Quest for Consensus, 1952-1960
After you read and analyze this chapter, you should be able to:
10. Explain what expectations reflected the American dream and which ones conflicted with it during the 1950s and describe the choices people made as they tried to fulfill their expectations.
20. Discuss the constraints encountered by Eisenhower and the Republicans in trying to roll back the New Deal and tell how the outcome reflected what Eisenhower called the “middle path.”
30. Describe how African American leadership chose to attack de jure segregation in American society during Eisenhower’s administration.
40. Explain what expectations and constraints were behind Eisenhower’s foreign policy choices and how the “New Look” differed from Truman’s foreign policy. Include a discussion of the role Third World Nations played in Eisenhower’s foreign policy.
I0. Politics of Consensus
A0. Eisenhower Takes Command
10. In 1952, Republicans expected finally to end the Democrats’ twenty-year monopoly on the White House and selected General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who appeared to be the perfect candidate.
a0) Ike was well known and revered as a war hero, and he carried the image of an honest man being thrust into public service.
b0) The Republican campaign took two paths, with one group of party members concentrating on Eisenhower’s popular image and the other, including McCarthy and Nixon, brutally attacking the Democrats’ Cold War and New Deal record.
20. Eisenhower buried Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson in popular and electoral votes, and the Republicans also ensured their majority in Congress.
a0) The 1956 campaign would be a repeat of Eisenhower’s triumph over Stevenson, but the Democrats maintained their 1954 majorities in both houses of Congress.
B0. Dynamic Conservatism
10. Eisenhower called himself a modern Republican and labeled his approach “dynamic conservatism: conservative when it comes to money and liberal when it comes to human beings.”
20. Eisenhower’s “middle path” produced budget cuts and reduced federal involvement.
30. Following the launching of the Soviet space satellite Sputnik I (1957), Eisenhower quoted national security needs to support spending more federal money on education.
a0) American schools, many critics argued, stressed soft subjects and social adjustment rather than hard subjects such as science, languages, and mathematics.
C0. The Problem with McCarthy
10. During the 1952 presidential campaign, Senator Joseph McCarthy had taken a prominent role in attacking Democrats as being soft on communism.
a0) With Ike in the White House and Republicans controlling Congress, many Republicans hoped that McCarthy would quietly disappear.
20. Charging that he was trying to blackmail the U.S. Army, the Senate investigated McCarthy and voted 67 to 22 to censure McCarthy’s “unbecoming conduct.”
II0. Eisenhower and a Hostile World
A0. The New Look
10. This foreign policy relied on cheaper nuclear deterrence, an enhanced arsenal of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and the threat of massive retaliation to protect American national interests.
a0) This policy drew the label of brinkmanship because it required the administration to take the nation to the verge of war and trust that the opposition would back down.
b0) To make the idea of “going nuclear” and the possibility of World War III less frightening, the administration introduced efforts related to surviving atomic war such as fallout shelters.
c0) Seeking ways to avoid a nuclear solution to international problems, Eisenhower and Dulles emphasized alliances and covert operations.
20. To prevent social change in developing countries from “coming out red,” Eisenhower relied on economic and political pressures and the Central Intelligence Agency.
B0. Turmoil in the Middle East
10. Eisenhower was especially concerned about the Middle East, where Arab nationalism fired by anti-Israeli and anti-Western attitudes posed a serious threat to American interests.
a0) Egypt and Iran offered the greatest challenges, and the CIA helped overthrow the Iranian government when it appeared to be “seeing red.”
20. The Eisenhower Doctrine provided $200 million in military and economic aid to improve military defenses in the nations of the Middle East.
C0. A Protective Neighbor
10. Eisenhower offered anti-Communist Latin American governments—including dictatorships—economic, political, and military support.
a0) He was most concerned about Guatemala and eventually used the CIA to remove Jocobo Arbenz and replace him with CIA-supplied Carlos Castillo Annas in 1954.
20. As Nixon toured Latin America, Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista was warding off a rebellion led by Fidel Castro.
a0) Castro triumphed, but many of his economic and social reforms seemed to endanger American investments and interests, and the administration began planning his overthrow.
