How was the economy after wwii?

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How was the economy after WWII?

Date________________________________ Per___

1950s Prosperity

  • The U.S. economy continued to grow after World War II because of increased ____________________________________

  • Americans had accumulated $135 billion in _____________ from defense work, service pay, and investments in war bonds

  • Americans were ready to ______________________________ goods

Rise of Consumerism

How was the typical housewife expected to act?
By the mid-1950s, nearly __________ of Americans were members of the middle class

  • Consumerism (buying material goods) came to be equated with ________________ and __________________________

  • Personal _______________increased nearly 3x in the 1950s

G.I. Bill

  • The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, also called the __________________, helped the economy by providing loans to veterans to attend ________________________, set up businesses, and _______________________

  • With the help of the GI Bill, many veterans moved into _________________________

Cookie Cutter Homes

  • After WWII, returning vets faced a _________________________________________

  • In response to the crisis, developers used _____________________________ methods to mass-produce houses

What factors contributed to the Baby Boom? GIVE 1 KEY WORD for each
Developer ______________________ bragged that his company could build a home in 16 minutes for $7,000

  • Of the 13 million homes built in the 1950s, ____________ were built in suburbs


  • Levittown, New York, one of the country’s earliest suburbs, was a ________________________________ residential community.

  • Between 1947 and 1951, other Levittown–type communities were built all over the United States.

  • example of American ________________________________

  • “Little Boxes”- What do you think the singer’s thoughts are regarding conformity?


Refining the Family

  • A return to traditional roles after the war was the norm

  • Men were expected to work, while _________________________ were expected to stay home and care for the children

Women’s roles in the 1950’s

  • During the 1950s, the role of ________________________________and mother was glorified in popular magazines, movies and television

  • How to be a good house wife

- Do’s:    Don’ts

  • Housewife’s fatigue =

In the post-WWII era, advances in medicine such as antibiotics and vaccinations led to…
The Baby Boom

  • During the late 1940s and through the early 1960s the ___________________________________ in the U.S. soared

  • ________________________________________________ represent the largest generation in the nation’s history

Why so many babies?

  • _____________________ returning from war

  • ____________marriage age

In the 1950s Dr. Salk was instrumental in eradicating what disease?

  • Desirability of __________ families

  • Confidence in ____________ Truman’s Fair Deal Policies

increased the minimum wage

  • ________________ in medicine

The Impact of the Baby Boom

  • On elementary schools:______________________________________________________

    • California built a new school every _____ days

  • On toy sales:_______________________________________________________________

  • On vacation: In 1955 __________________________ opened in S California

  • Margaret Sanger created ____________________________________ and spearheaded the development of a ______________________________________________________.

    • 1957: _______________________________________________________________

    • 1960: _______________________________________________________________

    • 1962: _______________________________________________________________

Advances in Medicine

What are people who work “desk” type jobs referred to as?
In the 1950s, there were many __________________________________________________

  • Antibiotics

  • drugs for arthritis

  • diabetes

  • cancer

  • heart disease

  • surgical techniques

  • Led to an increase in ___________________________________________________

Polio Vaccine (Polio = inflames the ______________________________________________________________)

  • Polio epidemics swept the nation in the 1940s and 1950s. ________________________ developed an injectable vaccine that prevented ________________.

  • New cases of polio declined dramatically.

What parts of the business sector expanded? (3)
Albert Sabin later developed an oral vaccine for polio, causing the ___________________

______________________________________________________________in the United States.

The American dream in the 50s

  • By the end of the 1950s, Americans were enjoying the highest standard of living in the world many Americans began working in _____________________________________________, such as sales and management.

  • for the first time, white-collar workers outnumbered blue-collar workers—people who perform physical labor in industry.

White Collar Jobs

  • During the 1950s, businesses expanded rapidly “white-collar” jobs:

  • ____________

  • Management

  • ________________ jobs

  • sales, ______________

  • insurance

  • communications exploded

Social Conformity

  • In the 1950s it was common to see people ___________________________________ (be like each other) to one another.

  • Individuality was not encouraged especially at work

The advertising age

  • The rise in luxury products led to the growth of more ___________________advertising.

What is a franchise?
The ______________________________industry became the _________________-growing industry in the United States, using new marketing techniques to _____________ products.

Franchises emerge

  • The 1950s also had an increase in franchises, in which a person ______________ and _________________________ one or several stores of a chain operation.

  • A franchise is ______________________________________________________________


  • __________________________ restaurants developed the first franchises in America

Leisure in the 1950s

What was the primary purpose of creating a U.S. Interstate Highway System, funded by the 1956 Federal Highway Act?
Americans experienced _________________ work weeks and more ____________________ time than ever before

  • Leisure time activities became a multi-billion dollar industry

  • Labor-saving devices added more spare time

The automobile culture

  • After the rationing of WWII, inexpensive and plentiful fuel and easy credit led many to buy cars

  • By 1960, over ____________________________________ Americans owned autos

Federal Highway act

  • In 1956 Congress passed the ___________________________________________________

  • ________________________ of 40,000 miles of interstate ________________________.

  • Main Reason why act was passed: In times of crisis it would be necessary to transport_____________________ and military supplies quickly

Impact of highway

  • The Interstate Highway system resulted in:

  • More trucking

How did television impact American society?
Less railroad

  • More _____________ and commuting

Popular culture

  • A new era of mass media led by ___________________________________emerged in the 1950s. 1948 only ______ homes owned TVs. By 1960 ______ homes owned a TV.

  • The impact of television:

    • An important source of ______________________________.

    • __________________________ and sporting events became more common.

    • __________________________ became the most popular magazine.

    • ______________________________ = the complete ready-to-heat meals.

    • Popular television shows like ______________________________________ and ____________________________ expressed social norms and gender roles

Artistic Movement

  • A group of mostly white artists, who called themselves the ________________, highlighted the ___________________ that existed in the United States in the 1950s.

How were beatniks different from the norm?
In 1957 beat writer ___________________published On the Road. This book described freewheeling adventures with a car thief and a con-artist. The book shocked readers but went on to become a classic in American literature.

Beatniks follow own path

  • The word may have come from the group feeling beat down by American culture.

  • Followers, called “___________________”, tended to shun work and sought understanding through Zen Buddhism, music, and sometimes drugs

Young Americans

  • Young Americans rebelled against the conformist ideals of adult society and looked to controversial styles in music and literature

Rock and Rock can be traced to what African America style of music?
Music in the 1950s

  • In 1951 radio disc jockey Alan Freed gained permission from his manager to play African American __________________________________ on the radio.

    • He called it “____________________________________”

  • The listeners loved the new songs, and soon white artists were copying the sound

  • Many cities ________________________ rock and roll

  • The Generation Gap =_________________________________________________________


  • _________________________ became parents’ worst nightmare

Social Rebel

Who were seen as social rebels of the 1950s?
_________________________________- During the 1950s there was a rise in, juvenile delinquency— criminal behavior of youths.

  • While most teens did not participate in any illegal activity, teens were _____________________________, especially if they had long hair and dressed in an alternative manner they were known as greasers

Rise in the KKK

  • Rise in ___________________against African Americans due to the growing Civil Rights Movement

50s in a nutshell

  • The postwar era witnessed tremendous economic growth and rising social contentment and conformity. Yet in the midst of such increasing abundance and comfortable domestic lives; some social critics expressed a growing sense of unease with American culture in the 1950s.

Dissent Examples

Conformity Examples

Read over notes then put them away and on a separate sheet summarize what you’ve learned about the 1950s

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