The changing quality of life, 1917-80 America

  • Created by: AbsEmily
  • Created on: 03-04-17 16:47

The changing quality of life,1917-80

·        What was the impact of economic change?

·        To what extent did living standards change?

·        How significant were changes in leisure and travel to life in the USA?

Boom, bust and recovery, 1917-41

Boll weevil= a beetle that eats young cotton plants. The boil weevil worked its way across the USA from the late 1800s and had caused a 34% drop in production by 1921.

Post war depression

-          Farming

-          Industry

-          Government reaction


-          Mass production

-          New management techniques

-          Federal policies

-          Hire purchase and loans

-          Changing industry

The stock market

-          Market

-          Bust

-          GD

-          Recovery

Was WW2 the main reason for post-war affluence in America?

Money supply= amount of money in circulation in a country. The government can affect this by printing more money.

Points that agree that affluence was due to WW2

Points that disagree

Easy to transition from WW2 production to after war. $213billion in 1945 to $284billion in 1950.

Levittown suburbs were just part of America’s economic change.

Business boom encouraged employers to expand workforces to raise wages.

Baby boom can also been seen as a point that disagrees.

Post war baby boom. Increased nappy sales from $32billion to $50billion.

Cold war arms production.

Government spending rose under Truman’s fair deal.


Food and Farmers.




Post-war affluence in America was influenced by WW2 because the war encouraged people to be thankful that the war was over and to live their lives the best they could. An example of this was the baby boom which occurred in the 1950s, fuelled by men returning home from war. It was the main reason because despite there being confidence of the economic boom resulting in post-war affluence, the most influence came from WW2.


WW2 was the main reason for America doing well as they gained a lot of money from the war by selling armaments to the allies. They also had business booms and post war baby booms that increased sales in the industry from $32 million to $50 million. WW2 caused a huge increase in industry and agriculture in the US and so was a big part of the reason why America did well after the war. Also the government spending rose after the war under Truman’s fair deal.

Stagflation = when business stops expanding and stagnates, while inflation continues.

-          Those who can afford to spend money carry on spending.

-          Have an oil crisis- costs Americans more for petrol for cars.


1.       Explain how stagflation is different from inflation.

Inflation is when the cost of products increases whereas stagflation is when business stops expanding and stagnates. Inflation continues and stagflation stops and stagflation has competition from abroad.

2.      Give 3 economic measures Nixon’s government put in place to help the economy and explain why they were not…


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