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Why is the idea that the 50’s were cohesive misleading?

The misconception that the 50’s were a unified time in American history is not incidental. After America and her allies left Europe after defeating the Axis power, it was immediately obvious that our next enemy was to be the USSR. Although the US possessed, and had recently demonstrated the power of the atomic bomb as well as its military force, it still felt the need to prove itself superior. In an attempt to prove that Western capitalism was superior to Soviet communism, the media broadcasted endless examples of consumerism.

However, the notion that the US was completely unified is an inaccurate one. Though people at the time viewed the US as a solid, fruitful state, this was not the case. The poverty rate had diminished, crime was lower and America seemed to be on cloud nine. Despite the depiction of a perfect society, the country was anything but unified. A perfect example was popular culture’s battle over comics. The debate whether comics would ruin the baby boom generation’s morals was prevalent in the US throughout the decade. The 1948 comic code greatly affected comic author’s creative license, but was heavily disputed throughout the following ten years.

Comments

J. Chambliss said…
This is a good analysis. You identified the political problem represented by the emergence of the Cold War. Yet, the external political threat is only part of the story. You are correct that the campaign against comics represent some aspect of social instability, but you need to go into greater detail to identity how and why lack of cohesion is affecting society.

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