The postwar years at home 1945 1960
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The Postwar Years at Home (1945-1960). Section 1 The Postwar Economy PW years, US embarks on period of economic expansion. Per Capita income increase $1,223 per year to $2,219. c. Corp exp accompanied economic growth. Conglomerates develop to protect from downturns.

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The Postwar Years at Home (1945-1960)

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The postwar years at home 1945 1960

The Postwar Years at Home

(1945-1960)


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Section 1 The Postwar Economy

  • PW years, US embarks on period of economic expansion.

  • Per Capita income increase

    $1,223 per year to $2,219.

    c. Corp exp accompanied economic growth.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Conglomerates develop to protect from downturns.

  • Franchising also begins w/ Ray Kroc and McDonald’s.

  • Other types of business also adopt the franchise method throughout the 50’s.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Technology Transforms Life

  • Tech aimed at saving consumers time and money

    Ex. Dishwashers, vacuums, lawnmowers, etc.

    B. TV popularity grows.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Advances in Medicine

  • Vaccine for Polio developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.

  • Advances in anti-bacterial med such as penicillin.

  • WWII docs lead to adv surgical techniques.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Change in the Workforce

  • After war machines performed many of previous jobs.

  • Led to decline in blue-collar worker.

  • Many soldiers w/ new degrees gravitate to WC work.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Suburbs and Highways

  • Baby boom of 1940’s leads to population growth.

  • Growing families look to retreat from the cities.

  • GI Bill of Rights made this possible.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Developer William Levitt makes housing possible.

  • Mass-produces houses, built in weeks rather than months.

    Ex. Long Island 17,000 homes

    Bucks County PA-16,000


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Cars and Highways

  • Stores from cities follow their customers.

  • Out of reach of public trans they need cars.

  • Led to explosion in auto industry.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Growth in car industry leads to need for better roads.

  • 1956 Interstate Highway Act leads to est of interstate highway system.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Growth of Consumer Credit

A. Lending agencies pick up on the credit card idea.

B. American’s use credit cards to purchase items considered “needs”

Ex. Washing machines, TV, vacuums.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Section 2 Mood of the 1950’s

Comfort and Security

  • Americans no longer cherish individuality now value conformity.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Men’s and Women’s Roles

  • Roles were clearly defined in the 1950’s.

  • Men were to get educated, get a job, and support/take care of a family and home.

  • Lived in a public sphere, away from home.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Women were to play a supporting role for their husband.

  • Keep house, cook meals, and raise children.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Youth culture

  • Often referred to as the ‘Silent Generation’

  • Economy allowed more young to stay in school.

  • Leisure time leads to young enjoying more entertainment.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Advertisements begin to target teens in the 1950’s.

  • Create a sense of conformity in style.

  • Rate of teenage brides increase to half of all brides by 1954.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Resurgence in Religion

  • By 1950’s found renewed interest in religion.

  • 1954 “under God” added to pledge and “In God We Trust” on currency.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Challenges to Conformity

  • Such conformity made differences noticeable.

  • Not all Americans fit into the exact mold.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Women At Work

  • Many women did not want to give up jobs filled during WWII.

  • In 1950 only 24% of married women had jobs.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Most women’s jobs were as secretaries, teachers, and nurses.

  • 1963—Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Youthful Rebellions

  • Many young rejected values of parents. Led to isolation.

  • Reflected in movies and books

    Ex. Rebel Without A Cause

    Catcher in the Rye


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Moondog Rock and Roll party draws large teen audience.

  • Played black rhythm and blues music.

  • Became known as Rock and Roll.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Teens rushed to buy their favorite records.

    Black artists—Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Domino Fats

    White artists—Jerry Lewis and Buddy Holly.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • One of best known was Elvis Presley.

  • Flamboyant style attracted large following and int’l spread.

  • Influence later artist like The Beatles.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Many adults feared a rise in immorality.

  • This had a lot of to do with race.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Beat Generation (Beatniks)

  • Stressed need for release from money and property.

  • Shocked people with openness towards sex and illegal drugs.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Jack Kerouac often referred to as the voice of the movement through his novels

    Ex. “On The Road”


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Section 3

Domestic Politics and Policy

Truman’s Domestic Policies

  • 1st priority was reconversion of the economy.

  • Men wanted rewards for their sacrifices—now.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Workers demanded wage increases—1946 4.6 million workers go on strike.

  • Congress took action to limit striking workers.

  • Taft-Hartley Act—president could call 80 day cool off to industries of national interest.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Truman’s Fair Deal

  • Truman extended upon FDR’s New Deal.

  • Worked to secure economic justice for all citizens.

  • Much opposition to this by Conservatives in Congress.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • By 1946 mid-terms Truman lost most support.

    Ex. Support polls fell from 87% to 32%.

    E. Republican Party worked hard to block Truman’s liberal goals.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Truman on Civil Rights

  • Recognized as president he had to take action on CR.

  • 1946 met w/ AA leader to discuss goals.

  • Congress refused to address concerns.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

The Election of 1948

  • Truman had little reason to expect victory in 1948.

  • Support was diminishing even within his own party.

  • Both Southern and liberal Democrats give up support.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Opponent was Thomas Dewey, gov. of NY.

  • Truman campaigned mainly against the Republican Party not Dewey.

  • Truman won an astounding upset—and Democrat control of Congress.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Longtime Dem control over Washington frustrates Republicans.

  • Push for Amend limiting terms of a president.

  • Led to adoption of 22nd Amend in 1951. Limiting terms to 2.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Eisenhower and the Republican Approach

  • Eisenhower had a lot of public support from his role as Allied Commander in WWII.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

B. Eisenhower promised to end Korean War, and strong approach to Communism.

K1 C2- Korea, Communism, Corruption.

c. His VP mate hammered on corruption in government, CA senator Richard Nixon.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Nixon’s Checkers Speech

  • Although popular Eisenhower’s campaign hit a snag.

  • Newspapers accused Nixon of having a secret fund.

  • Cries arose to dump Nixon from the ticket.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

  • Nixon speaks on nat’l TV, about the charges.

  • A disaster turns into a public relations success.

  • Ike and Nixon win 55% of pop vote, and gain a Republican controlled Congress.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Modern Republicanism

  • Ike intended to be: “Conservative when it comes to money; liberal when it comes to human beings.”

  • Like traditional Republicans Ike favored big business.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

C. Eisenhower maintained a mood of stability.


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

Meeting the Technology Challenge

  • SU launched Sputnik in 1957 led to fear of Americans

  • 1958 US created NASA (Nat’l Aeronautics and Space Adm)


The postwar years at home 1945 1960

C. The same year Congress also passed the National Defense Education Act.

  • Designed to improve math and science among students.

  • Keep up with Soviet Union.


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