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    American Suburbia, McCarthyism & the Cold War

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    I need help answering these questions. Each question needs to have an answer of 250-300 words.

    1). What was happening in America in the 1950's that brought about the growth of suburbia? From the perspective of a person living in America in the 1950's, what were the advantages and disadvantages of living in suburbia? How does living in the suburbs today relate to how suburbia developed in the 1950's?

    2). Who was Joseph McCarthy? What is "McCarthyism" and how did it affect the political climate of the 1950's?

    3). Identify two events during the 1950's that deepened the Cold War. Examine these events from the perspectives of both the US and the USSR. Was either side justified in their actions? Why or why not?

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    Solution Preview

    After reviewing your post, I decided to create this guide for you in an aim to explain in a general sense the historical concepts and events that your post referred to. They are on their own rather extensive & very detailed events and concepts that needed a bit of explanation and discussion. For the guide on Suburbia America reading it alone would suffice but I suggest that you look at the references I used (most of it are web-based) to get a better idea. Same goes for McCarthy & McCarthyism as well as the discussion/guide on the Cold War. I tried to get web-based readings & articles to make it easier for you. I have attached part of Murrow's critique on McCarthy. The Cold War timeline article entry reference is useful too. Look at the reference section and visit the article. Print it if you could. Do not forget to cite them when you use them if you have to write an essay to avoid plagiarism. Do not hesitate to message me if you need clarification on the solution. Don't panic, they are easy to understand, you just need a bit of reading. I suggest you print the word copy of the solution that I have also attached. Thank you for using Brainmass.

    OTA 105878

    American Suburbia

    During the great Depression of the 30's, one of the steps the government took to avoid total collapse of the American Economy is the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934 (FHA). Part of its mandate was to increase construction of homes (creating more homeowners), reduce unemployment (through the business of construction, among others) and to assist Americans towards home ownership by operating several loans & mortgage programs. In between the period of 1950 & 1956, companies like that owned by William Levitt, a construction builder created affordable suburban developments geared towards creating communities. The developments created by companies like Levitt's were in place during the 1940's all over America. Levitt's creations, dubbed as 'Levittowns' like its counterparts absorbed the returning Veterans of World War 2 who moved to the suburbs 'en masse' in the pursuit of creating settled and comfortable lives. The FHA aided the veterans and soon the rest of the populace in the cities followed after. In this same timeframe, African Americans from the Southern States moved up to the Northern States to escape discrimination seeking jobs & education. The rapid growth of the African American populace in the cities (like Philadelphia, Detroit & Chicago) intensified into race riots. More white Americans sought for the peace of the suburbs, a social phenomenon in American History known as the 'white flight'. Tall buildings & skyscrapers sprouted in the big cities making certain areas primarily for business. Families sought for peaceful living in the suburbs and commuted back to the city centres via the trams, railways and buses that have come to cater travel to and from the outlying areas where the suburbs are. Low Gasoline prices fuelled by oil production in states like Texas as well as access to ownership of cars made travel to and from the suburbs easy, at times, a luxury. It came to a point that suburbia living became idealized and the practice of living in the Suburbs and working in the cities became norm. The year 1950 in the US marked that point in time when the number of people living in the Suburbs was far greater than those in the cities.
    To understand the perspective of an American Suburbia resident in the 50's let's look at the various reasons why it is attractive to settled in & the possible difficulties:

    1. (Pros) Suburbia presented a chance at homeownership - the government encouraged Americans to become financially capable (after the near collapse of the Economy during the great Depression) introducing and creating financial mortgage programs & loans affordable enough to the working class.
    2. (Pros) Suburbia presented a chance at a settled & quiet life - many of those who availed were Veterans of WW2 as well as former city-dwellers, a majority keen at starting families of their own. The unhurried & quiet pace of suburbia created the image of white picket fences, dogs & children playing in relative peace removing them from the bustle (and dangers) of the city. Soon public services (and even privately owned ones) like hospitals & schools sprouted around the general locations of the suburbs making a majority of the suburbs self-sufficient in terms of the challenges of looking after the needs of a family. While the head of the family (mostly the father) commuted to the city for work, he is content in the knowledge that his family is enjoying a relatively peaceful way of life back in the suburbs.
    3. (Pros) Suburbs were carved out of the rural landscape --- access to nature and a more 'wholesome air'.
    3. (Cons) Homeownership had a downside --- mortgage meant being tied up to a financial responsibility that for most of those who moved who belong to the working class stretched into decades.
    4. (Cons) many of those who removed to the 'burbs' as part of the 'white flight' had to readjust to the unhurried life of the suburbs: the offers of city life (pubs, bars, extensive markets & access to quick work) are not readily available. Access to it meant commuting to the city on an almost regular basis leading to the need for efficient transport for the public. Many became car-owners (another financial responsibility) while others ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution discussed in detail the factors that made American Suburbia happen in the 1950's. It looked back into the Great Migration of African Americans to the Northern States and the factors that led to the 'White Flight' into suburbs creating the 'Suburbia' we know today.

    As the second element of the Post, Senator McCarthy and McCarthyism was discussed and put to light especially its' effects in the political climate of 1950's America. The solution explored the life of Senator McCarthy as well as the historical events that brewed around him and those that he helped stir creating the term 'McCarthyism' that many describe as a political way of 'riding an issue for personal gain'.

    The final element in the post asked for an exploration of the causes of the Cold War from the perspectives of the U.S. and USSR in order to examine whether or not either of the nations involved were justified in their actions.

    The solution includes a transcript of Ed Murrow's speech against Senator McCarthy as well as a word version of the solution.