The Changing Economy: 1865-1939

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The Changing Economy: 1865-1939 The end of the Civil War brought a whole new era of economy, political control, and Presidential intervention. The economy emerged from its agriculturally based economy into a flourishing big business dominated world and eventually in 1929 came crashing down. I agree only partially with the quote " The Civil War saw the beginning of an 80-year decline of real individual economic opportunity; nonetheless, the vast majority of Americans continued to profess their belief in individualism as evidenced by the Presidents they elected. Thus, between 1865 and 1939, the majority of Americans accepted big business dominance and rejected all forms of government interference and regulation contrary to individualism." It is true that the Civil war saw the beginning of a decline of individual economic opportunity. During an era known as "The Gilded Age" lasting from the end of the war until 1900, large corporations dominated the U. S. economy. The population went from being composed of predominantly farmers and small business owners to large business owners and shareholders. Technology began to revolutionize corporations, such as the construction of national railroads. Big business also led to monopolies, where one company would have full control over a specific area leaving others struggling. To resist big business labor unions, such as the American Federation of Labor, formed although they were usually no competition for big corporations. Between the end of the Civil war and 1900 manufacturing increased by four times leaving many farmers and small business owners moving to the city. After the stock market crash of 1929 everyone seemed to suffer an economic decline and it was no longer limi... ... middle of paper ... ... wealthy and did not want the President to have a large hand in social and economic control. During 1885 and 1933 many politics were corrupt from the business leaders developing an alliance with politics causing Presidential control to be small. If the country had rejected all forms of the government regulation, they may have never gotten out of the Depression. FDR had a large governmental control over the country, regulating much of the economy. This is why FDR as opposed to Herbert Hoover got the country back to solid economic grounds. From the Civil War to the end of the Great Depression the United States economy went through many levels of economic, political, and social success and failure. Without the government stepping in to make regulations the country would have never been able to climb out of the plague of the Depression under Individualist means.

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