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Flashcards in AMERICA 3 Deck (38)
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causes of prosperity in the 1950s and the American dream

- luxury goods like ovens, cars and tvs were produced at affordable prices, demand was high because they were rare during the war
- by 1956 there were 75 million vehicles in America
shopping malls sold all sorts of goods on the outskirts of cities
- 9/10 US households had a tv, 8/10 has a telephone and 7/10 had a washing machine
- there was a boom in overseas spending on US goods- by 1952, the US was producing 65% of world goods
- a baby boom increased population by 40%, which further increased demand
- hire purchase schemes were advertised to encourage people to buy goods.


tremens fair deal

- raised minimum hourly wage from 40 cents to 75 cents
- cleared slums to make way for affordable housing
- Gi bill made cheap loans for war vertans, 1944- 1949- $4 billion was given to 9 million vetrans
- however his proposal to introduce national health insurance scheme was blocked, and his attempt to improve rights of blacks was stopped by southern politicians


limitations to the American dream

- still areas in the south where people lived in poverty
- no national health service that guaranteed basic healthcare for everyone
- elderly didn't benefit- 1960- 68% of people over 65 had an income of less than $1000, whereas factory workers had $4000


teenagers in the 1950s

as America got wealthier teenagers had more leisure time and spending power
1957- teenager spent $10 - $15 a week, compared to $1 - $2 in the 1940s
spent their money on music, cars and alcohol
some boys raced cars and joined gangs
teenagers got a reputation for being rebellious
people James dean and Marlon Brando were popular
spending power went from $10 billion in 1950 to $25 in 1959


rock and roll in the 1950s

became popular with teenagers
viewed as dangerous and linked to teenage crime and gang culture
in 1956 a tv performance by Elvis Presley was watched by 82% of Americans


tv in 1950s

1948- 0.4% had a tv
1958- 83.2%
dominated by adverts trying to encourage people to but goods
game shows and sitcoms were popular


why was there a fear of communism

a member of the us gov ( Alger hiss) was accused of spying for the USSR
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were found guilty of spying executed in June 1963
US government introduced policy of containment to stop communism spreading
many countries in Europe were under communist influence


what was the HUAC

house of representatives un American activities community
began searching for communists in the US gov and in workplaces and in the media and film industry
many were investigated by the HUAC and the loyalty program between 1947 and 1950, although non were found guilty of spying many were were forced out of their jobs because of the disgrace associated with the investigation
in October 1947, 10 of hollywoods best known film makers were investigated by the HUAC


what was the loyalty program

introduced by Trueman
allowed the FBI to investigate all government employees and sack any security risks



Joseph McCarthy used the fear of communsmto help further his political career by claiming he had a list of over 200 communists working for the environment
people who criticised him were accused of being communists
1954- he accused 45 army officers of being communist however he had no evidence so McCarthyism began to lose support


segregation laws

many southern states had Jim Crow laws which segregated parks, buses and schools
blacks had been given the right to vote however many states made it difficult for them to vote, only 5% of blacks in mississipi were registered to vote
police failed to stop attacks on blacks and often took part
faced discrimination- eg in the south white teachers earned 30% more than blacks
best unis were closed to blacks


brown vs board of education

father of a black girl appealed to the local education authority because she had to walk 2 miles to a black school when the white school was closer.
he lost the case but appealed to the Supreme Court
in many 1954 the judge declared that segregation had t end in schools.
however some states like Mississippi refused and by 1956 not a single black was attending a school where there were whites in 6 southern states


Little Rock case

September 1957- 9 black pupils tried to attend a high school
despite the desegregation of schools, Arkansas refused and the schools was a white only school
the governor send guards to prevent them entering the school
the blacks took the governor to court and won, so the soldiers were forced to leave and they had to right to go to the school
however by 1960 out of Arkansases 2 million black students only 2500 were going to same school as whites


bus boycott

1 December 1955 rosa parks refused to move from the white section of the bus and was arrested
the black community decided to boycott all of the city buses
the blacks provided 75% of the bus company's income the bus company were soon in financial difficulty
some of the protesters got threatening phone calls and their home vandalised by kings to them to stay peaceful as he believed in non violent protests
in december 1956 the Supreme Court ruled that segregated buses were illegal


sit ins

early 1960s
blacks would sit in the whites section of a care on restaurant and refuse to leave
in North Carolina student sat at the white section off a lunch bar and refused to leave, as they days went on more joined and within a week 400 blacks and whites were organising sit ins,
as a result lunch bars were desegregated in 136 cities


freedom riders

many states weren't desegregating buses to freedom riders deliberately rode om buses in Birmingham, Alabama to show this
200 freedom riders were arrested and spent 40 days in jail.


work of Martin Luther king

in one year he made 208 speeches
formed SCLC (southern christian leadership conference)- traipsed civil rights activists in non violent methods
the black community also founded the SNCC (southern non violent coordinating committee)
assassinated in 1968


march on Washington

august 1963
200,000 blacks and 50,000 whites marched into Washington
they wanted to pressure Kennedy to introduce a civil rights bulk
king gave his 'I have a dream' speech


black power movement

many blacks rejected the non violent methods of King and felt more force was needed to get change
the nation of islam- best known member was Malcolm X, he believed kings methods held back black people and he wanted blacks to create their own black state in America
in 1966, Stokley carmicheael became chairman of the SNCC and set out a more radical view of black power
black panthers- more radical than the nation of islam, 2000 members, believed blacks should arm themselves and force the whites to give them civil rights, they killed 9 police officers between 1967 and 1969


race riots 1965- 1967

riots were in the north and west, even though there was no segregation there
the cause was poor relations between blacks and police- may felt they weren't getting the same protection from crime as whites and they distrusted the police
watts riot in august 1965
detroit riot in July 1967


civil rights act 1964

signed by Johnson on 2 July 1964
made it illegal for local government to discriminate in areas like housing or employment


black march in selma

after the civil rights act, king wanted to get blacks voting
in 1965 he organised a voting rights march through selma, Alabama
the authorities banned the march, but they went through with it anyway
on the 7th march 600 blacks marched
they were brutally attacked and the medial called it Bloody Sunday- the violence horrified Americans


voting rights act 1965

introduced by Johnson
allowed government to inspect voting procedures to make sure they were taking place properly
also ended literacy tests that voters had to take before voting


civil rights act 1968

dealt with another aspect of discrimination- housing couldn't be sold or rented on basis of race, religion, origin or sex.


Kennedys new frontier-economy

cut taxes to give people more to spend
made $900 million available to create new jobs
gave grants to companies to buy high tech equipment and train workers how to use it
increased spending on armed forces, creating jobs


Kennedys new fronteir- healthcare and poverty

minimum hourly wage increased
$4.9 billion made available for loans to improve housing, clear slums and build roads
introduced training schemes for unemployed
social security act increased benefits of elderly and unemployed
increased funding for research into mental illness and allocated funds to develop poor rural areas


new froteier- education

peace corps set up- sent volunteers to help people abroad


failures of new frontier

new farm equipement meant fewer workers needed, so many lost their jobs
by 1963, unemployment was still high at 4.5 million
minimum wage increases and housing loans were only helpful for people in work or those who could afford loan repayments
southern politicians refused to provide funding for his school pans


Johnsons great society- education

operation head start gave money to poor schools in cities
elementary and secondary education act gave funding for schools
VISTA program set up as a domestic version of the peace corps
equal opportunity act 1964 gave training to poor youths and recruited vounteers to teach in poor areas


great society- economy

job corps introduced to help school leavers get jobs
increased minimum wage form $1.25 to $1.40