In Search of the American Dream: USA, 1917-80




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The Impact of WW1 on the Presidency


  • 1917: President Wilson takes the USA into WW1, despite promising not to
  • Post-war depression caused by drop in production

The First Red Scare, 1919-20

  • Triggered by the 1917 Russian Revolution
  • Workers' strikes & media hype fuelled fears of a communist revolution in the USA


  • Republican policy of keeping out of international affairs
  • Tariffs on imported goods to encourage people to buy American
  • Not joining the League of Nations
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Hoover & The Wall Street Crash

Rugged Individualism

  • Linked to laissez-faire
  • President Hoover believed that individuals could succeed through hard work, and that inequality was inevitable
  • This was why he refused to act when the Wall Street Crash hit in 1929

The Great Depression

  • Began with the Wall Street Crash in October 1929
  • Markets slowed and businesses panicked, selling off shares & recalling loans

The Bonus Army

  • WW1 veterans had not had been paid their bonuses due to the Great Depression
  • Gathered in Washington and were dispersed by police and army
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Roosevelt & the New Deal

The New Deal

  • Alphabet agencies e.g. AAA set up to help the poor and revitalise business
  • Cogress gives Roosevelt special presidential powers to deal with the economy - war-like rhetoric

How Roosevelt Changed the Presidency

  • Fireside Chats
  • Positive relationship with the media - kept them updated and used them as a way fo explaining policy to the public
  • Expanded White House staff
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Presidential Styles, 1945-74 (Truman)

  • Uncharismatic & made mistakes under pressure -"Too err is to Truman"
  • Saw a positive relationship with the media as important & gave briefings
  • Mishandles the media during the Korean War (police action)
  • Less appealing than Roosevelt and didn't explain strategy (e.g. Korea)
  • Generally used set speeches, and made serious mistakes when making ad-lib speeches
  • Worked well with White House admin, but didn't always choose the right people for the job
  • Worked well with Congress, but was often blocked by the Republican majority. Fewer contacts than Roosevelt so less able to network & charm


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Presidential Styles, 1945-74 (Eisenhower)

  • Deliberately optimistic, friendly manner
  • Saw working with the media as important, but often obscured or minimalised important manners (e.g. USSR into space, Little Rock)
  • Good public manner. Used clear imagery to explain things. War veteran - made him popular with the public
  • Exceptional organisation with long-term planning & debate
  • Worked well with Congress. Good at bargaining & persuasion
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Presidential Styles, 1945-74 (Kennedy)

  • Charming. Worked hard on speech-making style & self-presentation
  • Had a good relationship with the media (learned names & had personal chats). Very good on television
  • Good public manner. Accessible & attractive
  • Poor organisation, with advisors competing for attention. Abandoned regular meetings. Didn't always consult the right people (e.g. Bay of Pigs) & lacked long-term planning
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Presidential Styles, 1945-74 (Johnson)

  • Experienced. Understood the importance of winning people over & could change his style & opinions to get what he wanted
  • Not a natural with the media, but did keep them informed
  • Could give good speeches (e.g. voting rights), but often gave stiff, awkward ones
  • Organised, but kept much of Kennedy's organisation
  • Worked very well with Congress. Good at networking & had contacts
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Presidential Styles, 1945-80 (Nixon)

  • Clever & capable, but suspicious
  • Took criticism badly
  • Made spur-of-the-moment decisions before backtracking
  • Distrusted the media & was very poor at managing it (e.g. Watergate)
  • Not good with people. Often seemed awkward & insincere
  • Very organised, but not good at taking advice
  • Awkward with Congress. Found it difficult to make connections & persuade
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The Second Red Scare & McCarthyism

The Second Red Scare

  • Triggered by USSR expansion into eastern Europe & China turning communist
  • High levels of eastern European immigration caused suspicion
  • High-profile accusation, admissions & trials of government employees suspected to be involved with Moscow spy rings
  • 1938: House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) set up. Made permenant in 1945 to investigate communist activity


  • Senator Joseph McCarthy headed the Red Scare, using a muddle on ill-substantiated facts as evidence of communists operating within the government
  • July 1950: The Tydings Committee Report saying the allegations were a muddle of half-truths & lies
  • 1953: McCarthy begins to investigate the army, which lost him a lot of support. The Senate passed a vote ofcensure against him & the Red Scare died down
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Counter-Culture & the Conservative Reaction


