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

Who did not share in the boom of the 1920s, and why?

Extracts from this document...


Who did not share in the boom of the 1920s, and why? While there was a boom for many Americans, for farmers, black Americans, the unemployed, low wage-earners and new immigrants? life remained a struggle, the wealth wasn?t distributed evenly - there was a big gap between rich and poor in the USA. From 1914-1928 the number of millionaires increased by 28,000 however, less than 5% of the wealth was owned by the poorest 60% of Americans whilst 16%of the wealth was owned by the richest 1% of people. This meant the poorest people could not afford consumer goods and were so poorly paid there was little they could do about it as consistently low wages prevented many Americans from benefiting from the boom. Problems in agriculture led to rural poverty. During the war farmers had prospered, they had increased exports to Europe by 300% but during the 1920?s they grew more food than was needed as almost half the American people were engaged in agriculture, new machines like tractors and combine harvesters helped farmers to produce more food, and high tariffs meant foreigners didn?t buy US products. ...read more.


Many African Americans had moved from the south to the northern states to work in war industries just to find themselves being restricted by prejudice and poverty into living in poor districts. They managed to find jobs after the war but they were usually the lowest paid, the same is true for immigrants. Racism was rife in the South and 75% of Black Americans lived there. Black Americans were usually poor and exploited by white landowners. The African Americans were forced to do menial labour for very poor wages. They lived lives of misery in total poverty. The KKK made this misery worse and their membership increased 50 fold between 1920 to 1925. In the northern states, decent jobs went to the white population, discrimination was just as common in the north as it was in the South (though the Klan was barely in existence in the north and the violence that existed in the South barely existed in the north) this led to many black families lived in ghettoes in the cities in very poor conditions. New York's black Harlem district was a severely overcrowded and segregated community, with more than 250,000 citizens crammed into an area 50 blocks long and eight blocks wide. ...read more.


In 1920 the wartime cotton boom collapsed and in 1921 the boil weevil destroyed 30% of the crop however in the mid-1920s the cotton industry over produced causing prices to plunge. In 1929 a coal miners wage was barely a third of the national average income. There were also problems in the textiles industry, where 'flapper' fashions were reducing the amount of cloth used to make clothes. As not many companies? increased wages as product prices increased it meant that for low-wage earners and the unemployed the 1920?s was a really difficult time financially. Unemployment was starting to become a huge problem. By the end of the 1920s nearly a quarter of the workforce were unemployed- 14m people, especially in the industrial cities of the north. Many people became known as hobos. As a consequence of unemployment many people also became homeless. People who had borrowed ?on the margin? to buy shares lost out in 1929 and their homes were repossessed. In 1929 250,000 people lost their homes. Some people ended up on the street and park benches. Others created shanty towns which were nicknamed ?Hoovervilles? after the president at the time Herbert Hoover, although some people were helped by charities such as the Salvation Army this was only temporary halt to the suffering of many Americans. ...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. USA Boom

    Advertising made people think they needed these products. Advertising came in many forms such as posters, radio, newspapers and cinema. Adverts were very clever and were aimed at the people that were most likely to buy the product. One of the most effective ways of advertising was the ideal home.

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

    items which would all in the end and lead to less employment meaning less money for people. This cycle of prosperity was like an upward spiral that kept going on making more money for America. The more it spiralled upwards the more the companies invested in it allowing the industry to grow more.

  1. Why did Agriculture not share in the 1920'S boom?

    To add to this, the republicans made it worse by the high tarrifs put up to protect America industries. This led to make Europe poorer so still it could not afford the American prices. The effects were felt were all through America.

  2. In the 1920's America was the richest and most powerful country in the world ...

    In 1935 some Americans still lived in fear that their jobs might disappear and that they would be left in poverty once again. Roosevelt reassured them that this would not happen, and to show he meant business the Social Security Act was introduced.

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

    On average, workers only worked in assembly lines for three months because the work was monotonous and hard and Ford had to double wages in 1913 to $5 a day. In addition, workers were not allowed union representatives and there was a poor morale because people hated their jobs.

  2. To what extent was the increase in hostility towards immigrants in the U.S.A during ...

    This may have been the reason for the increase in hostility for some Americans, but there is no solid evidence which suggests that immigrants were really to blame for the spread of crime and that average Americans believed this. It is therefore a less important factor in explaining why there was increase of hostility towards immigrants during the 1920's.

  1. America in the 1920s

    One gang had four hundred police officers on its pay roll. To add to the gangland deaths there were other health problems. The drink sold in the speakeasies was sometimes dangerous made form industrial alcohol. There were numerous cases of poisoning, blindness and death caused by illegally made alcohol.

  2. What was it like to live during the 1920's in USA?

    America's first radio station was introduce (KDKA) many people listened to music (Jazz and Blues) via the radio. The introduction of catalogues gave a good reason for shopping (along with everything else) to boom. Department stores got bigger. Two of the first were "Blooming dales" and "Hustlers".

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