Unit 6: Making of Modern America
Chapter 37 Application ?s and Key Terms
1. In what ways was the Eisenhower era a time of caution and conservatism and in what ways was it actually a time of economic, social and cultural change?
The Eisenhower era was considered a time of caution and conservatism. Eisenhower’s dynamic conservatism called for a liberal attitude towards society but pursed conservative economic and political actions. Also, the fear of the Soviet Union and communism brought along extreme anti-communist like Joseph McCarthy whose accusatory actions indicated the perhaps excessive and unnecessary caution taken by the American people. This time was also a period of economic, social and cultural change. Eisenhower’s policy of small government encouraged private companies and states to have more control over the economy. Women, although expected to stay at home as mothers and wives were influenced by their changed roles during and after WWII. Novels like The Feminine Mystique during this time launched the future women’s movement that called for political and social rights for women. African-Americans suffered from segregation especially in the South but during the Eisenhower era, decisions like Brown vs. Board of Education helped to alleviate the discrimination and acted as an impetus to start the black civil rights movement. During this time, people like MLK, Jr. emerged to support this movement. The Americna culture was standaridized with the advent of television, exposing millions of Americans celebrities like Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and televangelists like Baptist preacher Billy Graham. Thus, the Eisenhower era witnessed not only conservatism and caution against communism but also drastic economic, social and cultural transformation.
2. How did Eisenhower balance assertiveness and restraint in his foreign n policy in Vietnam, Europe and