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Why did Agriculture not share in the ‘boom’ of the 1920’s ?

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Introduction

Why did Agriculture not share in the 'boom' of the 1920's ? Not all people and businesses shared in the prosperity of the 1920's. The worst of the effected was the agricultural industry. There are many reasons as to why agriculture did not share in the boom of the such as falling demand, World War 1, overproduction and increased competition. All of these link together to explain the reasons why agriculture did not share in the boom. At the end of World War 1, America had exported a great deal of it's resources such as wheat, to Europe. Now that the war had ended, Europe was left poor and could not afford much of this trade anymore as the prices were too high. They had become America's main market so this loss of market meant that the businesses selling their resources to Europe lost profit. ...read more.

Middle

The tariffs and competition completely desecrated their business concerning exports to outside of America but within America, they would have problems selling their produce too. During the 1920's, America's population was falling which meant that there were fewer mouths to feed. The overproduction of products such as wheat that was caused by new technology (better machinery such as the combine harvester) meant that there was a surplus amount of product that nobody wanted. People weren't buying as much because of the lack of people and also because the new 'Roaring Twenties' lifestyle was very luxurious and many people now demanded meats and vegetables. The farmers of the 'luxury' products of course did not suffer as badly in fact some prospered. For example, the shipping of lettuce went up by 38,000 crates between 1920 and 1928. The surplus amounts of the other products such as wheat also lowered the value of the product so that even if the Americans were ...read more.

Conclusion

This didn't just effect the prices of cotton but the wages aswell. People were employed to pick the natural fibres and because the business lost profit, wages were cut. The worst effected of these was maize where the price for a bushel went from 45 pence to 10 pence. All of these reasons explain how agriculture did not share in the boom of the 1920's and I think that overproduction is probably the factor that had the largest restricting and devastating effect on agriculture because if it had not happened, the businesses and small farmers would not have been effected so greatly. It wouldn't have lowered the prices even further as it did which was not needed at all because of all the other factors that have been explained and the businesses would possibly have suffered less greatly. All the reasons mentioned though were needed to have such a large scale effect on the agricultural industry during such a prospering time in America's history. ...read more.

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