aim what changes occurred in the united states after ww2 n.
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
Aim : What changes occurred in the United States after WW2?

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 79

Aim : What changes occurred in the United States after WW2? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Aim : What changes occurred in the United States after WW2?. Objective. Student will be able to discuss postwar economics, politics and culture of the 1950s. 4. Postwar Years at Home.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Aim : What changes occurred in the United States after WW2?' - sheri

Download Now An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

Student will be able to discuss postwar economics, politics and culture of the 1950s.

4 postwar years at home
4. Postwar Years at Home

Now that the United States had won WW2, they faced problems not only in foreign relations, but in domestic affairs as well.

After World War 2, the three main domestic questions were:

(1) How does the US switch from a wartime to a peacetime economy?

(2)What role does the government play in postwar America?


(3) How does the US respond to the threat a new Red Scare?

Harry Truman and the US Congress have to answer these questions now that the war is over.

4 1 from war to peace
4.1 From War to Peace

When the US returned from World War 2, the government had three points to address:

(1) The size of the military decreased after the end of WW2.

(2) The economy went from depression to overproduction-now it must return to peacetime standards.

(3) Now that the Depression is over-how does the government handle labor?

question 1
Question 1

What issues did the US government have to deal with in regards to the post-WW2 economy?

the end of the war
The End of the War

Now the re-adjustment begins……..


One of the first tasks of the government is to cut the size of the armed forces.

The US Army after the end of World War 2 had nearly eight million men. By the time the Korean War starts in 1950, the number of men in the US military had shrunk to 600,000 men.

The reduction of the military is tied to the 1944 G-I Bill. This bill granted government money for education, business or vocational (job) training.

the gi bill of 1944
The GI Bill of 1944

Passed in 1944, returning veterans received money for college, business

or vocational training.

question 2
Question 2

What did the GI Bill provide?


The United States also had to change industry over to peacetime production.

To do this, the United States Government sold many of its war plants to private companies.

Factories that were making military supplies returned to producing consumer goods.

By the end of 1945, nearly 93% of all war plants had been closed or shut down.

question 3
Question 3

What steps did the government take to change the economy over to peacetime conditions?


One problem the United States faced after World War 2 is inflation.

By the end of WW2, the US had saved over $130 billion dollars and were eager to spend the money.

After the war, goods were scarce and prices rose despite government regulating prices.

Truman kept controls on the prices after the war, but in 1946, after political pressure, he lifted the controls.


Once he lifted the government controls, the prices of goods rose even higher.

The problem was wages did not go up and this led to an increase in the costs of living in the United States.

question 4
Question 4

What economic problem developed after WW2?


Rising prices led to demands by labor for higher wages.

After the war, the number of strikes increased.

In these strikes, the companies met the demands of their labor unions, but to cover wages, the companies raised prices on goods. This led to an increase in the standard of living and more demands for higher wages.


The companies now demanded the government to impose stringer controls over labor.

In 1947, the Taft-Hartley Act was passed. This act:

(1) Outlawed the closed shop-forcing men to join unions before they were hired.

(2) Allowed the President to have an 80-day cooling-off period when a strike threatened the economy.


(3) Unions were now prohibited from giving money to political campaigns.

The act alarmed many labor unions because it made it harder for them to attract new members.

Even with the Taft-Hartley Act, union membership grew to 15,000,000 members by 1950.

question 5
Question 5

Why did a large number of labor strikes take place after WW2?

taft hartley act
Taft-Hartley Act

The original copy of the act, seen here, is on display at Harry

Truman’s Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri.

4 2 postwar politics
4.2 Postwar Politics

When Truman took office after the death of FDR, he wanted to continue the policies of the New Deal.

However, the feelings of the American people were changing away from the idea of a big government that they had under the New Deal.

In 1946, Truman watched as the Republicans won back the US House and Senate. This made it hard for Truman to pass his policies.


As the election of 1948 grew near, the Republicans grew more confident that they would win back the White House for the first time in 20 years.

The Democrats were not unified behind President Truman.