D0. The New Look in Asia
10. The Geneva Agreement “temporarily” partitioned Vietnam along the 17th parallel and created the neutral states of Cambodia and Laos.
a0) The two Vietnams were to hold elections to unify the nation within two years.
b0) Neither was to enter into military alliances or allow foreign bases on their territory.
E0. The Soviets and Cold War Politics
10. Eisenhower feared and opposed the spread of Communist influence throughout the world but realized that deterrence was only one tactic to limit Soviet power and avoid nuclear confrontation.
a0) A second way to improve Soviet-American relations was to reduce the expanding arms race and limit points of conflict.
20. After the Soviet takeover of Hungary in 1956, however, the spirit of cooperation between the two superpowers faded.
30. On May 1, 1960, an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union, and its pilot was captured.
a0) Eisenhower took full responsibility but refused to apologize.
b0) Khrushchev withdrew from the Five Power Summit, and Eisenhower canceled his trip to the Soviet Union.
40. In 1960, turning the Republicans’ own tactics of 1952 against them, Democrats cheerfully accused their opponents of endangering the United States by being too soft on communism.
III0. The Best of Times
A0. Web of Prosperity
10. The nation’s “easy street” was a product of big government, big business, cheap energy, and an expanding population.
20. Technological advances also increased profits and productivity.
30. The growth of the service sector also characterized the workforce.
a0) By 1956, white-collar workers outnumbered blue-collar workers for the first time.
B0. Suburban and Family Culture
10. People wanted to live in suburbs.
a0) The brand-new developments represented a fresh start, a commitment to community, the American dream, and an increasingly “classless” society.
20. Religious leaders were rated as the most important members of society, and no leaders were more esteemed than the Reverends Billy Graham and Norman Vincent Peale and Catholic bishop Fulton J. Sheen.
30. After the disruptions of depression and war, family took on a renewed importance: the divorce rate slowed, and the number of marriages and births climbed as the baby boom continued.
a0) The home was the center of “togetherness” and was reinforced by the portrayal of happy families in popular television shows.
b0) Reality, however, rarely matched television’s images.
10. Another dimension of suburbia was consumerism.
20. The automobile industry benefited from and contributed to the development of both roads and suburbs.
a0) By 1960, 75 percent of Americans had at least one car, which increased the pressure on governments and businesses to consider the needs of automobile owners.
b0) Stores had to include parking lots and easy access to roads and highways as part of their planning, and new industries arose to service the needs of automobile owners.
30. The suburban market was a result of expanding purchasing power made possible by higher wages and readily expanding credit.
a0) The Diner’s Club credit card made its debut, and American Express soon followed.
b0) Credit purchases leaped from $8.4 billion in 1946 to over $44 billion in 1958.
D0. Another View of Suburbia
10. Unlike the wives shown on television, more and more women were working, many even though they had young children.
20. Not all homemakers were happy, and men also showed signs of being less than satisfied with the popular role of suburban dad.
E0. Rejecting Consensus
10. Sociologist David Riesman argued in The Lonely Crowd that postwar Americans were “outer-directed” and less sure of their values and morals, and William Whyte’s Organization Man discussed the same lack of individuality and independence.
a0) Both authors urged readers to resist being packaged like cake mixes and reassert their individuality.
b0) Serious literature also highlighted a sense of alienation from the conformist society, as exemplified by Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.
c0) More extreme were the Beats, a group of often-controversial artists, poets, and writers.
F0. The Trouble with Kids
10. Juvenile delinquency was not new to American society, but in the 1950s some perceived an alarming new style of delinquency among white, middle-class, suburban teens.
a0) One study of middle-class delinquency concluded that the automobile not only allowed teens to escape adult controls but also provided a private lounge for drinking and for petting or sex episodes.
20. The problem with kids also seemed wedded to rock ‘n’ roll music.
IV0. Outside Suburbia
A0. Integrating Schools
10. In 1954, the Supreme Court accepted NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall’s argument that “separate but equal” was inherently unequal in Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas.
a0) He stressed that segregated educational facilities, even if physically similar, could never yield equal products.
b0) This decision raised a loud cry of protest from white southerners, who vowed to resist segregation by using all means possible, including violence.
