The period between 1950 and 1969 is described as one of the mostimportant times in the U.S. history. Primarily, this was a time withmixed fortunes for the country. Notably, the country registeredtremendous social and economic growth in the 1950s while itexperience turmoil and political upheavals in the 1960s.Demonstrations against racial discrimination, feminism and sexualrights parades were all prominent in the 1950s. The massive movementof people from the south towards the northern cities led to thecreation of mass markets for commodities. As a result, this led tothe development of the economy. This is a period that came in betweentwo revolutions that occurred in the U.S. between 1920s and the1980s. It is essential to note that the revolutions had tremendouseffect on the U.S.
The 1950s are described as a time when there was conformity amongstmany Americans. There was industrial and economic growth after thedue to the post-Second World War boom. The construction sectorexperienced immense growth as many people in the middle class soughtto build homes in the towns’ suburbs. There was an exponentialgrowth of the middle class in the U.S. in the 1950s (Callan 121). Theculture of consumerism developed and there was ready market fornumerous products such as cars and home appliances that were beingproduced. As a result, the economy of the country and businessentities grew significantly. Essentially, banks were offering creditand loans to individuals for business, construction of homes or thepurchase of such homes.
Another aspect of prosperity in the 1950s was the advent and growthof science and technology. This enabled the provision of qualityhealth services hence creating a healthy population that wouldcontribute to the growth of the economy. In 1954 and 1955, the firstorgan transplant and the development of polio vaccine wereaccomplished. Furthermore, it was during this era that the aspect ofartificial intelligence started and the idea of NASA was started.Moreover, the computer programming sector was experiencing tremendousgrowth since it was in during this era that the FORTRAN programminglanguage by IBM was developed (Callan 108). This was a majormilestone in the computer programming arena. It is important to notethat these advancements in technology were enabled by the presence ofresources and manpower. Additionally, there were also minimalpolitical interferences that enabled entrepreneurs to workpeacefully.
Despite the above described aspects of prosperity and conformity,there were aspects of turmoil and upheavals in the country. Majorly,there were violent demonstrations and protests by the blackcommunity. Notably, the blacks who were slaves in the south had nowmigrated to the north in the urban centers. Consequently, the whiteshad migrated to the suburbs to avoid the rising cases of crime andpolitical intolerance (Callan 98). By the 1954, after the ruling ofthe case, Brown vs. the Board of Education, which prohibited racialsegregation, civil rights movements had started in earnest reachingtheir climax in the 1960s and continuing for over 8 years. Leaderssuch as Martin Luther and Malcolm X were instrumental in the civilrights movements. Movements such as the march to Washington and theblack power movement were all aimed at eliminating the racialsegregation and oppression that was prominent in the United States.
Other demonstrations that took place during this period were relatedto women rights and homosexual rights. Women questioned why they werebeing discriminated at the work place and why their roles werelimited to home chores. Furthermore, women needed to acquireeducation in same way that men would acquire it. In addition, therewere gay rights movements which sought to end the traditionalstereotypes against homosexuals. Another aspect that broughtpolitical turmoil in the country was the Vietnam War. Whereas almostall the citizens were opposed to the war, the political class wasconvinced that the U.S. was justified to participate in the war(Callan 88). These led to numerous protests that occurred even in thecolleges and universities. In 1968, there are numerous protests bystudents in many cities such as Chicago, Illinois and Ohio thatturned out violent when demonstrators and police fought. In Ohio,there were four students who were shot dead hence leading to moreprotests.
After the World War I, the U.S. experienced tremendous technologicalgrowth and industrial growth. Many factories were set up and therewas a huge increase in the number of the middle class people. Therewas a revolution that was created by the wealthy middle class people.The culture of consumerism was eminent and this led to a tremendousgrowth of the economy. There was increased disposable income and theurban centers were populated by the men and women who were working inthe industries (Smith 141). This had an enormous effect on the U.Slife. The country managed to acquire a leading position in the globalpolitics as other countries such as Germany and France werestruggling with their economies. Furthermore, many Americans managedto seek education and gainful employment hence leading morecomfortable lives.
Another revolution that was witnessed in the U.S. was in relation tothe post-Second World War and the Vietnam War. As such, the countryexperienced tremendous infrastructural development where roads, railsand ports were constructed. Construction of homes by the middle classwas also in top gear. Suburbs developed around the major cities andthey were occupied by the wealthy white middle class citizens.Notably, the infrastructural developments ensured that the countrywould ease transportation of people, good and services. Therefore,there was tremendous growth in trade and movement of people from oneregion to the other (Smith 88). The effects of this revolution werean increase in the number of employed people and enhancement oftrade. The middle class people could now afford quality life. Sincethis revolution came along with numerous changes in technology, theyoung people were actively involved in the affairs of the country.
While concluding, America is a country that has undergone tremendouschange and growth both socially and economically in the last century.The period between 1950 and 1969 was instrumental in the AmericanRevolution. Primarily, this is an era that witnessed economicprosperity and conformity amongst Americans. Furthermore, the countryexperienced huge technological growth leading to improved quality ofhealthcare. Despite these growth aspects, the country experienceviolent demonstrations and protests by women, homosexuals and theblack community. The country’s involvement in the Vietnam War was ahuge let down for the citizens. There were numerous protests acrossthe cities by students and citizens against the war. Two majorrevolutions between the 1920s and the 1980s ensured that the countrygrew economically and socially. It is essential to note that duringthis periods, the middle class played significant roles.
Callan, Jim. America in the 1960s. New York: Facts onFile, 2009. Print.
Smith, Robert W. Industrial Revolution. Westminster, CA:Teacher Created Resources, 2014. Print.