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COLD WAR ERA 1930’S TO 1960’S. Political Economy Ideology Schooling James Conant. Political Economy. 1920’s Businesses making large profits Food, clothing, new advances Agriculture, new low Urban areas-Poverty increased

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cold war era 1930 s to 1960 s

COLD WAR ERA1930’S TO 1960’S

Political Economy



James Conant

political economy
Political Economy
  • 1920’s
    • Businesses making large profits
    • Food, clothing, new advances
    • Agriculture, new low
    • Urban areas-Poverty increased
    • Racism continuing-Blacks denied decent livings, menial and low paying jobs
  • 1929-1934
    • Collapse of the Stock Market
    • ¼ adult population unemployed/lost jobs
    • Wages slashed
    • Standard of living reduced
    • Wealthy became poor
political economy cont
Political Economy cont…
  • 1945
    • End of World War II
    • War had created many jobs
    • More consumerism
      • Demand for single family housing, cars, household appliances
    • Unemployment never exceeded 7% in 1950’s
    • Little sympathy shown for poor or dispossessed
  • Fear of Soviet Communism
    • Afraid that communism would spread
    • Threat of spread led to policy of containment
      • Containment-US declared they would take any economic and military means necessary
      • Doctrine of First Use-Prerogative to initiate nuclear bombing whenever enemy forces threatened American military
political economy cont4
Political Economy cont…
  • 1940’s-1950’s
    • Fear of Soviet communism reached hysterical levels. Joseph McCarthy accused people of belonging to the Communist Party
  • Mid 1950’s
    • Less hysteria
    • Foreign policy based on the ideological split between the two superpowers
  • Racism
    • Since emancipation, African Americans had been deprived of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
    • Slow steps taken toward the elimination of discrimination
      • Armed forces desegregated
      • Brown vs. Board of Ed.
      • Playwrights and film makers focused on discrimination
political economy cont5
Political Economy cont…
    • Resistance
      • Parents of white children in some areas battled black people and government authority to forestall integration of public schools
      • Zoning ordinances were devised to keep African Americans out of white neighborhoods
      • Banks redlined black business district
  • Civil Rights Movement
    • Affirmative Action helped to develop a new and larger class of black professionals and entrepreneurs
    • Public school officials called on schools to halt the vicious cycle of poverty that plagued many African American families
  • Classic liberalism had given way in the Progressive Era to faith in scientific methods
  • Progress considered achievable through science and technology
  • Experts and centralized decision making was linked to progress. Workers were managed by a few elite
  • Democracy had come to be regarded as a form of government that was properly administered by experts
  • Leaders from all walks of life assumed that only a few individuals had superior intellects and that the welfare of the US depended on locating these individuals—placing them in positions of authority
  • Support for Social Efficiency
    • Social Stability
    • Employable Skills
    • Meritocracy
    • Equal Education Opportunities
  • GI Bill—read independently-p. 226
  • James Conant
    • Doctorate at 23 in chemistry from Harvard
    • Instructor, then Professor and finally President of Harvard University (after great depression)
    • Great Universities must recruit researchers of the first rank who were acknowledged experts in their field
    • Felt Harvard’s mission was to educate best and brightest students, regardless of their social or economic backgrounds
schooling cont
Schooling cont…
  • James Conant cont…
    • Saw the need to develop a valid measure of academic aptitude to ensure objectivity in determining scholarship eligibility
      • Wanted to eliminate barriers of only elite being admitted
      • Allow scholarship to those that were academically gifted
      • Decided on SAT (Mid 1930’s)
      • Believed exams such as the SAT would be a nearly fool proof method of ascertaining academic promise
  • Do you think the SAT would be a fool proof method back then? Now?
schooling cont9
Schooling cont…
  • James Conant cont..
    • Preached Meritocracy—advancement based on own ability talent---
    • Favored Vocational Education
    • Believed primary purpose of schooling should be not the growth of every individual (Dewey), but instead the national interest
    • ________________________
  • Modern comprehensive high school brought together all students, vocational and academic, under one roof.
    • Tracking system ensured that all students took courses best suited to their needs
    • Forge closer relationships among future professionals, crafts persons, engineers, and labor leaders.
  • Education must match talent to occupations. Through testing, must select and sort students to prepare for different occupational roles.
schooling cont10
Schooling cont…
  • Liberal Education suited only for a few students
  • Conant compared goals of Vocational Education to Gifted Education
  • 1957-Soviets launched Sputnik report alarming the American Public
  • 1983-Nation at Risk equated a failure to teach math and science as equivalent to universal disarmament
  • Progressive Era’s focus of education being for the best interests of the child and a curriculum to match, Conant reformers moved back into schooling to be for the political, economical and social stability of the country