This section has 24 slides and covers the emergence of consumer culture, the expansion of Education through the GI Bill, the baby boom, the American household, and the explosion of consumer credit; or how to live up to your neck in debt.
Students learn that America at the end of World War II had the strongest economy in the world. After years of deprivation as a result of the Great Depression and World War II, Americans were ready to buy anything; and they did. From babies to Buicks the Great American boom was on. Returning veterans, both men and women, added large numbers to the workforce; and to colleges, as well as job training programs. These and other benefits were giving to veterans under the GI Bill. Students are asked to research the GI Bill an answer the following questions in writing: What is the GI Bill of Rights (GI Bill)? What was the full name the bill and what year was it proposed? Did anyone in Congress vote against it? What did it do for returning servicemen? Were its benefits available to women? If not, why not? Is it still law today or is there something like it? If so, what is it?
Students examine the baby boom by researching and answering in writing the following questions: At what stage of life is the baby boom generation now? What are some of the social, financial, and healthcare issues the generation is dealing with? Additionally, students analyze the demographic shift that took place when large numbers of Americans, mostly white, bought homes and moved to the suburbs, and the Great African-American migration to the North. Finally, students learn about the most important household item before the explosion of the internet—television. Then, students are asked to give their opinion in writing in answer to the following question: Does television had the same power now? If so, why? If not, what had replaced it?
Activities and Resources
Veterans' Benefits Article
Veterans' Benefits Questions
The Great African-American Migration Reading
The Great African-American Migration Questions
Research and Opinion Questions