• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was America in the 1920s a land of economic prosperity?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent was America in the 1920s a land of economic prosperity? Few historians can doubt that America was a land of economic prosperity in the 1920s but there is still some controversy to the extent in which such prosperity extended to all sections of American society. Many factors contributed to such prosperity. The economic boom was fuelled by rich natural resources such as oil, coal, iron and gas. The USA also led the world in most areas of industry. It was foremost in developing new technology and its film industry was growing rapidly. America also made money out of the war and its decision to remain neutral was an economic masterstroke since it sold guns and ammunitions to the Allies as well as loaning them money which America got back with favourable interest. ...read more.

Middle

Henry Ford the owner of the Ford car company introduced the production line into car factories. Each car was worked on by many people as it moved along a conveyer belt meaning more cars can be produced in a shorter time. This meant that the price of cars fell meaning more people bought them. In 1919 9million Americans had cars and by 1929 this figure had grown to 26 million. The multiplier effect on other industries was considerable and in many ways the automobile industry serviced the whole economy. Other new industries grew in this time. Most were electrical goods like the washing machine and the Hoover. Hire purchase meaning people could buy more goods and pay for them over a long period of time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Not all American people shared in the boom either. The black community and immigrants suffered prejudice, poor employment opportunities, and a lack of formal education and health problems. Their wages were often pitifully low and certainly did not increase at the scale of company profits. Indeed, the image of prosperity in America was in many ways just a fa�ade as many Americans still suffered abject poverty and limited opportunities. Statistically, 10% of American income in 1925 went to the poorest 42% of people and conversely 32% of the income went to the richest 5% of the people. So the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer. So the divide grew as some groups benefited more than others. Clearly, the economy was based on a consumer boom in which many Americans were in fact excluded. The basis was created for a great collapse. Marc Cotterill ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1919-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1919-1941 essays

  1. To what extent did America roar in the 1920s?

    National prohibition came into force on 16th January 1920 and the Volstead Act implemented the 18th Amendment. As soon as alcohol was banned, a black market developed since vast amounts of money could be made from the production, importation and sale of alcohol and because the consumption of alcohol was not illegal, drinking became a more secretive and expensive business.

  2. (Q1) Describe some of the key features of Americn society in the 1920's?

    People were buying goods with the money that they did not have. Demand for household objects started to increase America's profits with the majority of the people buying on credit. America had made seven years worth of money just from the motor vehicle industry, the chemical industry and the electricity industry.

  1. To what extent were the 1920s “roaring”?

    Cinema had a huge impact on young people especially. People were inspired by the stars, they wanted to follow them. Cinema especially had an impact on young people. Therefore the 1920s were roaring for some young people. In the 1920s women were getting employed more. There were new labour saving devices that helped women who were housewives.

  2. To what extent was America in the 1920's a 'Divided society'?

    Also there was the idea of everyone entitled to a fair trial and that everyone was allowed their rights no matter what their race was. The unity spread still to the way the country was governed. Although there were separate state laws, there were the federal laws which al states had to adhere to, showing signs of unity.

  1. How real was the prosperity of the 1920's in America?

    afford to buy the new consumer goods and did not rely on all these easy credit schemes. This leads us into another group of people, who, on the surface looked like they were enjoying prosperity, but it was not real prosperity.

  2. Why did people go to the Land of opportunity?

    For example, some people were told that the streets, in the USA were 'paved with gold', however when many people arrived to America, they found that this was not the case, and in fact that many unskilled immigrants were made to do hard laboured work which was dangerous and hazardous in many cases.

  1. America in the 1920s

    Individual groups lost their ethnic identity and blended together with other groups - Irish- Americans, French Canadian - Americans and German- Americans- competed for the best jobs and the best available housing.

  2. Revision Notes - the USA in the 1920s and 30s.

    Was a huge success, and is the only alphabet agency which is still in use. To help with the banking crisis Emergency Banking Act Stopped banks from investing money in the stock market, and to increase confidence in banks. Reconstruction Finance Corporation Hoover's agency kept on going, but it was

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work