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Isolated from others, many middle class Americans found no reason to dissent and sought to merely enjoy the prosperity of the decade with mind-numbing conformity.The second cause of the development of the new “mass market” in 1950s society was the escalation of the Cold War.
The ‘60s were different from the ‘50s in many important ways.
The worsening conditions in the cities, feminism, and the Vietnam War caused the social and political atmosphere to become turbulent and violent.
Americans became afraid of doing anything that might make them the targets of Federal investigation by organizations like the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).
Newspaper editors and book authors grew afraid of publishing articles critical of the government in fear that they may might be accused of being Communist sympathizers and put in jail.
The first reason that this “mass market” developed was the spread of television.
Television had helped to create a “popular culture” that millions of Americans tuned into regularly.
However, conditions were improved with the landmark decision in 1954 which ruled that segregation in the public schools as “inherently unequal” and thus unconstitutional.
This decision was largely accepted throughout the North and even in the Border States, but states in the Deep South organized “massive resistance” to the decision.
By the mid-1950s marketers spent billion annually to advertise their goods or services on television.
Television caused Americans to adopt an image of the “ideal” Americans; in doing so many Americans began to succumb to societal demands.