A.P. United States History 2
Chapter 37 The Eisenhower Era, 1952-1960.
Theme 1: The Eisenhower years were characterized by prosperity and moderate conservatism at home and by
ups and downs of the Cold War abroad.
Theme 2: While Dwight Eisenhower and the majority of Americans held to a cautious, family-oriented perspective
on domestic social questions, an emerging civil rights movement and the influence of television and popular music
presented challenges to the spirit of national “consensus.”
I. Summary for Chapter.
Read this section as you are reading the text, as these are the main ideas and concepts of the reading. It is also
very important to look over all text inserts, cartoons, pictures, maps, charts etc. that are in the reading (29 pgs.)
1. A new consumer culture, centered around television, fostered a new ethic of leisure and enjoyment, the focus on
private affluence rather than on public good. Jewish, African-American, and southern writers had a striking new
impact on American culture.
2. American society grew more prosperous in the Eisenhower era, as science, technology, and the Cold War fueled
burgeoning new industries like electronics and aviation. Women joined the movement into the increasingly white-
collar workforce, and chafed at widespread restrictions they faced.
3. Using the new media of television to enhance his great personality, grandfatherly “Ike” was ideally suited to
soothe an America badly shaken by the Cold War and Korea. Eisenhower was slow to go after McCarthy, but
the demagogue’s bubble finally burst. Eisenhower also reacted cautiously to the beginnings of the civil rights
movement but sent troops to Little Rock to enforce court orders. While his domestic policies were moderately
conservative, they left most of the New Deal in place.
4. Despite Dulles’s tough talk, Eisenhower’s foreign policies were generally cautious. He avoided military
involvement in Vietnam, although aiding Diem, and pressured Britain and France, and Israel to resolve the Suez
5. He also refused to intervene in the Hungarian revolt and sought negotiations to thaw the frigid Cold War. Dealing
with Khrushchev proved difficult, as Sputnik, the Berlin Crisis, the U-2 incident, and Castro’s Cuban revolution
all kept the Cold War tensions high. In a tight election, Senator John Kennedy defeated Eisenhower’s vice
president, Richard Nixon, by calling for the country to “get moving again” by more vigorously countering the
II. Major questions & concepts for consideration. Write these out on a separate sheet of paper. These
will be the topics of discussion and class participation. Look above in the summary of the chapter, as you answer
the following conceptual questions:
1. Describe the new American economy of the 1950s.
2. Describe Eisenhower’s initially hesitant reactions to McCarthyism and the early civil rights movement.
3. Explain how “Ike’s leadership coincided with the American mood of the 1950s.
4. Describe the approach that Eisenhower and Dulles took to the Cold War and nuclear policy.
5. List the basic elements of Eisenhower’s foreign policy in Vietnam, Europe, and the Middle East.
6. Describe the vigorous challenges Eisenhower faced from the Soviet Union and indicate how he responded to
7. Explain the changes in American “mass culture” in the 1950s, including the rise of television and the computer.
(Above material from American Pageant Instructor’s Guide, Mel Piehl & Guidebook A Manual for Students, 13th ed.)
Please read Dwight D. Eisenhower’s quotation before you read the brief introduction, as it spoke to the
generation of the 1950s it also speaks to us today.
Affluence and Its Anxieties (Page 882)
1. Huge home construction and the U.S. became a nation of home owners.
2. Invention of the transistor, 1948
“a revolution in electronics”
3. International Business Machines (IBM) and early computers forged the” Dawn of the information age.”
4. The Strategic Air Command and the B-52 led to the 707 passenger jet, 1957, and even “Air Force One.”
5. 1956 “white collar workers” outnumber “blue collar workers” Union’s decline.
6. White collar jobs opened opportunities for women.
“Cult of domesticity” in popular culture in the 1950s fostered by television programs:
See the picture and caption Ozzie and Harriet on page 884.
“Leave it to Beaver”
7. The quiet revolution was to transform women’s roles.
Women filled many post war positions.
