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American History: The Effects of the Postwar Era in America Essay

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Updated: Jan 5th, 2022

Introduction

The postwar era in America had several impacts on the society. It had both positive and negative effects. This was based on the fact that the American economy was experiencing a steady growth never seen in the country before. This led to the consumerism era which saw Americans living a good life. This paper therefore describes the effects of postwar era in America.

Meaning of Affluence and Anxiety in postwar America

Postwar America experienced new affluence, which replaced poverty, disease and hunger which were mainly felt during the Great Depression. America had sustained economic growth and the government was spending on defense, which provided job opportunities in manufacturing education and science. Other programs like the interstate highway also created job opportunities. G.I Bill which was passed by congress in 1944 provided loans for home buying and college education. It was given to war veterans who had returned back, which further added to prosperity. Creation of new vaccines like polio vaccine led to improved life and reduced chances for grave illness. With the new affluence, American families moved to suburbs similar to Levittown and spend money on home appliances and automobiles. This was almost defined like the consumerism era (Oakes 13).

International incidents and the likelihood occurrence of a nuclear war led to a heightened sense of anxiety. America was experiencing race relation troubles and inequality which also brought anxiety. African Americans’ were pushing for equality, being classified like second-class citizens thus pushing for change. There was also self-criticism over affluence which had prosperity and abundance of self-contemplation.

Changes in lives of American during the postwar era

Americans lives were experiencing a positive turn for most American citizens. The country was experiencing economic prosperity, spending on defense, and interstate highways programs hence they were plenty of employment opportunity. The implication employment opportunity brought about was consumerism because of the economic boom. Americans were spending on home appliances, suburban homes and automobiles. Consumerism brought to the development of child-related product which included, music and television shows (Oakes et al. 15).

The American government was giving college and home loans to war veterans which contributed further to prosperity for more American citizens. Implication that the college loans had on Americans was that there was access to college education. The implication the housing loans had is that people could buy houses leading to many Americans moving and living in the suburbs.

Americans lives further changed for the better with the discovery of vaccines suchlike the polio vaccine. Implication that the vaccine had on Americans is that it contributed to the improved quality of life because the chance of getting infected by polio was significantly reduced. These led to access of quality health.

Relation of Route 66 to postwar America

Route 66 is a 2,400-miles road which starts from Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard in Chicago to Los Angeles. Building of the road began in November 11, 1926. Route 66 relates to change because the places where the route passes had lots of visitors who use the road. This is because passengers commuting from Chicago and Los Angeles always pass through the route and goods transported through the route.

This brought people who were in need of places to sleep, eat, service and refuel their vehicles. The route brought along tourists who wanted to travel across America. The implication the route was a huge economical boost. It brought trade to the states it passed bringing with it business.

Summary of Boulton essay in connection to postwar era

Boulton essay is a book about a business man who specialized in building houses called William Levitt. Together with his sons, he started the Levitts Company. He concentrated in mass-production of houses and made affordable houses which cost 7,790$. The Levitts companies build over 35 million houses in America. The Company also made the biggest housing project in Levittown, Long Island (Boulton 24).

The company was successful because of several reasons; it was building houses for war veterans who were coming back. The government was giving home loans to the returning war veterans’. The government was also boasting the most excellent economic expansion and had become the wealthiest country. Since the government was enjoying economic expansion, it was able to give home loans to war veterans who in turn bought houses from the Levitts Company.

Conclusion

The postwar era made the US one of the world’s wealthiest countries in the world. During this era, the country experienced an economic boom with improved health care. However, Americans were in constant fear of nuclear war and the country had racial problems. Despite these shortcomings, Americans were able to live good lifestyles due to the impact of economic expansion.

Works cited

Boulton, Alexander. “The Buy of the Century.” American heritage magazine. 44.4 (1993). Web.

Oakes, James, et al. Of the people. A History of the United States New York: Oxford university press. 2010. Print.

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