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The Postwar Boom. Chapter 27. Readjustment and Recovery. Returning Home. Millions returned home from war Many were able to get an education or loans to buy a home, farm or start a business through the GI Bill However, there were not enough homes for everyone who wanted to buy one

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returning home
Returning Home
  • Millions returned home from war
  • Many were able to get an education or loans to buy a home, farm or start a business through the GI Bill
  • However, there were not enough homes for everyone who wanted to buy one
    • Companies began making mass-produced houses
    • Set up smaller communities surrounding cities – suburbs
changes in families
Changes in Families
  • Many women did not want to give up the jobs they worked during the war
  • Traditionally, it was expected for men to work and women to run the household
  • Between 1945 and 1950 over 1 million divorces
economic readjustment
Economic Readjustment
  • After WWII, the US laid off over a million workers – unemployment skyrocketed
  • OPA had prevented inflation form raising prices
    • Once the war was over, prices of everyday goods jumped by 25%
  • Congress imposed limits on how much people could be paid, and set controls on prices for goods and rent on properties
  • People had not been able to spend money freely during WWII
  • After the war, people used whatever money they had earned to buy homes, cars and other goods
    • Consumer demand was so high, that it created more jobs
  • US fears about the Soviets kept defense spending high and kept people employed
  • Marshall Plan gave US a place to export goods
facing strikes
Facing Strikes
  • 1946 – 4.5 million steelworkers, coal miners and railroad workers went on strike
    • Higher prices for goods, and lower wages
  • Truman threatened the unions by promising to draft the workers who were on strike and gave permission for the federal government to take control of the mines and railroads
  • Unions gave in before any of these threats could go into effect
had enough
“Had Enough?”
  • Americans were upset with strikes, inflation and shortages of goods
  • Republican party took advantage of the feeling, and ended up with control of Congress
    • Often overturned Truman’s actions
civil rights
Civil Rights
  • After WWII there was an increase of racial violence
    • Minorities, especially African-Americans demanded full rights as citizens
  • Truman supported their cause
    • proposed anti-lynching laws, abolition of the poll tax, the creation of an organization to prevent racial discrimination in hiring, and integration of the armed forces
      • Congress refused to pass these
      • Truman created an executive order that integrated the military, called for the end of discrimination in government hiring
election of 1948
Election of 1948
  • Truman re-elected – emphasized civil rights, public housing, higher minimum wage, and federal aid to education
    • Tried to pass these ideas through Congress, they did not pass any of these into law
    • Faced opposition from “Dixiecrats” – Southern Democrats who disagreed with Truman’s stance on civil rights
fair deal
Fair Deal
  • Extension of the New Deal – included proposals for nationwide health insurance and crop-subsidy programs
    • Defeated by Republicans and Dixiecrats
  • Congress raised minimum wage to 75¢, included 10 million more in Social Security coverage, began flood control and irrigation projects, and provided financial support for low-income housing
election of 1952
Election of 1952
  • Truman’s approval rating dropped because of the Korean War and the rise of McCarthyism
  • Eisenhower was easily elected
eisenhower s presidency
Eisenhower’s Presidency
  • “Modern Republicanism”
    • Conservative when it comes to money, liberal when it comes to human beings
  • Encountered many civil rights issues
    • Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka
    • Rosa Parks
  • Tried to balance the federal budget and cut taxes
  • Raised minimum wage, extended Social Security and unemployment benefits, increased funding for public housing, funded the creation of interstate highways, created the Departments of Health, Education and Welfare
american business
American Business
  • Most people held white collar jobs and worked in large corporations, conglomerates, or for the government
  • Franchises began spreading around the country
social conformity
Social Conformity
  • Society valued standardization and conformity
    • Same food, same clothes
    • Loss of individuality, companies did not want creative/rebellious thinkers
  • Rise in commuting between home and work
  • Baby Boom – population explosion after WWII
advances in medicine and childcare
Advances in Medicine and Childcare
  • Polio vaccine – Jonas Salk
  • Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care – Benjamin Spock
  • Increase in childcare and toy sales
  • Increase in enrollment in elementary schools
daily life
Daily Life
  • Women were considered to be homemakers and housewives – not all were content with that role
  • People had more leisure time
    • Vacation days, 40 hr work week
    • Labor/time saving devices
    • Rise in recreational activities (hunting, fishing, bowling, professional sports, reading, cooking, religion, comics)
    • Recreational culture – clothes not intended for work, lawn decorations, games
  • Automobile culture – every family wanted to own car because most places were now too far to walk
new products
New Products
  • More and more products were created to make life easier
    • Washing machines, dryers, freezers, dishwashers
  • Recreational products sold to fill time
    • TVs, tape recorders, record players, pools
  • Planned obsolescence - goods were purposefully designed to be outdated so consumers had to buy new
  • Rise of credit cards and loans
  • Ads encouraged more spending
    • Convince people to buy what they don’t really need
    • Played to peoples’ desire to conform and to show status
  • TV commercials, on the radio, magazines, billboards
rise of the television
Rise of the Television
  • Governed by Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Comedy was very popular (Texaco Star Theater, I Love Lucy)
  • Developed shows for younger fans as well
  • Quiz shows and game shows
  • TV Guide became the highest selling magazine
  • TV dinners were created so people can eat without missing a show
rise of the television1
Rise of the Television
  • Relied heavily on stereotypes for women and minorities
  • Would often idealize white middle class suburbia
  • Popularized westerns and the associated violence and stereotypes
  • 3D movies
  • Smell-O-Vision
  • Some produced in color, others remained black and white
  • Stereo sound
  • Had to compete and always be more advanced than TV
beat movement
Beat Movement
  • Showed social and literary nonconformity
  • Followers – “beatniks” shunned regular work, tended to experiment with drugs, sought higher levels of consciousness
  • Rise of coffeehouses and poetry readings
  • Jack Kerouac – On the Road, Allen Ginsberg – Howl
rock n roll
Rock ‘n’ Roll
  • New style of music that became popular with teenagers and young adults
  • Influenced by gospel, country and blues
  • People feared possible rebellion and delinquency
  • Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley
racial gap
Racial Gap
  • African-American music inspired rock ‘n’ roll
  • Popularity of jazz
  • African-American radio stations were created to counter the mass culture
  • Nat “King” Cole, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie
white flight
White Flight
  • Millions of middle-class Americans left the cities in favor of the suburbs, isolated themselves from other races and classes
  • Rural poor moved to the inner cities
inner cities
Inner Cities
  • Inner cities became more impoverished
  • City governments were unable to afford maintaining schools, public transportation, police and fire departments
  • Most minorities lived in dirty crowded slums with least access to the same amenities as those living in the suburbs
urban renewal
Urban Renewal
  • National Housing Act of 1949 – provide a decent home and living environment for every American family
  • Created the Board of Housing and Urban Development – wanted to improve conditions in the inner city
    • Dilapidated areas were torn down for shopping centers, highways, parks, stadiums and factories
increase in activism
Increase in Activism
  • Many former braceros (migrant workers) were supposed to leave the country, but chose to stay in order to escape the economic conditions in Mexico
  • Native Americans continued to be seen as second-class citizens
    • New policies began to move from assimilation to autonomy
    • Wanted to give them the chance to improve their lives – same civil rights and be able to govern their own reservations
termination policy
Termination Policy
  • wanted to eliminate federal economic support for Native American reservations and tribal lands
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs helped relocate Native Americans to cities
    • Often unable to find jobs because of lack of training and prejudice
    • Often had no access to medical care
  • Termination policy was abolished in 1963