Was Henry Ford the driving force behind the roaring twenties in the USA

In this essay I am going to show you how Henry Ford was the driving force behind the 1920’s; furthermore I am going to show you other competitors and work out what effect they had in the 1920’s and in 2008. Firstly there was Electrification, as America was getting more popular, people couldn’t live without the Radio. Without the Radio, by 1930 40% of all homes in the USA owned one. The radio gave people the chance to access new music and dance. It enabled them to get on with housework and not miss out on sport matches. It helped created opportunities for people to advertise themselves, with proved beneficial finically to their companies.

It was very important because if people didn’t have a radio, they would be looked down on; it was like a new trend, everyone has to have one. Things like going to the cinema or funfair couldn’t happen without Electrification. These were meant a lot to people, as they were a way to unwind after a hard day at work. It the Cinema wasn’t around people Famous faces such as Laurel and Hardy wouldn’t have existed. Also things like streetlights could be put on, this meant people could drive around at night. They could get anywhere they wanted at any time.

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The cars lead the way, they were mass-produced and where cheap so almost every American could afford one. In the 1920’s 9% of people owned a vacuum cleaner by the 1930 30% owned one. These fast changes happened in other products such as Washing machines and fridges. Electrification was important and was a small part of the driving force in the 1920’s because it encouraged people to go out, spend money and meant there every day lives could be made so much easier. This encouraged people over to America, land of opportunity, because they saw what great things people could do, little hassle and cheap this bought over more money and workers!

World War one I think was a big part of Americas new image, they gained whilst over countries lost out. They were clever not to get involved with the war at that stage and stole countries jobs off them, instead they kept everyone as friends and sold products to everyone, despite the fact they where opposing side. Nether the less this was a wise and tactical move because they made millions of dollars. For example whilst England were busy fighting, America sold their stock onto their usual customers plus England’s and other countries; therefore making a staggering profit.

World war one meant America could finically profit from selling Wheat, to the countries that needed food; in 1914 they made $87. 6 million dollars and in 1917 they made $298. 2 million dollars. That’s a huge increase of $210. 3 million dollars. They sold Iron and steel for Weapons making a rise of $918. 2 million dollars. They sold chemical exports, which were need for bombs and explosives. America managed to increase their profits by $259. 1 million dollars. The reasons there was such a rise in these products was because of the war and the immigrants, made this happen they were happy to work, when and where the where needed.

Overall World war one was an incredible drive for the 1920’s. It gave them a phenomenal finical push, which meant they could go on and do other things. Advertising was a rapidly producing industry, it meant people could be find out about all the latest products and famous events wouldn’t have been heard off, this enabled people to spend their money on them. As weeks went by companies were realising more efficient ways to realise adverts. These included placing them on street lamps, through peoples door and in wealthy high-class shops.

They also realised how to improve the actual document it self; they created more colour and catch phrases where rapidly developing. Newspaper, Radio advertising was a new line they were starting to learn about. Advertising was a way to show people what they haven’t got, what the latest trend is. It was a revolution of Dissatisfaction; greed the constant need to want more. This happened with everything, however I will use the example of a car, by driving it around they showed off their importance and wealth. However, new models where coming out; if you where seen driving last years, you wouldn’t be classed as cool and sophisticated.

You would have wanted to be recognised as someone high up and would have felt the urge to buy the newer model, even though the one you have is capable of lasting years after that. Advertising gets inside you head; makes you want things you don’t need. This helped America in the 1920’s far more people were investing in luxuries. Immigrants where the second leading force for the roaring twenties because they enabled mass amounts of products to be made. Which in the long-term created a vast amount of money. Immigrants were highly welcome, because not many people where actually American.

People in your neighbour hood where just like you, here to get a better life for your self; better money, accommodation, rights and opportunities. They where prepared to do any job as long as it meant they where allowed to stay here. They obviously need shelter and food; so that would be more money towards the American economy. They were helping each other, spending money in each other’s shops, staying in each other hotels. Immigrants obviously created a larger population this meant there were more ideas of how to improve the country and better inventions. People bought new skills with them; if the worked in silk factories in England.

They would be able to open one in America because they had pre-trained staff that knew what worked. America had lots of land to fill, it was cheap and the quicker they got rid of it, the faster they could money on it. Immigrants highly helped America; they did any job and smoothed over any cracks in business. This made them more powerful and created a lot more money. More workers, means more produces and profit; therefore was a key part of driving America into success in the 1920’s. Credit was introduced this meant people could borrow money to by the latest trend. They could borrow $10 and pay it back as well as $2 a month.

This didn’t bother people because they realised that with the economy booming, so would their business so they started investing in products. Little did they know that after the war, profits would go down because of the other countries regaining there customers, and not selling as much wheat, steel, iron and chemicals because the war was over. People were borrowing amounts of money, they could never pay off. But the banks ignored that, because they where aware the longer it took to pay back the more money they would receive. If it took a year they would pay back $34 for instance, even though they borrowed $10 in the first place.

People invested in shares, but after the war, the prices went down and so did their shares. They made losses on many. People couldn’t help but borrow, they didn’t realise that soon it would all catch up with them, and this put quite a few families in poverty. This has affected us, in 2008. People are still borrowing ridiculous amounts of money and making a huge mistake by spending it on gambling ect. Credit and shares had a caused people to loose the value of money in their processions. However this was a good thing for the Business and banks, they were profiting from others mistakes.

America had huge amounts of Natural resources, which they harvested into profit. Immigrants were very helpful in the process they enabled the resources to be made or cut into produce. These included Oil, timber, minerals, wood, iron and coal. They helped America develop their own industrial power. The land was cheap; many people came over to help develop it. This was why Natural Resources where a big help to America they meant immigrants could own there own business and Americas could further themselves industrially, resulting in finical benefit.

The Government lowered taxes on income and company profits, this meant that the wealthy people could invest more money into products; Such as American building, business and industries. The less fortunate had more money to spend on goods such as radio’s and cars. People thought they were spending less money than they were with the higher taxes, but the government well knew that people would spend spare cash on business and they would develop they economy further. They put tariffs on imported good. This made imported items more items more expressive, therefore persuading people to save money and buy American produce.

This helped their economy and the local business. The government didn’t interfere with any business, or put any controls on finical institutions. This meant in the long term, the more spent on the American Shops, the more money they would receive. They also promised Safety, which meant they enabled immigrants to see a doctor ect; Whereas before in there local communities they might have not been able to afford one. They gave people freedom, the chance to make there own decisions, not be ruled over as much by a higher person.

This encouraged immigrants, they realised the benefit and more opportunities. They were allowed to do so much more such as the women where being treated more equally didn’t have to wear foot length skirts, they could have more fun. Obviously because of the thousands more immigrants, they received more money; this made the US Constitution create a force behind the roaring 1920’s!! Confidence within the Americans was sky high, after the sudden increase of all things positive. The citizens were happy in the development of their country.

This meant a positive attitude towards work; they worked harder and for longer because they knew there were getting stuff back. They felt confident to buy goods, try new products, new styles of clothing and food; attempt to set new fashions or just copy. They bought shares in companies, to try and keep earning more money without doing anything. They did this to supplement there mass spending, but after the war many lost more than they got. Confidence can mean that you do something so much better, this is what the Americans had, and this helped them to achieve great success.

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