Post-War Policies and Society

In Unit 7, we will focus on the effects of World War II and the United States’ involvement in the Cold War on domestic policies and society. This is a time of fun and excitement, but also tension and change.

The 1950s brought with it an emergence of culture and spending; Rock-n-roll, television, a growing and successful middle-class. These were times of perceived happiness, overshadowing racial and social difficulties, and creating a polarized society. The events unfolding overseas during the Cold War will also fuel the instability arising at home.

The 1960s is often referenced as the Counterculture Movement, a turbulent era that brought with it liberal ideas and movements. From the protests over Vietnam and the Civil Rights Movement to the rise of minority rights for Native Americans, Hispanic farmers, and women, it was a time to voice opinions in the spirit of change and social justice. 

Unit 7 Readings and Resources


Hamby, A.L., Neely, M.S., & Clack, G. (2009). Outline of U.S. History. New York: Nova Science Publishers. 

  • Chapter 12: Postwar America, pp. 193-198
    • Read the following sections: The Postwar Economy: 1945-1960, The Fair Deal, Eisenhower’s Approach, The Culture of the 1950s, Origins of the Civil Rights Movement, and Desegregation
  • Chapter 13: Decades of Change: 1960-1980, pp. 199-210
    • Read the following sections: The Civil Rights Movement, The Women’s Movement, The Latino Movement, The Native American Movement, The Counterculture Movement, Environmentalism, Kennedy and the Resurgence of Big Government Liberalism, Kennedy and the Cold War, The Space Program, Death of a President, Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society, The War in Vietnam, and The Election of 1968

Klarman, M.J. (2004). From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the struggle for racial equality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Chapter 7: Brown and the Civil Rights Movement

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