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What was life like in the 1950s?

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Quick Answer

In the 1950s, the country had recovered from the poverty and hardship from the Great Depression and was enjoying the beginning of an economic boom. Home ownership became more common, and the development of suburbs and automobile production prevailed during a time of an increase in material wealth.

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Full Answer

The American economy was on the upswing in the 1950s, and people left the city to live in the suburbs, where they found housing more affordable. Planned living communities were constructed, sometimes referred to as "Levitttowns" because of William Levitt's idea to efficiently develop the neighborhoods. This expanded suburbia and allowed American families to purchase homes.

General Motors, Chrysler and Ford manufactured cars on assembly lines in an effort to create more affordable vehicles, and this allowed more Americans to have access to cars. As Americans material wealth grew, shopping centers and fast food restaurants became more prevalent.

Schools in the 1950s consisted of an individual class for each grade. The number of school-age children grew in the 1950s following the baby boom of post World War II, so more teachers were needed and more schools were built to accommodate the increase of students.

Howdy Doody, Coca-Cola and televisions were popular products in the 1950s. Many products became popular because customers saw them advertised in television commercials or featured on television shows.

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