4-1 - The Affluent Society Explain the reasons for American...

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The Affluent Society Explain the reasons for American prosperity during the decades following World War II. What political & cultural developments accompanied the prosperity of the 1950s? 1. Idealizing the Fifties (things were “normal” during this time) a. “Fifties” – 1945 to early 60’s b. Economic Prosperity -- Altered American Social Life i. Lots of money and good-feeling (lots of spending) c. Struggle Against Communism – Idealized Own Society i. Anxiety about it all disappearing in a second when an atom bomb drops d. The “Fifties” as the Historical Norm i. In fact, it was far from the norm, and was a uniquely prosperous time in US history 2. The Economic Miracle a. GNP Grew i. 250% between ’45 and ‘60 ii. From $200bil to $500bil 1. Lots of this was from military spending b. Unemployment Low i. 5% or lower through most of the period c. Causes i. Government Spending ii. National Birth Rate (baby boom) 1. 2. From 150 (at beginning of era) to 179mil (@ end) iii. Expansion of Suburbs 1. Up 47% a. Needed places to live for “the family” i. “Urban sprawl” b. Made it affordable for normal ppl to own nice homes 3. Politics in the Fifties (Policies @ home) a. Harry S. Truman i. Democrat – his party is strong & wanted to push the “new deal”
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2009 for the course HIST 1320 taught by Professor Murphy during the Spring '08 term at Texas State.

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4-1 - The Affluent Society Explain the reasons for American...

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