Recent American History. Unit II: Post-War America, The New Frontier and The Great Society. What should I be able to do?. Identify the social and economic problems America faced after WWII Explain how the desire for stability led to political conservatism
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Recent American History Unit II: Post-War America, The New Frontier and The Great Society
What should I be able to do? • Identify the social and economic problems America faced after WWII • Explain how the desire for stability led to political conservatism • Describe the causes and effects of social unrest in the postwar period • Complete 1948 Presidential Election picture analysis and reading questions to explain the surprise that occurred in the Election of 1948
Postwar Problems and Solutions Is the economy better or worse in a time of war?
Post War Situations • Read each case then develop a solution to the problem - You are a factory owner of a large furniture company. Every year since the war, your company has earned around $10 million. Now that the war is over, the returning veterans are coming home and looking for work. During the war, you have employed hundreds of capable men and women who have been working in the factory for over four years now and know how to do their jobs well. Training and hiring new workers would cost you over $2 million. However, the government is willing to cut your annual corporate taxes by 15% if 2/3 of your workers are veterans. You also want to help the returning veterans who fought for the country. What is your solution?
Post War Situations - You are a member of the U.S. Senate. Tomorrow you will have to vote on a law that could potentially end the campaign that has been encouraging women to leave their jobs in factories, go back home to raise their families and become homemakers. You know for a fact that the contribution of women factory workers kept America in WWII, but you also realize that many factories only hired women temporarily until men came home from the war. If this bill passes, then the campaign will end and many women will return home. If the bill does not pass, many women will continue to work, leaving many veterans without jobs. Also, since women have the right to vote, you many not be reelected. What is your decision?
Postwar Problems and Solutions • Job Shortages • GI Bill of Rights • Provided returning veterans with: • Money for education • Year’s worth of unemployment benefits • Low-interest Loans
GI Bill of Rights • “More than any other law passed by Congress, it shaped American society in the postwar period, millions of people whose parents or grandparents had never dreamed of going to college saw they could go. It allowed millions of Americans to achieve a standard of living that was generally better than that enjoyed by their parents.”
Postwar Problems and Solutions • Severe Housing Shortage • Mass Housing Developments • Levittowns and Sunbelt • 16 minute home @ $8000 • Promoted conformity with strict rules
Postwar Problems and Solutions • High Inflation Rates • Congress establishes controls on: • Prices • Wages • Rents • Success led to increase in American consumption
Postwar Problems and Solutions • Labor Strikes • Truman threatens workers with an executive order • Taft-Hartley Act • Limited power of labor unions • Major component: outlawing closed shop law
Postwar Problems and Solutions • Discrimination and Racial Violence • Committee on Civil Rights • Developed to investigate inequality in the U.S. • Focus on de jure segregation • Executive Order • Ordered by President Truman • Required integration of armed forces
Big Picture • The years following WWII were a time of prosperity in the United States. As the economy boomed, fears of a return to depression conditions faded. During the 1950s, millions of working-class families became affluent enough to move up into the middle class. • The GI Bill enabled veterans to attend college, establish businesses and buy homes; it helped to prevent the economic recession that occurs after wars • The 1950s economic problems included housing shortages, unemployment and rising prices, however increased demand for consumer goods created economic prosperity.
Election of 1948 ‘The Surprise”
Truman’s Domestic Agenda “Every segment of our population…has a right to expect from our government a fair deal” • Truman’s Domestic Agenda • Reform program to aid the transition from a wartime to peacetime economy • Extension of New Deal that promised: • Increase in minimum wage • Increase in aid to agriculture and education • National health insurance program • Agenda frustrated (much not passed) by Congress
Big Picture • The 1948 Election saw competition between four political parties and ended in a surprise victory by Harry Truman. • Truman’s Fair Deal provided some social and economic reforms but met strong opposition from Congress.
The Election of 1952 First use of political advertising
What should I be able to do? • Understand how the use of television commercials differs from previous forms of political communication. • Understand how the first campaign commercials in 1952 changed exposure to and perception of candidates and issues in presidential campaigns. • Summarize Eisenhower’s domestic policy of modern Republicanism and describe why Eisenhower appealed to many Americans.
Question • What do you know about the main presidential candidates for the 2008 election? Their records, their positions on issues and life stories? In what ways did you get your information?
Activity 1 • Directions • Take out a blank piece of paper • Fold paper in half (hot dog style) • Work with the person sitting next to you and develop a pro/con list comparing the advantages and disadvantages of television during political campaigns vs. more traditional techniques • Develop at least 3 pros and 3 cons
Historical Context • The election of 1952 was the first election where presidential commercials ever aired, at a time when Americans were not used to seeing candidates on television
Political Advertising Commercial • Television was a new form of medium for presidential candidates in 1952. In your opinion, who used this medium to better advantage, Eisenhower or Stevenson? Explain your answer using details from the spots. • What concerns does a candidate face when presenting himself in a television ad that might not exist in other situations?
With Which do you agree more? • “The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process”—Adlai Stevenson, 1956 • “Television is no gimmick, and nobody will ever be elected to major office again without presenting themselves well on it”—Television producer and Nixon campaign consultant Roger Ailes, 1968
Big Picture • After the election of 1952, television would become an indispensible form of communicating a political message. A candidate’s ability to present himself on television became just as important as his views on the issue.
The Affluent Society What are the differences between liberals and conservatives?
Eisenhower’s Domestic Agenda “Conservative when it comes to money, and liberal when it comes to people” • Eisenhower’s Domestic Agenda • Middle of the road domestic policy that combined both liberal and conservative ideas • Led to an increase in social programs and defense spending
Do you know? Why do you believe many Americans supported Eisenhower in the 1950s?
The Big Picture • Modern Republicanism was Eisenhower’s Policy that stated he would be conservative with money and liberal with human beings; because the policy addressed liberal and conservative agendas, it was popular with many Americans.
1950’s Cultural Changes The American Dream Graphic Organizer
1st McDonalds“They put the hamburger on the assembly line” • “It requires a certain kind of mind to see the beauty in a hamburger bun. Yet is it any more unusual to find grace in texture and softly curved silhouette of a bun than to reflect lovingly on the…arrangements of textures and colors in a butterfly’s wing? Not if you view the bun as essential material in the arm of serving a great many meals fast.” • Ray Kroc