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America In 1920’s Sources Coursework

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Introduction

America In 1920's Coursework: Part 5 The statement "America in the 1920's was the land of freedom and opportunity" is quite often overused. This is apparent when developing the full meaning of the statement. Throughout the 1920's America was a mass of swirling activity and changes. This affected different people and different industries in many different ways. A boom had been started and looked like it would never end. Millions of immigrants flooded into America to join the prosperity that many were benefiting from. Using Source B (2) we can see that between 1907 and 1914 from Europe alone there was a massive 862,514 immigrants entering America. Due to the long-term affect of the First World War on industry and agriculture in Europe, America's trade received a huge boom. They could now trade to Europe (who before were fairly self-reliant) and the Southern Hemisphere where Europe had dominated previously. Technology boomed as well. Meaning that many people could now afford the luxuries that new technology brought. For instance with the boom, many people were becoming richer or had the confidence to borrow money. With this new wealth they bought cars (a new low cost luxury), radios, shares, invested in mail order and so on. In source A, we can see that many of the points made in the American Constitution and the 13thand19th amendments supported the statement too. Showing that if the laws were relaxed Americans would be more able to behave how they liked, and brake fewer laws. ...read more.

Middle

For instance the agricultural industry had been doing great after the war. Selling across the world at any price they wanted. When Europe was up and running again, new tariffs were introduced in America to increase spending and slow the amount of unnecessary imports form Europe, imports had added tax. Soon world trading reduced with America. The arrogance of America soon leads to a collapse in its agricultural industry. Farmers could no longer sell abroad (where most of their customers were based) and could not compete on home soil with the unbeatably low prices that the Canadians could get away with. Meaning many became bust and had to sell up and move on out. This large-scale reduction in farmers meant, amounts of food fell hugely. The other sources are a mix of primary and secondary sources, which tend to disagree with the statement. This is the case with the 18th amendment of source A, and sources B (1), B (2), B (3), C (1), C (2), D (3), E and F. The 18th amendment was a mistake and should never have been passed. The prohibition of alcohol was an infringement of the first point "from the Bill of Rights". This lead to an increase in criminal activity, with people paying gangsters for illegal alcohol. Source E a primary source of "Al Capone speaking in 1929" is another prime example of this violation, "I'm a businessman. ...read more.

Conclusion

Though this is a source, which is based on the suffering of immigrants, etc. It is an impartial source throughout and though in little detail, it does cover both sides of the story. It is the only source for disagreeing with the statement that is truly trustworthy for its facts. The others are all partial in one way or another. Overall I do not agree with the statement "America in 1920's was the land of freedom and opportunity." I do feel that the sources that do agree benefited the whole country of America in one-way or another. Technological advances, the boom in industry and increasing spending was a good foothold for the future but it was largely based on the borrowing of money, shares and agriculture, which was rapidly worsening. On the contrary the sources that disagree with the statement, largely outnumber the agreeing ones, which largely backs up my opinion. The discrimination against blacks, Jews, Immigrants etc, that was taking place all across America does not in any way constitute towards the statement in question. Looking back again the disagreeing sources largely outweigh the agreeing ones and from my own knowledge of the persecution that took place and the terrific Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression that followed, primarily based on the large scale borrowing of money towards the new technology and better standards of living. I feel this statement is false and America did not live up to this expectation after the initial few years. Word Count (excluding quotes) : History Coursework 5U - 1 - Tim Burtenshaw ...read more.

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