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

    Many of these were unskilled workers who migrated to the cities where there was little demand for their labour. American's black population in particular was badly hit. They had always done the least skilled jobs in the rural areas and three quarters of a million of them became unemployed.

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

    and the oil industry (which was run by Rockerfella) increased their profits. The chemical industry also seemed to be doing well. A form of payment was also introduced called "Hire purchase" also known as credit or a loan. This meant that Americans could "buy now and pay later".

  1. How far did the USA economy boom in the 1920's?

    At this time, no one saved from the depression. In this way this Crash is very different from the Boom of the 1920�s. In the Boom, not all the Americans benefited from it (the farmers did not), but during the Crash, all the Americans were destroyed, from the richest to the poorest.

  2. America in the 1920s

    In 1931 he was found guilty of tax evasion an sentenced to eleven years in prison. He had a private army of hoodlums who fought with the rival gangs to defend their business. Prohibitions lead a lead to increase crime.

  1. Why was there a boom in the USA in the 1920s?

    it had developed slowly before the war but in the 1920s the electrical industry really boomed. By 1929 most homes in the cities had electricity and nearly 70 per cent of all Americans had electric lights. Factories were increasingly run by electricity.

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

    However by the autumn of 1929 some people were beginning to harbour doubts about this new hobby. There were so many shareholders and profits had slowly begun to slow down, until eventually they begun to fall. On Thursday 24th October 1929 - Black Thursday - 13 million shares were sold at a fraction of the price they had been bought.

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