tv [untitled] May 13, 2012 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT
so columbus' experience now, is shared. and here you see, now we've yet, the spanish have yet by 1500 yet to get to the mainland that will come later but they are certainly probing about, probing about here in the west indies. by 1520, 20 years later, you can see now how the spanish empire is in fact expanding here. and of course we carried this forward a few more decades you would see the creation of a great spanish-american empire. yes. >> so when did the kind of colonization of north america -- >> the colonization of north america doesn't really begin until early in the -- permanent, to the early 17th century. here you see the route that john cabot takes in 1497. but it won't be until jamestown and st. augustine is established. yes. st. augustine. 1565. but a few generations away.
from permanent settlement on the north american continent. think for a moment, what would the attraction be here. if you can come down here, cortez, the other conquistadors are finding these enormous civilizations. rich beyond measure, that's the attraction. who wants to go up here? what's the attraction up here? at this point not a lot. not a lot. you don't really want to go to maine, do you? not in the winter. down here. so it will take a while but yes, it comes later. this is first. and here we see an example of the spanish and portuguese explorations between 1400 and 1600. look at this. it's an incredible accomplishment. it is these navigators, these spanish and portuguese. before the french, before the english. french and english come into this late. late. when it comes to europeans and european expansion you can see
magellan, 1520. cortez, well, columbus obviously, digamma, magellan, et cetera. going, mastering the capacity now to sail to distant lands. this tremendous technological, emotional, physical triumph of being able to sail to distant lands. this is the beginning of the establishment of the european expansion into other parts of the world. so, on october 12th, remember christopher columbus. don't remember that he took the prize. don't remember that. but remember what he accomplished and the sadness in the sense of his life in that he didn't understand the great triumph that was his. any questions? anything i haven't covered that you might be curious about? yes. >> why -- they went south? >> who went south?
>> like the farthest northern explorers, cortez. >> because there is nothing to attract them. in the 16th century it's the incas, the aztecs. this is where the action is, and in india. and they do sort of poke around on the northern coast here. a little bit. but there's nothing that attracts them. why would you come up here where it's -- there aren't great kingdoms, gold mines, silver mines. no, they wanted to seize the wealth and treasure here. >> wasn't magellan like -- well, he was the first to sail under south america. >> first european. >> wasn't that like a huge accomplishment was there were rocky waters. >> exactly. >> is that why the panama canal was built? >> very treacherous navigation. right. and again, speaks to magellan's accomplishments as a navigator. yes. very, very treacherous sailing around the tip of south america
through the straits of magellan. treacherous then and today. and very long. so you're right. in the 20th century we builds the panama canal which cuts that off. >> did magellan's crew settle australia? >> no. magellan, you can see here, here is magellan. they come into the philippines, no, they don't set foot in australia. and they come down through the islands, borneo, australia is one of the late discoveries, one of the later discoveries. other questions. >> so st. augustine is -- wasn't the french right after that? >> it's john cabot. sorry. jacque cartier, in the 1530s, will be sailing here in the north. what cartier, and what cabot are looking for is once the europeans understand that there's something here called north america, what they really
want then is what do you think? once they find -- they want a way through it. because they are still fixated on getting to the east. so jacque cartier and john cabot are looking for a water route, a water route that can get them through this. they do this as an obstacle. they are looking for a water route through north america that can get them to the pacific. is there one, by the way? >> northwest passage. >> there is a water route. you can go from the atlantic to the pacific by water. it's the arctic route. called the northwest passage. which explorers will look for in the 18th and 19th and today in the 20th century. just as a footnote, this today, northwest passage, is becoming
perhaps more practical. as long as it was ice covered and only open for limited season it wasn't practical. but what's working to make it more practical today? global warming. so, if we continue to have global warming, well, we can now send vessels through here but still difficult because of the ice and the seasons. but if it continues to get warm and the ice cap melts, you'll have a direct water passage across the top. yeah. >> there are records how magellan survived the voyage? >> oh, yeah. yes. his pilot. magellan's pilot kept a log, well worth reading, by the way. you can imagine that the real challenge that they have -- what do you think would be -- lots of challenges but there is one on these long voyages that is going to bedevil. the challenge of scurvy and disease. and on these long, long passages of course, the men get ill and come down with scurvy. they have to deal with that.