  • Sought to change society by rejecting the values of the previous generation
  • Hippies: Wanted to loosen the family system & live in communes. Peace & a simple way of life
  • August 1969: The Woodstock Festival
  • Radical student groups: Sought to create a more equal society. Rejected racism & anti-communism. Protested against the Vietnam War. Mostly used peaceful tactics but some resorted to violence

Conservative Reaction

  • The older generations felt that the counter-culture was creating social problems & that liberalism wasn't working
  • Emergence of the New Right - neo-liberals, neo-conservatives & the Religious Right
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The Impact of WW2

WW2 & Foreign Policy

  • 1945: USA joins the UN
  • Truman Doctrine & the Marshall Plan - policy of containment by sending aid to countries at risk of falling to communism
  • 1949: USA joins NATO

WW2 & Domestic Policy

  • 1956 Interstate Act aimed at creating a road network for evacuating cities
  • Federal Defence Administration set up to organise evacuations & give advice
  • MAD - arms race & stockpiling of nuclear weapons
  • Increase of military activity cost money, but also created jobs & boosted business
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The Impact of the Cold War

Impact on the Presidency

  • Power of the president grew with America's involvement in NATO & the UN
  • Armed forces grew - the President had the power to move forces around without permission from Congress
  • 1947: The National Security Act put the armed foces under the control of the Defense Dept, based at the Pentagon & created the CIA & the NSC - both of which reported to the White House
  • The president had to have the power to act instantly in the event of nuclear war
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The Impact of the Korean War

The Impact on Domestic Policy

  • Shifted presidential attention away from domestic policy
  • Congress took back control over home affairs
  • Republicans criticised Truman's handling of the war & the cost

The Impact on the Presidency

  • Truman mishandled the media. Reporters strated to get information from alternative sources & speculated on Truman's intentions to use the draft & the atomic bomb
  • Pressure to scale up the war
  • Bickering between Congress & the White House & between members of Congress
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The Impact of the Vietnam War

Impact on Domestic Policy

  • Spending concerns
  • Draft-dodging
  • Mutual distrust between the authorites & certain groups in society e.g. police & protestors
  • Intensive media coverage - 1968 Cronkite Report

Impact on the Presidency

  • Cast a shadow over 4 presidencies
  • Unpopular domestic policies
  • Responsibility for the Vietnam War placed with the president
  • 1975: Shambolic helicopter evacuation from Saigon caused embarrassment
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Decline of Confidence, 1968-80

  • The media: Explaining policy => criticism => uncovering government deception, Cronkite Report
  • Scandal: Watergate, Vietnam - Agent Orange
  • Mishandling of events: Korean War & Vietnam War
  • The White House administration: Rising costs, bribery & corruption
  • Social factors: Police violence; riots; MLK assasination (1968); Kent State University (1970)
  • The presidents: Johnson & Vietnam; Nixon & Watergate; Ford & Nixon; Carter & image / crisis management
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The Great Migration

Push factors:

  • Jim Crow
  • Lynching
  • Poverty

Pull factors:

  • Better wages
  • More jobs (munitions factories)
  • Less racism


  • Decline in Southern agricultural economy
  • More racism in the North
  • Some Blacks moved into the professions & were elected to office
  • Emergence of Black m/c
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Impact of the New Deal

  • 1930s: Black voters shifted from Rep. to Dem.
  • Roosevelt limited number of Black workers of projects if donors wanted this. Black people moved off projects to make way for whites
  • Executive Order banned discrimination in the defense industry
  • Social security did not apply to farm workers or those who worked in other people's homes
  • Black civil rights organisations attracted the support of communists, which was criticised by opponents
  • Black church organisations set up support networks
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Impact of WW2 & Truman


  • 1941: A. Phillip Randolph threatened a 100,000-strong march on Washington, which was stopped by the Executive Order banning discrimination in the defense industry
  • Did not ban segregation
  • Northern migration increased


  • Failed to push anti-lynching, anti-segregation & fair employment laws through Congress
  • 1946: President's Committee on Civil Rights set up
  • 1948: Executive Order desegregating the military
  • Earlier collaboration between black civil rights groups & communists aroused suspicion
  • More focus on the Cold War than on civil rights
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Legal Challenges

