32-36 - Chapters 32-36 Book Notes Chapter 32 Through the...

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Chapters 32-36 Book Notes Chapter 32 Through the Picture Window: Society and Culture. 1945-1960 Great American Boom: too complacent? Too conformist? Too materialistic? Idealism vs. Materialism People of Plenty Gross national product doubled between 1945-1960 US held 6% world population Produced and consumed nearly 2/3 of goods Federal expenditures to meet military goods brought US out of depression New industries: chemicals, electronics, aviation US virtual monopoly on international trade Machinery and computers led productivity to jump 35% in 10 yrs Catalyst: pent-up consumer demand Saved $150 billion during war which led to purchasing frenzy The GI Bill of Rights Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 GI = “government issue” Created Veterans Administration Provided: o Unemployment pay for one year o Preference for veterans seeking government jobs o Loans for home construction o Access to government hospitals o Generous subsidies for college and professional training 8 million veterans $14.5 billion GI subsidies 5 million veterans bought homes 1949: Veterans counted for 40% college enrollment Helped erode class barriers, not so much racial barriers Postwar Baby Boom Between 1946-1960 population grew by 40 million, 30% increase An Expanding Consumer Culture Proportion of homeowners in population increased 50% Latest electrical appliances: o Refrigerators o Washing machines
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o Sewing machines o Vacuum cleaners o Freezers o Mixers o Television sets By 1960. 9 out of 10 homes had a TV set 1950 African Americans earned 4 times more than 1940 wages Gap between yearly white and black incomes widen “Consume more and Expect more” Advertising increased 1000% bc of TV Credit Card Consumer credit soared 800% Only saving 5% of income during this time Adolescent markets o Transistor radios o Hula-Hoops o Rock and Roll records o Cameras o Surfboards o Seventeen magazine o Pat Boone movies The Suburban Frontier 20 million migrated to the city in 30 years Sunbelt: Carolinas to California Invention of air-conditioning Suburbs grew 6 times faster than cities Required: o Cars o Highways o Government-backed home mortgages William Levitt – Levittowns (suburb of Long Island) Car production soared 1947: 37,000 miles of federal highways then 42,000 additional miles interstate expressways Banks insuring loans of 95% value of a house Buy a levitt house for no down payment and monthly payments of $56 The Great Black Migration 1945: 5 million southern blacks move to cities and north South side of Chicago – capital of black America Invention of mechanical cotton picker Slumlords of cities gouged rent, employers refused to hire, unions denied membership
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Nightmares: o Slum housing o Joblessness o Illiteracy o Dysfunctional families o Welfare dependency o Street gangs o Pervasive crime
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32-36 - Chapters 32-36 Book Notes Chapter 32 Through the...

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