Issues of the 50’s and Impact on the Middle Class Essay

Submitted By kellehere17
Words: 1246
Pages: 5

Erin Kelleher
AP U.S. History
Mrs. Magnus
Issues of the 50’s and impact on the Middle class The 1950’s were a time of great prosperity and development in America, but it was not equally spread out. Oftentimes, immigrants, African Americans, and Hispanics were excluded from this prosperity. Particularly African Americans carried this fight on and the Civil Rights movement grew. Also, the post-war tension with the Soviet Union was bound to shape the 60’s. The threat of communism and nuclear warfare touched nearly every aspect of life and the Cold War propelled many new math and science innovations. The new consumerism culture in the US also impacted the 60’s because, Americans started a new way of life. People had more leisure time and more dispensable income to spend on goods. These issues shaped the 60’s and impacted the Middle Class through the social, economic and political aspects of life. The Civil Rights movement impacted the 50’s as African American soldiers came home from war and others fought for their rights back home. Plessy vs. Ferguson had legalized segregation and discrimination against African Americans in 1896 as long as the two facilities are equal. Until Brown vs. the Board of Education, the Plessy case shaped life in the south. African Americans went to separate schools that were practically falling apart compared to the well-funded all white schools. After the Plessy vs Ferguson case was overturned in 1954, integration was still stalled by the stubborn white supremacists in the south who protested and rioted in Little Rock at Central High School. When nine students attempted to attend the all-white Central High, the president was forced to call in the National Guard to escort them to school. With the rise of the television, more and more middle class families could see the civil rights movement unfold in front of them. This caused many white people joined the African Americans in their marches and protests. Even middle class families became involved in the civil rights fight, although they were split onto opposing sides. The civil rights movement was gaining momentum as the 50’s passed on. This issue would greatly shape the 60’s and how the US grew. CORE, SNCC, and SCLC were all important to achieving integration through various methods including boycotts, peaceful marches, and sit-ins and they involved the younger generation. In southern cities like Montgomery, the Civil Rights movement was tested. Rosa Parks, an African American lady refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery. She was arrested and jailed. The community in Montgomery rallied around Rosa Parks and they boycotted the buses starting in 1955 and it ended almost exactly a year later in 1956. The Civil Rights movement was led by a peaceful activist, Martin Luther King Jr. He would have a great impact on the 60’s and the whole Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King Jr.’s non-violent protests, marches, and sit-ins made significant progress in the Civil Rights fight and influenced the fight in the 60’s until he was assassinated. The 50’s were also shaped by a growing consumerism culture in the US. The television soon became cheaper and available to the middle class. Television ownership rose to over 44 million people owning a TV by the end of the 60’s. The television had a great impact on culture and different types of networks started to arise. There were now TV channels designated solely for the purpose of entertainment and not just news. The entertainment was a huge part of the culture. Also the improvement of technology and the worsening working wages and conditions brought prices down on technology and automobiles. The dropping prices of automobiles made it much more affordable to live in the suburbs. Many poor immigrants and workers moved towards the city and the richer middle class enjoyed life in the suburbs. This will continue to impact life for the middle class in the 60’s. Also teenagers began