20. While both political parties were carefully dancing around civil rights, blacks made it increasingly difficult for politicians to avoid the issue.
a0) Eisenhower was forced to face the issue in the effort to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
b0) Ike nationalized the Arkansas National Guard and dispatched 1,000 troops to uphold the law and restore order.
30. But, in many communities, meaningful integration was still years away as many white students fled the integrated public schools to attend private ones that were beyond the reach of federal courts.
B0. The Montgomery Bus Boycott
10. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus so that a white man could sit and was arrested.
a0) African American community leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., called for a boycott of the buses to begin on the day of her court appearance.
20. The boycott was 90 percent effective and stretched into days, weeks, and months.
a0) Even in the face of personal attack and growing white hostility, King remained calm, reminding supporters to avoid violence and maintain the boycott.
b0) As the boycott approached its anniversary, Gayle et al. v. Browser stated that the city’s and bus company’s policy of segregation was unconstitutional.
c0) A pattern of nonviolent resistance had been initiated, and a new civil rights organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was formed.
C0. Ike and Civil Rights
10. Personally, Eisenhower believed that the government, especially the executive branch, had little role in integration.
20. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 provided for the formation of a Civil Rights Commission and opened the possibility of using federal suits to ensure voter rights.
a0) In 1960, Congress passed a voting rights act that mandated the use of the courts to guarantee enforcement.
Identify the following items and explain the significance of each. While you should include any relevant historical terms, using your own words to write these definitions will help you better remember these items for your next exam.
10. Ray Kroc
30. Dwight D. Eisenhower
40. Adlai Stevenson
50. “Checkers speech”
60. dynamic conservatism
70. Federal Highway Act
90. National Defense Student Loans
100. United States Information Agency
110. Army-McCarthy hearings
130. New Look
140. massive retaliation
160. John Foster Dulles
170. demilitarized zone
180. fallout shelter
190. covert operation
220. Baghdad Pact
230. Central Intelligence Agency
240. Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi
250. pan-Arab movement
260. Eisenhower Doctrine
280. Fidel Castro
290. Viet Minh
300. domino theory
310. Geneva Agreement
330. Atoms for Peace plan
350. Nikita Khrushchev
380. Rev. Norman Vincent Peale
400. market research
440. standard of living
450. Alfred Kinsey
460. vice squad
480. rock ‘n’ roll
490. cover record
500. Elvis Presley
510. de facto
520. de jure
540. Brown v. Board of Education
550. Thurgood Marshall
560. Earl Warren
570. Southern Manifesto
580. Cooper v. Aaron
590. Rosa Parks
600. Martin Luther King, Jr.
610. Southern Christian Leadership Conference
620. Civil Rights Act of 1957
Select the correct answer.
10. During the 1950s, government influenced the economy through both military spending and
a0. extremely high taxes to pay for the nation’s immense military buildup.
b0. continuation of World War II’s wage and price controls to meet the needs of the Cold War.
c0. funds for scientific research and technological development.
d0. a legal limit to the amount of purchases that the individual consumer could make on credit.
20. As suburbs grew and expanded during the 1950s,
a0. inner-city cores deteriorated.
b0. the crime rate in them soared because social services could not keep pace with the sudden population influx.
c0. they usually went through a period of racial and ethnic violence.
d0. new government programs that resembled New Deal ones financed much of the construction.
30. “Togetherness,” a term used during the 1950s,
a0. was used by critics of American society to denounce the emphasis on conformity.
b0. was the religious message proclaimed by many of the new television ministries.
c0. was the motto coined by the Eisenhower administration to rally the country against the Soviets.
d0. characterized the relationship of the idealized modern American husband and wife.
40. The Beatnik groups of the 1950s symbolized
a0. the extremely poor who were beaten down by recurrent economic downturns.
b0. rebellion against prevailing American values.
c0. the forgotten poor who had no voice in the political system.
d0. the dangers of criticizing government policy because of McCarthyism.
