''The boom of the 1920's did not benefit all Americans''. Explain how far you agree with this statement.

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‘‘The boom of the 1920’s did not benefit all Americans’’. Explain how far you agree with this statement.

        Not everyone did well during the boom in America. Most of the profits made by industry went to businessmen and those who had enough money to be able to buy shares and stocks. However the farming industry in America slumped as European farming recovered after the war. Also, American farmers had to compete with farmers in Argentina and Canada, as they were producing goods at cheaper wheat, and the same quality if not better. The American government had vetoed the bills that had been passed through congress to guarantee farm prices by President Coolidge. This caused many small farmers to go bankrupt. We also know that it was not a popular time for people living in the countryside in the 1920’s as over six million people left to live in the cities, which implies that the people living in the cities were having a much higher living standard than those who were living in the countryside. By 1930 over half of Americas population were living in major cities.

        On the contrary to the countryside, in the cities people were benefiting from increasing share prices, new consumer goods, mass production- bringing the price of goods down, pay rises in industry and inflations in companies. It was a new and very comfortable life style. There were new consumer goods being produced all the time, and people who couldn’t normally afford them were able to buy them on credit and pay off the price over a period of time, paying a little bit back each month. Large business owners found tax cuts saving some of them over $400,000. The government thought that buy cutting tax prices there would be more profit in the companies, meaning that the profit would pass down the company and all would benefit.

        However, it wasn’t only the farmers who were not benefiting from the boom, in some industries many people had gone on strike over working conditions and low pay; this shows us how the ‘laissez-faire’ idea of leaving companies alone, and low taxing on companies so the wealth would trickle down, was not going to plan, and not everyone in the industries was happy. From the coal miners’ strike in 1919-1920 Harding set up an inquiry into the conditions in the mines, and his results were largely in favour of the minors but no action was taken. We can see from this that the government was staying stagnant through the boom, as they refused to give farmers a guaranteed price for their goods, and did not step in to help the working conditions of the minors.

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        As industries ‘boomed’ and grew, and living standards increased in the cities, more and more people became unemployed, in the farming industry. Also in North Carolina in 1928, male workers were being paid $18 dollars and women only $9 for a 70-hour week, at that time $48 a week was considered to be minimum requirement for a decent living standard. It has also been estimated that about 42% of Americans were living below the poverty line, and did not have enough money to pay for essentials such as food, clothing and housing. Also, even though the industries were growing, there ...

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