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A Brief Economic History of North America!


A Brief Economic History of North America! Sections: 1. Exploration and Conquest (up to 1400s +/-) 2. Colonization and Exploitation (1400s to 1770s) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Brief Economic History of North America!

A Brief Economic History of North America!
  • Sections
  • 1. Exploration and Conquest (up to 1400s /-)
  • 2. Colonization and Exploitation (1400s to 1770s)
  • 3. Revolution and New Government (1770s to the
    late 1700s)
  • 4. US Expansion (late 1700s to 1850s)
  • 5. Civil War (1850s to 1880s)
  • 6. Development of the Nation (1800s to 1920s)
  • 7. Venturing Abroad (1880s to 1920s)
  • 8. Looking Inward (1920s to 1940s)
  • 9. Super Power and Beyond (1940s to Present)

A Brief Economic History of North America!
  • This is Not a history class! Why are we studying
  • You are correct. This is not a history class,
    but many of the economic issues we will discuss
    in this class have been substantially impacted by
    what has happened from a historical perspective.
  • Examples
  • Why are there 3 primary languages spoken in
  • Why were there great difficulties in creating
    NAFTA from a legal perspective?
  • Why are the 3 countries substantially different
    in terms of economic development?
  • Etc.
  • The following slides and lecture will provide a
    VERY brief history of the North American
    continent. It will focus on many broad themes
    encountered when exploring the economic history
    of the region and will eventually lead up to how
    they impact todays current business environment.

Exploration and ConquestEuropean Explorers
  • Starting in the 1400s, waves of European captains
    set out to explore the world.
  • The primary goals behind this exploration were
  • Gain economic wealth
  • Find/develop trade routes to the East Indies
    (China and the Far East)
  • Conquer new territories for nature resources and
  • Spread the Christian Religion
  • Intellectual Curiosity
  • Adventure

Exploration and ConquestEuropean
Spanish Columbus (1492 ) Cortez (1519) Pizarro (1532) French Jacques Cartier (1530s) English John Cabot (late 1400s) Sir Walter Raleigh (1584) Russian Vitus Bering (1729)
Colonization and ExploitationSpanish / French /
Spanish French English
Brought Mexico, current US South and SW under control Starting in 1541, France began to colonizing North America with forts and trading posts. Starting in 1585, England established 13 primary colonies on the eastern seaboard.
Ecomienda system with Indian labor digging mineral wealth from the ground to ship back to Spain The colonies were developed to export products such as fish, sugar, and furs. Economic value Major source of raw materials Forced market for English goods and a tax base
Colonization and ExploitationEuropean Wars
Impact the New World
  • European powers had many armed conflicts in the
    late 1600s to the 1800s. These conflicts,
    although started in Europe, often spilled over
    into the New World.
  • The principle conflicts are known as the French
    and Indian Wars. These conflicts were a series of
    4 wars fought between 1688 and 1815 by the
    expanding French and British colonies as they
    contended for control of the western, or
    interior, territories.
  • These conflicts ultimately decided the control of
    French possessions in North America. The English,
    through capture of Montreal in 1760, took most of
    French Canada. This weakened Frances control on
    the rest of their possessions in North America,
    eventually leading to their purchase by the
    United States.

Colonization and ExploitationOther Economic
  • Economic Base
  • Canadian and New England Colonies
  • Shipbuilding / Fishing / Lumber / Farming / Furs
  • Mid Atlantic Colonies
  • Shipbuilding / Farming / Trading
  • Southern Colonies
  • Cash Crops (Tobacco, Rice, Indigo)
  • Mexico Gold, silver
  • These goods are then shipped to their home
    countries in exchange for manufactured goods.
  • Labor
  • -Although most of the labor in Northern N.Am.
    Came from settlers, many were indentured servants
    or slaves.

