After World War I inthe United States underwent an economic boom that would last until and change the face of American society. The mainstreaming of Henry Ford's assembly line innovation also sped industrial production that spawned economic growth. Meanwhile, a succession of three Republican presidents during the s -- presidents Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover -- promoted laissez-faire economic policies.
The three Republican presidents who served during that time were: Harding —Calvin Coolidge —and Herbert C.
Harding was incompetent and his administration was corrupt. He died in office August 2, and was succeeded by Calvin Coolidge who served for nearly six years. Coolidge came into office with a reputation for honesty that he maintained throughout his administration.
Very popular, he was re—elected to his own term of office in ; he could probably have run again successfully inhowever, he chose to step down. He was succeeded by Hoover who, sinceserved as Secretary of Commerce in both Harding's and Coolidge's administrations.
At first Hoover was very popular but the financial collapse of destroyed his reputation. Businessmen wanted lower taxes and higher tariffs and the Republicans tried to accommodate them. In the new Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew W.
Mellon, recommended a tax plan that included repeal of the wartime excess profits tax and an income tax reduction of nearly 40 percent. However, he had to compromise with Congress; the bill that finally passed reduced the maximum tax rate by 17 percent and raised corporate taxes by 2. Mellon served all three administrations.
By the end of the decade he had reduced the income tax rate by approximately 30 percent. On May 11,Congress enacted a law known as the Emergency Tariff. It raised rates on meat and farm products.
This measure again raised tariff rates on farm products and also protected chemicals, silk and rayon textiles, toys, china, cutlery, and guns. This law remained in effect until when it was replaced by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff which, again, raised rates substantially.
By then the average on all imports was 40 percent. The years following World War I — were marked by a declining birthrate in America. The number of children born fell from Declining birthrates coupled with immigrant restriction led to an overall decline in population growth.
However, this was not the only significant demographic feature of the period. Rural population declined and cities grew.
Between and some six million people migrated from the farm to the city. By the end of the decade only 44 percent of Americans lived in rural areas farms and small towns. Among those who moved to the cities were large numbers of African Americans. Eighty-nine percent of all African Americans lived in the South in but by the number had been reduced by 10 percent.
The overall economy during this period featured erratic shifts in profits and employment. During the World War I and immediately after it there was a production boom triggered by accelerated demand.
Beginning inhowever, inflation gave way to a decline driven by the collapse of farm prices. Farmers had indulged in significant production increases during the war and now their markets were melting away. By the spring of the nation was in the throes of a full-fledged depression.
Foreign trade was cut nearly in half, wholesale prices fell 24 percent, and unemployment neared 5, However recovery began in for most sectors of the economy except agriculture ; economic improvement continued with few reversals until It is mainly in comparison to the subsequent Great Depression that this decade is called the "Prosperity Decade.
This trend was driven by large expansion in the construction industry and manufacturing; widespread confidence about the period seemed justified. However there were other indicators that suggested general trends were deceiving. These indicators revealed, among other things, a significant maldistribution of wealth.
For example, corporate profits increased nearly 62 percent between andbut workers' real income increased only 11 percent.The s was a decade of change, when many Americans owned cars, radios, and telephones for the first time.
The cars brought the need for good roads. The radio brought the world closer to home. In spite of the industrial innovations of the period, then, short-lived economic prosperity for some in American society left the economy unstable and helped facilitate the devastating Wall Street Crash of that began the Great Depression.
A Decade of Prosperity Following a postwar recession from mid to the end of , the economy picked up again and remained strong until the end of the decade. This prosperity, combined with tax cuts for the rich, led to a rising consumer culture. Three Effects of the Prosperity of the s By Christina Lee.
Henry Ford's assembly line spurred American economic growth in the s.
Sharecroppers -- most of them black Americans -- saw their wages stagnate and then decline. By the end of the decade, about 60 percent of Americans lived in poverty. A Decade of Prosperity Following a postwar recession from mid to the end of , the economy picked up again and remained strong until the end of the decade.
This prosperity, combined with tax cuts for the rich, led to a rising consumer culture. s: A Decade of Change. by Barrett A. Silverstein Also known as the Jazz Age, the decade of the s featured economic prosperity and carefree living for many.
The decade began with a roar and ended with a crash.
To paraphrase Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, and sometimes it was the worst of times.