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Describe the main aspects of the economic boom in the 1920's.

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Introduction

USA Coursework Essay - Describe the main aspects of the economic boom in the 1920's. During the 1920's the United States of America enjoyed a boom period in it's economy, which heavily altered the lifestyles of Americans and the society that they lived in. There were several main aspects of the boom, including the development of the car industry, Hollywood and the movies, the birth of the Jazz Age, the establishment of new freedoms for women and the surge in the manufacture of consumer goods. This essay explores in detail the main aspects of the economic boom, and makes links between them; also demonstrating how economic factors lead to changes in society, and vice versa. During the twenties factors such as the mass-produced motorcar not only not only altered the ways of daily life but also resulted in an unprecedented growth in business that established the US as predominant in the world. In 1921 the gross national product was $74 billion, which by 1929 had risen to $104.4 billion. The three presidents of the 1920's, Harding (1921-23), Coolidge (1923-29) and Hoover (1929-33), were all Republican who supported business and the stock market. They introduced lower taxes allowing business owners to infest profits in their businesses, but also giving them more money to put back into the economy, e.g. to spend on consumer goods. This also led to increased demand for the cars now rolling off the production line, showing how these two factors are linked; they influenced each other. ...read more.

Middle

The new cars that could now be afforded during the twenties allowed people to travel to see jazz, making it more accessible and ultimately compelling people spend more going to listen to shows, showing how these two aspects are linked. Jazz music and culture was also influenced by another aspect, Hollywood and the movies. People got to hear jazz music when it was played in films, and the first ever 'talkie' told the story of a Jazz Singer. Between 1920 and 1950 the film industry boomed. Movie stars helped lead to it's rise. In 1930 one hundred million Americans per week were 'going to the movies' to watch films. In Hollywood, a suburb of Los Angeles, film studios turned out hundreds of films each year to feed the appetites of movie goers, who fuelled the economy by paying to see them. So how did the changes movies made to the economy change society? Movie stars were popular partly because they provided people with cheap entertainment, but movies also educated people. Americans were interested in learning what cutlery to use, what hairstyles to wear and how to mix cocktails. Movies gave people social etiquette and higher aspirations in life. Society therefore changed the economy because people wanting to copy the stars paid to see more films, making the industry richer (and of course in turn fuelling the cutlery, hair and fashion industries!). ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite the vast riches of the country, wealth was certainly not distributed evenly among the people of America in the 1920's. Six million families lived on an income of less than $1000 per year. These people undoubtedly did not benefit from the boom. Agriculture also suffered a huge decline, as farm prices fell to the consumer's advantage, but leading to widespread closure, and the textiles industry declined due to new synthetic fibres being developed. Black people also did not share in the boom. Segregation and racial prejudice meant that they were forced into the most badly paid jobs, whilst other Americans enjoyed the products of a booming economy. In conclusion, during the boom in the US economy during the 1920's there was cycle consisting largely of people having more money to spend (or put back into the economy), and business making increased profits, creating more jobs, and generating or influencing other industries as they started, creating a more affluent society. The main aspects of the boom were cars, Hollywood and the movies, The Jazz Age, the liberation of women and the explosion in consumer goods. It was a range of aspects that were the features of the boom - and these factors enabled and relied upon each other. These things established the state of mind in America, which continued to fuel the consumer market. The atmosphere across the country was of a busy activity, and there was a sense of business that ensured the USA stayed prosperous. Making money was seen almost as a religious duty. Alistair Divorty ...read more.

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