but magellan is a superb navigator but gets killed. >> how many men would be on a crew? >> that's a great question. how many men. i can tell you this. on columbus' three ships there were approximately 97 men. approximately 97. a little too certain. close to 100 men. probably, given the size of the vessels, you would have maybe 40 men on santa maria, and then 30 and 30 on the others. you would probably take more men with you than you needed to run the vessel, and the reason for that would be you're going to lose some. so when they left home they were probably overmanned, they had more than sufficient number. yeah, 30, 40. i've forgotten how many were aboard magellan's vessel when she left. probably a fair number. 50, 60, but then tremendous attrition and death. >> with columbus' crew would you
say they are qualified individuals or it was kind of like penalizing, more of a lower grade? >> great question. about columbus' crew. the old wives tail that they empty the jails. the only way to get people to go. not true. in the 20th century, in the 1930s, 40s and 50 there is was this wonderful historian, her name was alice bates-gould. mrs. gould was an incredible researcher. incredible. came from quincy, massachusetts, by the way. she spent years and years in the archives in spain and elsewhere, researching that very question. who were the men who sailed? and of the 100 or so men that
were aboard, alice bates-gould managed to find the records of about 90 of them. just an incredible accomplishment. and from her evidence and her research, it would seem that no, these were experienced seamen. these were men who had been to sea. also there's always the claim, well, there must have been irishmen aboard that made it happen. must have been a french man or english man. no. columbus was italian but everybody else was spanish. all of the sea men with him. so they were good experienced sailors. they weren't criminals, et cetera. they were good. which probably accounts for the sailing over and coming back. good question. i kept you long enough, i suppose. don't forget, we don't have a paper tomorrow. actually i don't think i
probably have to remind you of that. and i'll see you next week. so have a great weekend. >> each week american history tv sits in on a lecture with one of the country's college professors. you can watch the classes here every saturday at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern, and sundays at 1:00 p.m. this week we join university of colorado history professor thomas zeiler where he discusses american abundance and prosperity in the 1950s and early 1960s. this is about 50 minutes. we are going to pick up from where we left off on monday. there we left off on prosperity. i know i was getting excited about the american dream.
we are going to talk about a period, late '40s, 50s and '60s today and about culture. a lot of this, i am going to hit you very hard with the critics argument. the critic's argument, then we are going to come back and deal with the appraiser. now you know that on monday we talked a lot about some of the tension of politics of the '40s and early '50s. now we are going to move into what the 50s meant. you see california dreaming we'll start with. one of my favorite places in the country. and of course a place that everybody wants to go to. we have californians in here? southern california? it's heaven. even if you're a new york e or from new jersey, but even if you're a new yorker, while new york city is an international city, los angeles is the american city. we'll talk about that today too. we are going to focus on the meaning of abundance of
prosperity, what that meant to america. what that meant in terms of the american dream. we have talked a lot about it in this class, talked a lot since the american civil war about tension and about a battle to bring prosperity to as wide a group of americans as possible. the praisers are going to say in the '50s we came as close as ever to that ideal. the critics are going to say this prosperity and abundance had a lot of cost to it. and negatives. again, i'm going to talk to you more, we are going to talk about what the critics say about this and we'll come back to the praisers near the end of the hour. california, to epitomize what america is. a lot of what we have talked about, trends, come out of california. in this sense, california
dreaming reflected the movement across the country but the very abundance of housing as you see on the left. mcdonald's is created there. we'll talk about that in a second. of course, the youth culture. hollywood symbolizes america and our culture of the '50s. that's why we look to southern california. it really is sort of exudes the youthfulness of the country, always has. los angeles itself in los angeles county became a stunning place in terms of the automobile culture, car culture, which we talked about a bit. car culture and the importance of the automobile. by the late 1950s, into the early 1960s, over one-third of los angeles county itself was paved. either in freeways, highways or
parking lots or malls or housing. that's stunning. that is stunning. for every four residents of los angeles, there were three cars to go with those residents. that's why the car culture is so important. especially for california. this is a region in southern california built on the car. it's why you have those massive freeways and people waiting in traffic. not a lot. that is that california culture. by 1960, there were more cars in los angeles county than latin america and asia combined, just in l.a. there's no doubt where we are today it really stems from that 1950s era.