50. Popular music in the 1950s
a0. combined elements of white and black music for the first time.
b0. portrayed American values as hopelessly corrupt.
c0. repeatedly sounded revolutionary themes.
d0. lost out to television entertainment.
60. Dwight D. Eisenhower handily won the presidency in 1952 in part because
a0. he promised to go to war with China in order to topple communism there.
b0. Adlai Stevenson, his opponent, proved to be deeply involved in corrupt business transactions.
c0. he was a revered World War II hero.
d0. he won the televised debates against his opponent.
70. Although he believed in less government and fewer New Deal programs, Eisenhower
a0. developed a national healthcare system.
b0. advocated day care for children at government expense.
c0. supported spending more federal funds for education.
d0. led the battle for civil rights.
80. Orval Faubus dramatized
a0. the damage that the methods of Joseph McCarthy did to innocent individuals.
b0. the shallowness of suburban life and American materialism.
c0. the extent to which Communists had actually penetrated high levels of the U.S. government.
d0. southern resistance to efforts to implement the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.
90. Eisenhower’s New Look in Cold War containment policy emphasized
a0. a larger land army.
b0. a more powerful navy.
c0. more atomic weapons.
d0. a smaller air force.
100. Advocating construction of fallout shelters was one way in which the Eisenhower administration
a0. could demonstrate (to the Russians, for example) that it was serious about brinkmanship.
b0. accused the Democrats during the 1952 presidential campaign of not adequately preparing the country for war.
c0. tried to stimulate the economy during periods of recession.
d0. deflected attacks by Joseph McCarthy that it, too, was “soft” on communism.
110. American policy toward Mohammed Mossadegh demonstrated that
a0. America would not tolerate Egypt’s seizure of the Suez Canal.
b0. the United States was prepared to overthrow governments in other nations.
c0. the Truman Doctrine had succeeded in Turkey.
d0. brinkmanship was a futile gesture against Soviet influence in the Middle East.
120. To protect friendly Arab governments, Congress authorized
a0. construction of the Aswan Dam.
b0. the CIA to undermine Jordan’s king.
c0. the president to send troops abroad if requested by a foreign government.
d0. oil exploration in Saudi Arabia.
130. The policy of brinkmanship achieved success
a0. in the overthrow of the Arbenz government in Guatemala.
b0. when England, France, and Israel attacked Egypt.
c0. when Nikita Khrushchev threatened war over the U-2 spy plane.
d0. None of these
140. The Montgomery bus boycott did all of the following EXCEPT
a0. make Rosa Parks a household name.
b0. propel Martin Luther King, Jr., into the public eye.
c0. convince city officials to change the law segregating public buses.
d0. give rise to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
150. After Egypt’s Nasser decided to accept Soviet financing to build the Aswan Dam,
a0. the United States refused to approve of the military action taken by France, Britain, and Israel.
b0. the United States overthrew his government in a covert action.
c0. the Central Intelligence Agency was assigned the task of sabotaging the structure.
d0. America landed troops in Egypt.
10. Identify what you believe to be the leading features of the Eisenhower administration’s foreign policy and provide examples of their application.
DEVELOPING YOUR ANSWER: As during the Truman era, the goal of U.S. foreign policy under the Eisenhower administration was to contain the growth of communism. Major elements supporting this goal, along with examples of them in operation, include the following:
Establishing a network of alliances to surround the Soviet Union; the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization
Threatening massive retaliation; the use of “atomic diplomacy” to obtain a negotiated settlement in Korea
Stressing reliance on atomic weapons; encouraging defense drills in schools and factories against atomic attack
Taking covert action to undermine governments that opposed American interests; overthrowing the Arbenz government in Guatemala
Avoiding full-scale war; going along with a negotiated end to the conflict in Indochina
Attempting to negotiate with the Soviets; the Open Skies proposal
20. At the time of his presidency, many observers described Eisenhower as weak, indecisive, and ineffective. How would you argue to the contrary?
