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Title: Ch.%2019%20Sec%202%20The%20American%20Dream

Ch. 19 Sec 2 The American Dream
  • 1952-1960

Essential Questions
  • What was the nature of the Eisenhower Presidency?
    What was his leadership style?
  • What was the new consumerism?
  • What was the suburban lifestyle?
  • What was the new youth culture and the emerging
  • What were the basic elements of mass culture and
    how did they effect society?
  • What was the Other America?

Time for a Change
  • In the Election of 1952 the Democrats nominated
    Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson and the
    Republicans Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Ike promised to end the war in Korea
  • Republicans guaranteed a tough approach to the
    Communist challenge, and to end government
  • Richard M. Nixon was IKEs running mate
  • Nixon had to respond to charges that he had a
    special republican fund to allow him to live
    beyond his means
  • Nixons Delivered the Checkers Speech

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Modern Republicanism
  • IKEs Policies were known as modern
    Republicanism or dynamic conservatism
  • Conservative when it comes to money and liberal
    when it comes to human beings
  • Ikes favored big business and his cabinet
    reflected that, although he accepted the New Deal
  • Ike aided corporate America and tried to end
    government competition with business (Ex. TVA)
  • IKE cuts in spending allowed the economy to slump
    due to lack of tax revenue
  • Economic growth fell and the deficit rose
  • Three economic recessions 53-54, 57-58, 60-61

IKEs Accomplishments
  • IKE tried to say above party politics Middle
    of the road
  • Real Wages increased 20 during the 1950s which
    allowed economic prosperity
  • Per-capita income and Real Purchasing power
  • IKE reacted on the issue of Civil Rights with the
    crisis at Little Rock Central High School in 1957
    although he did not assume leadership on civil
  • The Minimum Wage Act of 1955 Raised the minimum
    wage from 75 cents to 1
  • Social Security was expanded to cover farmers and
    state and local government employees

IKEs Accomplishments II
  • Funding was increased for public housing although
    the focus was on the suburbs not revitalizing the
    inner cities ( Racial Gap)
  • The Department of Health, Education and Welfare
    was backed by IKE (Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby)
  • The Federal Highway Act of 1956 - 32 billion and
    41,000 miles of new interstate highway
  • The National Defense Education Act - 280 million
    in grants to state universities and 300 million
    in low cost tuition loans
  • Low inflation steady growth brought economic
    Prosperity to most Americans

Popular IKE wins Re-election
Business in the 1950s
  • By 1956 the majority of Americans held white
    collar jobs instead of blue collar jobs
  • Many large corporations bought companies in
    different industries and formed diversified
    conglomerates (Ex. ITT bought Avis, Sheraton
    Hotels, Hartford Fire Ins., and Continental
    Banking) ATT, Xerox and GE
  • Franchises offered similar products at different
    locations, they were independently owed yet they
    received free advertising (Ray Kroc McDonalds)
  • The Organizational Men by William H. Whyte
    Companies pushed teamwork, cooperation, loyalty
    which led to the age of conformity

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The Suburban Lifestyle
  • By the early 1960s every large city was
    surrounded by suburbs
  • Of the 13 million new homes built in the 1950s
    85 of them were in the suburbs
  • William J. Levitt improved building techniques to
    mass produce homes
  • Materialism in Suburbia- Keeping up with the
  • The Baby Boom reached its peak in 1957

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Advances in Medicine and Child Care
  • Dr. Jonas Salk Polio Vaccine
  • Antibiotics like penicillin were distributed
  • Advances in Surgery - Open Heart Surgery
  • Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr.
    Benjamin Spock sold 10 million copies during the
  • Dr. Spock stressed not to spank or scold but hold
    meetings, and he advocated women stay home with
    the kids

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Gender Roles of the 1950s
  • The role of homemaker and mother was glorified
    for women by magazines, TV, and movies ( Cook,
    Clean, and Children)
  • More than 1/5 of women were not happy and felt
    isolated, bored, and unfulfilled
  • The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan identified
    and described the problem

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Mens Roles
  • Men were to go to school, and then find jobs to
    support their wives and children
  • Men made the economic, political, and social
    decisions at work and at home
  • Men were judged by what they could buy

Religious Revival 1950s
  • Evangelists like Rev. Billy Graham used radio and
    TV to spread their message
  • In 1954 Congress added under God to the Pledge
    of Allegiance
  • In 1954 Congress required the phrase In God we
    trust on all US money
  • By the end of the 1950s 95 felt linked to some
    formal religious group
  • A family that prays together stays together

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Conformity of the 1950s
  • Middle Class society wanted to imitate those
    around them Teenager was 1st used
  • Middle Class Youth was dubbed the Silent
  • Middle Class Youth didnt worry about the
    problems of the world they joined fraternities
    and sororities, organized parties, pursued
    entertainment and had fun

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Leisure in the 1950s
  • Most Americans worked a 40hr wk with vacations
  • Many Americans owned labor saving devises such
    as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and
    power mowers
  • In 1953 Americans spent 53 billion on leisure
    goods and activities
  • People participated in fishing, bowling, hunting,
    boating ,and golf
  • Baseball, football and basketball games were
  • Americans became avid readers
  • Ex. Comic books, SI, Hemingway and Salinger

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Technology of the 1950s
  • The first commercial nuclear power was built in
    Shippingport, Pa
  • The first electric digital computer was tested at
    the University of Pa. in 1946 (ENIAC)
  • In 1947 scientists at Bell Labs invented the
    transistor to replace vacuum tubes
  • Huge machines could now fit on a desk
  • Computers were used to calculate the 1950s
  • Agribusiness- Large corporate farms with
    machinery dominating agriculture (Fears of DDT)