prosperity, abundance, comfort. it's how people got around. we don't recognize how dependent we are on automobiles now, on cars. it's part of our culture. you go shop or do anything, you are in a car. how many of you have your own car? how many of you come from families with more than one car? it's standard. that's standard america. some countries look at that as luxury. others, we look at it as a standard. that is the american dream. it is what california is about. that is abundance spread throughout the country. here is another stat for you. one in seven american workers in the 1950s worked in relation to the automobile industry. whether they are making cars or in industries around that. the tire industry, glass for windshields, electronics. one out of seven americans. it is why the automobile industry is so important today. it is why we talked about the bailouts in the last few years and why the president went forward with that because the
car industry in the midwest is so pivotal. pivotal to america. you'll see, we talked about the shopping malls, the first one in kansas city. by the late '50s, there had been a decade before or after the war, four malls in the entire country, there were over 4,000 a decade later in the late 1950s. americans weren't necessarily going to department stores though they located in malls. now they were driving to do their shopping. they could do that on the interstate highway act. that led to proliferation of highways and the growth in the suburbs. this is critical development based on the cars. look down on the right here. these cars are famous for those tail fin, for those massive size of them.
some of those tail fins weighing up to 600 pounds. sometimes the chrome on some of these cars weighed in at two tons. were you worried about gas prices then? no, it was minimal. this was america. the cars are beautiful classics as we look at them today. we look at them as gas guzzlers, too. we have fuel economy today. then you didn't. obviously, these freeways and the spread out nature of los angeles itself is a spread-out city, really represented the car culture. you could afford to get around like that. you'll see here on the left, on the bottom left, the rise in the number of automobiles, millions upon millions of cars owned by americans. it's the basis of the economy and shapes our culture, too. all right, i have a picture, a couple images back there of a
mcdonald's. here is ray crock. in 1954, in san bernardino, california, right there in the l.a. area, came up with a great idea, a novel idea. he was going to provide drinks, cokes or shakes, fries and 15 cent burgers that you would drive up and buy. an affordable meal for families. that was quintessential american burger and fries. you would drive to get them, mcdonald's. a creation of that and of course billions were served. burger king and wendy's were an offshoot of this. have you eaten at a burger king, wendy's or mcdonald's? raise your hand. come on, everybody should have their hands up. of course you do. and all of this.
chipotle is just a spin off of this idea. most of those you have to drive to. think about that. we're in the era you want pedestrian friendly cities, like new york have been like that. we're getting more like that. but really, you must depend on a car even in the inner suburbs. crock came up with the idea. for families, too. you could afford this meal out. go to sonic now. it's still delivered out to your car. you order, isn't that great? it's part of the 1950s culture. on roller skates, come out and deliver food. drive-in movies, almost nonexistent now. almost. but a big move based out of the car. okay? you hook up the speaker and watch the movie in your car. the cadillac. the cadillac was the car to have
for awhile. that was in fashion. it got bigger and bigger and more luxurious. until by the end of the decade when gangsters and more salesmen and texans started driving them. then people said i don't want this. no offense to texans. then too many people driving those, too. that turned -- we convert to other cars. what was very common in this era was a station wagon. you know the laminated woods paneling, they were among families. everybody had them and you could fit more kids in them. very important that way too.
along with more driving came a concern with safety. heard of ralph nader? presidential campaign of 2000. still around. green party, an alternative political figure. nader made his name on car safety, telling detroit, the capital of the automobile industry, telling detroit the cars are unsafe. you need to provide, say, safety belts. people put on seatbelts. that was a big battle. these car companies didn't want to add in these features, they were costly. eventually, by the late '50s, he made headway. nader would veer off into other pursuits, too. let me ask a serious question. how many of you automatically put on a seatbelt when you get in a car? that is generational, isn't it? my generation wouldn't do that. when i backed out of my garage my kids would jump up and down screaming if i didn't put on my seatbelt. i had other things to do. i didn't put it on instantly.
