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The Postwar Years at Home chapter 20 notes. The Postwar Years at Home. For the first time in 15-20 years, Americans have surplus income and products are available for purchase The U.S. economy experiences one of its greatest periods of growth

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the postwar years at home
The Postwar Years at Home
  • For the first time in 15-20 years, Americans have surplus income and products are available for purchase
  • The U.S. economy experiences one of its greatest periods of growth
  • The GDP and per capita income double, but so did inflation
conglomerates and franchises
Conglomerates and Franchises
  • The creation of these entities allowed for a tremendous growth, but their smaller, independent competitors suffered.
  • TV begins to replace radio and movies as the main form of entertainment.
  • People would gather to watch TV as a family.
  • Polio Vaccine – Jonas Salk and Thomas Francis
  • Many surgical advances from WWII
  • Many advances in fighting bacterial infections
other advances
Other advances
  • We see the beginning of the computer industry in America.
  • America begins to use nuclear power for the first time to power their homes
g i bill of rights
G.I. Bill of Rights
  • Allowed G.I.’s to:
    • Go to college
    • Buy homes cheaply
changes in the workforce
Changes in the Workforce
  • Many WWII veterans go to white collar jobs rather than blue collar ones.
  • Advances in the highway system, the purchase of new cars, and the demand for new homes led to an explosion in suburban growth


the suburbs
The Suburbs
  • 16 million GI’s became men in the war, and need a new place to live.
  • During this time period, America sees an explosion in housing growth, especially the suburbs.
  • Baby Boom
rise in conformity
Rise in Conformity
  • A society that used to admire trailblazers and individuals now began to gravitate towards conformity, or “sameness”.
  • Americans began to treasure comfort and security.
  • This attitude was enhanced by images that Americans saw on TV
the beat generation
The Beat Generation
  • Was a counter culture in response to the rise in American conformity.
  • Goatees, dark clothes, “playing it cool”
  • “Led” by Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg
  • Pre-cursor to the counter culture of the 1960’s.
youth culture
Youth Culture
  • Young people began to stay in school until completion in greater numbers.
  • People were marrying younger (especially girls).
rock and roll
Rock and Roll
  • Came from R&B
  • Exuded “sexual energy”
  • Kids loved it
  • “The Man”… HATED it, and so did parents.
  • “Elvis the Pelvis”, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and more…
  • Teen angst
  • Showed the rift between the WWII generation and the baby boomers.
rise in religion
Rise in Religion
  • “One nation, under God…” and “In God we trust” appear for the 1st time.
  • These phrases were used in response to Communism, which was an atheistic culture.
  • Illustrated the idea of “God-less Communism” vs. “Christian Democracy”
roles of men and women
Roles of Men and Women
  • America settles into very different roles for men and women.
  • Men are the breadwinners, while the women stay at home.
    • Women are still in the workplace in large numbers
  • Both of these roles are glorified.
  • Post war strikes
    • As inflation rose, goods became more expensive
  • Taft-Hartley – The President could force strikers back to work if the strike affected national security
  • Attempted Civil Rights Legislation, but was blocked by Congress.
    • Truman Desegregates the Army.
the fair deal
The Fair Deal
  • Attempted to extend the New Deal
    • Raise minimum wage, Unemployment Benefits, National Health Insurance, and other measures
  • Truman lost support among Democrats
    • Conservative Democrats
  • ***Most people thought he would lose the election because of this loss of support, but he did not.***
truman and civil rights
Truman and Civil Rights
  • Appoints a biracial committee on Civil Rights.
  • Desegregates the Army in 1948.
  • Bans Discrimination in Federal hiring.
1952 election
1952 Election
  • Nixon came under fire for allegedly accepting fund from wealthy Republican donors.
  • The “Checkers Speech”
  • Nixon - "...the kids, like all kids, love the dog, and...regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it."
  • The American Public forgave Nixon, and he and Ike got a huge publicity boost because of this speech.
eisenhower ike
Eisenhower (Ike)
  • 1st Republican President since Hoover
  • More comfortable working behind the scenes.
  • Some saw him as a do-nothing president.
ike continued
Ike continued…
  • ***Republicans wanted to get rid of all New Deal and Fair Deal legislation, but Ike wanted to take a middle road.***
  • Created the Interstate Highway System.
ike continued1
Ike continued…
  • Cuts spending, lowers taxation, and tries to shrink the government.
  • This dynamic conservatism was called “Modern Republicanism”.
ike nasa and education
Ike, NASA, and Education
  • Founded in 1958 in Response to the Soviet Space program.
  • Increased funding to teach math and science.
  • Increases financial aid to college students.