AMH Chapter 16 Section 1

American History
Chapter 16 Section 1
Post-War Economy
• After the war, many
Americans worried that
as military production
stopped and millions of
former soldiers flooded
the labor market,
unemployment and
recession might sweep
the country.
Post-War Economy
• Instead, Americans who had lived with shortages
during the war helped to grow the economy after
the war by buying consumer goods.
• Demand for goods led to higher prices and
inflation, triggering labor unrest and strikes in the
automobile, electric steel and mining industries.
• President Truman tried to prevent energy
shortages and railroad strikes by forcing miners
and others back to work.
Republicans taking over Congress
• Labor unrest and
inflation led to a change
in leadership.
• In the 1946 elections,
the Republicans took
control of both houses
of Congress.
Taft-Hartley Act
• To decrease the power of
unions, the new Congress
proposed the Taft-Hartley Act.
• The Taft-Hartley Act outlawed
the practice of forcing
employers to hire only union
• The act of forcing a business to
hire only union workers is
known as a closed shop.
• It allowed states to pass rightto-work laws to outlaw union
shops in which workers were
forced to join unions.
More on the Taft-Hartley Act
• The law also prohibited
featherbedding, or
limiting output in order to
create more jobs.
• President Truman vetoed
the bill, but Congress
passed the act in 1947
over his veto.
• Labor leaders claimed the
law ended many of the
gains unions made since
Election of 1952
• In 1952, Dwight
Eisenhower ran as the
Republicans nominee
for president.
• Eisenhower was a war
hero (General of the
Allied forces during
World War II).
• Eisenhower was very
popular and went by
the name “Ike.”
• He easily won the
election against
Democrat Adlai
Dynamic Conservatism
• President Eisenhower
believed in dynamic
• This was a balance of
conservative economics
and social activism.
• The president made many
conservative decisions.
• He chose business leaders
for his cabinet and
stopped government
price controls.
• Shortly after taking office,
Eisenhower abolished the
Reconstruction Finance
Corporation, which, since
1932, had lent money to
banks, railroads, and
other institutions.
• Furthermore, he halted
aid to businesses, schools,
and public housing.
Extending Social Security
• Although he cut federal
spending, Eisenhower
continued the New Deal
by extending Social
Security benefits and
compensation to more
Eisenhower increased
the minimum wage.
Federal Highway Act
• Eisenhower’s programs
also helped farmers and
people without jobs. He
pushed for public works
• In 1956, Congress passed
the Federal Highway Act,
which granted $25 billion
to build over 40,000 miles
of interstate highways.
• These programs helped
him win a second term in