Domestic Life in the 1950s

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How did science and technology inventions from the 1950s impact the American people?

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One negative aspect of the technology of the 1950s was the fear generated by nuclear weapons. Both the United States and the Soviet Union spent trillions of dollars on their nuclear arsenals, thus creating an arms race which kept the world on the cusp of nuclear war. This money could have been spent on more peaceful endeavors.

Even though nuclear destruction terrified people around the world, the 1950s were very important in terms of peaceful technology. People started to explore how nuclear energy could be applied for civilian use. The term "nuclear" came to be regarded as a good thing, such as the nuclear family consisting of a father, mother, and children. The 1950s also saw the popularization of television. Television carried with it the ability to entertain as well as inform. Jonas Salk pioneered a vaccine for polio, a disease which crippled millions. Soviet scientists launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, in 1957. The launch of this satellite terrified Americans, who...

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