Plessy vs. Ferguson, 1896

  • "Separate but equal" was constitutional

Brown vs. Board of Education, 1954 & 55

  • NAACP challenged the Plessy vs. Ferguson ruling at the SC, using examples of school desegragtion.
  • Judge Earl Warren ruled that separate but equal had no place in education
  • Schools should desegregate with "all deliberate speed"

Black Separatism

  • Argued that Blacks would never be fully equal with whites, so should therefore embrace separatism
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The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955

  • Began after NAACP worker Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat for a white man
  • The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) was set up, with MLK as its leader, to organise a one-day boycott
  • The boycott was a success & was continued for a year, until the SC ruled bus segregation unconstitutional
  • 75% of bus users in Montgomery were Black, and most of them participated in the boycott. This put economic pressure on the bus companies & downtown businesses
  • Clear turning point in the CRM as a legal challenge operated in conjunction with a direct action protest
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MLK & Non-violent Protest

  • 1955: Appointed leader of the MIA
  • Very media-conscious
  • 1957: Set up the Southern Christian Leadership Council
  • Refined the non-violent protest rules in order to create the best media impression

The rules of non-violent protest

  • It must always be clear who is the oppressor, and who the oppressed
  • Getting arrested publicly & going peaceably is good publicity. Campaigners were taught to go limp if the police tried to remove them from a sit-in
  • Acceot as many white people as you can on your protests
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The Little Rock Crisis, 1957

  • 9 Black children were selected to attend the previously all-white Central High School
  • The National Guard were sent to stop the children entering the school
  • Photographs of Elizabeth Eckford being harrassed by an angry white mob shocked the world
  • King put pressure on President Eisenhower, pointing out the damage it was doing to his administration
  • Eisenhower reluctantly sent in federal troops to guard the children
  • Eventually, the school was integrated for good
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The Greensboro Sit-In

  • 1960: 4 Black students sat at a segregated lunch counter at a department store. They waited to be served until the store shut
  • The next day, the students returned & were joined by another 30 students
  • The following day, almost all the seats were filled by student protestors. White mobs came to heckle them & the protest attracted the attention of the media
  • The media was filled with images of calm, well-dressed black students waiting to be served whilst being attacked by racist white mobs
  • The shop shut due to a bomb scare, but by then the message had gotten out and sit-ins sprang up across the South
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  • April 1960: Formed as an integrated student organisation, which advocated non-violent direct action
  • Provided training sessions on how to cope with violence & abuse during demonstrations
  • Sent field secretaries to live & work in dangerous parts of the South, where they were tasked with encouraging voter registration
  • Took King's ideas a step further by actively protesting in areas where they knew there would be violence
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Freedom Rides

  • 1961: CORE & SNCC carried out freedom rides in the South
  • Designed to test whether bus restfoom facilities had been desegregated
  • Intended to provoke a crisis & media outcry
  • Wanted to force the govt. to enforce civil rights legislation
  • Buses were attacked, chased & firebombed. Riders were imprisoned & beaten up, and three people were killed
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Birmingham, 1963

  • 1963: MLK & SCLC led a push to desegragate the town of Birmingham, Alabama
  • One tactic was to get arrested & fill the jails. Within a month all the jails were full
  • Children were trained in protest techniques & Police Chief Bull Connor ordered high-pressure hoses & dogs be used on them
  • Again, shocking pictures went worldwide
  • President Kennedy sent in federal troops to restore calm & the town was desegregated
  • The March on Washington (August 1963) showed the scale of civil rights activism
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Freedom Summer, 1964

  • 1954: Election year. SNCC sent white volunteers to Mississippi to encourage voter registration
  • They were joined by local Black volunteers
  • 21st June: Three volunteers disappeared, & were found dead six weeks later. By the end of the summer, there had been a total of six murders, 35 shooting incidentd & countless beatings
  • Of the 17,000 who tried to register to vote that year, only 1,600 were successful
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Black Power

  • 1965: Stokely Carmichael founded the Lowndes County Freedom Organisation
  • 1966: James Meredith is shot on the second day of a "March Against Fear". King takes over & urges non-violent direct action, but Carmichael argues that non-violence is not working.
  • Carmichael calls for the SNCC to radicalise & exclude white campaigners
  • From 1965, the movement splt. The Black Power movement was not a united force, as part of it broke off to form the Black Panthers.
  • The Black Panthers wore uniforms & carried guns, and organised community projects in northern ghettos. They formed radical trade unions & demanded that black history courses be taught in universities
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The Northern Crusade, 1966

