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hist 1302 chapter 24 notes

hist 1302 chapter 24 notes - CHAPTER 24 TOWARD A MODERN...

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CHAPTER 24: TOWARD A MODERN AMERICA: THE 1920S I. THE ECONOMY THAT ROARED A. Introduction 1. Following a severe postwar depression in 1920 and 1921, the American economy boomed through the remainder of the decade. B. Boom Industries 1. The huge wartime and postwar profits provided investment capital that enabled business to mechanize. Mass production spread quickly in American industry; machine-made standardized parts and the assembly line increased efficiency and production. 2. Henry Ford was right: mass production and consumption went hand in hand. 3. The automobile industry drove the economy. Its productivity increased constantly. It also employed one of every 14 manufacturing workers and stimulated other industries, from steel to rubber and glass. 4. It created a huge new market for the petroleum industry and fostered oil drilling in Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana. 5. The aviation industry grew rapidly during the 1920s, with government support. The U.S. Post Office subsidized commercial air service by providing air mail contracts to private carriers. 6. The Great War also stimulated the chemical industry. With this advantage, DuPont in the 1920s became one of the nation’s largest industrial firms, a chemical empire producing plastics, finishes, dyes, and organic chemicals. 7. The new radio and motion picture industries also flourished. 8. Commercial broadcasting began with a single station in 1920. By 1927, there were 732 stations, and Congress created the Federal Radio Commission to prevent wave-band interference. The rationale for this agency, which was reorganized as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1934, was that the airwaves belong to the American people and not to private interests. 9. The motion-picture industry became one of the nation’s five largest businesses, with 20,000 movie theatres selling 100 million tickets a week. C. Corporate Consolidation 1. A wave of corporate mergers, rivaling the one at the turn of the century, swept over the 1920s economy. Great corporations swallowed up thousands of small firms. 2. Particularly significant was the spread of oligopoly —the control of an entire industry by a few giant firms. 3. The number of automobile manufacturers dropped from 108 to 44, while only three companies—Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler—produced 83 percent of the nation’s cars. 4. Oligopolies also dominated finance and marketing. Big banks extended their control through mergers and by opening branches. D. Open Shops and Welfare Capitalism
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1. Business also launched a vigorous assault on labor. In 1921, the National Association of Manufacturers organized an open-shop campaign to break union-shop contracts, which required all employees to be union members. 2. They forced workers to sign so-called yellow-dog contracts that bound them to reject unions to keep their jobs.
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hist 1302 chapter 24 notes - CHAPTER 24 TOWARD A MODERN...

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