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Unformatted text preview: 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? Idealizing the Fifties Idealizing “Fifties” – 1945 to early 60’s Economic Prosperity -- Altered American Economic Social Life Social Struggle Against Communism – Idealized Struggle Own Society Own The “Fifties” as the Historical Norm The Economic Miracle The GNP Grew Unemployment Low Causes
– Government Spending – National Birth Rate – Expansion of Suburbs Politics in the Fifties Politics
Harry S. Truman Dwight D. Eisenhower Harry S. Truman Harry Reconversion
– Consumerism – GI Bill of Rights – Servicemen’s Readjustment GI Act of 1944 Act Conservative Opposition Grows Election of 1948 The Fair Deal The Red Scare Dwight D. Eisenhower Dwight I like Ike! VP Richard Nixon & Checkers Dynamic Conservatism
– Fiscal Conservatism – Survival of Welfare State Federal Highway Act, 1956 Prosperity & Cultural Change Prosperity Suburbanization & the American Family Family Growth of Middle Class Suburbanization – Suburbanization Levittowns Levittowns Baby Boom & the Baby Nuclear Family Nuclear Consumer Culture Consumer Prosperity and Consumerism Television Consumer “crazes” Anxieties & Optimism Anxieties Atomic Age Technological Innovation Conformity & Stability Reactions to Conformity Reactions Critiques of “Organized Society”
– Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March, Saul 1953 1953 – Sloan Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Sloan The 1955 1955 – Willian H. Whyte, Jr, The Organization Man, Willian The 1956 1956 Reactions to Conformity Reactions The Beat Movement
– Alan Ginsberg, “Howl”, Alan (1955) (1955) “Robot apartments! Invincible Robot suburbs! Skeleton treasuries! Blind capitals! Demonic industries!” industries!” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road Jack On ( 1957) 1957) Youth Culture
– Rebellion – James Dean Reactions to Conformity Reactions Rock & Roll
– Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly – Motown The Election of 1960 The Richard Richard Nixon Nixon John F. John Kennedy (JFK) (JFK) “New Politics” Televised Televised Debates Debates ...
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