The 1950s : A Decade Of Prosperity, Conformity, And Consensus

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Kylie Suitum Hist 406 Final Paper 12/11/15 Historians tend to portray the 1950’s as a decade of prosperity, conformity, and consensus, and the 1960’s as a decade of turbulence, protest, and disillusionment. Do you agree or disagree with this view? Show evidence to support your argument. With the overwhelming amount of Levittown houses, the obsession to obtain the perfect American “ideal family” as seen on TV and the unspoken agreement to fear any and all foreign ideas and values, the 1950s were revealed to be a decade of prosperity, conformity and consensus. Just ten years later the atmosphere in America was shockingly different; the 1960s were a decade of turbulence, protest and disillusionment due to the ongoing struggle for civil rights, arising feminism, and the Vietnam War. The development of the suburbs has been appointed to be the result of the “white flight” from the inner cities. In the 1950’s black Americans moved northward to cities to find industrial jobs that were within walking distance. Discrimination in cities worsened, crime rates increased and educational facilities’ credentials weakened or gained bad reputations. The upper-class families left the cities and mass migrated to the suburbs to escape the increasing crime rates and worsening conditions. This movement was later termed the “white flight”. Every American wanted to begin building the “ideal family”: two parents, two children and maybe a pet or two. This newly invented middle-class prospered as

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