Boom and Bust 1920s

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Boom and Bust

At those times the United States of America were a land of opportunities. The 1920s were known as the boom years. The economic boom and bust in America was based around the consumer good, mostly luxury items that people wanted to buy but didn’t really need.

American industry had profit by selling war goods to Britain and France. The disruption to British and French industry allowed America to become the world leading exporter. America only joined the war by the end, so it had not suffered so badly. So its economy recovered quickly after the IWW and by the middle of the 1920 the economy was booming. After the war there was a mass production, for example, on cars, radios, refrigerators, etc, and now people could buy on credit, making people buy more and more. Also America had large natural resources such as coal, iron and oil, and had a good agriculture. The 1920s saw a dramatic change in American industry. The mass production was cheap and quick. Every year a new million new arrivals came from all over Europe. All of these factors helped make Americans more confident and these led them to spend more, which in turn make the economy grow even faster. People were confident enough to start borrowing money to buy goods. Companies offered “hire purchase” where consumers could buy now and pay later. For example, you could hire a car for a long period of time, and once you had paid enough money the car would become yours.

Did everyone benefit from the boom? No. In the 1920s nearly half of the American population lived in rural areas. Agriculture was suffering. There were many reasons for this. Tariffs reduce trade with other countries. The over production made prices fall, etc. As a result, millions left for the cities. For the first time, more Americans were living in the cities than in the countryside. There also was great inequality. Nearly half of all Americans were too poor to take part in this consumer good based boom. Farmers did not...
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