Using these four passages and your own knowledge, assess the view that the impact of the First World War was the main reason for the booming economy in the USA in the 1920’s

2156 words 9 pages
The First World War left much of Europe in complete disarray however the USA, having only joined the war in its last year, suffered much less physical and economic damage. There is still debate over whether World War One was the main reason for the boom in America or whether it was due to other factors. Potter is convinced World War One acted as a catalyst for the boom by causing growth in industry, accelerated productivity and the laissez faire attitude of the federal government. Conversely, although Jones acknowledges the war caused some growth in industry and demand he gives more credit to technological advancement and innovation. Gerstle, likewise, gives credit to technological advances but also, similarly to Potter, sees the war as …show more content…

He also gives credit to the war saying that there was prosperity because of the cutting off of foreign supplies during the war causing newer industries to emerge and grow. Gerstle also agrees with this saying their “industries [were] strengthened] after the war” also mentioning newer industries emerging and Potter also charges the war with strengthening industry but at a much higher level than Gerstle or Jones. Technology was certainly advancing at this time; we can see this because there were many new inventions such as the first practical respirator nicknamed the ‘iron lung’ and the invention of car radios. In the1920’s the number of households with a radio rose from 60,000 to 10 million which compliments Jones’ view that consumerism rose alarmingly at this time. Also household appliances became more and more common as purchase hire was introduced meaning domestic consumption also rose. Perhaps the motor vehicle industry shows the most advancement as by 1929 workers were often making more than one of Fords ‘Model T’’s a minute due to technological innovation. This industry also demonstrates the rises of consumerism as in 1919 approximately 9 million cars were owned but by 1929 around 26 million were owned. B does not mention the government’s role in the boom which differs from both Potter and Cannadine. Ultimately,


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