How did the Serviceman's Readjustment Act influence the formation of a new culture in American society?

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dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The G.I. Bill of Rights opened the door of opportunity for the nation's returning veterans. The Serviceman's Readjustment Act provided federal money for higher education and it also guaranteed low interest mortage loans to those veterans. American G.I.'s came home from war, went to college, married their high school sweetheart, bought a home, and started having families. As a result of these experiences two major transformations took place, the baby boom and the birth of the suburbs, one of the first was Levittown Long Island. Quaint little identical houses with backyards. The suburbs were far enough away from the urban jungle of the cities, but close enough for Dad to travel there everyday to work. Block parties, backyard cook-outs, slumber parties for the kids on the 'block' became very fashionable. Although the suburbs were recognized for the prosperity the G.I. Bill brought to many with the neatly manicured lawns, the construction of schools, roads, and parks it was at the expense of the cities. The 1950's and 60's saw much of the taxpayer dollars going to the suburbs which resulted in what became known as 'urban decay'. Inner city poverty grew just as fast as the prosperity of the suburbs. 

aphewitt | Student

This law, also known as the GI Bill, was passed as a way of both thanking those men who had given service to the United States during World War II, but also as a way to keep some men out of the workforce.  Many people in a variety of sectors were fearful that if too many GI's were to try to rejoin the workforce, another depression could occur.  This law encouraged thousands of vets to attend school and to start their own businesses.  This brought back the emphasis in this country on gaining a secondary education, something that was not important prior to World War II.  This secondary education brought high school education to nearly all students, and high school became an expectation for all teenagers and created the "teenage" culture that is glorified in television and movies even today.