Colonization and ExploitationOther Economic
Triangular Trade Route - Fueled the growth of
slavery in the Americas and provided much needed
labor. Slave traders brought Africans to
the Americas Rum and sugar cane from the
Americas went to Europe Sales of these
products provided money to European slave traders
to capture and transport more Africans to the
Revolution and New Govt.War with France Effects
  • Although the French and Indian War provided
    increased British control over the New World, it
    also started the process for the new American
    colonies to revolt.
  • Gave the colonies a chance to unite against a
    common enemy.
  • Provided colonies opportunities to increase ties.
  • Left large numbers of British troops in America.
  • The war was Extremely costly for the British and
    caused them to impose many taxes on the colonies
    to recoup their expenses. This issue proved to be
    the key that caused the revolt.

Revolution and New Govt. What were points of
Other taxes were also levied, further angering
Revolution and New Govt.Colonial Response to
  • Due to the increasing amounts of taxes, colonists
    began to boycott British goods and anti-British
    sentiments ran high.
  • Events, such as the Boston Massacre (1770) or the
    Boston Tea Party (1773), began to occur as the
    colonists started resenting and resisting against
    British rule.
  • The Boston Tea Party was a case where the British
    crown granted the East Indies Trading company an
    exclusive monopoly on the American market. Due to
    increased prices and taxes relating to this
    market, the colonists struck back through
    boycotts and violence.

Revolution and New Govt.The Next Step
  • The crown further increased pressure to force
  • First Continental Congress (1774)
  • Called for each colony to begin training troops.
  • Voted to ban all trade with Britain until the
    Intolerable Acts ended.
  • Planted the seed for a future independent
  • The Shot Heard Round the World (1775)
  • British tried to disrupt colonial militarization
    in Concord, MA and were repulsed.
  • Seen as the first real battle of the War for
  • Declaration of Independence (1776) - Thomas
  • We hold these Truths to be self-
  • evident that all Men are created equal,
  • that they are endowed by their Creator
  • with certain unalienable Rights, that
  • among these are Life, Liberty, and the
  • Pursuit of Happiness

Revolution and New Govt.WAR!!!
  • The Revolutionary War (USA name) or the American
    Revolt (British name) was fought between
    4/19/1775 to 10/17/1781 (or 9/1783 for the final
  • Negative
  • 1/3 of the people didnt want a war and 1/3 were
  • Each colonies was loyal to itself, not to the
  • No central govt. to raise money for war efforts
  • Started with no formal, trained army.
  • Positive
  • Colonies received assistance from France, the
    Netherlands and Spain
  • Home court advantage
  • War of attrition and distance

Revolution and New Govt.Aftermath
  • The war left the new nation with some problems.
  • The Revolution had cost a lot of money, and
    Congress had borrowed from foreign sources and
    American citizens. Now the money needed to be
  • Setting up a central government to deal with debt
    and other national issues was going to be
    complicated. The Continental Congress would meet
    many times to discuss economic issues and a new
    system of government.
  • This new central government would prove to be a
    struggle between Federalists (those favoring a
    strong central government) and Anti-Federalists
    (those favoring a system based on stronger state
  • The Federalists, led by Adams Hamilton,
    believed in a strong national government and
    industrial economy and were supported by bankers
    and business interests in the Northeast.
  • The Democratic Republicans, led by Thomas
    Jefferson, believed in a weaker national
    government and an agricultural economy. They were
    supported by farmers, artisans, and frontier
    settlers in the South.

Revolution and New Govt.Aftermath
  • The US Constitution was finally passed in 1787
    and was followed by the Bill of Rights in 1791.
  • The Constitution was the official framework upon
    which the government was built, ie. the balancing
    of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial
    governmental branches, etc.
  • The Bill of Rights guaranteed the basic liberties
    of American citizens, ie. freedom of speech,
    press, religion, etc. as well as no taxation
    without representation.

Revolution and New Govt.Economic Implications
  • Exports and Imports Wholesale Price Index

American Exports, To From Britain 1783-1789
Revolution and New Govt.Beginnings of the
National Debt
  • The first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander
    Hamilton, pushed for the new nation to borrow
  • He thought that the war debts must be paid off to
    establish good credit and faith in our new
    government, plus, it was to enforce strong ties
    between all the states by jointly owing money.
  • He also believed that govt. needs the support of
    the business people to remain strong.
  • His report to the President on the proposal to
    establish a national bank included the following
    message on business in America
  • Industry is increased, commodities are
    multiplied, agriculture and manufacturers
    flourish and herein consists the true wealth and
    prosperity of a state.
  • Report on a National Bank, Dec. 13, 1790

US ExpansionMoving West
  • There had been a lot of pressure on the colonies
    and then the new USA to expand. Settlers wanted
    more and more land to settle, this led to land
    purchases by the US.
  • The first purchase was the Louisiana territory
    owned by France.