See the Occupation Distribution of Workingwomen, 1900-2000 and Women in the Labor Force, 1900-2008 on
The “pink-collar ghetto”
8. Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1963 (A classic of feminist protest literature.) “...she was afraid to ask
even of herself the silent question--’is this all?’”
Consumer Culture in the Fifties (Page 884)
9. Plastic Credit Card introduced in 1950.
See the picture and caption The Original Golden Arches, 1955 on page 885.
Also study the photograph and caption The Booming Service Sector.
Easy credit, fast food,
10. Baseball goes west (1958) San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
11. Elvis Presley transformed popular music. Rock and Roll music. See the photograph of The King.
12. The critics of the new consumerist lifestyle:
David Riesman’s book The Lonely Crowd saw the 1950s generation as a pack of conformists.
The Organization Man, by William Whyte Jr.
The Man in The Grey Flannel Suit, Sloan Wilson (1955) Private wealth vs. public good.
The Affluent Society, John Kenneth Galbraith (1955) Private opulence along with public squalor.
The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, Daniel Bell (1973) The hedonistic “consumer ethic” of modern capitalism
might undermine the “work ethic” and destroy capitalisms productive capacity.
Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (1976)
The Power Elite, C. Wright Mills (1956) High level collusion of the “military Industrial complex.” He was a hero to
the new left students of the 1960s.
The Advent of Eisenhower (Page 887)
13. What were the factors that diminished the hopes of the Democratic Party in the election of 1952?
Truman’s clash with:
14. What was the significance of the “Checkers speech”?
15. It is important to view the power television had and has on American politics.
Role of loan-wolf politicians
Threat to political parties
Political message entertainment
The sound bite
The map and caption on page 888 presents the Election of 1952.
Eisenhower’s popular votes: Electoral vote:
Stevenson’s popular votes: Electoral vote:
16. Eisenhower visited Korea as he promised, but what action actually brought about an armistice on the
The threat of:
Note the casualties on both sides and the monetary cost to the U.S.
Chinese, North Korean and South Korean:
17. The authors speak of Eisenhower caring more for social harmony than for social justice and uses an example
of the president as suited to soothe the anxieties of troubled Americans. Do you agree or disagree and can you
give examples that would support both positions? Think of this question as you read on.
The Rise and Fall of Joseph McCarthy (Page 888) Also see Fast Track 5 page 348.
Before reading this section, study the cartoon and caption McCarthy Extinguishes the Torch of Liberty on page
889. As you read we will be given evidence that will support the caption.
18. What were the accusations revealed by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy in his February 1950 Wheeling West
Secretary of State Dean Acheson
McCarthy even went after General George Marshall. See Secretary of State George Marshall and the Marshall
Plan on page 870.
George Marshall also was considered one of the great generals of the U.S. during World War II.
Accusations: against Marshall: “Part of a conspiracy…
19. McCarthy manipulated the media and exploited Cold War anxieties.
Lives and careers were ruined
20. What was Eisenhower’s answer to McCarthy?
“I will not get in…
What were the results of this decision?
Eisenhower thus gave McCarthy:
What happened to the State Department’s Asian specialists? Which later resulted in?
21. The “Army-McCarthy Hearings” Spring of 1954) brought the end to McCarthy by the use of what medium?
“Have you no sense of decency, sir...?” Read the Document In a moment of high drama on page 889.
Mr. Soward will show a video: Bill Moyer on the Cold War and we will see McCarthy’s reaction to this famous
Desegregating the South (Page 890)
Note: Many of you have studied aspects of this area in your social justice classes where you have viewed the
film classic film; Eyes On The Prize.
22. The “Jim Crow laws” of the South set up a series of separate social arrangements that kept blacks:
Study the picture caption and the Document on the humiliations of life in a Jim Crow South on page 890.
23. The mentality of violence ruled Blacks in the South as one can see in the fate of six black war veterans in 1946
and 14 year-old Emmett Till in 1955.
The legacy was a long and bloody one. See the Chart: Persons…Lynched (by race) 1882-1970 on page 513.
