Evolving of America in 1950’s

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  • Topic: 1950s, Interstate Highway System, Poverty
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  • Published : February 25, 2013
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US HISTORY RESEARCH PROJECT
- By Tara Taneja

Topic
“Evolving of America in 1950’s”

Thesis Statement
While some may argue that there could have been a more important phase in American history, but the truth remains that the1950’s was the most impactful era as we saw higher industrial growth, changes in culture and growing disparities between rich and poor.

Introduction
My topic for this research project is the “Evolving of America in 1950’s”. This era is not just an event in the history but it’s a phase created as a combinations of various events like growth of industry and economy, changes in the life styles, modes of entertainment, automobile revolution, move to the suburbs and also the widening of disparities between the rich and the poor which touch on every aspect of creation of the American Dream. It is something, which not just impacted the life in history then, but to a large extent continues till today to determine our lifestyles.

Body Paragraph #1:
Main Argument of the paragraph: “Industrial Growth”
Argument 1 Quote 1
“Between 1950 and 1955 the number of women employees in the US workforce grew by 40%. The developments made US a more secure nation whose citizens were concerned increasingly with aspirations and notions of success.” (Schwartz, Pg. #)

Commentary
Although women began to work since the forties when the men went to war, even after the war was over the women continued to work and hence the unemployment remained low throughout the 1950’s. As per data compiled in the economic reports the total number of females employed increased by 18% between 1950 and 1959.

Argument 1 Quote 2
“Americans by and large saw 1950’s as a progressive era. Between 1950 and 1960 over one third of all Americans moved into newly built suburban neighborhoods.” (Kallen ,Pg # )
Commentary
In the 1950s Americans seemed to be on the move as each year, one out of every five families shifted. This led to a lot of new construction and growth of the real estate sector and over the decade the housing supply increased 27 percent. Buying of houses was made easier by Veterans Administration and Federal Housing Administration mortgages.

Argument 1 Quote 3
“The automobile has become a very vital part of our economy. It has become more than a means of transportation. The interstate system is a system designated by the Defense Department as essential to national defense” (Dilger) In 1956, the US Congress approved a $25 billion bill that is known as the Interstate Highway Act, which put in motion the construction of forty-one thousand miles of superhighways all throughout the US. “The Official name of the new highway system was the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways”

Body Paragraph #2:
Main Argument of the paragraph: “Cultural Changes”
Argument 2 Quote 1
“The post World war II American life was dominated by tens of millions of teenagers whose choice in music, clothing and other consumer goods changed the fabric of the economy and the culture.” (Oakley Pg #)

Commentary
The “Cultural Development” influenced by entertainment, new TV shows, consumerism, drive in theaters, color television broadcasts that we live till today were the style of living which evolved in this era.

Argument 2 Quote 2
“During the 1950’s the wild rhythms of rock-and-roll music burst out of the inner city African American neighborhoods into the suburban living rooms of White teenagers. This music painted a rainbow of colors across an otherwise black and white decade” (Woog, pg # )

Commentary
Rock and Roll music became very popular in the 1950’s. The popularity of this kind of music can also be seen as the acceptance the black culture by the Whites. Elvis Presley produced 14 consecutive records between 1956 and 1958 that each sold over a million copies.

Argument 2 Quote 3
"The reason we have such a high standard of living is because advertising has...
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