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The decade of the 1920(TM)s was a period of prosperity for many Americans, but a time of poverty for others. Why was this so?

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Introduction

The decade of the 1920's was a period of prosperity for many Americans, but a time of poverty for others. Why was this so? In the 1920's America was the richest country in the world. As a country they were much more advanced than any other countries in the world and this made many people rich which was very good but at the same time it made many people poor and poverty became a big issue. There were many reasons for this. There were seven main reasons why the 1920's was a period of prosperity for many people. They can be split into long term and short term causes. Firstly, new methods of production caused many people to become very rich. This was a long term cause which I believe was the most important reason for many Americans being so wealthy in the 1920's. The total production of American industry had increased by around fifty percent. Formerly the production of items was a very slow process because one person worked on one product. Mass production was much quicker. This was where everything was on a conveyer belt and there were certain people for certain parts of the product. For example cars became more and more popular during the 1920's. ...read more.

Middle

This was another reason why the US was so successful in the 1920's. The only short term cause and another reason for America being so prosperous is the high rate of employment. This was because industry had increased by so much there were many more jobs. This meant that more and more people were earning wages. There was also an increase in wages but prices remained the same or even fell. Examples of this are that the motor car price fell by 60% after the introduction of the assembly line. Overall this mean that people bought more consumer goods so therefore put more money back into industry. This also led on to the new use of credit. This meant that if someone wanted to they could purchase something over and extended length of time and they wouldn't have to pay on the spot. This made many products more affordable. Both the increase in employment and the use of credit defiantly made the 1920's a time of prosperity. The 1920's was also not a very prosperous time for some people. I believe that there were four main reasons for this. These can be divided into long term and short term causes. The first long term cause was that old industries declined. ...read more.

Conclusion

This led to unemployment as many farmers couldn't afford to keep their farms so they sold them and then all of the farm workers would be unemployed. Those that could afford to keep their farms open; they lived in very bad conditions. This affected the south more than the north. This affected a lot of people and therefore is a big reason why many Americans did not prosper in the 1920's. In the 1920's there was a great amount of prejudice towards black Americans. Although they had been freed from slavery they still lived in poverty where there was also a great amount of segregation. This was very obvious in the cities where black Americans had separate restaurants, cinemas, busses, parks, hair dressers and many other things. They also suffered greatly at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan. This was an organisation which tried to preserve white supremacy over Black Americans. Their aim was to strike terror into all black Americans which included things such as night time raids. The 1920's really was a time of poverty for black Americans. I conclude that for most people in the USA the decade of the 1920's was a very successful one but for the minority it was a time of low wages, poverty and segregation. Even though this was the case America was the wealthiest and most developed country in the world. ?? ?? ?? ?? William Stephenson 31/10/2008 1 ...read more.

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