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In the 1920s the American economy began to boom. Find out why in this video.

Industry and social change

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Key points

  • Industrial production virtually doubled in the 1920s. America was in the cycle of prosperity.
  • The five causes of this were isolationism, technology, mass production, hire purchase and shares.
  • Isolationism - the government imposed high import tariffs to limit foreign competition.
  • Technology - advances led to the rise in the electrical, chemical and film industries, and new products were available to buy.
  • Mass production - Henry Ford's assembly line method increased car production. Other factories copied this so mass production spread.
  • Hire purchase - buying now and paying later meant more people could afford products and increased the demand for goods.
  • Shares - business raised money for expansion by selling shares on the Stock Exchange.

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Back to USA 1919 - 1941 index

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