Ch 20 notes

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Transcript Ch 20 notes

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
• The U.S.
experiences one
of its greatest
periods of growth
• The GDP and per
capita income
double, but so did
• TV begins to
replace radio
and movies as
the main form of
• 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
• 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
• Allowed G.I.’s to:
– Go to college
– Buy homes cheaply
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
• 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
• Baby Boom
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
• This attitude was
enhanced by images
that Americans saw
on TV
The Beat Generation
• Was a counter culture
in response to the rise
in American
• Goatees, dark clothes,
“playing it cool”
• “Led” by Jack Kerouac
and Allen Ginsburg
• Pre-cursor to the
counter culture of the
Lousy Beatniks!
Youth Culture
• Young people
began to stay in
school until
completion in
greater numbers.
• People were
marrying younger
(especially girls).
Conformity was also the norm for
young people.
Rock and Roll
• Came from R&B
• Exuded “sexual
• Kids loved it
• “The Man”…
HATED it, and so
did parents.
• “Elvis the Pelvis”,
Jerry Lee Lewis,
Little Richard, and
• Teen angst
• Showed the rift
between the WWII
generation and the
baby boomers.
Rise in Religion
• “One nation, under
God…” and “In God we
trust” appear for the 1st
• These phrases were
used in response to
Communism, which
was an atheistic culture.
• Illustrated the idea of
“God-less Communism”
vs. “Christian
Roles of Men and Women
• America settles into
very different roles for
men and women.
• Men are the
breadwinners, while
the women stay at
– Women are still in the
workplace in large
• Both of these roles are
• 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.
What was the New 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
• Appoints a biracial committee on Civil
• Desegregates the Army in 1948.
• Bans Discrimination in Federal hiring.
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)
• 1st Republican
President since
• More comfortable
working behind the
• Some saw him as
a do-nothing
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 continued…
• Cuts spending,
lowers taxation,
and tries to shrink
the government.
• This dynamic
was called
Ike, NASA, and Education
• Our response to
the expanding
space race.
• Increased
funding to teach
math and
• Increases
financial aid to
college students.
Sam, American space monkey