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How did the 1950s create social and political turbulence in the 1960s?The postwar era...

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brylaine | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 24, 2011 at 12:20 PM via web

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How did the 1950s create social and political turbulence in the 1960s?

The postwar era witnessed tremendous economic growth, social contentment, and conformity. In the midst of such affluence and comfortable domesticity, social critics expressed growing dissatisfaction with American culture in the 1950s.

Explain how the 1950s laid the groundwork for the social and political turbulence of the 1960s.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 24, 2011 at 12:32 PM (Answer #1)

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The 1950s helped to create social and political turbulence by creating a culture of materialism and conformity against which people rebelled in the 1960s.

The 1950s were a time of rising affluence in the United States.  The US was the richest country in the world.  The middle class, helped by such things as the GI Bill, was increasing in numbers and in wealth.  People who had grown up with the stress of the Depression and WWII were buckling down and trying to make secure lives for themselves and their families.  They were trying to get material security and they were trying to get psychological security as well by being just like everyone else.

The children of this generation, however, rebelled.  They thought their parents were too materialistic and conformist.  They thought their parents had no real lives, just these dull existences that were centered around money.  Because of this, they rebelled.  This was the rebellion that led to the social strife of the '60s.  It led to the hippie movement and to the condemnation of things like the Vietnam War and the whole "establishment."

So, the '50s led to the turbulence of the '60s because the conformity and materialism of the '50s made the youth of the '60s want to rebel.

 

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