Standards of Living in the Early 20th Century

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Tyler Bartel
History 202
2/22/11

3. The Standard of living changed with the production of mass produced goods. Before 1900 luxuries such as ready-made clothing were only accessible to the rich but when machines were able to mass produce these items it made them available to the common man. The mechanization increased wages and business but the downside to this was corporations could monopolize an industry which made it extremely hard for small businesses. Another big change in this time period was personal hygiene. Before this time society had not really made a big deal about washing yourself and staying clean. When the germ theory came about and said that germs and diseases transfer from one person to another, people became more body conscious. With the mass production of goods people were able to afford full bathrooms and flush toilets which made it easier to stay clean. 6. After the civil war it is a misconception that Indians, immigrants, and blacks were free. Indians for example were either forced to conform to the American culture or sent to reservations to live by themselves. Most of the time these reservations were terrible pieces of land and hard to live off of. Apart from being kicked off their land, the Native Americans sustenance nearly became extinct. Along with the Native Americans being discriminated against all of the other immigrants and blacks were supposedly proved scientifically inferior which the general public believed. One way they used to measure your intelligence was based upon the size of your skull. By 1920 the racial discrimination had developed into ghettos specifically to isolate “inferior” peoples. This sort of segregation would continue on until the 50’s and 60’s.
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