Families in Postwar America

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Family in Postwar America The period immediately following the Second World War was a time of great anxiety in the United States. Although the Germans had been defeated after many long years of war and much sacrifice and loss, the rise of the Soviet Union and the beginning of the Cold War caused Americans great apprehension. However, Americans responded with an increased focus on domesticity and strove to make the family the centerpiece of American culture. In doing so, they hoped to counter the Soviet Union and its policies of egalitarianism, particularly the equality of women in all aspects of society. The increase in marriages during World War II resulted in a tremendous rise in the birth rate leading to what has been termed the "baby boom." In fact, by 1957 the American birthrate had peaked at 118 births per 1000 women. (Faragher, 2009, p. 744) Also, in response to the post-war economic boom, there was a simultaneous increase in consumer spending among Americans. By the mid 1950's, "two-thirds of all American households claimed at least one television set." (Faragher, 2009, p. 744) But if the American economy was progressing, American women were not. During the war many women were allowed to take high paying manufacturing jobs, but as the men returned after the fighting, women were replaced. But many women still wanted to work, so there was a major increase in the numbers of women working after the war. Unfortunately, the jobs they were offered were low paying
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