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17.1 - The Social Revolution (1950s)
Terms in this set (59)
The large group of Americans who are not wealth or poor, but are able to live comfortably on the money they earn from their work.
Workers who earn a living from their labor. They include custodians, construction workers, and factory workers.
The process by which small businesses close during difficult economic times and larger, more financially resilient companies survive and take their place in the economy.
Interstate Highway System
A network of limited-access, high-speed roads built to connect major cities beginning in the 1950s.
A change in agriculture in the 1940s and 1950s in which selective breeding, the use of fertilizer, and other scientific advancements led to a tremendous increase in food production.
The process of combining small businesses or farms into larger ones.
Dr. Jonas Salk
Doctor who discovered a vaccine to prevent Polio.
Debilitating neurological disease that produces paralysis in the legs. A vaccine was discovered by Dr. Jonas Salk.
Antibiotic that was discovered in 1939 and prevented tremendous numbers of deaths beginning in World War II.
Republican president during the 1950s. He championed Modern Republicanism. He did not want to increase federal spending but also did not cut New Deal programs. He oversaw the arms race during the Cold War, but his presidency is remembered as a time of peace and economic growth.
A political philosophy during the second half of the 1900s in which Republican politicians did not increase government spending, but also did not cut popular New Deal programs such as Social Security.
Nickname for the Servicemen's Readjustment Act. Passed in 1944 it gave money to veterans to attend college or buy houses. It had a tremendous impact on the education levels of adult Americans and also led to a boom in suburban development.
A loan to purchase a house or condominium.
The cost of a college education.
The largest generation of Americans. They were born between 1945 and 1965. They were the children of the Greatest Generation and grew up during the 1950s, were teenagers and young adults during the 1960s, fought in Vietnam, and are the parents of Generation X. Most of them are now retiring.
Persistent myth in America that hard work and ingenuity will result in upward social mobility. In the 1950s, the goal was a house in the suburbs, a family with children, a car and a dog.
The neighborhoods that grow up around a large city. They grew rapidly in the 1950s.
Entrepreneur who developed methods for quickly building suburbs with inexpensive housing.
A suburban city built by William Levitt. The first was in New York. Eventually six more were built.
The spread of cities, especially suburbs, into rural areas. This process usually involves wasted land in which large parking lots divide buildings or large yards separate homes. It necessitates a car-based culture in order to get around.
Designations in which many stores are concentrated together in one building, usually around a few department stores. These developed in the suburbs in the 1950s.
Fast Food Restaurant
A type of restaurant with a limited, inexpensive menu in which food would always be cooked waiting for customers. They developed during the 1950s as part of the growth of suburbs.
Celebrity Christian minister during the post-World War II era. He broadcast his sermons on television and advised multiple presidents.
Everson v. Board of Education
1947 Supreme Court case in which the Court concluded that taxpayer dollars cannot be spent to support private schools because it violates the First Amendment separation of church and state. In the particular case, public school busses were transporting students to a religious school.
Engel v. Vitale
1962 Supreme Court case in which the Court concluded that public schools may not require students to participate in prayers because it violates the First Amendment separation of church and state.
1950s Ideal Family
Family structure that includes a father who goes to work, a mother who stays home to care for the house and children, and two or three children. This image was perpetuated in early television in shows such as Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best. It is heavily influenced by the Cult of Domesticity.
I Love Lucy
Popular 1950s Sitcom starring Lucille Ball.
Category of television show that features heavily stereotypical cowboys, outlaws, Hispanics, Native Americans and other characters from the West.
Television western that ran for 20 years.
Rhythm and Blues (R&B)
Musical style popularized by African Americans in the cities of the North. It attracted White suburban teenagers and gave rise to rock and roll when White musicians used it as the basis for their own versions.
Rock and Roll
Musical style that developed in the 1950s. It was originally based on R&B.
The "King" of Rock and Roll. As a White musician who had access to radio airtime, he popularized the new musical style in the 1950s when African Americans who had developed it had less public exposure.
Dick Clark's American Bandstand
Popular television program in the 1950s that promoted new rock and roll acts and dances.
The Ed Sullivan Show
Popular television show in the 1950s that featured new musicians. The Beatles famously played this show when they first arrived in the United States.
African American author of Invisible Man. He won the National Book Award for his writing about indifference toward African Americans.
Ralph Ellison's award winning novel about the plight of African Americans in the 1950s.
Government program during the 1950s to deport millions of Mexican Americans who had come to the United States, mostly as farmworkers.
A group of social critics during the 1950s, based in New York City and San Francisco, or questioned mainstream culture. The embraced jazz rather than rock and roll, wore dark clothes, drank coffee rather than alcohol, and popularized the idea of "cool."
Form of jazz that developed in the 1950s. Unlike the big band swing of the 1930s and 1940s, this new style was performed by small quartets and quintets and emphasized improvisation.
Great saxophonist of the bebop jazz era. He often recorded with other great musicians of the era.
Great saxophonist of the bebop jazz era. He was nicknamed "Yardbird" or just the "Bird."
Great trumpet player of the bebop jazz era.
Great pianist and composer of the bebop jazz era.
Great pianist of the bebop jazz era. His most famous song was Take Five.
Beat generation author of the poem "Howl."
Allen Ginsberg's famous poem that helped define the Beat Generation. It was the subject of an important freedom of speech court case when authorities tried to confiscate copies from a bookstore due to its homosexual subjects.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Organization that provides lawyers to defend people they believe have had their basic rights violated. For example, they defend freedom of speech cases and in the 1920s, helped defend John Scopes.
Beat Generation author of "On the Road"
On the Road
Book by Jack Kerouac that helped define what it mean to be Beat during the 1950s.
Author of "The Catcher in the Rye" who wrote about false happiness in the suburbs of the 1950s.
The Catcher in the Rye
Novel by J.D. Salinger exposing the false happiness of life in the suburbs of the 1950s.
Artist of the 1950s who painted scenes that challenged the ideal images of life in the 1950s. His painting "Nighthawks" is the most famous.
Art style popularized after World War II. Artists in this style expressed their dissatisfaction with postwar life by making the act of painting more important than the work itself. Jackson Pollock's wild splashes of pain on large canvasses are the most famous.
Willem de Koonigh
Dutch American artist who helped popularize Abstract Impressionism after World War II.
German American artist who helped launch the Abstract Impressionist era after World War II.
American artist of the Abstract Impressionist era who was famous four painting large rectangles he say conveyed "basic human emotions."
Famous artist of the Abstract Impressionist era who is famous for splashing paint wildly over large canvasses. He called it his "drip" technique.
Movie star of the 1950s. He played a motorcycle gang leader in The Wild One, the first major motion picture to feature rock and roll in its soundtrack.
Academy Award winning actor from the 1950s who portrayed a troubled teenager in Rebel Without a Cause, a film that stood in contrast to the utopian image many held of suburban life in the 50s.
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What are some of the roles and statuses that you fill in the course of your day? List them, and describe the basic rights connected to each status.
The sinking of the luxury liner Titanic offers some insights into social class. Among first class passengers, only 3 percent of the women died, and none of the children died. Among third-class passengers, 45 percent of the women died, and 70 percent of children died. In all 76 percent of the third-class passengers died, compared with 40 percent of the first-class passengers. What implications would you draw from these numbers? Is it important to know that the third-class passengers were restricted to the lower decks and thus farther away from the lifeboats?
All societies have cultural universals, as discussed. Why, then, are so many groups in conflict? Think of examples of groups in conflict? Think of examples of groups in this country that seem to be in conflict (such as animal rights activists and fur shop owners), and examine the reasons for these conflicts.
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