Inequalities of Wealth & a Divided Society

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  • Inequalities of Wealth & a Divided Society
    • American Attitudes Towards Wealth in the 1920s
      • attitude/ state of mind is key to american society
      • belief of prosperity
      • in the 1920s spending was seen as s good quality
      • 1920s: many americans were spending
      • billionaires and industrialists were benefiting from boom
      • over half the population including African Americans & recent immigrants remained on breadline
    • Farmers
      • large group in american society who didn't prosper in 1920s
      • total farm income dropped from $22 billion in 1919 to $13 billion in 1928- main problem was overproduction
    • Workers in Old Industries
      • workers in old industries (coal, leather, textiles, etc.) didn't prosper
      • coal industries suffered from competition of new industries (oil, electricity, etc.)
      • leather & textiles protected from foreign competition but not domestic- suffered from development of new man-made materials & struggled to compete with cheap labour in southern states
    • The Unemployed and the Poor
      • growth in industry didn't create many new jobs- were growing by electrifying/ mechanising production
      • same number (about 5%) unemployed at peak of boom in 1929 as in 1920
      • millions of unemployed americans
      • unemployed & poor damaged american industry
      • 1920s boom = consumer-led boom= normal families buying things for their home
      • lots of families = poor so couldn't buy luxury goods= demands fell
      • Republican policy remained not to interfere included with doing nothing about the poor and unemployed


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