Conclusion: Post-War America

The post-World battle II United states went with a duration of unprecedented financial prosperity for countless white american that corresponded with black color Americans’ intensifying the battle for civil rights and also economic justice.

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Key Takeaways

Key PointsFollowing world War II, the unified States arised as one of the two leading superpowers, transforming away from its classic isolationism and also toward increased international involvement.The united States became a an international influence in economic, political, military, cultural, and technical affairs. The unprecedented growth of the U.S. Economic climate translated right into prosperity that brought about millions of office and factory workers being lifted right into a farming middle class that relocated to the suburbs and adopted consumer goods.The duty of females in U.S. Society became an worry of particular interest in the post-war years, v marriage and also feminine domesticity shown as the primary goal for the American woman. The post-war infant boom embraced the function of females as caretakers and homemakers.The post-World war II prosperity walk not prolong to everyone. Countless Americans continued to live in poor throughout the 1950s, particularly older people and African Americans.Voting legal rights discrimination stayed widespread in the south through the 1950s. Back both parties pledged progression in 1948, the only major development prior to 1954 was integration the the military.In the early days that the Civil civil liberties Movement, litigation and also lobbying were the focus of integration efforts. The U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and also other vital cases brought about a shift in tactics, and also from 1955 to 1965, “direct action” was the strategy—primarily bus boycotts, sit-ins, freedom rides, and social movements.Key TermsCivil rights Movement: A term offered to incorporate social movements in the United says whose objectives were to end racial segregation and discrimination against african Americans and secure legit recognition and federal security of the citizenship rights enumerated in the Constitution and commonwealth boom: any period significant by a greatly increased fertility rate. This demographic phenomenon is commonly ascribed within details geographical bounds. In the united States, the post-World war II duration was significant by this phenomenon.Space Race: A 20th-century competition between two Cold War rivals—the Soviet Union and the unified States—for prominence in spaceflight capability. It had its beginnings in the missile based nuclear eight race between the two countries that followed people War II, enabled by recorded German rocket technology and personnel. The technical superiority compelled for such prominence was viewed as necessary for national security, and symbolic of ideology system superiority. That spawned pioneering efforts to launch artificial satellites, unmanned an are probes of the Moon, Venus, and also Mars, and human spaceflight in low earth orbit and come the Moon.Suburbia: Residential locations or mixed-use areas, one of two people existing as part of a city or city area or as a different residential neighborhood within commuting street of a city. In most English speak regions, these areas are characterized in contrast to central or inner-city areas. Your rapid expansion was crucial component of the post-World war II economic boom in the joined States.

Political Background

Following civilization War II, the united States emerged as among the two leading superpowers, along with the the Soviet Union. The U.S. Senate in a bipartisan poll approved U.S. Authorized in the United nations (UN), which significant a revolve away from the classic isolationism that the united States and also toward enhanced international involvement. In 1949, the united States, rejecting the long-standing policy of no military alliances in peacetime, developed the north Atlantic Treaty organization (NATO) alliance, which continues into the 21st century. In response, the Soviets created the Warsaw Pact of communist states.

In respectable 1949, the Soviets tested their an initial nuclear weapon, in order to escalating the threat of warfare. Indeed, the danger of mutually assured damage prevented both strength from going as well far, and also resulted in proxy wars, many notably in Korea and Vietnam, in which the two sides did not directly face each other. Within the joined States, the Cold War triggered concerns around Communist influence. The unforeseen leapfrogging of U.S. An innovation by the Soviets in 1957 v Sputnik, the an initial Earth satellite, began the room Race, winner by the Americans together Apollo 11 landing astronauts on the moon in 1969. The angst around the weaknesses of U.S. Education and learning led to large-scale federal assistance for science education and also research.

Economic Prosperity

In the decades following human being War II, the united States came to be a worldwide influence in economic, political, military, cultural, and technical affairs. Start in the 1950s, middle-class culture became obsessed with consumer goods. Raising numbers of workers enjoyed high wages, larger houses, much better schools, and more cars and household technology. The U.S. Economic situation grew dramatically in the post-war period, widening at an yearly rate the 3.5%. The substantial increase in average family income within a generation caused millions the office and factory employees being lifted right into a growing middle class, enabling them to sustain a standard of living once thought about reserved because that the wealthy. As provided by scholar Deone Zell, assembly line occupational paid well, if unionized manufacturing facility job served as “stepping-stones come the center class.” through the finish of the 1950s, 87% of every U.S. Family members owned at the very least one television, 75% own cars, and also 60% owned your homes. By 1960, blue-collar workers had come to be the best buyers of many luxury goods and services.

The period from 1946 come 1960 additionally witnessed a far-ranging increase in the paid recreation time of functioning people. The 40-hour workweek developed by the same Labor criter Act in spanned industries became the really schedule in many workplaces by 1960. The majority of workers likewise enjoyed payment vacations and also industries catering to recreation activities blossomed.


American family watching TV in 1958, photograph by Evert F. Baumgardner for national Archives and also Records Administration.: The 1950s observed the to explode of a consumer goods economy. By the finish of the 1950s, 87% of all U.S. Households owned at the very least one television, 75% owned cars, and 60% owned your homes. Pictures of flourishing white middle-class households in their suburban homes symbolized the well-known narrative of economic stability and traditional family values.

