Advertisement Upgrade to remove ads

American Global Supremacy

rested partly on economic institutions created at Bretton Woods and partly on defense spending.

Bretton Woods

was a system that guided world economy after the war. It encouraged stable prices, reduction of tariffs, flexible domestic markets, and international trade based on fixed exchange rates. It's cornerstones were The World Bank, the IMF and GATT.

Defense Spending

The massive commitment of government dollars for defense continued after the end of the war.

Corporations

The consolidation of economic power into large corporate firms characterized American enterprise for over half a century.

"Man in the Gray Flannel Suit"

New corporate men were more attuned to their associates than driven by their own goals.

Affluent Worker

A new sociological phenomenon enabled by collective bargaining which was evidenced by relocation to the suburbs, homeownership, increased ownership of cars and other durable goods, and installment buying.

Levitt

revolutionized the suburban housing market by applying mass-production techniques to turn out new homes quickly for affordable prices.

Mass Production

techniques were used by Levitt to increase the speed and affordability of his suburban houses.

Restrictive Covenants

prohibited occupancy "by members other than the caucasian race".

Sun Belt

was well suited to suburban living because of it's low taxes, mild climate, and open spaces.

Subdivions

were laid out on the assumption that everybody would drive.

Automobiles

Americans' love affair with their cars was partly an effect of the suburban lifestyle and prompted the interstate highway act.

Age of Anxiety

Suburban living abided side by side with the thread of nuclear annihilation. This anxiety sparked a religious reawakening led by preachers such as Reverend Billy Graham who made use of TV, radio, and advertising.

Billy Graham

was a young Evangelical Protestant preacher who used TV, radio, and advertising to spread the gospel.

"Godless Communism"

Americans viewed themselves as a righteous people opposed to "godless communism"

Consumption

became associated with citizenship. Buying things now meant fulfilling a social responsibility.

Citizenship

became associated with participating in the economy by spending money on consumer goods.

Advertising

More money was spent on advertising in 1951 than on the public schools.

Baby Boom

Post World War 2 marriages were remarkably stable and couples were intent on having babies.

Penicillin

and other "miracle drugs" made serious illnesses merely routine.

Polio Vaccine

Dr. Jonas Salk perfected a polio vaccine which was freely distributed in the nation's schools.

Betty Friedan

was a feminist who wrote about her experiences as a typical 1950's housewife.

"Feminine Mystique"

Betty Friedan's book stated that the feminine mystique of the 1950's was "the highest value and the only commitment for women is the fulfillment of their own femininity".

Working Women

often used excuses such as needing to raise money for a child's college education as a way to retain their image of feminine domesticity while also enabling them to work.

Teenagers

influenced family purchases as well as presenting a market for consumer goods, fads, and motion pictures.

Rock and Roll

was an amalgam of white country and western music and black rhythm and blues. It was popular among teens and eventually inspired its own culture.

Beats

were a group of writers and poets centered in New York and San Francisco who disdained middle-class conformity and suburban materialism. They glorified spontaneity, sexual adventurism, drug use, and spirituality.

Immigration

Ever since 1924 US immigration policy had aimed at keeping foreigners out. At the end of world war 2 this policy began to reverse itself.

Chinese Exclusion Act

was repealed in 1943 in a gesture to an important war ally. This encouraged Chinese men living in Chinatowns to bring their wives to America creating a more normal, family oriented community.

Braccero

was a temporary labor program intended to ease wartime shortages.

African Americans

came in large number from the rural south to fill cities after technological advances eliminated the necessity for a sharecropper system in cotton production.

Cities

Migration to American cities, whether from Europe or rural America, had always been attended by hardship, poverty, slum housing, and cultural dislocation.

Underclass

was Myrdal's term for a population permanently mired in poverty and dependency.

NAACP

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Brown v. Board of Education

Linda Brown was forced to attend a distant segregated school rather than the nearby all white elementary. Her lawyer, Thurgood Marshall, argued that such segregation was unconstitutional because it denied Linda Brown the "equal protection of the laws" guaranteed by the fourteenth amendment. The Supreme Court unanimously agreed.

14th Amendment

guaranteed "equal protection of the laws".

Rosa Parks

had been chosen by the NAACP to play the part of refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man because she was middle aged and unassuming. She was subsequently arrested.

Martin Luther King Jr.

recently appointed pastor of Montgomery's Dexter St. Baptist Church who embraced the teachings of Mahatma Ghandi in his fight for civil rights.

Montgomery Bus

was desegregated in a boycott endorsed by King.

Boycott

Montgomery blacks formed carpools or walked to work causing the bus company to near bankruptcy and downtown stores to complain about loss of business. The Supreme Court ruled in November 1956 that bus segregation was unconstitutional.

SCLC

the Southern Christian Leadership Conference lent the black church's moral and organizational strength to the civil rights movement.

"Sit In"

was a nonviolent movement started by four black students who sat at an all white woolworths counter.

SNCC

the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was also known as "Snick" and facilitated student sit ins.

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again

Example:

Reload the page to try again!

Reload

Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

NEW! Voice Recording

Create Set