  • After 1964, MLK turned his attention to the North
  • Focus on living conditions in the black ghettos
  • The campaign petered out - in many ways it was harder to combat social issues than it was to bring about legislative change
  • MLK's relationship with the media turned sour
  • 1967: Began the Poor People's Campaign
  • 1968: Assassinated whilst supporting a strike of Memphis sanitation workers
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The Impact of Civil Rights Legislation


  • Development of a black American upper & middle class
  • Home ownership & graduates up
  • Black culture more significant & valued
  • Voter registration & turnout up


  • Progress slowed after the CRA & VRA
  • Affirmative action not popular with everyone
  • Death of MLK meant the movement lost its figurehead
  • Black Power movement unpopular with lawmakers
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Native American Civil Rights


  • Tribal homelands
  • Self-determination
  • Cultural destruction & appropriation


  • AIM - "Red Power"
  • Sit-ins, demonstrations & occupations

Gains & Limitatioms

  • Nixon sympathised - legislated for greater Native American autonomy
  • Returned some land to tribes
  • Some states continued to evict tribes if the land was needed for development
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Hispanic Americans


  • Land
  • Workers' rights
  • Discrimination
  • Deportation - Operation *******


  • Cesar Chavez - hunger strikes
  • non-violent protest
  • Brown Berets - militance


  • 1954: Hispanics ruled equal citizens
  • 1974: Equal Opportunities Act - bilingual teaching
  • 1975: VRA extention provided language assistance at polling stations
  • Land issues still not settled
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Gay Rights

  • 1969: Began after the Stonewall Inn riot
  • Harvey Milk - elected to office in San Francisco in 1977
  • Gay Liberation Front set up after Stonewall
  • 1974: Kathy Kozachenko became the first openly gay person elected to office
  • Proposition 6 (Florida, 1977): Proposed state legislation to ban gay people from teaching
  • 1978: Save Our Children (SOC) set up to campaign against gay rights legislation
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Women - WW1 & the GD


  • Women recruited to work in munitions factories. Often sacked to make way for men returning from the war
  • 1920: Women get the right to vote - mainly educated, m/c white women
  • 1920s: Changing industries created new women's jobs e.e. typing. Campaigns for fairer employment launched.
  • Flappers

The Great Depression

  • Women who were divorces, deserted or widowed suffered the most
  • Some looked for work to supplement their husbands' incomes
  • The Women's Bureau of Labor - sometimes viewed as hindering progress - supported restricting women's hours. Pushed for minimum wage (no minimum wage for men)
  • A lot of legislation did not apply to agricultural work or domestic service
  • Men given priority on work programmes
  • Some benefits given to the poorest families
  • Housewives Leagues set up by Black women to organise local help for those in need
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Impact of WW2 & Suburbia


  • Rosie the Riveter
  • 1940 Selective Training & Work Act
  • 1941 Lanham Act provided additional childcare
  • Lots of women in agricultural work
  • Black women allowed into professions e.g. nursing
  • Female employment rose again after the war ended. Restrictions barring married women from ceertain jobs were lifted
  • Some women moved from clerical work into specialist industries e.g. advertising or insurance


  • Social networks & friendship groups - working women / non-conformists often excluded.
  • Labour-saving devices
  • Betty Friedan - The Feminine Mystique (1963)
  • Women in rural communities remained cut off until out-of-town shopping centres, radio & electrcity came to rural areas
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The Women's Liberation Movement, 1961-80

  • 1961: Kennedy set up a Commission of Enquiry on the Status of Women. Found that the Equal Pay Act needed enforcing
  • Socialisation of girls - not encouraged to think about careers
  • 1963: Betty Friedan - The Feminine Mystique
  • 1966: National Organisation for Women (NOW)
  • Young radicals emerged - used by the media to do down the movement
  • 1970: General strike


  • STOP ERA - campaign against the Equal Rights Act

Successes & Limitations

  • ERA never passed - bill expired
  • 1973: Contraception made available to married & unmarried women
  • Movement fragmented
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Immigration Patterns

