Free «Economic History of the United States» Essay Sample

Economic History of the United States


Economic History of the United States from 1920-1963 has its roots from European colonization that began as early as 16th century. Separate Colonial economies developed through farming to 13 independent farming economies. The 13 farming economies came together in 1776 and formed the USA. In the subsequent 200 years, these states have grown into an industrial economy, which forms over 25% of the world economy (Miller, 2004). The question that people ask is how did they make it? What are the reasons behind the United States economical success in the early 20th century? The Economic History of the United States from 1920-1963 is supported by technological and industrial factors, highly productive farmlands that provided the required raw materials to the industries, large unified markets for the finished products and a supportive and committed political-legal system. Good examples of an industry that greatly influenced the economy of the US are the motor vehicle industry. The big producer’s f the motor cars were Ford, Chrysler and GM. Ford’s Model T became the car for everyone. Mass production of the car caused its price to fall rapidly and by 1928, it was estimated that over 20% of Americans had cars.

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The benefits of mass production went back to the consumers. This is because purchasing any good or service affected the economy in many ways. Any item in the shop has to be manufactured by someone. Whatever is manufactured is achieved using labor-intensive production process because there were no machines (Lewis, 2000). The person who produced the item would get paid, he would also spend whatever he has received and the cycle continued. If someone is buying goods, it means that someone else is employed to make the goods.


Despite this economic success, two groups of Americans never enjoyed the prosperity. The first group consists of African Americans.  The African American supplied the required labor in the large farms during this period but due to the factors that surrounded their existence, they remain poor.  They lived in misery and total poverty due to the discrimination that was so common in the southern states. This made most of them to move to search for better living standards in the northern states. In the cities, they could only afford to live in the ghettos.

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The second group is the sharecroppers of the south Americas. They did not share in the prosperity in these early years of the 20th century (Harris, 2009). These people rented out pieces of land from property owners so that they could do some farming. The massive boost in production of food crops caused a surplus in the market making it very difficult for people to sell their produce. This meant that they could not pay the property owners hence causing them to be evicted from the farms. Many farmers lost their homes due to such evictions. Most of them roamed the American states searching for part time jobs.


The various factors that caused America to prosper in these early years are a combination of providence, luck, application of skills, a good constitution and determination to succeed. Others included the industrial infrastructure, abundance of coal; discovery of petroleum oil in Pennsylvania made the nation to prosper rapidly.  What I find interesting is that in such great economic boom, some minority groups remained in stark poverty. I believe that growth should be uniform. Unequal distribution of resources in some parts of country disqualifies US from being considered successful.