An American Dilemma, (1944) Gunnar Myrdal. America’s contradiction exposed.
24. Jackie Roosevelt (Jackie) Robinson 1947 cracked the racial barrier:
25. What action for Civil Rights was taken by the Supreme Court in 1944?
26. What victory did Thurgood Marshall win for blacks in the 1950 case of Sweatt v. Painter?
27. Mrs. Rosa Park and her action on December 1, 1955 changed the south forever.
28. Montgomery bus boycott led by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
See the Document Joseph E. Lowery on page 891.
See the picture of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta, Arrested 1955 on page 895.
Seeds of the Civil Rights Revolution (Page 891)
“To Secure These Rights” 1948 report.
29. Taking action President Truman ended segregation in 1948 what two areas?
Equality of treatment and opportunities in:
Man power shortages in Korea forced the integration of
Congressional refusal of passing Civil Rights legislation under Truman.
Eisenhower not interested in the racial issue.
30. How did supporters of Chief Justice Earl Warren defend his court’s “judicial activism?”
31. What was the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas 1954?
What prior case did this decision reverse? (1896)
“All deliberate speed”
How fast was this decision to be implemented?
32. The Deep South reacted with massive resistance, and the “Declaration of constitutional Principles” (1956)
White Citizens’ Councils:
33. What was President Eisenhower’s position on promoting integration?
Go back to #17 above.
Did not use his prestige of office to promote:
As a General he advised against integration.
Had criticized Truman’s call for a permanent Fair:
Complained of the Brown decision.
Refused to endorse the decision.
34. What action did Orval Faubus (Governor of Arkansas) take September, 1957 at Little Rock Central High School?
Direct challenge to:
Study the pictures and captions on page 896.
What was Eisenhower’s answer?
35. What was the purpose of the Civil Rights Act of 1957?
A permanent Civil Rights Commission to
Authorized federal injunctions to protect;
36. What was the goal of Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) 1957?
37. The spontaneous “Sit-in” movement” was launched February 1, 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina
38. “The four” hit Woolworth’s lunch counter.
There followed “a wave of wade-ins, lie-ins, and pray-ins for equal rights in restaurants, transportation,
employment, housing and voter registration.
39. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed (April, 1960) for the purpose of:
“Snick” (SNCC) would become more radical toward change than both the (SCLC and the NAACP)
Information: A spectrum of organizations, some old, some new spearheaded the challenge of segregation in the
courts and organized nonviolent direct action that relied on grass-roots support. The National Association of Color
People (NNACP), founded in 1910, remained committed to overturning the legal basis for segregation. Even after
the Brown ruling, it continued to shepherd cases through the courts. The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), an
interracial group established in 1942, promoted change through peaceful confrontation during wartime and remained
active in the postwar period. In 1957, Martin Luther King Jr., and others organized southern black clergy into the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) after their victory in Montgomery. The Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC, pronounced “snick”), formed in 1960 was an offshoot of SCLC. Recruiting young
Americans who had not been involved in the civil rights struggle, SNCC, far more militant than the older, gradualist
organizations, provided students with a framework to participate in confrontational direct action.
American People, Gary B. Nash, page 1006.
Eisenhower Republicanism at Home (Page 895)
40. Eisenhower’s “dynamic conservatism” referred to what areas?
“In all things dealing with people, be… “
When it came to “people’s money, or their economy, or their form of government, be “
41. Eisenhower strove to balance the federal budget guard against creeping socialism.
42. A Transfer was made of offshore oil from the federal government to the states.
This is still an issue with us today?
Little action taken n the TVA
43. What was “Operation Wetback” (1954?)
Is this an issue today?
See the picture and caption Operation Wetback on page 896.
44. Eisenhower sought to terminate Indian tribes as legal entities.
The Klamath Indians complied, but most Indians resisted termination.
45. Bring practical Eisenhower knew that he could not undue the important entitlement programs of the New Deal.
You should be able to recognize what these entitlement programs were.
Social Security, unemployment Insurance, labor and farm programs.
