly and less mobile residents c. poor nutrition; high infant mortality ; poor schools;

56 B. Juvenile Delinquency 1. Increased Criminal behavior in young people Juvenile Delinquency: antisocial, criminal behavior of young people a. top crimes 1) car theft 2) street gangs/muggings b. possible causes of juvenile delinquency 1) poverty 2) lack of religion 3) tv, movies, comic books 4) busy parents 5) rising divorce rate

57 2. Concerns with Education System a. b/c of baby boom: teacher shortages + school building shortages b. concern with lack of technical ed in schools (as a result of Sputnik) c. efforts to improve math and science ed began


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