  • Open-door policy until WW1 - immigration largely from Northern & Western Europe
  • Immigration increased rapidly & many failed to integrate
  • 1911: The Dillingham Report - concluded that immigration was posing a threat to American society & culture
  • Spike in unemployment & the First Red Scare - hostilities against immigrants
  • 1920s: Immigration Acts
  • Immigration from Europe & Asia reduced. Immigration from S.America increased to fill the need for cheap labour
  • Deportations of Mexican workers during the Depression to make way for unemployed Americans
  • Americans of Italian, German & Japanese origin considered "enemy aliens"
  • 120,000 Japanese put in internment camps 
  • Many fought in the US army
  • Cold War: Refugees fleeing communism e.g. Cuba, Vietnam & Eastern Europe
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Immigration Policy

  • Quotas used from the 1920s - 1965
  • From 1953, Refugee Acts were passed to allow the US to take in refugees fleeing communism
  • 1965: Johnson removed quotas, making it easier to admit refugees
  • 1960s: Refugees from Vietnam
  • 1954: Operation ******* began deporting illegal immigrants in the Southern states
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Social Impact of Cinema

  • 1927: The Jazz Singer became the first movie with sound
  • Movie theatres boomed during the 1920s
  • Newsreel before the main movie - WW1 & WW2
  • Actors & Actresses became very influential - expected to behave in a way that fitted their on-screen image
  • Studios held a lot of power
  • 1930: The Hays Code brought in to regulate movies
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Social Impact of Music & Radio

  • Jazz became popular in the cities after WW1 & during the Great Depression - many bands / singers were black
  • Radios sold better than records during the Depression
  • Radio broadcast news faster than the newspapers. Used sponsorship & advertising to gain funding
  • Radio Act 1927 - brought the airwaves under federal control
  • Mass culture
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Social Impact of Television

  • 1939: FDR - 1st President on television
  • Development of TV programmes began at local level
  • Advertising directed at children & teenagers
  • Politicians began to use television to gain support
  • Recording techniques, sets & special effects improved
  • More channels & shows
  • Less shown live - news & sport
  • 1969: PBS set up - education the main aim
  • Drama series e.g. M*A*S*H drew on real-life issues e.g. the Vietnam War
  • Sitcoms reflected black family life e.g. Fresh Prince of Bel Air
  • Political satire
  • News programmes became more opinionated & analytical
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Influence of Broadcast News

  • Pre-1930 - Reporting on govt. activity & issues
  • Great Depression - Communicating with & explaining issues to the public. Good relationship with the presdient e.g. Fireside Chats
  • 1945-1960's - criticising the govt. e.g. Korean War
  • 1960s-80 - uncovering govt. wrongdoing e.g. Watergate & Vietnam
  • Ed Murrow - Criticised McCarthy during the Second Red Scare
  • Walter Cronkite - The Cronlite Report, 1968
  • Jimmy Carter - poor media image. Media used incidents as a way of illustrating his weaknesses
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Boom, Bust & Recovery

  • Post-war depression caused by slowing of production. Crop prices fell due to over-production. Strikes & the decline of older industries led to increased unemployment
  • 1920s Boom caused by growth in mass production. Goods bought on credit. Mass production (e.g. Ford Model T). Investment in the bull market. Consumer confidence high
  • 1929 Wall St. Crash. Demand for cunsumer goods had began to fall, so shareholders began to sell off shares. Businesses cut wages & sacked employees This triggered panic selling & led to the crash. Fuelled by media hysteria. People lost homes. farms & businesses as they couldn't keep up with loan repayments
  • Recovery under the New Deal. FDR's Alphabet Agencies set up to help with employment & loans. All the banks were closed & only the healthy ones were allowed to re-open. WW2 pulled the USA out of economic depression
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Post-War Affluence

Causes of the Post-War Boom

  • Demand for consumer goods
  • Expansion of business
  • Govt. clampdown on strikes
  • Post-war baby boom meant demand for child-related consumer goods
  • Demand for crops at home & abroad meant farmers did well
  • Govt. spending rose steadily - welfare & social security
  • Farmers & businesses exploited demand for goods & deregualtion of prices - inflation rose
  • Growth in consumer confidence - consumerism = patriotic vs. communism
  • Levttowns - cheap, pre-fabricated homes
  • USA lost its place as technological innovator to Japan (transistor radio)
  • Industry moved South & West
  • Paper money & gold reserves became increasingly out of balance as the govt. increased the money supply
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The Challenges of the 1970s


