History of America 1945-1960
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The history of America 1945-1960 saw much-needed peace and unprecedented prosperity, and its economy responded quickly and creatively to pent-up consumer demand for everything from cars to homes. This golden age of postwar America was harshly interrupted in 1950 by war in Korea, and Americans reluctantly returned to war in distant places. Moreover, the Cold War and its “proxy war” in Korea created an oppressive political climate at home with the advent of McCarthyism.
This anti-communist witch-hunt made a mockery of the sacrifice that Americans had made in the Second World War to safeguard their democracy and civil liberties. Senator McCarthy pursued his Inquisition in Congress, the government, and then the military. But he was finally censured by the Senate and his political career ended in disgrace. Still, the damage had been done, and political conformity and conservatism continued to dominate the national angst. With Americans alarmed over the Soviet Union’s atomic test in 1948, its 1957 launch of the Sputnik satellite worsened anti-communist sentiment and fears of nuclear conflict. But to a lesser extent, the 1950s were also a time of rebellion, as the Beatnik movement anticipated the social protest that would arise in the Sixties in response to the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.
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1945-1960 Index | Society: Black Life | Culture | Power: Dwight Eisenhower | Economy
Society: Black Life
Power: Dwight Eisenhower