46. It is ironic that the conservative Eisenhower would have backed up one the largest public work projects in U.S.
history the Interstate Highways Act of 1956, some $27 billion to build 42,000 miles of freeways.
The highway Act had profound and far reaching consequences for the United States, some positive and some
very negative. It is important that you list them here, since as a citizen they still impact you and your family.
Exacerbated problems of
Shopping malls flourished
47. The Eisenhower administration creation of the biggest peacetime deficit up until that time.
48. Recession of 1957-1958
How many Americans left jobless:
49. What helped cause the merger of the AFof L and the CIO?
A “New Look” in Foreign Policy (Page 897) Also see Fast Track 5 pages 347-350
50. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had a plan to roll back the Red Tide of Communism by a Policy of
Cut back the army and Navy
The Strategic Air Command (SAC) and a fleet of Superbombers.
The concept of “massive retaliation”
More” bang for the buck.”
51. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
Geneva Conference (1955) Soviets rejection.
“Open skies” also rejected.
52. Why did Uncle Sam not help out during the Hungarian Revolt of 1956?
The Vietnam Nightmare (Page 897)
53. Who was Ho Chi Minh?
Note his long history of the concept of self- determination.
Please note that French Indochina was made up of what would later be called Vietnam after the French were
forced out. The U.S. was helping support the French who were trying to keep this colony against the wishes of
the Vietnamese people who were for self-determination.
54. What significant event occurred at Dienbienphu March 1954?
The Eisenhower’s position for Vietnam intervention:
55. The Multination Conference (Geneva) Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam were given their independence and Vietnam
was temporarily divided at the 17 parallel.
Therefore there were two Vietnams, North and South.
Study the map The Far East, 1955-56. on page 898
56. What was established was a Pro-Western government in the South under Ngo Dinh Diem in Saigon.
Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi a communist government in the North.
The South refused to have the agreed upon elections in 1956, as they felt that they would lose the election.
Here was the key to the Vietnam War that was to follow, as now she was involved in a civil war.
Do you understand the dilemma established at this point?
A quick reference ahead will tie it up a bit better for you if you review Stepping into the Vietnam Quagmire
on pages 913-14 one can see by the map and the cartoon, the problem that was set up as John Kennedy took
over as President.
President Johnson then inherited the problem (Vietnam Vexations) and we see his actions on pages 934-37.
Very helpful as an overview of the Vietnam War see Fast Track 5 The Vietnam War pages 353-54. Also Mr.
Soward’s Handout: A Vietnam Chronology with the Battle of the la Drang Valley and the eye witness story of
Jack Smith a 19 year old American soldier at the battle.
Cold War Crisis in Europe and the Middle East (Page 898)
57. West Germany entered NATO in 1955.
The Warsaw Pact was the Soviet answer.
58. End of Soviet occupation of Austria, May 1955
59. “Spirit of Geneva” came about after a meeting with United States leaders and Soviet leaders, and the world held
its collective breath thinking that perhaps these meetings would bring about the start of a thaw in the Cold War.
Khrushchev denounced Stalin.
60. Hungarian revolt and Soviet brutally overpowered the opposition in1956.
61. A CIA coup helped bring (the Shah of Iran) Mohammed Reza Pahlevi to power in 1953.
Look at your Chapter 37 guide after item 36 and under Crystallizing the Cold War there are a series of page
references that take you up to the Reagan administration. This CIA action in Iran in 1953 was to haunt the
U.S. during the Carter administration. See page 962-963.
62. Suez crisis.
Study the photo and caption Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, 1954 on page 899.
Nationalization of the Suez Canal
A joint British, French and Israeli assault on Egypt October 1956
“ Use of U.S. oil weapon”
U.N. police force to Egypt to bring order.
U.S. no longer an oil power.
63. What were the conditions of the Eisenhower Doctrine 1957?
The real threat to the United States in the Middle East was (is) nationalism.
64. The power of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran joined Venezuela in 1960 to form OPEC.
Note how deeply we are still involved with these countries.
