1950's

Topics: Inflation, Monetary policy, Dwight D. Eisenhower Pages: 13 (6029 words) Published: September 22, 2014
Section 1: Social Conditions / Concerns
Increase in Employment
Population Shifts
Increase in College Attendance
Civil Rights Movement
Arms Race Begins / Technology Breakthroughs
Television / Rock and Roll
Section 2: Political Conditions / Concerns
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Korean War
McCarthyism
Space Race
Dangers of the Garrison State
Section 3: Economic Conditions / Concerns
Inflation
Balance of Trade
Federal Reserve Board Policies
Eisenhower's Administration Policies
Developments in Business Sector and Capital Markets
Increase in Financial Intermediaries
Fiscal Year 1958
Decade of Large Government Budgets
Technological Acceleration
Pre-Korean Recovery
Military Budget
Monetary Policy vs. Debt Management
Section 1: Social Conditions / Concerns
The 1950s socially was an exciting and eventful time to be alive. During the 1950s was when most of the now known "baby boomers" were growing up. On the homefront, many things began to change during the 1950s. During the forties, many men were across the ocean fighting in WWII, and women began to work, supporting their families and building careers for themselves. Throughout the 1950s both unemployment and inflation remained low. At this time, though the war was over, many women kept their careers. This is evident by the constant increase in the female employment data compiled in the Economic Report of the President. From 1950 to 1959, the total number of females employed increased by 18%. The standard of living during the fifties also steadily rose. Most people expected to own a car and a house, and believed that life for their children would be even better. Americans during the 1950s were on the move. The population was shifting from the country to the city, then to the suburbs. More people moved from the Northeast and Midwestern sections of the country to the West and the South. Each year, one out of every five families packed up and left for somewhere else. (Chalmers, p. 5) One of the keys to the shift from the city to the suburb was the ease of home ownership through the Veterans Administration and Federal Housing Administration mortgages. More people were beginning families, and having a family meant moving from a one bedroom apartment to owning a house. The mortgages mentioned made purchasing a home easier than ever before. The increase in population was historic during the 1950s--it soared by 28 million; this increase was not from a decrease in the mortality rate of Americans, but the birth rate at the time--which exemplifies the fact that more and more younger couples were beginning to start families. Also, during the 1950s, the number of college students doubled. Getting a college education was no longer for the rich or elite. College in America turned into a mass higher education system that became a consumer necessity. Partially, this is due to the creation of the GI Bill of Rights, along with the increase in the standard of living for Americans at the time, which made the cost of a college education more reasonable and easier to afford. The United States was on the brink of a major civil rights movement in the 1950s. The Supreme Court ruling in Brown versus the Topeka Board of Education was to desegregate America's school system. Martin Luther King began to move into the forefront of the civil rights movement leading the 1955 boycott of city buses in Montgomery, Alabama for over 50 weeks. Despite the Supreme Court ruling for the desegregation of schools, in 1957, Federal Troops were required to be present to enforce the integration of Little Rock High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. President Eisenhower spoke all about how important it was for white America to treat the blacks as equal human beings, giving them the same opportunities; however, Eisenhower's actions stated the exact opposite. This quote, taken from a 1958 speech that Eisenhower gave to a group of black leaders, sums up the President's approach towards the civil rights...
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