Leaving the Yellow House Historical Context

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A Prosperous Nation?

For many Americans, the 1950s was a decade of economic prosperity. Unemployment and inflation remained low, usually below five percent. By the middle of the decade, more than sixty percent of Americans earned a middle-class income, which at that time was a salary between $3,000 and $10,000 a year. The number of homeowners increased by more than twenty-one million during this decade, and people enjoyed material comforts and the bene- fits of household inventions and improvements. Government programs benefited many Americans. Social security and unemployment benefits also expanded in the mid-1950s, and the minimum wage increased. President Dwight D. Eisenhower also supported the largest increase in educational spending up to that time.

Nearly forty million Americans, however, lived near or below the poverty line of $3,000 for a family of four, as determined by a 1957 study. Poor Americans were more often earning a lesser portion of the...

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This section contains 718 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Leaving the Yellow House Study Guide
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Leaving the Yellow House from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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