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Lecture 9

HIST 2800 Lecture 9: Lecture 9 - March 14

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HIST 2800
Erin J Schuurs

Lecture 9 March 14th: The Way We Never Were: America Families in the Cold War Era Main point: For both men and women, a successful family life was a major personal goal. In its idealized form, during this period, the home and family life was meant to offer companionate marriage, material comfort, welladjusted children, and wives and husbands who performed well in their clearly defined roles. This was a lot to ask of the Nuclear family; family realities rarely matched these expectations. o America coming out of WWII was the only country that was able to do relatively well after Dominates in social politics and policies o Idea of Nuclear family emerges and entrenched throughout very strongly World War II and the American Homefront WWII changed peoples lives dramatically and society Families were mobilized for war; rationing and collecting scrap metal, while offering emotional comfort to family members fighting overseas was seen as a familys patriotic duty Employment and enlistment in female branches of the army, navy, coast guard, and marines, showed women that they could handle jobs traditionally reserved for men o For many women, this was the first time they experienced total economic and social independence Picking up the jobs men left behind Government encouraged women to enter the workforce, as men were leaving to go and fight over seas 1933, most women had entered the work force to helping creating the bombs that men would use at war Rosie the woman image used to encourage women to join the workforce Women joined the army; navy had a womens division; coastguard too Others chose to serve the traditional role of the nurse Millions of women left their hometowns, for the first time, and for the first time live on their own too This was a freeing experience for them o Families and couples are challenged by the war through the time they spent apart Generally not seeing them for 4 years; CanadianBritish army = 6 years This caused a lot of strain on families and couples o Rash Rationing people donated tires, rubber, didnt buy bubblegum, or whiskey, things for the war that could be used for ingredients for food Everyone was asked to collect scarp metal Children were the best at this they were encouraged to look for this Milkweed for vests Crash cans Dont buy candy buy stamps o Intense period of time o 1945 divorce rates have sky rocketed Because of the huge strain caused by being far apart from each other Women were used to being independent didnt want to give up their independence and their jobs Were shamed into giving them up to the soldiers that were coming home o WWII impacted the individuals everyday life The end of the war instead of bringing peace brought about the rise of the Cold War o Dropping of bombs on Hiroshima o See the Iron Curtin rise o Soviet Union took a lot of countries around it Imposed communism upon these countries o America wanted to stop the communism o Vietnam was a French colony was promised freedom France went back on its word Fear was that the former colonies would turn to communism, as oppose to democracy o Collectively we see the fear of nuclear weapons and communism Pivotal to see how families formed during this period The home was seen as a private space, safe, from the outside world o However flipside war, and communism showed how family should be protected o Formation of nuclear family offers promise of security, and material wealth, and global security
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