Conclusion: Post-War America

The post-World battle II United claims went through a duration of unprecedented economic prosperity for many white americans that corresponded with black Americans’ intensifying the battle for civil rights and also economic justice.

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Key Takeaways

Key PointsFollowing civilization War II, the united States emerged as one of the two dominant superpowers, turning away from its timeless isolationism and toward increased international involvement.The joined States came to be a worldwide influence in economic, political, military, cultural, and technical affairs. The unprecedented expansion of the U.S. Economic situation translated right into prosperity that resulted in millions that office and factory workers being lifted right into a cultivation middle class that relocated to the suburbs and embraced consumer goods.The function of women in U.S. Society became an problem of specific interest in the post-war years, v marriage and also feminine domesticity depicted as the primary goal because that the American woman. The post-war infant boom adopted the role of ladies as caretakers and homemakers.The post-World battle II prosperity walk not expand to everyone. Numerous Americans continued to live in poor throughout the 1950s, especially older people and also African Americans.Voting civil liberties discrimination stayed widespread in the south through the 1950s. Back both next pledged progress in 1948, the only major development before 1954 to be integration of the military.In the early days of the Civil rights Movement, litigation and also lobbying to be the emphasis of integration efforts. The U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and other an essential cases brought about a transition in tactics, and from 1955 come 1965, “direct action” to be the strategy—primarily bus boycotts, sit-ins, freedom rides, and social movements.Key TermsCivil civil liberties Movement: A term provided to include social movements in the United states whose goals were to finish racial segregation and also discrimination against african Americans and secure legit recognition and also federal defense of the citizenship civil liberties enumerated in the Constitution and federal boom: any period significant by a substantially increased fertility rate. This demographic phenomenon is normally ascribed within specific geographical bounds. In the united States, the post-World battle II duration was marked by this phenomenon.Space Race: A 20th-century competition in between two Cold War rivals—the Soviet Union and the unified States—for supremacy in spaceflight capability. It had its beginnings in the missile based nuclear arms race between the two nations that followed world War II, allowed by captured German rocket technology and personnel. The technological superiority forced for such prominence was viewed as crucial for nationwide security, and symbolic of ideology system superiority. It spawned pioneering initiatives to launch fabricated satellites, unmanned room probes of the Moon, Venus, and Mars, and also human spaceflight in low planet orbit and come the Moon.Suburbia: Residential locations or mixed-use areas, one of two people existing as part of a city or urban area or as a different residential neighborhood within commuting street of a city. In most English speaking regions, these locations are characterized in contrast to central or inner-city areas. Their rapid development was an important component that the post-World battle II economic boom in the united States.

Political Background

Following civilization War II, the unified States arised as among the two leading superpowers, in addition to the the Soviet Union. The U.S. Senate in a bipartisan vote approved U.S. Participation in the United nations (UN), which marked a rotate away indigenous the timeless isolationism of the joined States and also toward raised international involvement. In 1949, the joined States, rejecting the long-standing plan of no military alliances in peacetime, developed the north Atlantic Treaty organization (NATO) alliance, which proceeds into the 21st century. In response, the Soviets developed the Warsaw Pact the communist states.

In respectable 1949, the Soviets experiment their an initial nuclear weapon, in order to escalating the risk of warfare. Indeed, the risk of support assured destruction prevented both strength from going as well far, and also resulted in proxy wars, most notably in Korea and also Vietnam, in i m sorry the two sides did no directly challenge each other. Within the unified States, the Cold War motivated concerns about Communist influence. The unexpected leapfrogging that U.S. Modern technology by the Soviets in 1957 through Sputnik, the first Earth satellite, started the space Race, won by the Americans together Apollo 11 landed astronauts ~ above the moon in 1969. The angst around the weaknesses of U.S. Education and learning led to large-scale federal support for scientific research education and research.

Economic Prosperity

In the decades following civilization War II, the joined States came to be a global influence in economic, political, military, cultural, and technological affairs. Start in the 1950s, middle-class society became obsessed with customer goods. Raising numbers the workers appreciated high wages, bigger houses, better schools, and more cars and also household technology. The U.S. Economic situation grew drastically in the post-war period, widening at an yearly rate of 3.5%. The an extensive increase in average family members income within a generation brought about millions that office and factory employees being lifted right into a growing middle class, allowing them to sustain a traditional of living once taken into consideration reserved because that the wealthy. As noted by scholar Deone Zell, assembly line occupational paid well, if unionized factory job served as “stepping-stones come the center class.” through the finish of the 1950s, 87% of all U.S. Family members owned at the very least one television, 75% owned cars, and also 60% owned their homes. Through 1960, blue-collar employees had come to be the greatest buyers of plenty of luxury goods and also services.

The duration from 1946 come 1960 likewise witnessed a far-reaching increase in the paid leisure time of working people. The 40-hour workweek developed by the same Labor requirements Act in covered industries came to be the really schedule in most workplaces by 1960. The majority of workers additionally enjoyed payment vacations and industries catering to recreation activities blossomed.


American family members watching TV in 1958, picture by Evert F. Baumgardner for nationwide Archives and Records Administration.: The 1950s saw the explosion of a consumer goods economy. By the finish of the 1950s, 87% of every U.S. Families owned at least one television, 75% own cars, and 60% owned their homes. Pictures of flourishing white middle-class family members in their suburban residences symbolized the famous narrative of financial stability and also traditional family values.

