United States History: The 1950s Research Proposal

Pages: 3 (923 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

United States History: The 1950s in the United States

Many Americans look back on the 1950s with great nostalgia and view America as having been at its best during this decade in history. This work will examine the characteristics of American society during the decade of the 1950s and identify what it was that was unusual or different between 1945 and 1960 and seek to understand the hidden realities in years full of optimism and prosperity. Finally this work will answer the question of whether the 1950s were in actuality a positive or negative period in U.S. history.

Time Life's "Fabulous Century" reporting the decade of the 1950s begins by stating: "Shortly after the start of the New Year in 1951, with the sort of fanfare that only Hollywood could provide, Mrs. Ruth Colhoun, a Los Angeles mother of three, officially broke ground for her backyard atomic-bomb shelter. The 1950s were a time of change however, that change was contained somewhat in the undercurrent of society arising only occasionally but for the most part life in American in the 1950s was Mayberry in realtime characterized by a simpler time in American history and a time in which Americans were inherently naive to an extent because it did not hurt during the 1950s to believe in the 'American Dream'.


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One of the primary characteristics of the 1950s was that of uniformity which was pervasive in the society of the United during that decade. The rule of thumb was conformity and group forms were strictly followed by all ages in the American society during this decade in history. New employment patterns emerged during World War II in the previous century however during the 1950s the traditional roles were assumed once again. Homogenization via the television was a contributor to the mindset of Americans and reflected the days accepted by society of the 1950s.


Research Proposal on United States History: The 1950s in the Assignment

Not everyone in this society conformed however and in fact writers that were members of the 'beat generation' shunned conventional values and stressed spontaneity and spirituality and intuition was held to be superior to reason. The respectability of the culture was blatantly challenged by the beat generation.


Civil rights were emergent during the decade of the 1950s and the work entitled: "Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950" states that a problem in American historical thought has been "chronic willful amnesia." (Gilmore, 2008) Gilmore states that most Americans prefer "a simplified and sanitized version of national history, one that smoothes out the rough edges that might complicate comforting visions of harmony and progress. Politics in the two-party context of American exceptionalistm, had been reduced to a mere quibbling over details. In this fulsome view of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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United States History: The 1950s.  (2008, December 5).  Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/united-states-history-1950s/2892892

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"United States History: The 1950s."  5 December 2008.  Web.  13 April 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/united-states-history-1950s/2892892>.

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"United States History: The 1950s."  Essaytown.com.  December 5, 2008.  Accessed April 13, 2021.