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How diverse was American Society on the eve of the boom?

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Introduction

How diverse was American Society on the eve of the boom? 40 million people immigrated to the states between 1850 and 1914. In 1020, The United States was as mixed a multitude as it had ever been before, composing of more colours; religions and speaking more languages than had ever been the case before. Hence the term 'melting pot' was ascribed to explain the mixed society. In order to examine the diversity of America on the eve of the boom wealth and generation are examples of factors that will be considered. The Old immigrants were the first European settlers, descending from Britain, Germany and Scandinavia. Nicknamed the White Anglo Saxon Protestants or WASPS, they tended to hold the best jobs and grasp of political power. Their beliefs tended to be rigid and old fashioned. To them the new industrial cities swarming with immigrants was viewed as sordid and ungodly. It would appear that the notion of the immigrations losing their identity and becoming 'Americans' would almost be deemed as laughable. ...read more.

Middle

By 1920 manufacturing had now overtaken agriculture to be the nations largest industry. One of the reasons for this change was that more people were living in towns after World War I. However many immigrants didn't move to the cities and continued their farming lifestyles in the American west. In 1920, 1,000 foreign born or non white inhabitants were part of the 3,000 or so American counties population. In terms of wealth, America was a country of extremes where the very rich and the very poor lived. The top 1 % earned almost 15 % of all incomes in 1920 and in 1924, 4.6 % of all stockholders owned 76.9% of all stock. The poor on the end didn't earn as much. In a study by the Lynds, they found that of their sample of 100 working class families in Middletown, in 1924 were earning less than the $1,920 deemed to be the minimal yearly cost of living for a standard family of five people in that year by the Bureau of Labour. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was one telephone for 14 1/2 people in 1910 and by 1920 there was one for every 8 1/2 people. Fewer than half a million passenger cars registered but by 1920 in excess of 8 million cars registered. Although the figures sound impressive, it doesn't tell the whole story. The latest scientific innovations, the automobiles, the telephones, the radios, the refrigerators were all largely on offer to the upper and middle class Americans who were increasing during the 1920s.As wages were low and employment not frequent, many potential customers simply weren't at the stage to join in the spending spree. Prices may have fallen but this was largely due to the many American companies recruiting cheap labour from abroad. These workers would work for a fixed price. After examining the various factors, it would appear that USA was a very diverse nation. It almost surely would have drawn envy from its European rivals and even force them to consider to try and compete with the States. However for many positives, there were also many negatives and therefore, it struggled to keep up with the demands of a fast growing nation. Trevino Alfonso Page 1 5/9/2007 ...read more.

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