Essay For History

Watch all the video links that you will find at the bottom, and read ALL of the text sources that I will upload, and then respond to the following question:

What were the main characteristics of suburban consumer society in the United States during the 1950s, and what were the most important benefits and drawbacks of suburbanization and affluence for Americans in the 1950s?

In answering this question, consider the following issues:

What were some of the most important characteristics of American life in the 1950s, as portrayed in the promotional film clips from the time period, and in what ways do the primary and secondary written and printed sources contradict the image of 1950s America offered by the clips?

What do the sources, both primary and secondary, tell you about the ways that different groups of people experienced 1950s affluence? What do they tell you about issues of race, gender, and class? Were some people left out of American prosperity? Were there downsides to the new suburban lifestyle, even for those who were affluent and prosperous?

Be sure to draw on evidence from the sources to support your answer. Your paper must demonstrate a familiarity with all of the sources.

While the list of sources looks quite long, some of the sources are short, including a number of newspaper articles and short magazine pieces. The three film clips run for a combined total of about 50 minutes. Please refer to ALL THE SOURCES (including information from the videos you watch) in this essay.

Citations for this paper must be provided using footnotes or endnotes, and following the Chicago Manual of Style. When you are citing sources, follow the format that I have used in the list on the following page. A citation instruction video and a sample document are available on the class website.

No bibliography (works cited list) is necessary.

Address every part of the question. Be sure to answer each part of the question in the prompt. It may help to organize your essay using the parts of the prompt as a guide.

Include a thesis statement. You are encouraged to introduce the main argument of your essay in the first or second paragraph, so that your explanation of it is clear throughout.

Prove your point. Provide ample evidence to support your argument(s) by providing concrete examples and illustrations from your reading. Cite relevant events, assertions, passages, and page numbers.

Avoid personal sentiments. Voice your view, but avoid using the first person and personal sentiments such as “I feel that…” or “I believe that…” Your essay should make an academic argument based on evidence, not opinion.