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American Economy: 1920s and the Great Depression

A Dynamic Economy

The 1920s was remembered as a happy and prosperous period for American society, with the rapid development of industry, notable changes in working conditions and wages, and the transition to an urban lifestyle. Specifically, to increase production efficiency, business people broadly began to utilize science achievements and involve a skilled and highly qualified workforce, which provoked a leap in the number of engineers across the country. The switch from coal to electricity as a source of power and the birth of considerably faster conveyor manufacturing were also remarkable events. Additionally, the industry development prompted the large-scale organization’s growth, that is, the formation of enormous corporations with millions of workers and merging trends.

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To my mind, the shifts in the industry of that period caused revolutionary changes in the lives of workers and the overall society. Conveyor manufacture, the increased significance of science, and the widespread application of machines in production resulted in the amplified demand for qualified and educated employees instead of laborers. The 1920s laid the foundation for evolving from an industrial economy to a post-industrial economy based on the service and sale sectors.

The Great Depression

In contrast to the 1920s, the following period in USA history, called the Great Depression, was marked with painful and sometimes catastrophic tendencies for the whole American nation, without exception. October 29, 1929, called “Black Tuesday,” when the stock values crashed, is regarded as the forerunner of the Depression. It is worth noting that there was no apparent underlying cause of this phenomenon. The tremendous increase in sales of automobiles, clothing, and processed foods led to a new consumer-oriented economy incited by job growth, a conducive business environment, and generous consumer credits. When the stock market dropped, mass unemployment produced the collapse of purchasing power. A shaky financial and credit systems only exacerbated the highly complicated economic situation. As a result, the US gross national product shortened from $104 billion in 1829 to $74 billion in 1933, and workers’ combined income fell by over 40 percent.

Personally, I think that the most evident and costly failure of Hoover’s policy was the adoption of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, considered to be the most protectionist law in US history in 1930. This measure implied the raised import duties to an unprecedented level, which closed borders to foreign goods and provoked a violent trade war and the American deep agriculture crisis.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 31). American Economy: 1920s and the Great Depression. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/summary-opinion-responses-of-economic-great-depression/

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "American Economy: 1920s and the Great Depression." May 31, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/summary-opinion-responses-of-economic-great-depression/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'American Economy: 1920s and the Great Depression'. 31 May.

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