Growth and Issues of 1950S

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The 1950’s were a time of prosperous growth but there was also fear and conformity. In this essay I will show the areas that the United States saw growth, the ways conformity manifested and the repercussion from it. During this time the United States saw growth in its economy. In the 1950’s, the gross domestic product of the United States saw an unprecedented increase. During this period the wealth distribution was also more equal.

The time period saw the highest taxes outside of the world war II. The richest people in America were taxed nearly 90% which helped make the wealth gap very small. American citizens also saw nearly 50% increase in their standard of living. Nearly every family in the United States owned a car and a television. Many American were also now able to buy homes. Factory workers who were once considered lower class were now part of the middle class due to increase in wages.

The treaty of Detroit made sure that factory workers received fully funded pension after retirement. With the help of the labor management accord, employers started to receive benefits and labor strikes were now replaced by negotiation. The GI Bill helped many veterans get education job training and placement as well as loans for homes. This period also saw the creation of an ideal American family in part due to the cold war against Communist Russia. To show the world that the Americans were more civilized and better, the white suburban family was created.

The ideal American family consisted of a father with a white-collar job, a wife who stays home and takes care of the family; overall a wholesome Christian family. The Idealized American family became popular through TV shows and pop culture of the time period. Shows like Leave it to Beaver, father knows best, and the donna reed show were representative of the ideal family at that time.

Most of the time the shows were dismissive of women. Due to societal change, the role and image of women in America also saw a dramatic change. The 1950’s saw Nearly 2 million women leave the workplace. While the white suburban became economically better, the same could not be said for African Americans. The black unemployment remained high and majority of African Americans still lived in poverty. The GI Bill was discriminatory towards black Americans. Due to redlining, Minorities neighborhood were denied mortgages to buy homes.

Simultaneously the civil rights movement also came to the forefront at this time. In 1954, a class action lawsuit was filled by the NAACP for desegregation of school. Brown VS the Board of education case asked for the desegregation of the school and is seen as precedent for the desegregation of the United States. The racial tension was also very high during this period. The KKK started to come back into mainstream again. They considered the idea of integration as communist and even accused Martin Luther king of being a communist because he wanted equal rights.

The murder of Emmitt till by white people and Rosa parks refusal to give up her seat in a bus highlighted and in parts became a huge reason for the success and beginnings of the freedom movement. Out of the 1950s also the women’s movement came about. In this way the America saw growth during the 1950s but also saw the manifestation of conformity and the repercussion from it.


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Growth and Issues of 1950S. (2021, Aug 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/growth-and-issues-of-1950s/

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