America at Midcentury | Teen Ink

America at Midcentury

June 17, 2013
By Confused_scheherazade ELITE, Brooklyn, New York, New York
Confused_scheherazade ELITE, Brooklyn, New York, New York
132 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
I know nothing, but of miracles.

Thesis: The postwar prosperity of America in the 1950s caused a skyrocketing in commercial goods and new trends leaning toward creating the perfect white American suburbia, while simultaneously creating an era of heightened American defense against suspected Communist forces, such as the Soviet Union.

Body Paragraph 1:

Many people gained comfortable middle-class status thanks to post-ww2 financial aid

Rise of white suburban communities; Racially mixed communities discouraged

Marriages reached an all-time high; many women becoming engaged during or after college, getting an Mrs. Instead of a PhD

Baby Boom- Rise in Reproduction

Strong religious resurgence

Media becomes capable of manipulating audiences through advertising

Anything but Communism

Rise in defense spending

Arms Race

Body Paragraph 2:

?Promiscuous music trends: Elvis Presley and?Rock- and- Roll

New inventions in youthful rebellious artistry against conservative commercial conformity

Trend toward depictions of rebellious youth: Rebel Without a Cause

Rise of teenagers: driving towards independence and discovering sexuality

Beatnik Movement

Conclusion: Primarily, the 1950s in America consisted of the American public focusing on creating the nuclear family and conservative, white communities, while the political atmosphere consisted of American idealism of protecting democracy while backing up funding for espionage, Arms Race, and the Cold War. However, America was not one strictly homogenous social landscape with the onset of arising adolescent maturity and creative expression/entertainment through beatnik styles, “black music”, and new trends in art and literature. While the 1950s was particularly known for its conformity in conservative culture and national political, the rebellious youth of America broke trends of gender and adolescent conventions through art, music, and behavior.

The author's comments:
Outline: To what extent did the 1950’s deserve its reputation as a decade of political, social, and cultural conformity?

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