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The History Of United States The 1920s Compared To The 1930s

2364 words - 9 pages

Summary: The paper presents a comparative study of the history of United States in the 1920s with that of 1930s across three historical landscapes -economic, political and socio-cultural.THE HISTORY OF UNITED STATES -THE 1920s COMPARED TO THE 1930sThe first half of the twentieth centuries saw America emerging as a World super power, and as one of the mature democracies among the British colonies. However, the transition was not smooth and the Nation has had its ups and downs moving from agrarian to industrial society through the glut and glum of the "roaring twenties" and gloomy thirties. While the 1920s were a period of affluence and optimism, America emerging as a victor in the First World War, the 1930s was characterized by scarcity and hardships caused by the Great Depression and Roosevelt's New Deal. By the end of 1930s the nation was again agile and spirited, playing a constructive role in the Second World War in fighting the fascist and imperialistic forces. The paper presents a comparative study of the history of America in the 1920s with that of 1930s.The analysis and comparisons on the U.S history during these periods shall be undertaken along three historical landscapes -- the economic history, the political history and the socio-cultural history. However it is important to note that the economic history of the nation during the years have being instrumental in shaping the political and socio-cultural history; hence greater emphasis is placed on the economic history; also the crucial overlaps of the three systems are manifested in the discussion.The US. Economic History - 1920s Vs 1930sWhile the decades 1920s and 1930s American history compares distinctively in many spheres, the prime divergence is perceivably in the economic scenario. The 1920s is characterized as a period of prosperity and optimism, whereas the 1930s is characterized as a period of extreme poverty and great economic hardships. Also with the Great Depression of 1929, the U.S. free market economy of the 1920s gave way to federally regulated economy in the 1930s.As America emerged a victor in the First World War, the American society retreated into isolation and focusing on internal production and consumption, the economy transforming steadily from agrarian to industrial. It is understood that before World War I, a considerable majority, over 40% of all Americans lived on a farm, the percentage dropped to about 25% by the end of the twenties. The 1920s U.S. economic scenario is characterized by mass production, mass consumption and polarization of income. [DeLong, 1997] While America considerably remained an agrarian state, the WWI (First World War) brought with it considerable job opportunities in the mechanized sector. However the lack of skilled mechanical labor led to the development of mass production systems, enabling labor productivity and economies of scale as automobile and electronic industries surged the economic landscape. Mass production, coupled with high...


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