Gene Smiley, Marquette University Introduction The interwar period in the United States, and in the rest of the world, is a most interesting era.
The s was a decade of increasing conveniences for the middle class. New products made household chores easier and led to more leisure time. Products previously too expensive became affordable.
New forms of financing allowed every family to spend beyond their current means. A typical work week for a housewife before the twenties involved many tedious chores. The ice in the icebox was replaced and the waterpan that lay beneath was repeatedly changed.
The clothes were scrubbed in a washing tub on a washboard. An iron was heated on the stove to smooth out the wrinkles. Women typically spent the summer months canning food for the long winter.
Clothes were made from patterns, and bread was made from scratch.
Very few of these practices were necessary by the end of the decade. Vacuum cleaners displaced the carpet beater. Electric refrigerators, washing machines, and irons saved hours of extra work.
New methods of canning and freezing made store-bought food cheap and effective enough to eliminate this chore. Off-the-rack clothing became more and more widespread. Even large bakeries were supplying bread to the new supermarkets. The hours saved in household work were countless.
Buying on Credit "Buy now, pay later" became the credo of many middle class Americans of the Roaring Twenties. For the single-income family, all these new conveniences were impossible to afford at once. But retailers wanted the consumer to have it all.
Department stores opened up generous lines of credit for those who could not pay up front but could demonstrate the ability to pay in the future. Similar installment plans were offered to buyers who could not afford the lump sum, but could afford "twelve easy payments.
Consumer debt more than doubled between and Advertising Fueling consumer demand were new techniques in advertising. This was not a new business, but in the increasingly competitive marketplace, manufacturers looked to more and more aggressive advertising campaigns. One major trend of the decade was to use pop psychology methods to convince Americans that the product was needed.
The classic example was the campaign for Listerine. Using a seldom heard term for bad breath — halitosis — Listerine convinced thousands of Americans to buy their product.The economic prosperity experienced by many countries during the s (especially the United States) was similar in nature to that experienced in the s and s.
Each period of prosperity was the result of a paradigm shift in global affairs. 90 rows · U.S. GDP by year is a good overview of economic growth in the United States. Below, find a table of the nation's gross domestic product for each year since compared to major economic events. It begins with the stock market crash of and goes through the subsequent Great Depression.
A Consumer Economy. Santa waves to children outside a department store during a Thanksgiving Day Parade. The s was a decade of increasing conveniences for the middle class. New products made household chores easier and led to more leisure time. One major trend of the decade was to use pop psychology methods to convince .
Economic Boom s The economic policy of the United States was highly influenced by the policies of the Mellon Plan when the Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew Mellon, introduced policies which reduced taxes on the wealthy and the businesses in America that encouraged growth and led to the economic boom and the rise in stock market .
The economy of the USA grew quickly in the s for five main reasons. This growth in the s greatly affected the USA throughout the 20th century and today as the world superpower. This growth in the s greatly affected the USA throughout the 20th century and today as the world superpower.
The United States transformed from a traditional to free market economy. Farming declined from 18 percent to percent of the economy. Taxes per acre rose 40 percent, while farm income fell 21 percent. By , average annual income was only $ for farmers, but $ per person.