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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ch. 20 Notes


CH. 20: SOCIETY AFTER WW2 (1945-1960) (Do not copy overview notes)
DEFINE: GI Bill of Rights, Council of Economic Advisers, Taft-Hartley Act, Fair Deal, Automation, Baby Boom, Juvenile Delinquency, Rock ‘N’ Roll, Beats, Urban Renewal, Brown v. Board of Education, Little Rock 9, LULAC, Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA)
SECTION 1: THE CHALLENGES OF PEACE
THE PROBLEMS OF DEMOBILIZATION
- CONGRESS: Preventing economic depression and helping vets
- EMPLOYMENT ACT (1946): GOV promoting FULL-EMPLOYMENT
- Despite fears, postwar depression never came… but problems…
- More vets hired, but many lost jobs for the vets
- More ANTI-DISCRIMINATION laws; Still more progress needed
- Women encouraged to become HOMEMAKERS (Many fired or quit)
- INFLATION: goods (meat) became extremely expensive
- More workers went on strike; PRO-UNION Truman went against unions b/c he felt they were hurting the economic recovery
- TAFT-HARTLEY ACT: Setback for UNIONS, but unions did make many gains such as wage increases and benefits (retirement pensions and health insurance)
THE 1948 ELECTION
- High INFLATION and LABOR UNREST hurting Pres. Truman
- Despite low poll #s, Truman threw his support behind CIVIL RIGHTS
- TRUMAN to CONGRESS: Pass ANTI-LYNCHING and ANTI-POLL TAX laws
- Congress does not immediately act and Southern Dems protest (later become R)
- Truman is (D) nominee despite Southern opposition
- Southerners break away and form STATES’ RIGHTS PARTY (DIXIECRATS) and another break forms the new Progressive Party
- TRUMAN attacks conservatism of the (R), the radicalism of the Progressives and wins
THE FAIR DEAL
- Truman feels that, “every segment of our population… has a right to expect from our gov a fair deal”
- Most (R) and (D) opposed but many reforms passed
SECTION 2: THE AFFLUENT SOCIETY
THE EISENHOWER ERA
- (1952) Pledged to cut bureaucracy, limit the New Deal, balance the budget, and reduce gov regulation of the economy
- 1st year as pres: eliminated 1,000s of GOV JOBS, cut billions from the FEDERAL BUDGET, cut FARM SUBSIDIES, gave FEDERAL LANDS to the states, however, SOCIAL SECURITY, EDUCATION spending, and MINIMUM WAGE were all INCREASED
- MODERN REPUBLICANISM: “Conservative when it comes to $ and liberal when it comes to human beings”
THE ECONOMY
- 1950s was a decade of ECONOMIC PROSPERITY
- UNEMPLOYMENT and INFLATION low
- 60% of US earning a middle-class income ($3,000-10,000)
- LARGE CORPORATIONS prospered; Many MERGERS
- AUTOMATION: Increase of productivity through machines
- BLUE-COLLAR, manufacturing, jobs decreased, while, PROFESSIONAL and SERVICE JOBS increased
- Many WHITE-COLLAR jobs (managers and clerical workers) filled
- More and more WOMEN in the workplace (by 1960 1/3 of the total workforce)
- UNION membership increased in the early 1950s, but faded in the late 1950s after gov accusations/laws accusing widespread corruption
SUBURBAN MIGRATION
- 1/3 of total US population, mostly young, middle-class couples, moved to suburbs surrounding the nation’s cities
- PLANNED COMMUNITIES: Homes built by the same company w/ the same floor plan
- Housing costs low; More and more Americans could afford; Vets got good deals
- HIGHWAY ACT of 1956: Greatly expanded the nation’s highway system, making it easier for suburban residents to commute
SUBURBAN LIFE
- Post WW2: More and more got married at younger ages, great #s, and had more children
- The BABY BOOM: 30 million were born at this time
- WOMEN: The “HOMEMAKER” was the image, while the “WORKER” was the reality; More and more working mothers
- SOCIAL CONFORMITY: Especially in the suburbs, more and more looked alike in all ways (economically, social class, age)
- More and more bought CONSUMER GOODS (home appliances, cars)
- SOCIAL ACTIVITIES: PTAs, Scouts, Little League, and religious activities
- HULA HOOPS, FRISBEES, and WIFFLE BALLS were all popular fads during the 50s
THE GOLDEN AGE OF TV
- TV: Introduced commercially after WW2; 46 million had 1 by the late 1950s
- TV ADS: Influence CONSUMER HABITS more than any previous medium
- TV ADS w/ celebrities were most effective
- Comedies, sports, quiz shows, and dramas were most popular
- I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, World Series, The $64,000 Question, Amos ‘n’ Andy
- Worries that ads caused MATERIALISM (obsession w/ products)
- Game show CHEATING SCANDALS revealed dangers of TV
TEENS AND POP CULTURE
- Fictional Rebels: Literature and Films
- HOLDEN CAULFIELD: JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye; Hypocrisy of the adult world
- MAD Magazine: Made fun of everything associated w/American life
- Worries about JUVENILE DELINQUENCY; Young angry rebels frustrated w/ life
- The Wild One (1954): “What are you rebelling against? Whadda ya got?”
