Ch. 38 Overview

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Chapter 38
1. The 1950’s were different from the 1920’s in terms of women in society and in the workplace, also while race relations weren’t great in either decade there were significant steps of improvement in the 50’s. The 50’s and the 20’s were similar in terms consumerism. During World War 2 in the 1950’s there was a shortage of men in the workplace because most of them had left America to go fight the Germans. To make up for the work shortage many employers had to employ women. As a result women were working more and becoming more independent because they were making money and spending less time as homemakers. In contrast the women in the 1920’s were mostly all homemakers who looked after kids and obeyed their husbands, they were not independent and relied on their husbands for support. The race relations in both decades were not great but in the 1950’s there were significant steps made to improve these relations. Most famously Brown V. Board of Education that desegregated public schools and also overturned the infamous Plessy V. Ferguson. Also the refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger of Rosa Parks lead to the start of the equality movement spearheaded by Martin Luther King Jr. Relations also made a step when the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was passed, and even though it didn’t make any radical changes, it was a step in a positive direction. In terms of domestic consumerism the 1920’s were famous for the boom in spending, fueled mostly by the creation of credit buying. The American consumer in the 1950’s was very similar to the 1920’s consumer; there was an economic boom again and it seemed that everyone had to have the next big thing like cars and television sets. 2. The advantages of the “massive retaliation” were that it held the Soviets off and thus delayed real confrontation and it also helped the American moral. The disadvantages of it was that at the same time it strained already tense U.S/Soviet Union relations and, if used, could leave...
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