Post War American Life

Post War American Life - March 19 History Post War American...

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March 19 History: Post War American Life From Civil War to Great Depression American economy was beset by a cycle of boom and bust, by sharp inequalities, and festering resentments that bred extremely tense labor relations After WWII the questions that had dominated American political economy changed Americans believed that they were living through a capitalist revolution that was going to ensure affluence and upward mobility for the foreseeable future 15 years after WWII, GNP increased by 250%, per capita income increased by 35%, 20% lived below poverty line; first time in American history 2/3 statistically categorized as middle class In 1950s seemed as though US had resolved poverty and lifted that fear from America Emerged in 1950s what subsequently is referred to as an ideology of consensus Why idea that US had moved beyond the old problems Central to idea of America entering new age was possibility and certainty that the US was going to achieve permanent full employment and infinitely increasing productivity Emergence of welfare state from new deal would provide a cushion for the small percentage of Americans that would not be employed Second goal was for ever-increasing productivity Belief in 40s and 50s that the full-bore production would enable Americans to solve any social problems that they came across, would generate the wealth that was required to address poverty, inferior housing, to extend electricity, etc. Conviction of American productivity rested on thinking about the economy that the new
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This note was uploaded on 10/13/2008 for the course HIST 128 taught by Professor Nelson during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Post War American Life - March 19 History Post War American...

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