Round Two for Ike (Page 902)
65. The Election of 1956.
Study the map and caption Presidential Election of 1956 on page 900
GOP failed to win both houses of Congress
Study the cartoon and caption The Helicopter Era, 1957 on page 901
66. James R. Hoffa
(AFof L-CIO expelled the Teamsters)
67. Landrum-Griffin Act 1959 designed to have labor leader’s account for their actions and prevent bullying tactics.
68. Sputnik I and (II), 1957.
U.S. reaction: National Aeronautics and Science Administration (NASA)
Vanguard missile (1957)
National Defense and Education Act (NDEA), 1958.
Authorized $887 loans to needy colleges and grants for science and languages.
The Continuing Cold War (Page 901)
69. October, 1958 both S.U. and the U.S. stop dirty A-bomb testing
70. Lebanon crisis, 1958-USMC land and establish order July 1958.
Eisenhower Doctrine used to call for aid.
71. Nikita Khrushchev came to the U.S. (1959)
“Spirit of Camp David”
72. Paris summit conference, May 1960 a real fiasco.
Strong stand by both powers over Berlin.
U-2 spy plane and the spirit of Camp David gone.
Study the cartoon What’s So Funny? 1960 on page 901; this makes a statement about the shooting down of the
Cuba’s Castroism Spells communism (Page 902)
See the map on page 870, military and economic aid, 1945-1954.
Compare the amount of aid to Europe and Latin America.
73. CIA-directed coup ousted a leftist government in Guatemala in 1954. Support often given to dictators who were
74. Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, 1959 followed by expropriation of American properties and a land-distribution
program. (A classic cause and effect followed :)
U.S. cut off Cuban sugar imports.
Cuban confiscations of American property.
A Cuban left wing dictatorship set up and then a military and economic ally of Moscow.
Anti Castro Cubans flee to the U.S. Nearly one million from 1960-2000.
U.S. broke of diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961.
The U.S. speaks of invoking the Monroe Doctrine.
Khrushchev declares the Monroe Doctrine dead, the USSR will attack the U.S. with bombs if U.S. attacks Cuba.
Cuba speaks of exporting the revolution to other Latin American countries.
Condemnation by the OSA.
Marshall Plan for Latin America, some $500 million.
One can see above the origins of the Cuban Missile Crisis here. See Cuban Confrontations on pages 913-
916, when the World was on the brink of a nuclear war.
Kennedy Challenges Nixon for the Presidency (Page 902)
Study Examining the Evidence The Shopping Mall as New Town Square, 1960 page 905
75. Nixon’s “Moscow kitchen debate” Moscow 1959. Nixon could stand up to the Communists.
76. Nixon-Lodge vs. Kennedy-Johnson.
77. Kennedy’s “New Frontier”
78. Catholic issue becomes no issue. See the photo and Document on page on page 903
79. TV Debates
See the map and caption Presidential Election of 1960 on page 904.
Kennedy popular votes: Electoral votes:
Nixon popular votes: Electoral votes:
Kennedy was the youngest man to be elected President. Theodore Roosevelt assumed the presidency upon
McKinley’s’ death at 42. William Clinton was elected at 46.
An Old General Fades Away (Page 904)
80. Did the Lame Duck position and the 21st. Amendment hurt Ike?
81. Alaska and Hawaii admitted into the Union in 1959.
82. No civil rights President, but Eisenhower did weave in parts of the New Deal and Fair Deal, and held the military
It is very important to read he excerpt of Eisenhower’s Farewell Address on page 904. Beware of the
The Life of the Mind in Postwar America (Page 906)
Be familiar with the literary gems of the decade. The writers and poets below listed with a (*) and a page
number are read by students in their Literature of the United States classes. The page # refers to the
excellent reader compiled by the SI English teachers. The double (**) refers to English required reading or
optional choices of individual teachers. The triple (***) refers to the Summer Reading requirement.
