USM Open Source History Text: The World at War: World History 1914-1945Main MenuIntroduction: A Mural as WindowOn Diego Rivera's Detroit IndustryThe World Around 1914, Part I: the Journey of Young GandhiThe World Around 1914, Part II: The Era of Nationalism and Imperialism (1848-1914)The First World WarThe Long Russian Revolution (1917 – 1929)The Decline of the West? Europe from 1919 – 1929A New Middle East: The Rise of the Middle East State SystemChina Between Qing Collapse and WWIILatin America Between Boom and Bust (1911-1929)Africa Under Colonial Rule: Politics and Race from 1914‐1939The United States from The First World War to the Great DepressionThe Great DepressionThree Varieties of Radicalism in the 1930s: Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and Imperial JapanThree Responses to Modernity: Ho Chi Minh, Ibn Saud, and Getulio VargasThe Second World WarSeth Rogoff5f001fc099cd635507b143be056702764af6929c
The Chrysler Building (1932)
12020-11-18T02:21:14-08:00Seth Rogoff5f001fc099cd635507b143be056702764af6929c192372The Chrysler building, seen towering in the center with its Art Deco style, was part of New York City's skyscraper movement and real estate boom. It was completed in 1930.plain2020-11-18T02:24:59-08:00Seth Rogoff5f001fc099cd635507b143be056702764af6929c
U.S. economic strength came with the booms in immigration and industrialization. This growth catapulted the United States into the first position in the global economy. The main effects of the war would be to reorient the entire global economic system to the advantage of the Americans. This happened in a number of important ways. The first way in which the global economy shifted after WWI was toward protectionism, which meant that nations, often new nations or ones that had recently expanded their industrial capacity for the first time, placed high tariffs on imported goods to protect domestic industry. The United States was one of the major players in this movement, raising import taxes to their highest level in 1922 with the passage of the Fordney-McCumber Tariff. This policy served to protect American industry, but overtime it hampered European redevelopment and hindered global growth. The second thing that happened was the allocation of development loans to non-industrial countries shrank while loans to the principle European belligerents in the war (Britain, France, Germany) and other developing countries spiked. The economic relationships between the countries are complex, but the point is that the end result of the shift in global finance was both a curtailment of the growth of new markets and a gradual accumulation of capital reserves in the United States by private banks and individuals. The same basic policy configuration guided the presidencies of Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. This accumulated capital would eventually lead to a dramatic rise in stock prices and their eventual fall back down to earth in the opening stages of what became the Great Depression.
Economic expansion, while in some ways benefiting the United States in the short run, did not happen in a manner that supported the growth of the global economy, which was becoming increasingly unequal as years passed. Fundamental weaknesses in the U.S. economy were masked by rising credit and the choking off of immigration. It was easy to get caught up in the rapidly developing consumer society of the 1920s, but as in the first decades of the 21st century, much/most of American consumption was done on the shaky ground of debt.