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After the First World War, America experienced a massive economic boom, with an
increased demand for American goods and rapid industrial growth.
Brief economic recession at the start of the 1920s
As the decade moved on, the economy boomed and America began the age of consumerism
-Many Americans bought cars,…

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The number of people filing income tax returns for earnings of more than $1 million a year
rose from 65 to 513.
People began to travel more by aeroplane

Effect on society (Link between prosperity and social change)

Jobs were easy to find
Jobs were better paid than before

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Social problems
People who were wealthy in America were extremely rich, but few people shared in this
prosperity. Only 5 per cent of the American population owned a third of the wealth, while
42 per cent of the population were living below the poverty line.

Before the First World…

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Gang leaders such as Al Capone and Bugs Moran battled for control of Chicago's illegal
drinking dens known as speakeasies.
Capone claimed that he was only a businessman, but between 1927 and 1930 more than
500 gangland murders took place.
St Valentine's Day massacre in 1929 when Capone's men killed…

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Effects of the Depression
Unemployment - 13 million people were out of work.
Industrial production dropped by 45 per cent between 1929-1932.
The entire American banking system reached the brink of collapse.
1929-1932, 5,000 banks went out of business.
Starvation probably caused deaths through illnesses due to lack of nutrition…

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Some historians have said that failing to deal with unemployment was the biggest
weakness of the New Deal. Criticism of Roosevelt emerged from several directions.

With the 1936 presidential election on the horizon, the New Deal began to change
direction. Some historians have interpreted the change by saying there were…

Page 7

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4. The New Deal was the most expensive government programme in American History ­
some of its projects could be accused of wasting money


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