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utilized mass production techniques to build inexpensive homes in suburban NY to relieve postwar housing shortage; became symbol of movement to suburbs; conformity of houses; diverse communities; home for lower-middle class families

flight to suburbs

most significant social trend of postwar era; massive shift in population from the central city

baby boom

booming birth rate post-WWII; idealized the family


replaced poverty and hunger of Great Depression; obsession with material goods; conformity of suburbs


danger of nuclear war; US/RUS rivalry; second Red Scare; McCarthyism; loyalty oaths and book burning

postwar boom

nation witnessed period of unparalleled economic growth; demand for consumer goods; steady industrial expansion; heavy govt spending

postwar boom -> factors`

1) consumer society, buyers 2) Cold War, govt spending

Marshall Plan and foreign aid prog.

financed heavy export trade

Korean War

helped overturn brief recession as defense spending stimulate war industries

baby boom and suburbia

great stimulants to consumer goods industries: appliances, automobiles; electronics, etc.

postwar boom -> effects

positive: Sunbelt benefited from growth of aircraft and electronics industries, GNP grew to $440 billion, workers labored less than 40hrs/wk, highest standard of living; negative: older manufac. regions sufferred, steal industry fell behind, agric. prices remained low, unemployment

Great Neck and Richmond Heights

enabled Jews and blacks to take part in suburbs

White Christian

what most suburbs were


what life in all suburban communities depended on; necessity spurred production

drive-in culture

highways and expressways to/from work; buses to/from school; shopping centers

Southdale Shopping Center

first enclosed air conditioned mall


focus for activities and aspirations

postwar housing shortage

created demand for new homes in suburbs


code word of 1950s

suburbs -> negative

de-emphasized extended family, discouraged feminism, women idealized as housewife


dominant social theme of 1950s; abundance of creature comforts and leisure time; but left many dissatisfied

organized religion

flourished in 1950s, rise in church attendance in new communities

Norman Vincent Peale

popular religious writer; positive gospel


emerged in Protestant seminaries; ideas of Reinhold Biebuhr

Assemblies of God

radical forms of fundamentalism spread


provided immediate problem for growing suburban communities; overwhelmed resources; limited help from fed. govt

critics of progressive education

called for sweeping educational reform; stressed traditional academic subjects


# of young people receiving college education increased


where largest advances were made; boomed in 1950s replacing radio and magazines; advertising and commercials; quiz shows, soap operas, comedies, etc.

Reginald Rose, Rod Serling, Paddy Chayefsky

playwrights wrote notable dramas for TV

Charles Van Doren

Columbia Univ professor given answers in advance to Twenty-one; big quiz shows dropped after controversy

John Keats

wrote The Crack in the Picture Window; described endless row of tract houses, identical boxes, Drones, lost individuality

Richard Gordon, Katherine Gordon, Max Gunther

wrote The Split-level Trap; concerned about psychological toll of suburban life; labeled new lifestyle 'Disturbia'

William Whyte

wrote The Organization Man; most sweeping indictment of suburbia; based on suburb study; change from old Protestant ethic to stifling conformity

David Reismen

most influential social critic; wrote The Lonely Crowd; intellectual commentary about suburbia

C. Wright Mills

more caustic commentator on American society; described new middle class in books; corporations were the villains; assembly lines were dehumanizing


most eloquent expression of disenchantment with consumer culture; literary groups rebelled against materialistic society of 1950s

Jack Kerouac

wrote On the Road; set the tone for beat movement


what middle class termed beat generation; dropouts from society; disapproval from mainstream America; nonconformists; demonstrated style of social protest

main beatnik figures

Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti

abstract expressionism

artistic counterpart of beats social protest; style emphasized individuality and freedom from constraints of realistic art; main figures: Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko


act of creating painting was important as art itself


pioneered color field painting: style in which enormous areas of color lack distinct structure to create mood


failed to flourish in postwar years; cry for change replaced by prosperous affluence

Fair Deal

Truman's liberal legislative agenda: stressed New Deal goals, farm programs, Social Security, minimum wages, repeal Taft-Hartley; main reform measures: 1) medical insurance for all Americans 2) established FEPC 3) fed. aid to education; but defeated in Congress

Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC)

opened up employment opportunities for African Americans

American Medical Association

branded health insurance plan as socialized medicine; lobbied against it

southern senators

threatened filibusters against FEPC proposal

expanding Social Security

Fair Deal's only success

conservative coalition

Southern Democrats and Northern Republicans combined to defeat any effort to extend govt regulation onto healthcare and civil rights


keynote of Eisenhower presidency; no commitment to social change or economic reform; fiscal conservative and balanced budget; no plans to dismantle New Deal

Modern Republicanism

Eisenhower: liberal towards the people but conservative about spending money; balanced budget without destroying existing social programs

George Humphrey

Eisenhower's secretary of treasury; policy of fiscal stringency

Charles Wilson

Eisenhower's secretary of defense; kept Pentagon budget under control

Sherman Adams

Eisenhower's chief of staff; handled congressional relations

Election of 1954

Republican losses weakened Eisenhower's relations with Congress

Lydon Johnson

Senate Majority Leader whom Eisenhower relied on for legislative action

Sam Rayburn

Speaker of the House whom Eisenhower relied on for legislative action

Department of Health, Education, andWelfare

Eisenhower consolidated administration of welfare programs

Oveta Culp Hobby

first woman to hold cabinet post in Republican administration; headed new department

Highway Act

1956 one significant legislation achievement of Eisenhower; Congress approved funds for 41,000 mile interstate highway system; benefited trucking, automobiles, organized labors, farmers, highway officials

highway trust fund

raised by taxes on fuel, tires, and new cars and trucks

interstate highway system

profound influence on American life; stimulated economy, shortened travel; nation's dependence on automobiles intensified; metropolitan growth patterns

African Americans

benefited economically from WWII; still disadvantaged, segregated, and discriminated; rising expectations postwar


first president to attempt to alter racial discrimination in US; succeeded in adding civil rights to the agenda; strengthened civil rights division of Justice Department

To Secure These Rights

Truman appointed presidential commission on civil rights which recommended reinstatement of FEPC, establishment of permanent civil rights commission, and denial of fed. aid to segregated schools; blocked by southern resistance in Congress

strong civil rights plank

issue in 1948 Democratic platform led to walkout of southern delegations and separate Dixiecrats

LA, Cleveland, Chicago

African American vote in these key cities ensured Democratic victory in their respective states

permanent FEPC and anti-lynching

civil rights legislation included in Truman's Fair Deal but blocked by southern opposition

armed forces

Truman ordered desegregation; took effect during Korean War

desegregation of schools

primary target of civil rights advocates; NAACP concentrated on universities

Thurgood Marshall

led NAACP lawyers to challenge Plessy v. Ferguson and segregation of public schools

Plessy v. Ferguson

1896 Supreme Court decision upheld "separate but equal"; shaped Jim Crow laws

Brown v. Board of Education

1954 Supreme Court decision desegregated public schools; but slow to take effect and lack of presidential support

Southern Manifesto

101 representatives and senators signed in 1956 denouncing the Brown decision; founded ways to evade Court's ruling

pupil placement laws

laws enabled local officials to assign individual students to schools on basis of scholastic aptitude

Orval Faubus

Arkansas governor called national guard to prevent integration of Little Rock Central High

Little Rock Nine

9 African American students escorted by armed guard in integrated high school

Civil Rights Act

1957 first civil rights legislation enacted by Congress in the United States since Reconstruction; created permanent commission for civil rights

intimidation, unfair tests

used in the South to deny African American suffrage

Rosa Parks

refused to give up her seat to white person at local bus in Montgomery, Alabama

Baton Rouge

1953 black church leaders mounded weeklong boycott on city's bus system; modified traditional segregated seating rules

Martin Luther King

eloquent spokesman and charismatic leader of new civil rights movement; Atlanta preacher led Montgomery bus boycott

Montgomery bus boycott

boycotted buses in Montgomery, Alabama after Rosa Park's arrest; called for end to segregated seating; ended when Supreme Court ruled in favor of African Americans

Southern Christina Leadership Conference

founded by MLK; directed the crusade against segregation

Prayer Pilgrimage

on third anniversary of Brown decision; stirred crowds with demand for right to vote

passive resistance

MLK's strategy of nonviolent protest

JoAnn Robinson

paved the way in Montgomery with Woman's Political Caucus

other civil rights figures

Bayard Rustin, Ella Baker

Greensboro, North Carolina

4 African American students held a "sit-in" at diner and refused to move from counter

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

student demonstrators led sit-ins and succeeded in desegregating public facilities

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