How Post-World War II Technology Changed America 5/3/2012 AMH 2020- Yellow Class Angelika Vasquez Professor Brian Milner During the post-World War II era everything in our nation seemed to change. The post-World War II era had significant technological advances that changed politics, the economy, and the way people interacted with one another. Three of the biggest technological advances during this era were the introduction of the atomic bomb, television, and space race technology. 945 to 1949, the Atomic bomb changed politics and introduced the military industrial complex. Television, in the 1950’s, changed the way people thought. During the 1960’s there were many new space race technologies introduced that changed the way Americans received information. The atomic bomb, television, and space race technology significantly changed America. Atomic Bomb Cold War- Julius and Ethel Rosenberg After Dwight D. Eisenhower left office, he warned about the growing influence of the military-industrial complex, in American government and life.
The military-industrial complex was first coined by Eisenhower, during his farewell address in 1961. This complex defines the combined effort of big business and the military to press for an ever-increasing share of national resources for the development of new weapons. Many politicians during this time believed that the military-industrial complex promoted policies that were not in the best interest for America, and that the growth of the military-industrial complex could perhaps undermine American democracy. The Cold War had created a warfare state.
Because of the atomic bomb, civil defense drills required people to crawl under their desks at work or school; high schools named their football teams "The Atoms"; and songwriters wrote about the end of the world. Movies warned of the dangers of the bomb or made grim jokes about the fate of humanity. In the late 1940’s, faced with the possibility of a nuclear war, Americans began building bomb shelters. Bomb shelters were built in either your backyard or your basement that were meant to offer substantial protection. Television
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By the late 1950’s, almost ninety percent of American homes had a television set. Television transformed the way Americans did politics. During the Kennedy versus Nixon election, television played a key role in their election campaigns. During the Kennedy-Nixon debates, Kennedy had more of an appeal than Nixon. Although campaigns were already relying less on political parties and more on money before the introduction of the television, television helped accelerate this idea. John F. Kennedy emerged with a disputable national vote plurality over Richard M. Nixon by a razor’s edge of . 7 percent in popular vote (49. 72% to 49. 55%) that converted into a 303 to 219 Electoral College victory. Some historians believe that without the television, Kennedy would not have won the 1960 election. In fact, John F. Kennedy himself stated that, “we wouldn’t have had a prayer without that gadget. ” Besides affecting politics, television also transformed American culture. The average American viewer spent a little over five hours a day in front of a television screen. American television was paid for by private enterprise, unlike Europe’s government financed television.
During the mid 1950’s advertisers spent an estimate ten billion dollars to push their advertisements on the air. Television transformed American culture into a consumer culture. Television also changed the way Americans live, and the ideology which Americans lived by. Popular television series, such as Leave It To Beaver, portrayed the ideal family as a male breadwinner, a woman full-time homemaker, and three or four children. On television, married women did not have paying jobs and depended on their husbands. Americans began getting married at a younger age and the birthrate soared.
Space Race Technology Microwaves Cell Phones Home Computer Bibliography "Atomic Culture. " Social Culture. <http://www. centennialofflight. gov/essay/Social/atomic_culture/SH23. htm> (accessed May 3, 2012). Renka, Russell. "The 1960 Kennedy v. Nixon Election. " The Modern Presidency. cstl-cla. semo. edu/renka/ui320-75/presidents/kennedy/1960_election. asp (accessed May 3, 2012). Roark, James L.. Understanding the American promise: a brief history. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. -------------------------------------------- [ 1 ]. Roark, James L..
Understanding the American promise: a brief history. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. 717. [ 2 ]. "Atomic Culture. " Social Culture. http://www. centennialofflight. gov/essay/Social/atomic_culture/SH23. htm (accessed May 3, 2012). [ 3 ]. Renka, Russell. "The 1960 Kennedy v. Nixon Election. " The Modern Presidency. cstl-cla. semo. edu/renka/ui320-75/presidents/kennedy/1960_election. asp (accessed May 3, 2012). [ 4 ]. Roark, James L.. Understanding the American promise: a brief history. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. 765. [ 5 ]. IBID, 764.
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