  • Businesses stopped expanding (wages fell), but prices continued to rise
  • Fixed income earners suffered
  • Govt. spending still high

Fuel Crises

  • OPEC supported Palestine during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. It put up oil prices & embargoed oil exportes to countries that supported Israel (e.g. the USA). Major shortage, 55 mph speed limit introduced & oil rationed
  • 1979 Fuel Shortage was less severe, but there were concerns regarding winter heating
  • People blamed the govt. for failing to deal with the crises

Confidence Crisis

  • Depression, unemployment, rise in prices
  • Rising homelessness
  • Fall in living standards
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The Standard of Living, 1917-41

  • Home ownership - 1920: 6,700,000 ; 1940: 19,600,000
  • Appliances included in 1940 census: running water (69.9%); electric lighting (78.7%); gas cooker (48.8%); central heating (42%); electric fridge (44.1%); radio (82.8%)
  • 1920s: Growth of chain stores
  • 1930s: More spent on food, but less spent on eating out (due to the Depression)
  • 1920s & 30s: Boom in household appliances. Widespread electrification boosted sales of goods in rural areas
  • Death rate declined - some increase in the 1930s
  • Education - 1917: 27.1% aged 14-17 in school ; 1940: 73%
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WW2 & Consumerism, 1941-60

  • WW2: consumerism was unpatriotic
  • Post-war: Consumer society boomed - increase in advertising, colours, models, in-built obsolescence
  • Growth of TV - advertising & sponsorship - "pester power" & targetted advertising
  • Food - Fast food, sugary drinks & ready meals
  • Teenage consumption - transport, food, clothing & sports, entertainment
  • 1960 census: home ownership (62%); running water (93%); electric cooker (30.8%); freezers (18.5%); radio (92%); washing machines (40.3%); telephones (78.5%); TV (85%)
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Anti-Poverty Policies & Economic Divisions, 1961-8

  • Non-white Americans & employment - lower wages. Affirmative action unpopular & unhelpful
  • Poverty - 1966: 12% white Americans ; 41& non-white Americans
  • Inner cities - planned shrinkage
  • JFK - New Frontier
  • LBJ - Great Society - not enough funding
  • Nixon - shift of focus towards the working poor, the elderly, children & the disabled - "workfare, not welfare" 
  • Carter - wanted to help working & non-working poor, without raising costs
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Leisure, 1917-80


  • Speakeasies during prohibition
  • Variation between areas - e.g. number & quality of cinemas in NYC varied between white areas & black areas
  • Growth in car ownership meant people could get to the National Parks, Kiddie Parks, amusement parks
  • Radios & books (cheap paperbacks v. popular
  • Impact of radio on spectator sports - forced to offer packages etc to boost attendence
  • Impact of WW2


  • Better wages & working conditions = more leisure time
  • Fast food chains
  • Baby boom - family leisure activities e.g. Disneyland, 1955
  • Shopping malls
  • Home computers
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Impact of Car Culture, 1917-80

  • Industry - Expansion of the car industry = more jobs. Wages for industry workers went up, price of cars went down, demand increased
  • Associated supplies - filling stations, mechanics' workshops, dealerships
  • Roads improved & expanded
  • Diners & motels, travelling salesmen, commuters, deliveries, freight
  • Out-of-town shopping malls
  • Drive-in fast food chains, cinemas
  • Tourism - cities, attractions
  • New car every year - competition & consumerism
  • Poor people still relied on public transport
  • Rise in pollution
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Impact of Air Travel, 1917-80

  • 1915: Small seaplanes & mail carriers
  • 1925: Kelly Act laid down national routes for mail delivery
  • Air travel became safer, so more people flew
  • Post-WW2: Jet engines & radar
  • By the 1970s, air travel had become much cheaper, so m/c Americans could afford to fly regularly. Some commuted by plane
  • Tourism to the USA increased
  • 1978: Airline Deregulation Act - deregulated ticket prices, routes buyouts & mergers
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This is great thanks for the help.



Very informative, thanks. Would advise to use this in addition to hodders education, my revision notes.



amazing thanks!



thank u so much! nice refresher

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