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  • New Car sales rose from 6.7million in 1950 to 7.9
    million in 1955, total cars on the road jumped
    from 40 million in 1950 to over 60 million in
  • New suburbs made cars necessary new amenities and
    styles made them attractive
  • The Interstate Highway System encouraged long
    haul trucking and travel to mountains, lakes,
    beaches, historical sights and amusement parks
    (Ex Disneyland 1955)
  • Drive-ins, Motels, Restaurants, and malls boomed,
    but accidents, noise, and pollution were problems
  • Jobs and Businesses left the inner cities, the
    gulf between middle class and the poor widened

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The Affluent Society
  • The GNP increased from 205 billion in 1940 to
    500 billion in 1960
  • By the mid 1950s 60 of Americans were members of
    the middle class
  • Consumerism the buying of material good came to
    be equated with success
  • Americans bought not only electric kitchen
    appliances but TVs, tape recorders, and Hi-Fi
    record players
  • Manufactures used planned obsolescence so
    encourage more purchases

Credit and Advertising
  • In 1950 Diners Club issued the first credit card,
    American Express was issued in 1958
  • Large items were bought on the installment plan
    (Ex Cars, Homes)
  • Total debt grew from 73 billion to 179 billion
  • Ads were on TV, Radio, and Billboards, in
    Magazines and newspapers
  • By 1955 9 billion was spent on advertising
  • Ad Executives appealed to peoples desire for
    status and belongingness

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Ch 19 Section 3 Pop- Culture of the 1950s
Pop Culture of the 1950s
  • By 1950, 9 of Americans had TVs, by 1954 55 had
    TVs, and by 1960, 90 had TVs
  • In 1956 the Federal Communications Commission
    (FCC) was created to license stations and
    regulate programming
  • Edward R. Marrow introduced on screen reporting
    (See it Now, Person to Person)
  • Popular Shows Playhouse 90,Your Show of Shows,
    The Mickey Mouse Club, Howdy Doody Show, the
    Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, Father Know Best,
    Leave it to Beaver, The Adventures of Ozzie and
    Harriet, Donna Reed Show and the Ed Sullivan Show

TV of the 1950s
  • The three main networks ABC, CBS, and NBC grew
    directly from radio organizations

Television Part II
  • Critics objected to TVs effect on children, its
    stereotypical portrayal of women and minorities
  • Male characters outnumbered female characters
    three to one
  • African Americans and Latinos rarely appeared on
    TV at all
  • TV omitted reference to poverty, diversity, and
    the civil rights struggle
  • TV shows about the Western Frontier were popular
    (Ex. D. Crocket and Gunsmoke)

Television Scandal
Radio and Movies of the 1950s
  • Many radio stars made the jump to TV such as
    Jack Benny, George Burns, Gracie Allen and Eddie
  • Radio Stations broadcast local news, weather,
    music and community issues
  • To compete with TV, Hollywood Movies introduced
    Stereophonic sound in 1952
  • By 1954 more than 50 of movies were in color
  • 3-D, Smell-O-Vision and Aroma-Rama were all
    novelty gimmicks of Hollywood in the 1950s

Popular Male Stars of the 1950s
Popular Female Stars of the 1950s
Hollywood Hotties of the 1950s
Rock and Roll of the 1950s
  • African- Americans began adding electronic
    instruments to traditional blues music to create
    rhythm and blues (DJ Allen Freed)
  • Early artists were Richard Pennimen, Chuck Berry,
    Bill Haley and the Comets, then Elvis
  • Teenagers loved the music because it talked about
    love, cars, and the problems of being young (
    Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly and the Big
    Bopper were popular)
  • Adults condemned the music saying it would lead
    to immorality and delinquency
  • RR sales were 189 million in 1950, but grew to
    600 million in 1960

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American Bandstand
The Teenager of the 1950s
  • By 1965, 85 of the nations teens were in high
    school compared to 10 in 1900
  • Manufacturers targeted teens with cosmetics,
    clothing, radios, phonographs, and cars
  • Teens were torn between the youth culture and
    assuming the pressures of adult responsibility
  • Many blamed rock and roll for an increase in
    juvenile delinquency but the numbers were
  • The Wild One (1954) and Rebel Without a Cause (
    1955) signified some rebellion

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Pockets of Non-Conformity
  • Centered in San Francisco, LA and NYC Greenwich
    Village the beat movement expressed the social
    non-conformity of artists, poets, and writers
    (The Beat Generation)
  • Beatniks lived nonconformist lives and sought
    higher consciousness through Buddhism, music and
  • Beat Writers Alan Ginsburgh (Howl, 1956)
  • Jack Kerouac (On the Road, 1957)

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The Beats
The Racial Gap
  • African American music had inspired the birth of
    Rock and Roll and was the basis of it
  • Influential Non-Rock and Roll Singers were Nat
    King Cole and Lena Horne
  • Influential Jazz Musicians were Mile Davis, Sonny
    Rollins, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie
  • African American radio show were broadcast on
    separate stations
  • In the early 1950s record labels would not sign
    black artists, and white versions of early rhythm
    and blues hits were released

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-Ch 19 Sec4The Other America
  • The Country is celebrating one hundred years of
    freedom one hundred years too soon.
  • (James Baldwin on 100 yrs. of emancipation)
  • 40 million Americans lived in poverty in the
  • White Flight caused decaying inner cities
  • The Other America Poverty in the United States
    in 1962 by Michael Harrington
  • Urban Renewal was attempted but limited in scale,
    more like urban removal
  • The Termination Policy was a failed attempt to
    remove Native Americans from the reservation
    (1953-1963) 35,000 displaced