Educational outlays were additionally greater than in other countries while a greater proportion that young world were graduating indigenous high schools and also universities than elsewhere in the world, together hundreds of new colleges and also universities opened up every year. At the progressed level, U.S. Science, engineering, and medicine to be world-famous.

In for to society welfare, the postwar era experienced a considerable advancement in insurance because that workers and their dependents against the dangers of illness, as personal insurance programs choose Blue Cross and Blue Shield expanded. With the notable exemption of farm and domestic workers, virtually all members the the labor force were spanned by social Security. In 1959, about two-thirds of factory workers and three-fourths of office employees were noted with supplemental personal pension plans.

Many city dwellers provided up cramped metropolitan apartments for a suburban lifestyle focused on children and housewives, with the male breadwinner commuting come work. Through 1960, suburbia included a 3rd of the nation’s population. The development of suburbs was not just a an outcome of postwar prosperity, however innovations of the single-family housing market with low interest rates on 20- and also 30-year mortgages, and low down payments, especially for veterans. William Levitt began a nationwide trend through his use of mass-production methods to construct a huge “Levittown” housing breakthrough on lengthy Island. Meanwhile, the suburban populace swelled since of the infant boom; a dramatic increase in fertility in the duration of 1942–1957.


The role of ladies in U.S. Culture became an concern of details interest in the post-war years, v marriage and also feminine domesticity portrayed as the major goal for the American woman. As women had actually been required out of the labor market by males returning native the military service, many chafed in ~ the social expectations of being an idle stay-at-home housewife who cooked, cleaned, shopped, and tended come the children. Marital relationship rates rose sharply in the 1940s and also reached all-time highs. Americans started to marry at a younger age and also marriage immediately after high school was becoming commonplace. Ladies were significantly under tremendous push to marry by the age of 20. The stereotype developed that women were walking to university to earn your M.R.S. (Mrs.) degree.

In 1963, Betty Friedan publisher her book The Feminine Mystique, which strong criticized the function of women throughout the postwar years and also was a bestseller and a major catalyst of the new wave of women’s liberation movement.

Baby Boom

In 1946, live births in the United states surged native 222,721 in January to 339,499 in October. By the finish of the 1940s, about 32 million babies had been born, compared with 24 million in the 1930s. Sylvia Porter, a New York Post columnist, first used the term “boom” to describe the phenomenon of raised births in the post-war United says in may 1951. Yearly births an initial topped four million in 1954 and did no drop listed below that figure until 1965, whereby time four out of ten Americans were under period 20.

Many factors contributed to the baby boom. In the post-war years, couples that might not afford families during the good Depression consisted of for lost time. The atmosphere was currently optimistic. Joblessness ended and also the economic situation greatly expanded. Countless veterans reverted home and were forced to reintegrate right into society. Come facilitate the integration process, conference passed the G.I. Invoice of Rights, which encouraged home ownership and also investment in higher education through the circulation of loans to veterans at short or zero interest rates. The G.I. Bill enabled record numbers of civilization to end up high school and attend college. This led to boost in stock of skills and yielded greater incomes come families.

Poverty and Disenfranchisement

The post-World war II prosperity go not prolong to everyone. Plenty of Americans continued to live in poverty throughout the 1950s, particularly older people and also African Americans, the last of whom ongoing to earn far less on median than their white counterparts. Immediately after the war, 12 million returning veterans were in require of work, and also in many cases could not discover it. In addition, labor strikes rocked the nation, in some cases exacerbated by gyeongju tensions due to African Americans having taken jobs during the war and now being challenged with irate returning veterans that demanded that they action aside. The huge number of women to work in the labor force in the war were also rapidly cleared the end to do room for men. Numerous blue-collar workers continued to live in poverty, v 30% that those employed in industry. Racial distinctions were staggering. In 1947, 60% of black families lived listed below the poor level (defined in one study as listed below $3000 in 1968), contrasted with 23% that white families. In 1968, 23% of black family members lived below the poverty level, contrasted with 9% the white families.

Voting rights discrimination continued to be widespread in the south through the 1950s. Fewer 보다 10% voted in the Deep South, return a bigger proportion voted in the border states, and black Americans to be being organized into autonomous machines in the north cities. Back both next pledged progression in 1948, the only significant development prior to 1954 was integration of the military.

In the early days the the Civil legal rights Movement, litigation and lobbying to be the emphasis of integration efforts. The can be fried Court decisions in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and other crucial cases caused a change in tactics, and from 1955 to 1965, “direct action” was the strategy—primarily bus boycotts, sit-ins, flexibility rides, and also social movements. Brown was a landmark situation that clearly outlawed segregation of public education and learning facilities because that black and white Americans, judgment so ~ above the grounds that the doctrine of “separate but equal” public education might never truly carry out black american with framework of the exact same standards obtainable to white Americans.

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Arkansas branch Orval Faubus provided the Arkansas nationwide Guard to avoid school integration at small Rock central High college in 1957. Chairman Dwight Eisenhower nationalized state forces and sent in the U.S. Army to enforce commonwealth court orders. Governors Ross Barnett the Mississippi and George Wallace of Alabama physically blocked institution doorways in ~ their respective states’ universities. Birmingham’s public security commissioner Eugene T. “Bull” Connor advocated violence versus freedom riders and ordered fire hoses and also police dogs turned on demonstrators during the 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Sheriff Jim Clark the Dallas County, Alabama, loosed his deputies throughout the “Bloody Sunday” event of the Selma come Montgomery march, injuring countless of the marchers and also personally menacing various other protesters. Police all across the southern arrested civil legal rights activists on trumped-up charges.