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Was the 1950's an era of happy days?

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maranyeli | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:36 AM via web

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Was the 1950's an era of happy days?

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maranyeli | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted November 13, 2012 at 3:23 AM (Answer #1)

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One can say the 1950 was an era of happy and bad days. The people had happy days because new homes were being built. Families were becoming first time home owners. Communities began to emerge; because the great depression was over women could leave thier jobs and stay at home to raise a family; this led to a baby boom (when couples started having more than one child).The automobile industry, Manufactures, and the economy flourished. The people were living well. They went from poverty and depression to the highest standard of living the world had ever known.

Even though the people were living well, they were anxious and dissatisfied. The people were worried about nuclear bombing, and were struggling over civil rights. Not everyone had happy days, African Americans were still suffering from segregation, low-paying jobs, social and economic discrimination. On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks a young African American fought back and was arrested when she did not give up her seat on a local bus to a white man. She inspired other African Americans to fight for their rights. It really was so unfair how they were treated.

In the 1950's the people worked less hours and had two incomes coming in which led to more leisure time and extra money to splurge. The people needed to have fun, and I believe this is what prompted hula hoops, poodle skirts, sock hops and the fourth of July Parade was the peoples way of coping with the stress this era brought.

 would you say this is correct?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 10, 2012 at 1:57 AM (Answer #2)

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For some they may have been "happy days," but I suspect one could say that of any decade. The 1950s saw the rise of teenage culture, one which included the freedom of automobiles, the release of rock n'roll, and a rise in standard of living that released many (but by no means all) young middle class people from the burdens of work to support a family. It is this, I think, that is often remembered in American popular culture (including the television show alluded to in the question.) But the 1950s also witnessed a great deal of turmoil, including the civil rights movement and the first wave of school integration, McCarthyism and numerous Cold War diplomatic crises. Additionally, many Americans challenged the dominant culture. Critics from Jack Kerouac to Betty Friedan argued that the 1950s were a decade that emphasized conformity and stifled individuality.

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