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Mass Production.

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Introduction

Mass Production Mass production is the manufacture of products of uniform quality in large quantities using a standardised mechanical process or assembly line. After a short post-war depression, the American economy grew rapidly in the early 1920s. By 1926, the standard of living in the USA was the highest it had ever been in the country's history and America was officially the richest nation in the world. Natural resources such as oil were abundant and this gave the USA an advantage that no other country enjoyed at that level. This profusion of natural resources led to a large-scale industrial development. New techniques meant that goods could be produced much more cheaply on a large scale which led to the production of masses of cheap goods which could be afforded by thousands of normal Americans. ...read more.

Middle

Henry Ford's mass-production techniques were taken up by other industries in America and the USA quickly became the most efficient producer in the world. The falling cost of each input offset the smaller profit margin because demand was stimulated. Employment prospects also improved with many people moving to live in the industrial cities and American industries saw huge profits and expanded enormously. However, mass production also meant that as the rich got richer, the poor got poorer. Mass production changed the fabric of American society forever. Social freedom was achieved and mass production bought an immense sense of liberty to the rural areas. Making cars affordable changed the face of America and it resulted in large scale urbanisation and the development of suburbs. It encouraged the building of roads, and the growing popularity of owning your own car made it easier to move around so people did not have to be within walking distance to work. ...read more.

Conclusion

The enormous increase in the number of cars created a knock-on effect on other industries like steel, glass and road construction, and these industries also boomed. However, mass production did not 'roar' for all workers since not everyone's income increased and the work was boring and repetitive. Mass-produced goods have to be sold to a mass-market and if not enough people buy the goods, the system will collapse. Over-production in many industries forced prices down which eventually reduced wages, particularly in old industries like cotton and mining so mass production did not 'roar' for these workers. Also, mass immigration meant that there was no shortage of workers so they were paid very little. On average, workers only worked in assembly lines for three months because the work was monotonous and hard and Ford had to double wages in 1913 to $5 a day. In addition, workers were not allowed union representatives and there was a poor morale because people hated their jobs. Alison Cheung ...read more.

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