- Rebel Without a Cause (1955) The ISOLATION of youths; JAMES DEAN
- ROCK ‘N’ROLL: Helped teens escape the conformity of Suburbia
- Rock: Reworked R&B w/ more energetic rhythms; Coined in 1951
- ELVIS emerged as rock’s leading talent; Also served in the army and starred in 33 films
- Rock: Popular among youths, hated by adults
- Rock: Challenged RACIAL SEGREGATION: African American artists – Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino, as well as Hispanic performer Ritchie Valens
- Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Buddy Holly big artists who many times shared the stage w/ noted black artists; helped break down racial barriers
SECTION 3: VOICES OF DISSENT
BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION
- PLESSY V. FERGUSON (1896): Established the legality of “separate-but-equal” schools
- Revisited by case brought by the NAACP (1952); Linda Brown could not attend close “all-white” school and had to travel a long distance to her segregated school
- NAACP lawyer THURGOOD MARSHALL fought for Brown; SUPREME COURT unanimously in Brown’s favor; Plessy v. Ferguson RESCINDED; Segregation in public schools is ILLEGAL
- Many happy, though skeptical about actual implementation
- Many in the South met the decision with anger and defiance
- SC ruled that ALL SCHOOLS must desegregate ASAP (1955)
SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE ROCK
- Even w/ the SC ruling, school desegregation in the S moved very slowly…
- … Except in Arkansas, where the Little Rock school board was the 1st in the S to announce that it would comply with the Brown decision…
- … Was set to begin in 1957 w/ the integration of all-white Central HS…
- … Until the governor spoke out against the plan and ordered the National Guard to keep the school segregated; Rioters harassed African American students who tried to enter
- The LITTLE ROCK 9 were not allowed to enter until a court order made the gov remove the National Guard
- When riots occurred, Pres. Eisenhower sent 1,000 federal troops to help and the LR9 were able to go to school
THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT
- ROSA PARKS (Dec. 1, 1955): Seamstress who refused to give up her seat and was arrested
- MONTGOMERY IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION (MIA): Along with 50,000 others, boycotted Montgomery, AL’s buses
- MLK’s home was bombed; Preached nonviolence from the teachings of MOHANDAS K. GANDHI
- SC declared Alabama segregation laws unconstitutional
- CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957: Congress passed the 1st new civil rights law since Reconstruction; Also passed laws to protect voting rights and to study violations of civil rights
BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE
- HISPANICS, ASIANS, and INDIANS became increasingly motivated to also fight for their rights
QUESTIONING CONFORMITY
- THE BEATS: Challenged literary conventions and the lifestyle of the middle-class
- “We gotta go and never stop till we get there”
- FEAR: Beneath its surface of conformity, economic prosperity, and peace, the US faced serious problems: POVERTY and DISCRIMINATION
- FEAR: That social issues were being ignored in pursuit of material possession and comfort
- FEAR: That pressure to conform in the new corporate order was wiping out worker’s independence and individualism
THE NONAFFLUENT SOCIETY
- URBAN COMMUNITIES: Many moved to CITIES to get away from rural problems
- Sadly, many DID NOT IMPROVE THEIR ECONOMIC STATUS
- Neighborhoods segregated by ETHNICITY, which provided a sense of community for those in them
- To improve inner city housing, the federal gov proposed URBAN RENEWAL programs
- More and more LOW-INCOME public housing; Had a COLD, IMPERSONAL atmosphere, quickly became run-down themselves, and were plagued by HIGH CRIME RATES
Good to Know:
GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN THE ECONOMY:
BUSINESS, INDUSTRY, AND LABOR
- Sets minimum wage
- Regulates businesses and industries, both large and small
- Provides aid to ailing industries, farmers, and certain companies
BANKING AND FINANCE
- Allows the Federal Reserve Board to control interest rates
- Allows the FDIC to guarantee deposits in individual accounts
PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
- Dispenses social security, welfare, and unemployment benefits
- Provides emergency and disaster relief
- Offers Medicare and Medicaid and regulates health care and insurance
UNDERSTANDING MAIN IDEAS:
1. (SECT. 1) What impact did the GI Bill of Rights and other gov actions have on the postwar economy? Gov actions and the GI Bill of Rights helped keep employment levels high, though many vets took the jobs of women
2. (SECT. 1) How did civil rights issues affect the 1948 election? Civil rights issues split the Dem Party and led to the creation of the States’ Rights Party
3. (SECT. 2) How did the economic prosperity of the 1950s affect the workforce? The economic prosperity of the 50s created more white-collar jobs and increased personal incomes for many
4. (SECT. 2) What was suburban life like in the 1950s? Family-centered, conformist, and consumer driven
5. (SECT. 3) What were some of the major success and setbacks in ending segregation in the 1950s? Successes: Brown v. Board of Ed., integration of Central HS and Montgomery buses; Setbacks: Violence
6. (SECT. 3) According to social critics, what were the weaknesses of US society in the 1950s? Conformity, racism, poverty, and a lack of creativity
REVIEWING THEMES:
1. (ECONOMICS) How was the increase in population influenced by the economic boom of the 1950s? Encouraged people to have more children
2. (CULTURE) How did some Americans rebel against the conformity of the 1950s? By criticizing it through art or pop. culture; By protesting discrimination
3. (CITIZENSHIP) How did some members of minority groups fight discrimination during the 1950s? Through the courts, with boycotts, and by nonviolent tactics

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