The 1950s were a decade marked by the post-World War II boom, the dawn of the Cold War and the civil rights movement in the United States.
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The United States was the world’s strongest military power. Its economy was booming, and the fruits of this prosperity–new cars, suburban houses and other consumer goods–were available to more people than ever before. However, the 1950s were also an era of great conflict. For example, the nascent civil rights movement and the crusade against communism at home and abroad in the Korean War exposed underlying divisions in American society.
The booming prosperity of the 1950s helped to create a widespread sense of stability, contentment and consensus in the United States. However, that consensus was a fragile one, and it splintered for good during the tumultuous 1960s.