your generation is instant now. not to mention drunk-driving campaigns as america becomes our whole culture is based on this car. more and more americans move out into the suburbs. your critics aren't that happy about a lot of these developments. they are going to be the ones to say eating at mcdonald's isn't good for you or driving in a car all the time or what about the inner cities that start to die now as people flood into the suburbs. not so positive. there will be other arguments, too that we'll get to. critics say based on that culture, a change in american society, work changes, too. no longer did you live on a farm and farm or work in a factory. an average american, middle class white american worked in a
company. you have all seen madmen, right? it's a show from the early '60s, about this same period. what you created was the picture here. it's what commentators call it. the man in the gray flannel suit. a conformist sort of figure who was barely different than anybody else. you see there's a few women here but everybody looks the same. work, say critic, wasn't based on what you made, it was based on the status in the company. i'm a vice president or became an account exec. and you would come home and tell your wife and your wife would go to the tupperware party and tell how you were promoted. we're talking about really more and more middle class americans moving into the service sector.
in banking, insurance. other industries like that. and it led to more wealth, more consumerism as people got wealthier and had more leisure time. they were not in factories ten or 12 hours a day. more leisure time. critics are saying what was created out of the '50s in an era of abundance and part of which is the automobile culture and economy was mindless materialism. just materialistic. that's what became the driver. that was a sign of status. we know it's true. we know it's true today. we know that's what iphones are based on. that's what a bigger and bigger house is based on. it's materialism. it's comfort and critics say it
leads to sort of an ethical dilemma, sort of an illusion, an illusion you can have happiness through luxury. and we've gone through the 60s generation that said no, happiness through yoga and natural food. we believe the more stuff you have, the happier you are. this is a product of post-war america. as soon as all the problems are ironed out in politics in the late 40s and the tension and the new deal started to wane, in the 50s america reaches its height by the 60s it's a height of prosperity. relative to other nations. critics say it's not such a good thing. we'll talk about that too. that's your status. this look good to you? some of you will say yeah, i believe in high density urban living.
talk about density. you can touch your neighbor. daily city in san francisco. is this the american dream? critics say well yeah. it's better than the farm, it's better than the inner city. it's better than a tenement house. it's better than the lower east side. it's better than worrying about starving or not having enough food. or living in some crowded area. sure, it's what it's all about. this is middle class living. this makes for a moderate, more democratic country. critics will say no. this leads to conformity, a mass market appeal to less democracy as people tune out in a way and all they care about is getting
their condo or house and paying a lot for it. this has real implications. and say critics let's not kid ourselves. there are large segments of the population left out of this american dream, at least for a long time. out of prosperity, out of abundance. these guys, these african-americans probably okay, real estate brokers. but we know the segregation, the discrimination faced by african-americans, hispanic, jewish americans and others who are red lined, not allowed to live in certain areas as real estate brokers draw red lines around them. they find their own places to live but the united states is not a truly equal of course integrated place in the 1950s. so we're talking about white middle class largely if you were in there, you would do okay. but for a lot of groups that wasn't the case at all. so let's not forget about that either. and television. perhaps along with air conditioning, the greatest
invention mid century america. been around since the '30s. but television is critical. >> is this the kind of culture we want? a middle class suburban culture revolving around the rec room, around the television set. it's an era we made way for television. 5 million a year sold in the 50s. until by the 60s 90% had televisions. survey, how many of you have a television at home, how many more than one? more than two? big screen. how many have big screen. come on, get the hands up. of course you do. this is a wonder of the age. a wonder of the age. and advertisers knew it. as you see, 10 billion a year in advertising revenue go to the
networks. amazing. so, these advertisers knew a good thing. you could develop a whole industry of materiel television dinners. sometimes two or three aisles in the frozen section. where does that come from? americans are so busy because they are watching perhaps so much tv, so busy, not even cooking. you can have tv dinners. that's where it all comes from. and advertisers saying not only a tv dinner but happiness, your happiness depends on frozen peas. or french perfume. that's happiness. buy it. buy all this stuff. happiness is smoking a cigarette, a camel cigarette because you look cool. advertisers under the gun. some of this is banned from
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