DEVELOPING YOUR ANSWER: Eisenhower took an active part in shaping and implementing his administration’s policies. In foreign affairs, for example, he insisted on downsizing the military in order to balance the budget, and he succeeded in achieving the latter in 1954. He, therefore, shaped the strategy of depending on the threat of massive retaliation. Toward that end, he emphasized reliance on atomic weapons and a powerful delivery system.
Eisenhower was also very forceful in dealing with allies who chose to resort to war. You should explain how he decisively moved against England and France when they attacked Egypt. He also resisted pressure for the United States to use full-scale war as an instrument of foreign policy. An excellent example is his decision not to go to war in Southeast Asia.
Eisenhower adhered to a precise direction in domestic matters—and stuck to his guns when necessary. He resisted the growth of government, choosing to take political risks by vetoing housing projects and public works bills and by opposing a federal role in inoculating the public against polio.
In domestic affairs, however, perhaps the greatest example of Eisenhower’s forcefulness as president was his decision to nationalize the Arkansas National Guard and to send the army to Little Rock, Arkansas, to end the riots there against school integration.
30. Discuss the parts played by African Americans, the Supreme Court, and the executive branch of government during the 1950s in the movement to improve the conditions of blacks in American society.
DEVELOPING YOUR ANSWER: You should discuss the origins of the Brown case in Topeka, Kansas, and Thurgood Marshall’s reasoning when he argued before the Supreme Court; Rosa Parks’s personal decision; and the subsequent actions taken by Montgomery’s African American population.
The Supreme Court’s role was not limited to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. You should also ,therefore, discuss the Gayle et al. v. Browser and the Cooper v. Aaron rulings.
The president’s role was more limited; explain Eisenhower’s reluctance to become involved. On the other hand, his attorney general prepared the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, and it led to creation of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Then, too, you should include Eisenhower’s action in the Little Rock crisis in your discussion.
Consult the Chapter 27 opening map to answer the following questions:
10. Which 10 states registered the greatest population growth between 1950 and I960?
20. Which 10 states showed the least population growth during the same period?
30. Did any states actually lose population during the 1950s?
40. As a result of the census of 1960, the number of congressmen allocated to each state on the basis of population had to be recalculated. Which states gained, and which lost?
50. Which region of the country appears to have grown the most? Are you aware of any long-range trends that appear to have commenced (or at least to have been well under way) during the 1950s?
To answer the following questions, consult the Individual Choices section at the beginning of the chapter.
10. What connection do milk-shake machines have to the history of McDonald’s?
20. What technological development led to the development of drive-ins?
30. What business approach did McDonald’s apply that was similar to that of the invention that made drive-ins popular?
40. Why was the McDonald’s menu limited? Is it still that way today?
50. How did McDonald’s create a family-friendly atmosphere?
60. Why is franchising important to a restaurant’s success? How was Kroc’s approach to franchising different?
70. Would you consider McDonald’s a success today? Why or why not? If so, what accounts for its success?
0Examining a Primary Source: Ray Kroc Explains the McDonald’s Approach to Business
To answer the following questions, consult the Individual Voices section at the end of the chapter.
10. Compare this original McDonald’s menu to a menu at today’s McDonalds. What do the differences suggest about McDonald’s and American eating habits?
20. In what ways is McDonald’s seeking to lower their costs and make their product more competitive?
30. How does Ray Kroc’s statement on American capitalism reflect the hopes and values of the 1950s in America?
40. Ray Kroc said that a major reason McDonald’s was successful was because they took “the hamburger business more seriously than anyone else.” How does this reading support that point of view?
RUBRIC: Research the evolution of other fast food franchises. Have any of them been able to match McDonald’s success? Why or why not?
0Answers to Multiple-Choice Questions
1. c. Allocated for scientific and military purposes, such funds also led to the development of many new consumer products. See pages 877-878.
a. In fact, there were many military cutbacks. See pages 865-866.
b. The Eisenhower administration did not include such controls among its measures. See pages 865-866.
d. There were no such restrictions on consumers during the Eisenhower years. See pages 868-877.
