USA 1919 - 41 Notes

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  • Created on: 11-11-13 20:51
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Why did US economy boom in 1920?
WWI left USA not suffering from financial & physical damage that affected European nations e.g.
industry boosted in wartime production = owed enormous sums by Allies
Republicans in power throughout 1920s
What factors was the economic boom based?
USA's Wealth:
o Rich in raw material e.g. coal, iron ore, oil & a lot of fertile land
o Population: mainly immigrants (hard-working & ambitious)
o After WWI: rural and agricultural to urban industrial (half of people lived in cities and
town by 1920)
New industries:
o During 1920s production of American industries increased ­ 50%
o Many demand by consumers for new products e.g. washing machines, refrigerators,
vacuum cleaners & radios
o Growth of motor car industry
Rising wages & stable prices:
o Value of income rose ¼ during 1920 & prices falling/steady
o Reason: widespread adoption of assembly-line technique ­ enabled manufacturers
increase production & make good cheaply
Government policies:
o Andrew Mellon (Secretary of Treasury) control of American economy ­ believe govt.
play little part in economic life as possible & gave big business what wanted
o Main demand of business: protection against cheap foreign imports ­ Govt. increased
tariffs (The Fordney ­ McCumber Tariff Act of 1922 raised higher tan before)
o End decade home demand falling & other nations imposed own tariffs against American
goods = industry found hard to export surplus production
Hire purchase:
o Consumer good encouraged by credit ­ enabled consumers buy goods with small deposit
and pay rest weekly/monthly instalments
o Mail ­ order catalogue gave people in every part of USA chance to benefit from
consumer boom as latest fashion available for them by post
Weak unions:
o Republican Govt. hostile toward trade unions
o Employers allowed use violence break strikes & refuse to employ union members
o Unions excluded altogether from car industry until 1930s ­ allowed employers hold down
wages & keep hours of work long at time profit rising fast
Role of US Government
Relaxed regulation ­ low taxes & laissez faire approach meant competition could be positive
Freedom offered by govt. refusal to get involved allowed rapid expansion of successful businesses
­ people bought American goods as govt. made foreign goods was expensive
1920s population grew due to immigration & high birth rates
Impact of boom
Cycle of prosperity ­ increased prosperity in turn increased prosperity
Advertising billboards & radio commercials put new products directly in mind of consumers
Sophisticated sales method developed - companies aim: sell things that they never realised they
needed
Hire purchase meant people able buy good first time without paying on spot
New purchases drove consumption
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Why did some industries prosper while some did not?
Winners of the boom
Growth of national wealth = money spend on new good
Skyscrapers, highways and urban development.…read more

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How far did the US society change in the 1920s?
How widespread was intolerance in US society?
Immigration Laws
o During 19th century as interior of USA
opened up for settlement people from Europe ALL came in
o Early 20th century felt America was too full
this mean that Mass immigration had to be ended
o (WWI & fear + hatred increased this feeling
of foreigners esp.…read more

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o 1915 stated again by Georgia William Simmons ­ kept original ideas or Klan but added
hatred to: Catholics, Jews, foreigners, homosexuals, anyone of liberal views
o Soon began recruit member outside traditional homeland of Deep S
o By 1925 reached peak of 5 million members
o Secretive organisation
o Had strong appeal to white people who left behind & felt threatened by social +
economic changes of 1920s
o End of 1920 members gone into decline ­ reputation undermined by…read more

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o Black musicians often played it in speakeasies,, it was seen as wild and exciting - which
soon made it very popular.…read more

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What were the consequences and causes of the Wall Street
Crash?
How far was speculation responsible for the Wall Street Crash?
Background:
o 1928 Herbert Hoover elected president ­ USA enjoying benefits of economic boom!
o He predicted that there will be an end in poverty in USA (worst prediction in history!)
o October 1929 ­ Wall Street stock market in NY crashed ­ effect on the economy was
profound
o Wave of bankruptcies ruined confidences in American business
o Desperation…read more

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To end prohibition
7…read more

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