The boom, good or bad

In America there were a lot of improvements in housing for many American citizens. Many factors were combined so that the American civilization could boom. These factors include many things like mass production, new industries, the policies of the republican government, the main four of these were laissez-fair (letting businesses run themselves and not getting too involved), tariffs (putting higher prices on foreign goods and less on American goods), low taxation (the government kept taxes as low as possible) and trusts (where one company was put in charge of one sector of the industry) . also America’s wealth in natural resources.

For example the fact that America was full of natural resources meant that America didn’t have to import raw materials from other countries. This meant they could use the raw materials to make products in the country and make them more affordable which meant more people wanted them, which made more jobs in companies, and with the production line things could be mass produced which made things cheaper meaning more people bought them, and it just went on and on. This happened with everything from radios to cars, including things like vacuum cleaners and washing machines which gave people more time.

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Not only this but people had several ideas about them and there society, for example people thought that consuming more and getting newer and better things were good and they thought Americans had the right to be well off. And the number of ‘well off’ millionaires over tripled! As well as the import rate going down and the export rate going up meaning America was spending less and bringing more money into the government. This all shows that the 1920s were a good time and this is what they advertised to make people think the government was doing a good job.

But they didn’t tell their citizens some of the worse things that were going on in the community. Examples of this were things like not putting minimum wages in (so companies could pay as little as they like), there were no state health systems, state pensions, no unemployment pay or sickness pay and Trade unions were weak (partly because people could not afford the joining fee and partly because some companies would beat people black and blue for being a member of them and then throwing them out of there jobs)

There were examples of this were all over but people could not do anything about this so they grew to ignore it, people were not being paid enough to join trade unions (this is also the fault of there being no minimum wage) and a lot of companies would fire workers for being members yet this was only after having them beaten.

And not only this but farms started suffering because Europe and other places America sold meat and grain to started recovering their farms after the war and no longer needed American goods as much, not only this but American farms had to compete with farms from Canada and Argentina so they made less and less money and eventually went bankrupt. Not only this but there was many cases of Prohibition, (See picture 1 below). Many people asked why did women resort to hiding alcohol under their skirts?

The simple answer to this is because of Prohibition, which resulted from the 1920 Volstead Act, banning the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor throughout America. This ban was the result of a long-running campaign by the American Temperance League, who believed that alcohol was a social evil. They believed that it was responsible for violence in the home. However, the problem was, that Prohibition proved impossible to enforce.

Aswell as this crime was rising due to gangs sterting up because there was a lot of profit to be made, The criminals who ran the ‘speakeasies'(illegal saloons) and illegal distilleries were called bootleggers (liquor was often hidden in their boots). These men worked for different mobs; in other words, they were gangsters. Although making money from the sale of illegal alcohol was not the only crime these men were involved in, it was certainly the most profitable. For example, Al (Scarface) Capone (see picture 2 below), made $60,000,000 from beer and liquor in one year.

With so much money to be made, rivalry between the different gangs increased. Gangland shootings became increasingly common on the streets of American cities, the most famous of which was the St Valentine’s Day massacre on 14 February 1929, when seven members of one gang were killed by other gangsters, some of whom had dressed as policemen. Although the U. S. boom had many good points, I feel the effects on society were predominately bad making the boom a bad era in U. S history because it was good for rich people but bad for all the poor people who already lived in poverty.

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