(1) Southern Democrats were not behind the Democratic stance on civil rights, so they supported Governor Strom Thurmond for


(2) Liberal Democrats created the Progressive Party and supported Henry Wallace


With no chance of winning, Truman refused to admit defeat. He traveled thousands of miles and gave thousands of speeches.

The Republicans chose Governor Thomas E. Dewey, the governor of New York.

In the election of 1948, Truman defeated Dewey, but some newspapers had it wrong.

dewey defeats truman
Dewey Defeats Truman

Given no chance of winning, Harry

Truman pulled a giant upset when

he wins the Election of 1948 against

Thomas Dewey and Strom Thurmond.

Thomas Dewey

Strom Thurmond

question 6
Question 6

Who was favored to win the election of 1948? Who won?


After his victory, Truman set a new plan of reform, known as the Fair Deal off to the US Congress.

The Fair Deal was, in part, a continuation of the New Deal established by FDR. It called for new programs in education, health care, housing . Truman wanted to extend social security and end discrimination.


Republicans and southern Democrats united to kill most of Truman’s programs in the Fair Deal.

The two pieces of the Fair Deal accepted by the US Congress were the National Housing Act which built more public housing and the extension of social security to 10,000,000 workers.

With problems at home and in Korea, Truman did not run for President in 1952

question 7
Question 7

What was the Fair Deal?

question 8
Question 8

Why did Harry Truman not run for President in 1952?


In March 1952, Truman decided not to run for President.

The Democrats nominated Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois and the Republicans nominated World War 2 General Dwight Eisenhower.

Eisenhower wins the Election of 1952. He receives 442 electoral votes to Stevenson’s 89.

Eisenhower also receives some 34 million popular votes to Stevenson’s 28 million.

The Republicans take back the White House for the first time since 1928.

the election of 1952
The Election of 1952

Eisenhower wins the Election of

1952 in a landslide against Adlai


This gives the Republicans the

White House for the 1st time since


question 9
Question 9

Who won the Election of 1952?

4 3 fear of communism at home
4.3 Fear of Communism at Home

As Eisenhower assumed the Presidency, a new fear of communism was sweeping the United States.

Since the end of WW2, the United States had watched the Soviet Union take over Eastern Europe, did nothing to prevent the Communists from controlling China, allowed for other nations to receive our atomic secrets (including the Soviets) and arrested the Rosenbergs who gave the secrets to them.

threats against democracy since 1945
Threats Against Democracy Since 1945

The Soviets began liberating Eastern Europe in 1945.

They promised free elections but installed

Communist governments.

This was the first breaking of the Allied powers alliance

of WW2.

In 1947, the Soviet Union blockaded Berlin.

To aid the citizens of Berlin, Truman began the

Berlin Airlift, in which the US/UK/ French flew supplies

into Berlin.


In 1949, the Soviet Union was able to receive secrets

from Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. This upped the ante of

the Cold War. The Rosenbergs were American citizens.

China became a communist nation in 1949 and formed

an alliance with the Soviet Union. They, too, would also

detonate an atomic weapon after the Soviets.

The Korean War starts in 1950.

This made Americans fearful.

ethel and julius rosenberg
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

American citizens who spied for the Soviet Union. They were accused, tried,

convicted and then executed for selling our atomic secrets to the

Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union used their secrets to detonate their first atomic bomb in


question 10
Question 10

What events caused some Americans to begin questioning the loyalty of other Americans?


To stop the spread of communism, the US Government passed laws to defend itself.

The nation was split over these laws. Some people were put at ease by the measures, however, others felt these laws to violate their civil liberties.

The Smith Act (1940) made it illegal to support any group that wanted to overthrow the government.

The McCarren Act (1950) forced Communist groups to register with the Attorney General.


The McCarren Act also stopped Communists from entering the United States. The McCarren Act also gave the President the right to jail Communist subversives (people who work to overthrow the government) in an national emergency.

The McCarren-Walter Act (1952) allowed the Attorney General to deport people whose actions were thought to be against the interests of the United States.

