The American system of broadcasting had enormous prestige as the war ended. It was holding the nation spellbound. Its economic arrangements had fostered rapid expansion and brilliant technology. It had served war needs. It had established a modus vivendi between commercial and public service interests. A brief prewar start—aborted for war reasons—followed by wartime advances in electronics had set the stage for a television explosion, just as World War I had set the stage for radio. The sponsor-supported system evolved for radio offered a pattern for the age of television. Few doubted it would be followed. But the decade 1945-55 became one of constant upheaval and conflict, with numerous overlapping transitions. The main transition was, of course, from radio to television, as television erupted in a gold rush atmosphere. It won the national spotlight with astonishing speed and soon spread abroad as many American companies became multinational—partly in consequence of the Marshall Plan and other aid programs.