World War II

World War II
After World War I, economy shot up causing historians to call the 1920s the ?second industrial revolution.? The economy of the 1920?s was a key change as it brought about new mass production, mass consumption, and set the stage for the ever-looming Great Depression. The 1920?s saw a great boom in mass production which allowed for cheaper prices of technology products. This decade was marked by an enormous expansion of consumer credit, where Americans were used to finance purchases of new products such as the growing popularity of cars and radios, which were created by the mass production. The automobile, movie, radio, and chemical industries skyrocketed during this decade-one of the most important was the automobile industry. As mass-produced automobiles were churned in by Henry Ford, about 1.9 million cars had been sold by the end of 1929. The economy of the automobile society had a great impact on not only business, but also society. Henry Ford, who had revolutionized the new workers day and the concept of mass-production, had indirectly affected how Americans lived and behaved. Cars promoted other markets to grow, such as steel, rubber, glass, and petroleum. It also promoted urban and suburban growth, where a new class of Americans was rising. Now, citizens could drive to new places, meet new people, act differently?etc?The speed with which the products of mass production diffused through America was astonishing: not just automobiles but also washing machines, refrigerators, electric irons, electric and gas stoves?a whole host of inventions and technologies that greatly transformed that part of economic life that takes place within the household. However, this changing and rising American economy cause called one major consequence. For one of the major consequences of mass production was the building-up of the stock of capital goods for within-the-home production. And this of course, was the biggest key change?because it seemed like the rising stock market and industry of the 1920s would stay forever. This rising stock market led to the Great Depression?a downward spiral of economic depression. The booming economy of the 1920?s led to the Great Depression. It affected almost all of the industrialized world. The main cause of the depression was because of the unequal distribution of wealth throughout the 1920?s, and the extensive stock market speculation that took place during the latter part that same decade. The mal-distribution of wealth in the 1920?s existed on many levels. Money was distributed disparately between the rich and the middle-class, between industry and agriculture within the United States , and between the U.S. and Europe . This imbalance of wealth created an unstable economy. The excessive speculation in the late 1920?s kept the stock market artificially high, but eventually lead to large market crashes. These market crashes, combined with the mal-distribution of wealth, caused the American economy to capsize.
The beginning of the Great Depression was on October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday. This is when the shaky economy went down the tube. Over 16 million shares were traded as panic started ensuing?shattering the economy. Many people most their credit and debt and lost lots of money. It was a time where millions of workers lost their jobs-by 1933, 12.6 workers were unemployed. Farming and rurual areas suffered as crop prices fell, trade decreased greatly, as did personal incomes, tax revenues, prices, and profits. Mining and logging areas had a striking blow as demand fell sharply. But, the Great Depression was a key change to the economy, because it brought about a number of things. The stock market crash of October and the Great Depression was the starting point of the important financial reforms and trading regulations that changed how America ?s economy was viewed. New Deals enacted by Roosevelt were put in charge in order to combat such economic destruction. For example, the New Deal:
? Reforming the financial system, especially the banks and Wall Street. The Securities Act of 1933 comprehensively regulated the securities industry. This was followed by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 which created the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Though amended, the key provisions of both Acts are still in force as of 2007). Federal insurance of bank deposits was provided by the fdic (still operating as of 2007), and the Glass-Steagal Act (which remained in effect for 50 years).
? Instituting regulations which ended what was called ?cut-throat competition,? which kept forcing down prices and profits for everyone. (The nra, which ended in 1935).
? Setting minimum prices and wages and competitive conditions in all industries. (nra)
? Encouraging unions that would raise wages, to increase the purchasing power of the working class. (nra)
? Cutting farm production so as to raise prices and make it possible to earn a living in farming (done by the aaa and successor farm programs).
The Great Depression not only brought changes about the government and economy, but abroad it set tensions among
the democratic people, and powers such as Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini made major gains, which helped set the stage for World War II in 1939. (Of course?this is another key change/key factor)-this downward economy led to WW2.
The worldwide Great Depression future undermined a political order that had been shaky since wwi. Production declined, and unemployment rose. Political unrest had spread all across Europe and Asia , and dictators such as Hitler and Mussoluni grew to power. Most Americans at this time did not want to get into any foreign entanglements, especially since there were problems right at home, but the terrifying events overseas pulled the nation steadily toward war. However, World War II was good, it was the coming of the war that was the key factor in changing the economy. The war lifted the United States out of the Great Depression and created the biggest economic boom in the history of any nation. First, the economy was expanded and transformed for the production of arms and military supplies. American industries boomed as the need for new arms and supplies and equipments were needed. New production and new motivation, led new workers and less unemployement. Military production grew to 40% by 1943. This was a huge change in the economy, it was all I the war zone. New textile factories hummed in the South b/c of new army camps. The economic boom lifted entire populations out of share-cropping and tenancy into well-paid industrial jobs in city and pumped new profits into Southern business. American farmers dealt with a huge demand in domestic food products such as milk, potatoes, fruits, and sugars. Even meat. By 1945, farm income had doubled! One of the important things of wartime economy was that it brought a whole new number of new workers into the labor force. In the bracero program, by the U.S. and Mexico in 1942 brought Mexicans into the empoloyement range that was previously closed for them, and even African American workers rose from 2.9 mil to over 3.8 mil. And most importantly, the female labor force grew by over 50% reaching 19.5 million in 1945. During the war, they gained numerous jobs they couldn?t gain before?this was important because it set the stage for female laborers onward. After the war, 75% of women actually wanted to keep their jobs. World War II was crucial because it helped revive the economy from the Great Depression.

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