Industry in Detroit

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  • Topic: General Motors, Detroit, Metro Detroit
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  • Published : May 6, 2012
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Automotive and Narcotic: The driving industrial forces behind the rise and fall of Detroit. Ben Haythornthwaite - C09674934
09 – April – 2012
Dr. Lorcan Sirr – Literature Review
Word Count- Approx 1,800

A painting named ‘Detroit Industry’, by Diego M. Rivera

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction........................................................................................................3 2.0 History of Detroit..............................................................................................3 3.0 The rise of Detroit.............................................................................................3 3.1 Motor Industry...................................................................................................4 3.2 Wartime Detroit................................................................................................5 4.0 The Fall of Detroit.............................................................................................5 4.1 Narcotics Industry............................................................................................5 4.2 The Crack Epidemic.........................................................................................6. 4.3 Race War..............................................................................................................6 5.0 Conclusion...........................................................................................................7 Bibliography..............................................................................................................8

1.0 Introduction
Detroit has always been the quintessential industrial city; it has an extremely volatile economic timeline that has shown highs and lows at an astronomical level over the past century. This literature review is researching Detroit’s broad economic spectrum and the industrial drivers which resulted in its instability. ‘Detroit turned out to be heaven, but it also turned out to be hell’. (Marvin Gaye)

2.0 History of Detroit
As this literature review is focused mostly on the narcotics and motor industries within Detroit, the time period it is focused on is primarily post 1900. “Detroit has a particular need to understand the past, as the city has developed to a current state that is widely considered to be negative”. (Rudary, 2008) According to Scot M. Bernstein, Detroit had the reputation of being a rowdy river town long before the advent of modern organised crime. ‘Under French, British, and, finally, American rule, smuggling, gambling, brothels and other forms of vice flourished, and with the birth of the automobile industry the city of Detroit grew rapidly.’(Bernstein, 2006) The cities rapid growth and reliance on the automotive industry has meant that Detroit is always severely affected by changes in the industry itself. For example America’s energy crisis in 1979 opened people’s eyes to the fact that the large American gas guzzlers where becoming obsolete compared to the more fuel efficient Japanese counterparts, this realisation was the beginning of the end for the kingpins of the motor city. (Temple, 2010)

3.0 The rise of Detroit
“Yes Detroit is enjoying its finest hour, there is a renaissance, a rebirth in the city. There’s newness in Detroit. I am honoured to be serving as Mayor at this most eventful and productive time in Detroit’s history and I’m honoured to be a participant in the Detroit story.” (Jerome Cavanagh, 1965)

3.1 Motor Industry
By shortly into the twentieth century, Detroit presented itself to the world as, according to historian Olivier Zunz, a “total industrial landscape.” The status of Detroit as a small centre of production transformed overnight, when early one June morning in 1896 Henry Ford’s “quadricycle” rolled down Grand River Avenue for the first time. This lead to the invasion of the automobile factories, and the industrial boom that followed transformed Detroit, helping cement...
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