Excelsior U.S. History Unit 6 (Ch. 19)

STUDY
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GI Bill of Rights
The Servicemen's Readjustment Act which helped ease veteran's return to civilian life. It encourages veterans to get an education by paying part of their tuition, it also guaranteed them a year's worth of unemployment benefits while job hunting. It also offered low-interest federally guaranteed loans for housing or businesses.
Suburb
Small residential communities surrounding cities. These housing communities boomed during the 1950's after the war was over.
Economics after WWII
Immediately after the war, American economics took a hard hit. Government War Contracts were cancelled, unemployment rates soared, inflation was reinstated, wages were lowered, and prices skyrocketed. Additionally, unions in steel, coal, and railroads went on strike. President Truman threatened to draft the workers back into the military and force them to complete their jobs as soldiers. The unions gave in and the strike was over. After some readjustment, the economy turned for the better. After suffering through the war without many good and services, Americans spent money like crazy after the war ended. The demand for goods and services outstripped the supply and increased production leading to new jobs. The Cold War also contributed by spending money on defense and creating jobs. Foreign-aid programs like the Marshall Plan, provided another boost by helping other nations recover from the war, the US. helped itself create strong foreign markets for exports.
Harry S. Truman
President of the United States after Franklin D. Roosevelt's death in 1945. His campaign platform championed civil rights against a "do nothing" Congress.
Dixiecrat
Southern Democrats who protested Truman's emphasis on civil rights.
Fair Deal
An extension of Roosevelt's New Deal which included proposals for a nationwide system of compulsory health insurance and a crop-subsidy system to provide a steady income for farmers.
Conglomerate
A major corporation that includes a number of smaller companies in unrelated industries.
Franchise
A company that offers similar products or services in many locations. The downfall of the franchise movement was the lack of creative thinkers and the decrease of individuality.
Baby Boom
An unprecedented population explosion during the late 1940s through the early 1960s.
Dr. Jonas Salk
The physician who developed the vaccine for polio.
The Automobile Culture
As the automotive industry boomed, it stimulated production and provided jobs, as well as brought about the Interstate Highway Act of 1956 authorizing the building of a nationwide highway network, yet it also created some sociological issues. Noise and exhaust polluted the air, accidents claimed more lives each year, traffic jams raised stress levels and damaged roads. It also widened the gap between poor people in the inner cities and middle class people in the suburbs.
Consumerism
Buying material goods. This became the new American way of life.
Planned Obsolescence
A marketing strategy in which manufacturers purposely designed products to wear out or become outdated.
Mass Media
Means of communication which reaches large audiences. In the 1950's, mass media was used mostly as a source of entertainment. By the 1960's, TV was the primary entertainment as well as informational medium.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Governmental agency that regulates and licenses television, telephone, telegraph, radio and other communications industries. Although most people were happy with the technological progress, some people were not. There were critics of television who didn't like the way that life was portrayed as idealistic rather than realistic. They didn't like its stereotypical portrayal of women and minorities or its effects on children.
Beat Movement
The movement of artists, poets and writers to express their social and literary nonconformity. This was considered by most to be a form of rebellion.
Rock 'n' Roll
An American form of music which included electric instruments on top of traditional blues music. Like the Beat Movement, this was also considered to be a form of rebellion.
Jazz
A form of music characterized by improvisation.
Urban Renewal
The idea for tearing down rundown neighborhoods and constructing low-income housing.
Bracero
Mexican hired hands allowed into the U.S. to harvest crops as a result of a lack of farm workers in America.
Termination Policy
The U.S. policy which eliminated federal economic support, discontinued the reservation system and distributed tribal lands among individual Native Americans.
Political Cartoons
Many political cartoons were used during this time period and throughout American history to represent the politics of the age.
Longoria Incident
One of the most notorious instances of prejudice against Mexican Americans involving the burial of Felix Longoria. He was a WWII hero killed in the Philippines and the only undertaker in his town refused to provide funeral services. After that, Mexican Americans stepped up their efforts to end discrimination, veterans formed the G.I. Forum, founded the Unity League of California to register voters and promote candidates who would represent their interests.
The American Dream in the 50's
During the 1950's, businesses expanded rapidly. By 1956, the majority of Americans no longer held blue-collar, or manufacturing or industrial jobs. Instead, more people worked in higher-paid, white collar positions- clerical, managerial, or professional occupations.

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