Using these four passages and your own knowledge, assess the view that the impact of the First World War was the main reason for the booming economy in the USA in the 1920’s

2155 Words Jan 22nd, 2014 9 Pages
The First World War left much of Europe in complete disarray however the USA, having only joined the war in its last year, suffered much less physical and economic damage. There is still debate over whether World War One was the main reason for the boom in America or whether it was due to other factors. Potter is convinced World War One acted as a catalyst for the boom by causing growth in industry, accelerated productivity and the laissez faire attitude of the federal government. Conversely, although Jones acknowledges the war caused some growth in industry and demand he gives more credit to technological advancement and innovation. Gerstle, likewise, gives credit to technological advances but also, similarly to Potter, sees the war as …show more content…
In interpretation B, Jones connotes that the booming economy in the 1920’s was due to technological innovation and advancement, however in contrast with Cannadine he does give limited credit to the war. Jones argues that productivity increased “resulting from technological innovation and the application of ‘Frederick W. Taylor’s’ theory of scientific management”. Scientific management basically increased efficiency in the workplace and ensured employees were working in areas which they could excel in; taking a more scientific approach to production. This contradicts Potter who says maximum productivity was reached because of the strain felt by labour shortages during the war causing workers to be more efficient and therefore produce more. He also uses facts and figures to back up his statements telling us that “although the population increased by only about 16%..., industrial production almost doubled”. This supports his view on increased productivity which Gerstle shares as he also mentions that “productivity and efficiency [were lifted] to new heights” during this period. Jones puts a lot of emphasis on technological advancement in creating the booming economy, saying electricity consumption more than doubled during the decade mainly due to the…

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