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  • Created on: 23-12-14 14:49
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  • How and why did the USA achieve prosperity in the 1920s
    • Isolationism and its effects
      • Reactions to the league
        • Woodrow Wilson was a democrat but the rivals were Republicans. They opposed the league of nations and refused to join.
          • Wilson lost the election in 1920 to Republican Warren Harding. He fought with the slogan 'America First.'
            • Warren Harding
              • He talked about returning to 'normalcy' as the idea of getting everything back to how it was before the war
                • The USA started the 1920s politically isolated from Europe, with no treaty commitments.
                  • The policy was also taken up with foreign trade and immigration
                    • Republican presidents were in power through the 1920s and implemented different policies
      • American attitudes
        • they didn't want their country involved in other disputes taking place far away
        • they believed the USA would have to bear the cost of keeping peace
    • Tariff policy: the Fordney-McCumber tariff, 1922
      • The American Government made sure that foreign goods didn't compare with their own goods
      • This put a tariff on foreign goods and made them more expensive than the same American products
      • The policy was intended to protect American industry and helped to create 'boom' conditions
      • The tariff wasn't so effective in the long term as it encouraged foreign governments to retaliate and put tariffs on American goods
    • Mass production
      • USA before 1920
        • Had grown steadily: huge resources (coal, iron, timber, oil), had a growing population, railways, mining and manufacturing
        • Early years of ww1, profited from the war in Europe
          • American industries supplied arms and equipment, American firms were able to take over much of the export business of the European powers whilst they were caught up in the fighting
      • Techniques
        • The profit of many American companies rose a lot. more goods were produced and at a quicker rate.
        • Assembly line: Henry Ford, founded Ford Motor Company in 1903, the assembly line was created in 1914:
        • A car could be produced in 1/10th of the time taken before, the price of cars came down, wages for production-line workers went up
      • Consumer industries and advertising
        • Sales of household goods such as vacuum cleaners became very popular and boosted the electrical industry
        • Mail-order catalogues, billboards, newspapers, credit and hire purchase, advertisement
    • Finance in the 1920s
      • Hire purchase
        • Paying a deposit, then paying off the rest in instalments
      • There were low interest rates, the explosion in consumer demand helped factories expand and in turn meant more jobs were available. the economy was booming
      • Many people got shares in businesses as investments. The prices of shares went up as demand increased.
      • People were often using their houses as guarantees to buy the shares
      • Buying shares on the margin
        • Borrowing money from a bank
      • Laissez Faire
        • Not interfering in businesses (republican)
      • Rugged individualism
        • Individuals are responsible for their own lives not by receiving help from the government
    • Developments in the entertainment industries
      • Films became a national obsession, millions of Americans went to the cinema each week
      • Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin
      • Jazz, became a craze and the USA was the centre of the world entertainment industry
        • Gramophone records helped jazz spread widely and quicker. Radio stations also increased popularity of sport
        • New dances became popular, the Charleston, the tango but these were seen as being in conflict with more traditional dances
  • The USA started the 1920s politically isolated from Europe, with no treaty commitments.
    • The policy was also taken up with foreign trade and immigration
      • Republican presidents were in power through the 1920s and implemented different policies

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