Roaring Twenties

Essay by spwclarkUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2006

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

The "Roaring Twenties" was an era when the American Economy prospered tremendously. American industry had expanded during the Great War, making weapons, uniforms, equipment etc. This expansion continued after the war, helped by America's massive reserves of raw materials and by high tariffs. Tariffs made foreign goods dearer, so American goods were bought. Some industries were also given subsidies, which increased their profits. There was economic expansion.

The greatest boom was in consumer goods, i.e. cars, refrigerators, radios, cookers, telephones etc. Ordinary people were encouraged through advertising to buy these goods and many could now afford what had been luxuries before the war. One reason was that they earned slightly higher wages because of the boom. Another reason was that the growth of hire purchase meant that people could spread the cost over months and even years. But the main reason that goods had become cheaper was because of "mass production" methods used to produce many consumer goods.

Assembly lines were built in factories and each worker concentrated on one small job only.

The popularity of the automobile brought immense economic prosperity. One of the major contributions to the prosperity of the 1920s was the construction of roads and highways, which poured fresh public funds into the economy. Automobiles appeared everywhere and were being driven everywhere. However a major problem was experienced by everyone as a result of this. In 1924, the Federal Road Act offered federal money to state legislatures, which would organize highway departments and match federal funds. Spurred on by this federal money, every section of the country launched ambitious road building programs during the 1920s. By the end of the decade, highway construction programs employed more men and spent more money than any single private industry. The increased use of automobiles touched every corner of the...