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Chapter 24

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Name__________________________________ Period ___ Date __________________ 26.2 – A Society on the Move What social and economic factors changed American life during the 1950s? Between 1940 and 1960, 40 million Americans moved to the suburbs, one of the largest mass migrations in history. Rural regions suffered the most dramatic decline in population. Because few houses were built during the war, the U.S. had a severe shortage of urban housing. Newly married veterans who needed housing looked to the suburbs. Rural regions and older industrial cities suffered dramatic declines in population. At this time of peak demand, developers began to quickly build affordable housing. William Levitt became a leader in mass producing suburban homes. Entire rows of houses in Levittown were built using the same plan. Workers could build houses in weeks rather than months built three Levittowns—in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—which became blueprints for other suburbs soon springing up across the country. Home buyers could use an installment plan, paying $58 a month towards the cost of the home. Levitt built three Levittowns—in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—which became blueprints for other suburbs soon springing up across the country. Other developers adopted Levitt's techniques, and suburbs were soon springing up across the country. New home buyers received low‐interest home loans courtesy of the GI Bill of Rights and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). FHA‐backed loans allowed home buyers to pay as little as 5% to 10% of the purchase price and to pay off their mortgages over 30 years. As populations increased, suburbs became self‐contained communities with shops, schools, and police departments. Some suburbanites used public transportation, but many needed cars to commute to work and to shop at suburban shopping malls. The number of registered automobiles jumped from 26 million in 1945 to 60 million in 1960.

Cars now included the latest technology, such as power‐steering and brakes and automatic transmission. Entrepreneurs opened fast‐food restaurants and drive‐in movie theaters, both centering around the “car culture”. Older city businesses, in older city neighborhoods suffered. To support the growing “car culture,” in 1953 President Eisenhower authorized funding to build the interstate highway system. In 1956, Congress passed the Interstate Highway Act, (this authorized money to build 41,000 miles of highways consisting of multilane expressways that would connect the nation’s major cities.) This would be the biggest expenditure on public works in history. Fast‐food restaurants, drive‐in movie theaters, and the travel and vacation industries all benefitted from the new roads. The new highway system boosted travel and vacation industries. Families traveled to… national parks beaches new destinations, such as Las Vegas Families sought entertainment and leisure activities… Walt Disney built an extraordinary amusement park in California (Disneyland) Another crucial trend of the postwar era was the growth of the Sunbelt. This was the name given to the southern and western states. Factors that drew people to the Sunbelt included its warm, appealing climate and new jobs in the defense, aerospace, electronics, and petrochemical industries. The development of air conditioning made it easier to live in these warmer climates! By the mid‐1960’s, California passed New York as the state with the largest population. Highly populated Sunbelt cities include: Houston, Texas Los Angeles, California Latinos also contributed to the growth of the Sunbelt. In the late 1950’s and early 60’s,Cubans (who were escaping the new regime of Fidel Castro made Miami, Florida, their new home. Mexican Americans migrated to the urban areas, such as Los Angeles, El Paso, and Phoenix. As Americans moved to the suburbs and the Sunbelt, these areas: ‐gained political power with increased congressional representation. (Urbanites in the Northeast and Midwest lost political power) ‐faced more environmental concerns such as air pollution and water shortages.

Populati ion shifts we ere accompanied by equa ally ground‐b breaking stru uctural chang ges in the Am merican econom my first time in A American his story, more people found employme ent in the ser rvice sector ‐ ‐ For the f (busines sses that pro ovide services s, such as he ealthcare, law w, retail, ban nking, or insu urance) w white‐collar workforce included ma any who wor rked in inform mation indus stries (those who The new built or o operated the e first compu uters) ormation industries often n used computers. The info By the 1 1960s, the go overnment and private in ndustry had f found many uses for the computer. t computers were huge, t taking up ov ver 18,000 sq quare feet! (T The size of 3 basketball c courts!) The first the first, nam med ENIAC, s short for Elec ctronic Nume erical Integra ator and Com mputer. One of t ess powerful than today’s s desktop co omputers! It was le 60’s, governm ment and the e private industry had found many us ses for the co omputers. By the 6 Hotels u used computers to help m make reserva ations Banks us sed them to keep track o of accounts Industrie es started us sing compute ers to autom mate work or perform job bs once done e by people hanges in the Economy: Other Ch

The post twar period saw changes s in types of businesses a and in the labor moveme ent. ws a compan ny to distribu ute its produ ucts or servic ces through r retail *Franchise businesses (this allow owned by ind dependent o operators) w were attractiv ve to consum mers craving quality and outlets o consiste ency. The Holi iday Inn fran nchise was cr reated during g this era. To oday, there a are tens of th housands of Holiday Inn hote els all over th he world! orations (com mpanies that produced a and sold their goods and services all over the *Multinational corpo nd establishe ed branches abroad) also o expanded. world an

‐General Motors (GM M) E) ‐General Electric (GE ‐IBM ola ‐Coca Co e war, more people were e able to com mplete high s school and a attend colleg ge. After the re educated workforce b boosted prod ductivity.** **A mor 15% of colleg ge‐age Amer ricans attend ded college 1940 – 1 1960 – It rose to ove er 40%! nd state gove ernments pro ovided most of the funding for educa ation. Local an But after the Soviets s launched Sputnik 1 in 1 1957, Congre ess approved d the $1 billio on National D Defense on Act, aimed at producing more scie entists and sc cience teach hers. Educatio on is “Democ cratized” Educatio…...

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Lynne Ramsay | August 2016 | Historical Memorabilia