1. Earnest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952) ** In Our Time ** The Sun Also Rises**
2. John Steinbeck, East of Eden (1952) Travels with Charlie (1962)
3 Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead (1948)
4. James Jones, From Here To Eternity (1951)
5. Joseph Heller, Catch 22 (1961)
6. Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
7. John Updike, Rabbit, Run (1960) Couples (1968)
8. John Cheever, The Wapshot Chronicle (1957) The Wapshot Scandal (1964)
9. Gore Vidal, Myra Breckinridge (1968)
10. Ezra Pound
11. Wallace Stevens
12. William Carlos Williams
13. Theodore Roethke
14. Robert Lowell, For the Union Dead (1964)
15. Sylvia Plath, Ariel (1966) The Bell Jar (1963)
16. Anne Sexton
17. John Berryman
18. Langston Hughes, Theme for English B, Junior Addict, Harlem 1, 2. I Too * pps. 147-150.
19. Tillie Olsen, I Stand Ironing (1961) * p. 189-193.
20. Allen Ginsberg Howl, A Supermarket in California (1961), America (1956) * pps. 194-201.
21. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bird with Two Right Wings, Christ Climbed Down, Constantly Risking Absurdity, Salute!
Something During Eternity, What is Poetry? * pps. 202-206.
22. Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) Cat on a Tin Roof (1955)
23. Arthur Miller, Death of Salesman (1949) ** Crucible (1953) ** The Glass Menagerie **
24. Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun (1959)
25. Edward Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962)
26. Richard Wright, Native Son (1940) **
27. James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1953)
28. Ralph Ellison Invisible man (1952)
29. LeRoi Jones (AKA :) Imamu Amiri Baraka, Dutchman (1964)
Southern Literary Renaissance
30. William Faulkner Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech (1950) * p.167-176.
31. Walker Percy
32. Eudora Welty
33. Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men (1946)
34. Flannery O’Connor
35. William Styron, The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967)
36. J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (1951)
37. Bernard Malamud, The assistant (1957) The Natural (1952)
38. Philip Roth, Goodbye Columbus (1959) Portnoy’s Complaint (1969)
39. Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March (1953) Herzog (1962)
40. Isaac Bashevis, Singer Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978.
41. E.L. Doctorow, The Book of Daniel (1971) Ragtime (1975) *** World’s Fair (1985) Billy Bathgate (1989)
Study the chronology on page 908 Terms from the American Pageant-13th edition)
IV. Thought Provokers
1. How does Eisenhower’s political leadership compare with that of other general presidents: Washington, Jackson,
Taylor and Grant?
2. Was Eisenhower’s seeming caution and inactivity a lack of vigorous leadership or a wise prudence in the exercise
3. Was the 1950s a time of American triumph abroad and affluence at home, or was it a period that actually
suppressed many problems of race, women’s roles, and cultural conformity?
4. Which writers and artist’s best expressed the concerns of American culture in the 1950s? Was there a
connection between the rise of pop-culture figures like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe and the changes in art
and writing (like the beats and the new southern writers)?
V. Past A.P. Questions from this area of study.
(Past A.P. questions from past College Board examinations and set for The American Pageant -13th edition textbook)
1. Reform movements of the twentieth century have shown continuity in their goals and strategies.
Assess the validity of this statement for ONE of the following pairs of reform movements.
Progressivism and the New Deal
Woman’s suffrage and post-Second World War Feminism
The New Deal and the Great Society
2. Social dislocations resulting from wartime conditions frequently bring about lasting change within a society.
Evaluate the relevance of this generalization to American society in the twentieth century in view of the
experiences of Blacks AND women.
2. To what extent did the decade of the 1950s deserve its reputation as an age of political, social, and cultural
3. What were the Cold War fears of the American people in the aftermath of the Second World War?
How successfully did the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower address these fears?
Use the document and your knowledge of the years 1948-1961 to construct your response.
Cold War, 1948-1961 (Eisenhower’s Influence.) (2001 DBQ) Rubric Booklet, pages# 44-63. (A-I= 9 Docs)
4. While the United States appeared to be dominated by consensus and conformity in the 1950’s, some Americans
reacted against the status quo.
Analyze the critiques of United States society made by TWO of the following.
Civil Rights Activists