The Communist Control Act (1954) banned the Communist Party in the US.

senator pat mccarran d nv
Senator Pat McCarran (D-NV)

One of the Senators who backed the

US Government in their attempts to

stop the spread of Communism in the

United States.

Responsible for the McCarran Act, as

well as the McCarran-Walter Act.


FDR, Truman and Eisenhower all screened government workers to see if they were Communists.

The big step towards a Red Scare came in 1954, when Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin accused people of being communists in the State Department and in the army.

McCarthy formed a Senate committee was formed to see if there were communists in the army.


As millions of Americans watched the hearings on television, many were fearful of the accusations.

However, McCarthy was criticized for his way of treating witnesses. He also lost a majority of support when his charges were clearly false.

The US Senate then condemned McCarthy for his actions.

the mccarthy hearings
The McCarthy Hearings

Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI)

Senator Millard Tydings who tried to stop McCarthy.

He and his committee proved that McCarthy’s charges were a


McCarthy was seen as a fraud and was laughed at by his fellow


the view of mccarthyism
The View of McCarthyism

After the failure of McCarthy to prove

his point regarding the allegations

of Communists in the State

Department, McCarthyism seems to

be a particular issue that the

Republican Party is not going to

endorse, as illustrated by the GOP

elephant refusing to move towards


criticized by the us press
Criticized by the US Press

Edward R. Murrow, CBS Newscaster was responsible for

turning the American press and public opinion against

McCarthy between 1953-1954.

“ His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. [...] This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy's methods to keep silent--or for those who approve...We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom--what's left of it--but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn't create this situation of fear. He merely exploited it, and rather successfully. Cassius was right: 'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves.'[

censured by the us senate
Censured by the US Senate

Senator Ralph Flanders (R/VT)

Senator Arthur Watkins (R/UT)

question 11
Question 11

What did Senator Joseph McCarthy do?

4 4 the eisenhower approach
4.4 The Eisenhower Approach

During his eight years in office, Eisenhower’s presidency has been characterized as “middle of the road”.

What that meant was that Eisenhower, at times, came to agreement with some Democratic ideas and bills, angering members of his party.

Instead of finally ending New Deal programs, Eisenhower kept social security and low-cost housing programs. He did eliminate the government in business and favored private enterprise.


Eisenhower did get the Congress to help pass his Federal Highway Aid Act in 1956.

This act set up a federal program of highway construction that would link the major cities of the United States.

When it was completed in the 1990s, the US had constructed some 42,000 miles of highways.

Many of the roads in and around NYC are built during this period of time.

federal highway aid act 1956
Federal Highway Aid Act (1956)

Signed in 1956 and finished in the 1990s, the US constructed about

42,000 miles of interstate highways in approximately forty years.

question 12
Question 12

What approach did Eisenhower take in dealing with issues?

4 5 the postwar economic boom
4.5 The Postwar Economic Boom

Just as the 1920s were a period of prosperity, the 1950s also were a period of strong economic conditions in the United States.

The United States became an affluent or wealthy society.

Many Americans had more money for their needs such as food, clothing and shelter.

One of the reasons for the growth in the economy was the growth in the population.


The population of the United States in 1950 was around 151 million people.

By 1960, the population increased to around 180 million people.

There were two reasons for the growth. The first was great medical care that allowed for more Americans to live longer than the preceding generation.

The second was a baby boom. Veterans of WW2 returned home, got married and had large families.


Partly because of the baby boom, there was a shift in the population during the 1950s.

As cities became more crowded, Americans began moving to the suburbs.

By moving to the suburbs, people hoped to escape crime, high taxes, pollution and better schools for their children.

In addition, more than one million farmers were moving to the suburbs.

Suburban residents settled in rows of nearly identical houses, which were surrounded by shopping centers, schools, churches and parks.


Many of these suburbanites became commuters, traveling back and forth from the suburbs to their jobs in the cities.

Between 1950 and 1960, the suburban population of the United States doubled.

question 13
Question 13

What were the people that moved to the suburbs hoped to escape?


In the 1950s, Americans had many popular pastimes.

With new technology and greater prosperity, Americans had more leisure time than ever before.