Educational outlays were also greater 보다 in other countries while a greater proportion that young civilization were graduating from high schools and universities than somewhere else in the world, as hundreds of brand-new colleges and universities opened every year. At the progressed level, U.S. Science, engineering, and also medicine to be world-famous.

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

Many city dwellers offered up cramped metropolitan apartments for a suburban lifestyle focused on children and also housewives, v the male breadwinner commuting to work. By 1960, suburbia incorporated a third of the nation’s population. The expansion of suburbs to be not just a an outcome of postwar prosperity, yet innovations of the single-family housing market with low interest rates on 20- and 30-year mortgages, and also low under payments, especially for veterans. Wilhelm Levitt started a national trend through his use of mass-production approaches to construct a big “Levittown” housing breakthrough on long Island. Meanwhile, the suburban population swelled since of the baby boom; a dramatic rise in fertility in the period of 1942–1957.


The role of women in U.S. Culture became an worry of details interest in the post-war years, through marriage and also feminine domesticity illustrated as the main goal because that the American woman. As women had actually been compelled out of the labor industry by men returning from the armed forces service, countless chafed at the society expectations of being an idle stay-at-home housewife that cooked, cleaned, shopped, and tended to the children. Marriage rates rose sharply in the 1940s and reached all-time highs. Americans started to marry at a younger age and marriage instantly after high college was ending up being commonplace. Ladies were significantly under tremendous push to marry by the age of 20. The stereotype developed that females were walk to college to earn your M.R.S. (Mrs.) degree.

In 1963, Betty Friedan publisher her publication The Feminine Mystique, which strongly criticized the duty of women during the postwar years and also was a bestseller and also a major catalyst of the brand-new wave of women’s liberation movement.

Baby Boom

In 1946, live births in the United states surged native 222,721 in January come 339,499 in October. By the finish of the 1940s, around 32 million babies had actually been born, compared with 24 million in the 1930s. Sylvia Porter, a New York Post columnist, very first used the hatchet “boom” to describe the phenomenon of boosted births in the post-war United says in might 1951. Yearly births an initial topped 4 million in 1954 and also did no drop below that figure until 1965, whereby time four out of ten Americans to be under period 20.

Many factors contributed to the infant boom. In the post-war years, couples that can not purchased families during the great Depression comprised for lost time. The mood was now optimistic. Joblessness ended and also the economy greatly expanded. Millions of veterans went back home and were forced to reintegrate into society. To facilitate the integration process, congress passed the G.I. Invoice of Rights, which motivated home ownership and also investment in greater education v the circulation of loans to veterans at short or zero attention rates. The G.I. Bill enabled record numbers of human being to finish high school and also attend college. This led to an increase in share of an abilities and yielded higher incomes to families.

Poverty and also Disenfranchisement

The post-World battle II prosperity did not extend to everyone. Many Americans continued to live in poverty throughout the 1950s, especially older people and African Americans, the latter of whom ongoing to earn much less on median than your white counterparts. Instantly after the war, 12 million returning veterans to be in need of work, and in many cases could not uncover it. In addition, labor strikes rocked the nation, in some situations exacerbated by racial tensions as result of African Americans having actually taken jobs during the war and also now being faced with irate returning veterans who demanded that they step aside. The huge number of women work in the labor force in the battle were likewise rapidly cleared the end to make room for men. Numerous blue-collar workers ongoing to live in poverty, through 30% that those employed in industry. Racial distinctions were staggering. In 1947, 60% that black family members lived below the poverty level (defined in one study as below $3000 in 1968), compared with 23% of white families. In 1968, 23% that black family members lived below the poverty level, compared with 9% of white families.

Voting legal rights discrimination stayed widespread in the south through the 1950s. Fewer than 10% poll in the Deep South, return a larger proportion voted in the border states, and black Americans were being organized into autonomous machines in the northern cities. Return both parties pledged development in 1948, the only major development before 1954 to be integration the the military.

In the beforehand days of the Civil rights Movement, litigation and also lobbying to be the focus of integration efforts. The supreme Court decision in Brown v. Plank of Education (1954) and also other crucial cases brought about 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 instance that clearly outlawed distinction of public education and learning facilities for black and also white Americans, judgment so on the grounds that the doctrine of “separate but equal” windy education could never truly administer black american with framework of the exact same standards accessible to white Americans.

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Arkansas governor Orval Faubus used the Arkansas national Guard to prevent school integration at little Rock main High institution in 1957. President Dwight Eisenhower nationalized state forces and sent in the U.S. Military to enforce federal court orders. Governors Ross Barnett of Mississippi and George Wallace of Alabama physical blocked school doorways in ~ their particular states’ universities. Birmingham’s public safety commissioner Eugene T. “Bull” Connor advocated violence against freedom riders and ordered fire hoses and police dog turned on demonstrators during the 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Sheriff Jim Clark the Dallas County, Alabama, loosed his deputies during the “Bloody Sunday” occasion of the Selma come Montgomery march, injuring plenty of of the marchers and also personally menacing other protesters. Police all throughout the southern arrested civil legal rights activists top top trumped-up charges.