Prosperity and Change ppt

Prosperity and Change
Objective: Summarize changes in
American life during the 1950s.
Consumer Society
Economy grew rapidly
High standard of living – higher economic
comfort due to affluence (greater wealth)
More products to choose from; many purchased
on credit
Market for cars was growing; automakers tried
to outdo each other with bigger, faster, and
flashier cars
TV and American Culture
1949 – more than 900,000 households had tvs
Small screens and grainy black-and-white
6.5 million sets were made each year in the
Television becomes the main source of
entertainment; Movie attendance dropped as
people stayed home and watched television
Rock ‘n’ Roll
Grew from the rhythm- and-blues music
Elvis Presley becomes an idol to millions of
Medical Advances
Antibiotics and vaccines helped control diseases
First safe and effective vaccine to fight Polio – a
disease that could leave people paralyzed – is
1955 – large number of school children begin
receiving vaccine; almost completely eliminates
Expanding Suburbs
More housing needed following WWII
Homes built in planned communities outside of
the big cities – suburbs
Levittown – used assembly line techniques to
build mass produced houses that were so cheap
many people could afford to buy them
Builders often would not sell to minorities
Technology helped economy to grow;
computers are created
More than 1 in 5 people lived in poverty
Small farms could not keep up with large farms
using new technologies to grow food
Coal industry not doing well
Many people moved out of the cities to the
suburbs; this left the poor behind
African Americans and Latinos moved to the
cities looking for work; few good jobs in the
cities for the poor
Factories moved to the suburbs and hired fewer
people because of new technologies
Discrimination, crime, and violence were
Social Critics
Materialism is criticized (people spend a lot of
time and effort collecting money or things)
Important problems like poverty were being
Summary and Activity
Why were small farms not doing well?
 How did life in the inner city differ from life in
the suburbs during the 1950s?
 How did entertainment change during the
Activity suggestions: illustrate how entertainment