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Fifties and Sixties Culture, Consumerism and the Economy Matrix

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1. Economic Miracle. Create a matrix overview of the economic expansion following World War 11. Select five of the following topics to shape a response, and explain their significance to American history.
2. Evaluate the popular culture of the 1950s, Select five of the following topics to shape a response, and explain their significance to American history.
3. Kennedy?s New Frontier. Create a matrix overview of the Kennedy administration?s New Frontier ? its goals, outcomes, successes and failures. Select five of the following topics to shape a response, and explain their significance to American history.

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Solution Summary

The solution provides a comprehensive list and explanation of events in American History that are politically, culturally and socially significant in the 1950's and 1960's.

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The economic boom that followed World War II took the U.S. to a level of national wealth never seen in history, but growing international conflict created new challenges. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson spent the 1950s and 60s trying to create policies that would protect American affluence while positioning the country against communist rivals.

This era spans the Fair Deal policies of President Harry Truman to the Great Society of LBJ. American leaders battled over how much influence the government should have in the average citizen's life. Republicans and Democrats sparred over how to fix society as America shifted from a wartime to peacetime economy.

Dwight Eisenhower "American President from 1952-1960. Eisenhower was a Republican, conservative economically and a bit more liberal socially. He was often criticized for seeming to not handle foreign threats, but history has shown that Ike was very active with secret operations. He knew the U.S. had the advantage when it came to nuclear power and atomic weapons.

Nuclear Power"Atomic power is most famous in the form of a mushroom cloud, but that destructive force is mirrored by creative uses for powering homes and more. Many people in the Fifties were concerned about the presence of such deadly force, but Eisenhower believed it was the wave of the future. Many other countries agreed.

Adlai Stevenson "Democratic candidate for president in 1952 & '56 against Eisenhower. Stevenson lost twice while promoting increased government action in society while limiting military spending.

Television "Changed politics as politicians could appeal directly to the people. Popular programs portrayed the idealistic version of what families should be like. Encouraged business as commercials helped sell products for new homes in new neighborhoods.

Suburbs "The better cars and transportation got, the more people could afford to live outside crowded cities. Improved infrastructure and roadways allowed people to live in more areas that were being developed during the postwar construction boom.

Interstate Highways "Eisenhower used his presidency to influence the creation of a system of highways connecting the nation. The freedom to move increased, and showing America as the successful alternative to communism had a lot to do with any kind of freedom.

Summary Question #1 Ideas:
The 1950s comes down to communism and hostilities with the Soviet Union. Europe was a mess after World War II and needed rebuilt. America won the right to take charge in countries like Germany, France, and more. That process helped American influence, business, and wealth grow even more.

Fears of communism affected every aspect of American life. Congress sought "Reds" while America chose a new president. Dwight Eisenhower beat Adlai Stevenson twice in ...

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