Shi Chapter 30 The 1950s: Affluence and the Atomic Age



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America: A Narrative History (Ninth Edition)

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Chapter 30 - The 1950s: Affluence and the Atomic Age

  • I. People of plenty

    • A. The postwar economy

      • 1. Dramatic growth of the economy

      • 2. Reasons for growth

        • a. Military spending

        • b. Automation

        • c. Consumer demand

      • 3. The GI Bill of Rights

        • a. Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944

        • b. GI Bill democratized higher education

      • 4. The baby boom and its effects

    • B. Consumer culture

      • 1. Home construction boom

        • a. Appliances

        • b. The television

      • 2. Increased purchasing

    • C. Suburban frontier

      • 1. Urban growth

        • a. Most population growth was urban and suburban

        • b. Rise of sunbelt

        • c. Suburbia

      • 2. Reasons for suburban growth

        • a. Levittown and mass production

        • b. Low-cost loans

        • c. Automobiles and highways

        • d. Racial considerations

      • 3. The great black migration

  • II. A conforming culture

    • A. Corporate life

      • 1. Middle-class conformity

      • 2. Growth of big business

    • B. Women’s “place“

    • C. Religious nation

      • 1. Americans as joiners

      • 2. Increase in church membership

      • 3. Other reasons for religious revival

        • a. Patriotism

        • b. The message of popular religion

  • III. Alienation and liberation

    • A. Social criticism

      • 1. Galbraith’s The Affluent Society

      • 2. Keats’s The Crack in the Picture Window

      • 3. Riesman’s The Lonely Crowd

      • 4. Mills’s White Collar Society

    • B. The stage—Miller’s Death of a Salesman

    • C. Representative novelists

    • D. Painting

      • 1. Edward Hopper

      • 2. Jackson Pollock

    • E. The Beats

      • 1. Leading figures

      • 2. Their philosophy and works

      • 3. Their influence




  • IV. Youth culture

    • A. Teens as consumers and conformists

    • B. Delinquency

    • C. Rock and roll

      • 1. Alan Freed

      • 2. Elvis Presley

      • 3. Naysayers

  • V. Eisenhower’s rise to the presidency

    • A. “Time for a change“ from the Truman administration

    • B. Republicans in 1952

    • C. Democrats in 1952

    • D. The election of 1952

      • 1. Eisenhower wins landslide victory

      • 2. Victory for Republicans

        • a. In South

        • b. In New Deal Coalition

      • 3. Except for presidency, Democrats fare well in 1952

    • E. Eisenhower’s career before 1952

    • F. Eisenhower’s leadership style

  • VI. Eisenhower’s “dynamic conservatism“

    • A. Cutbacks in New Deal programs

    • B. Endurance of the New Deal

      • 1. Extended the coverage of the Social Security Act

      • 2. Farm-related programs

      • 3. Public works

        • a. St. Lawrence Seaway

        • b. Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956

  • VII. The Korean peace talks

    • A. Continuing deadlock in early 1953

    • B. Aerial bombardment and secret threats used to obtain agreement

    • C. Negotiations move quickly to armistice

  • VIII. The end of McCarthyism

    • A. McCarthy still strong after 1952

    • B. Attack on the U.S. Army

    • C. Televised hearings lead to McCarthy’s downfall

    • D. Eisenhower’s concern for internal security

      • 1. No clemency for the Rosenbergs

      • 2. Executive order allowed firing of “security risk“ government workers

    • E. The Warren Court and the Red Scare

  • IX. Foreign policy in Eisenhower’s first term

    • A. John Foster Dulles and foreign policy

      • 1. Dulles’s worldview

      • 2. Dulles and containment

        • a. Liberation

        • b. No significant departure from containment

        • c. “Massive retaliation“

        • d. “Brinksmanship“

    • B. Indochina

      • 1. European colonies in Asia

      • 2. First Indochina War

        • a. Conflict between Ho and Bao Dai

        • b. Increased American aid for French and Bao Dai

        • c. French defeat at Dien Bien Phu

      • 3. The Geneva Accords

        • a. Proposed to unify Vietnam after elections in 1956

        • b. American response—the establishment of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO)

        • c. U.S. backing for South Vietnam

      • 4. Rise of Ngo Dinh Diem

        • a. Installed as Vietnamese premier by the French

        • b. Diem’s corrupt and oppressive regime

        • c. Refuses to sanction elections in 1956

        • d. Viet Cong begin attacks on Diem regime

    • C. Red China

      • 1. Chinese artillery begin shelling of Quemoy and Matsu

      • 2. Navy leaks word that the United States was considering destroying Red Chinese military strength

      • 3. Attacks cease

  • X. The election of 1956

  • XI. Foreign crises in the election year

    • A. The Middle East

      • 1. Failure of the Middle East Treaty Organization

      • 2. Suez Canal

        • a. Egyptian government orders the British out of Egypt

        • b. Israel, France, and Britain begin military attacks on Egypt

        • c. America sides with Nasser

    • B. Communist repression in Hungary

      • 1. Hungary withdraws from the Warsaw Pact

      • 2. Russian troops force Hungary back into the Communist fold and execute Imre Nagy

  • XII. Sputnik

    • A. Russia launches Sputnik 1 (October 1957)

    • B. American responses

      • 1. Americans suddenly note apparent “missile gap“

      • 2. Enlarged defense spending

      • 3. NASA’s creation

      • 4. National Defense Education Act of 1958

  • XIII. Problems abroad

    • A. Lebanon

    • B. Renewed confrontation between Chinese Communists and Nationalists

    • C. Khrushchev’s blustering over West Berlin

    • D. The U-2 summit

      • 1. Russians shoot down American U-2 spy plane

      • 2. Eisenhower’s response

      • 3. Khrushchev leaves the summit meeting

    • E. Cuba

      • 1. In his fight against the dictator Batista, Castro has American support

      • 2. Castro’s movement toward dictatorship

      • 3. Eisenhower’s reaction

  • XIV. Civil rights in the 1950s

    • A. Eisenhower’s ambiguous stance

    • B. The Brown decision (1954)

      • 1. “ÔSeparate but equal’ has no place“

      • 2. Reactions

    • C. Montgomery bus boycott

      • 1. Rosa Parks arrested

      • 2. Martin Luther King Jr. organizes a bus boycott

      • 3. Federal courts rule against “separate but equal“

      • 4. Southern Christian Leadership Conference formed

      • 5. Centrality of black churches in the civil rights movement

    • D. Legislation

      • 1. Civil Rights Act of 1957

      • 2. Civil Rights Act of 1960

    • E. Little Rock

      • 1. Arkansas governor Orval Faubus prevents black students from registering for high school

      • 2. Eisenhower orders military protection for students

      • 3. Faubus closes the high schools in Little Rock

      • 4. By 1960, massive resistance confined to Deep South

  • XV. Assessing the Eisenhower presidency

    • A. Eisenhower’s achievements and shortfalls

    • B. The farewell address



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