2. a. Deterioration occurred with the departure of so many people from the suburbs. See page 878.
b. Life in suburbia did not include a crime wave, although juvenile delinquency did appear among suburban youth. See page 878.
c. The new suburbs that developed after World War II were largely homogeneous. See pages 878-881.
d. Although government policies indirectly underwrote the development of the suburbs, the kinds of programs associated with the New Deal, ones that provided jobs and relief, were not created. See page 878.
3. d. It described the ideal marriage in which husbands and wives worked as a partnership within the family. See pages 878-879.
a. Those who used the term ascribed very positive connotations to it. See pages 878-879.
b. See 3d.
c. See 3d.
4. b. See page 881.
a. See page 881.
c. See page 881.
d. The term connoted rebellion against prevailing lifestyle values. See page 881.
5. a. See pages 882-883.
b. See pages 882-883.
c. The music did not convey a politically critical message. See pages 882-883.
d. Television proved useful; see the example of American Bandstand on pages 882-883.
6. c. See pages 862-864.
a. He did no such thing. See pages 862-864.
b. His liabilities were his intellectualism and liberalism. See pages 862-864.
d. There were no televised debates. See pages 862-864.
7. c. He did so in the wake of Soviet space successes. See pages 865-866.
a. He opposed all such efforts. See pages 865-866.
b. He opposed new social programs. See pages 865-866.
d. He was reluctant to espouse the civil rights cause. See pages 865-866.
8. d. He used National Guard troops in order to resist integration in Little Rock, Arkansas. See pages 884-885.
a. McCarthy assailed alleged Communist influence and sympathies; Faubus, who resisted integration in his state, was not one of his victims. See pages 884-885.
b. He became a symbol of white resistance to integration in the South. See pages 884-885.
c. He was not a member of the U.S. government; he was governor of Arkansas, and he was not a Communist. See pages 884-885.
9. c. It stressed reliance on nuclear weapons. See pages 868-869.
a. It permitted reduction of the army. See pages 868-869.
b. It permitted reduction of the navy. See pages 868-869.
d. It required a larger air force. See pages 868-869.
10. a. It suggested that the administration would go to the brink and engage in nuclear war because the shelters would protect the population. See page 868.
b. Discussion of fallout shelters appeared after the election, when Eisenhower was president and able to enunciate the New Look. See page 868.
c. Talk of fallout shelters was an ancillary part of the Eisenhower administration’s foreign policy. See page 868.
d. McCarthy did not attack the Eisenhower administration. See page 868.
11. b. A CIA-financed operation overthrew him in 1953 after he had nationalized British oil properties. See page 871.
a. Mossadegh was the prime minister of Iran who nationalized foreign-owned oil properties. See page 871.
c. Mossadegh was the prime minister of Iran. See page 871.
d. The West’s ability to overthrow his government demonstrated its determination to project its power in the region. See page 871.
12. c. See pages 871-872.
a. It authorized the president to deploy the army in the Middle East against anti-Western forces. See pages 871-872.
b. See pages 871-872.
d. It authorized military intervention in the Middle East. See pages 871-872.
13. d. This is the correct choice.
a. Brinkmanship meant going to the edge of war in a confrontation with the Soviet Union or China. The overthrow of the Arbenz government did not require such direct confrontation. See page 871-872.
b. None were Communist nations. Brinkmanship applied to the Soviet Union and China. See page 871.
c. The Soviet leader did not threaten war; the United States therefore did not have to practice brinkmanship in response. See pages 875-876.
14. c. This statement is incorrect. Montgomery city officials did not willingly back down. They were eventually forced to do so by the Supreme Court. See pages 885-887.
a. This statement is true. Rosa Parks became widely known after she refused to give up her seat. See pages 885-887.
b. This is true. The Reverend King became the boycott’s leader. See pages 885-887.
d. This statement is accurate. The SCLC, headed by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., emerged as a direct consequence. See pages 885-887.
15. a. U.S. policy forced the three nations to withdraw their military forces from Egypt. See page 871.
b. The response to Nasser was to establish an anti-Soviet alliance with other nations in the Middle East. See page 871.
c. The CIA did not interfere with the project. See page 871.
d. Troops were sent into Lebanon but not into Egypt. See page 871.
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