When World War II ended in 1945, the United States emerged as a superpower. However, America’s rivalry with the Soviet Union began a new era known as the Cold War. The USA used economic aid, formed military alliances, built up nuclear weaponry, and fought proxy wars in an attempt to contain the growing spread of communism in Europe and across the globe. At home, the post-war economy boomed and the U.S. standard of living increased. In the 1950s, America experienced surge in consumer spending, a baby boom, growth in suburbs, an independent youth culture, the emergence of rock ‘n’ roll and TV, and the beginning of the Civil Rights movement for African-Americans.