Television became a main source of entertainment.

Developed in the 1930s, television became available to the general public in the late 1940s.

In 1950, about 3,200,000 people owned a television. By 1960, 50,000,000 people owned a television.

inventor of television
Inventor of Television

Philo T. Farnsworth is credited with inventing the

1st electronic television, a working electronic

pickup device and the first to demonstrate

the electronic television.

He did this between 1928 and 1934.

1948 Admiral Television

1959 Zenith Television

early television stars
Early Television Stars
  • The development of television programming was established during the 1950s.
  • Sid Caesar was the star of “Your Shows of Shows”.
  • Lucille Ball was the star of “I Love Lucy”.
  • Milton Berle was the star of “Texaco Star Theater”.
  • “The Honeymooners”, starring Jackie Gleason, was a popular show.

Sporting events and athletes were also helped by the development of television.

(1) Baseball had stars in Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron.

(2) Football had stars in Jim Brown and Johnny Unitas.

(3) Slowly, games were being broadcasted live on television.

Americans also became interested in pursuing individualized sports such as golf and tennis

baseball players of the 1950s
Baseball Players of the 1950s

Henry “Hank” Aaron (755 HRs), Willie Mays (660 HRs) and Mickey Mantle (536 HRs)

were the heroes of the baseball diamond during the 1950s. The Yankees won eight

World Series during the 1950s and the Giants and Dodgers played in Manhattan and

Brooklyn until the two teams moved west following the 1957 season.

football players of the 1950s
Football Players of the 1950s

Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns was the most dominating running

back of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Johnny Unitas was the most

prolific passer of the 1950s and 1960s.

1958 nfl championship game
1958 NFL Championship Game

The NFL Championship Game of 1958 was between the NY Giants and the Baltimore

Colts. The Colts won the game, but it cemented football and television as at

tradition for most Americans. Football gets the best ratings on television.


Many Americans also began to enjoy cultural activities such as Broadway, art museums, science museums and concerts.

Here are some of the Broadway plays people enjoyed during the 1950s. Many of them have been turned into plays and are enjoying a comeback across many American cities.

movie stars of the 1950s
Movie Stars of the 1950s

Marilyn Monroe

Grace Kelly

Natalie Wood

Elizabeth Taylor

Marlon Brando

Jimmy Stewart

Tony Curtis

Jack Lemmon

James Dean


In the 1950s, a new form of music called rock and roll was developed from combining jazz, rhythm and blues, country, and pop music.

Rock and roll music had a strong beat and was the first style of music to use electrified instruments.

Major stars included Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, the Coasters, Little Richard and the Everly Brothers sold millions of records.

Television was a place for teenagers to see their stars perform. Shows like American Bandstand was a predecessor to MTV, VH1, BET and American Idol.

music of the 1950s
Music of the 1950s



Ricky Nelson

Ray Charles



Elvis Presley

Buddy Holly

The Coasters

Sam Cooke

Chuck Berry

Jerry Lee Lewis

Roy Orbison




Bill Haley

The Everly


Fats Domino

important figures in music
Important Figures in Music

Dick Clark created American Bandstand. A television that showed

performances of the top musical acts of the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s,

90s and today. His show was instrumental in that some of his

performers became celebrities and big musical stars much like

American Idol. You see him every New Years Eve.

Leo Fender (Left)/Les Paul (Right) were

crucial in that both men pioneered the

development of the electric guitar.

Allan Freed was a Cleveland DJ who coined the term rock and roll.

Freed was responsible for the birth of rock and roll and rock and roll



Norman Mailer

The Naked and the Dead

Herman Wouk

The Caine Mutiny

James Jones

From Here to Eternity

Some works of literature in the 1950s were about World War II. Many of the novels dealt with the theme of people’s helplessness in the face of such a horrific event.


Another group of authors were called the “Beat Movement”

There were beat movements in New York, New Orleans and San Francisco.

Some of the biggest beat writers included poet Alan Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs


Other novels such as Carson McCuller’s Member of the Wedding and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye dealt with ordinary people caught up in the problems of modern life.