US ExpansionSouthern Expansion
  • The next expansion came with the military
    acquisition of Florida from Spain in 1818.
  • In 1836, Texas had won it freedom from Mexico and
    had voted to become part of the US in 1846. The
    US Army won a short war with Mexico when it tried
    to reclaim the territory.
  • Further territory was purchased in 1853 for its
    mining and railroad uses.

US ExpansionUS, UK and Russia
  • More territory was acquired or ceded by the UK
    (Canada) and Russia to make up the current
  • With this expansion, there were no other lands to
    move into.
  • This completion caused a number of issues.

Westward ExpansionEarly 1800s Trends
  • US Westward Expansion
  • Encouraging Factors
  • Canals
  • Railroads
  • Economic Development
  • Manufacturing Capability Developed in the North
  • Steam / Water Power
  • Technology Improvement interchangeable parts,
  • Farming Technology in the South
  • Cotton Gin (invented by Eli Whitney in 1793)

Westward ExpansionCanada
  • During this period, Canada also began a movement
    of westward expansion.
  • Immigration greatly increased from the UK and the
    new settlers began to spread across the country.
  • However, during this time, there was also an
    immigration movement out of Canada to the US,
    especially amongst French Canadians.

Civil WarCauses Leading to the Civil War
  • Primary Causes from an economic standpoint
  • Economic/Production Basis Opposite Ends of the
  • Manufacturing vs. Agriculture
  • Paid vs. Unpaid Labor
  • Economic (and Political) Balance of the North vs.
    the South
  • Trade vs. Trade Barriers

Civil WarCauses Leading to the Civil War
  • Economic/Production Basis Opposite Ends of the
  • Manufacturing vs. Agriculture
  • North Major manufacturing of consumer, military
    and other goods
  • South Cash Crop Orientation
  • Paid vs. Unpaid Labor
  • North - Paid Labor
  • South Slavery widespread
  • 25 of the citizens owned slaves
  • 4 million total Negros
  • Not enough whites to work

Civil WarCauses Leading to the Civil War
  • Economic (and Political) Balance of the North vs.
    the South
  • Trade vs. Trade Barriers
  • North
  • Created tariffs to protect and encourage domestic
  • Not import/export oriented
  • Enough power to create tariffs (19 free states /
    15 slave states originally, the N/S had been
    balanced, but with the additional states entering
    the union, imbalance occurred.)
  • South
  • Received reciprocal tariffs from other countries
    in the export of their goods
  • Completely import/export oriented
  • Difficult to create more slave states to balance
    Northern political power

Civil War N vs. S Industrialization
  • Rail Lines

Civil War N vs. S Industrialization
Civil WarWar Starts
  • The Civil War started in 1861 and ended in 1865.
  • In this time, there were 865,000 casualties (dead
    and wounded) total from both sides. This was the
    bloodiest conflict that the United States has
    ever faced.
  • The war began with the secession of the Southern
    states from the Union. President Lincoln fought
    to restore the union (not end slavery).

Civil War Troubles South of the Border
  • During the course of the US Civil War, Mexico
    also experienced war.
  • In 1862, France invaded under the pretense of
    collecting unpaid debt. Mexican patriots
    successfully fought off the French armies under
    Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph of Austria and
    finally regained independence in 1867.
  • Mexico then went through several leaders to be
    governed by President Diaz who held power through
    approx. 1920 before another revolution threw him
    out of power. Under Diaz, Mexicos infrastructure
    improved greatly but social inequities caused
    major problems within the country.

Development of the NationInventions / Advances
  • The US (and Canadian/Mexican) began to quickly
    industrialize in what is known as the 2nd
    Industrial Revolution.
  • Several breakthroughs greatly assisted.
  • Bessemer process for making steel. (1850s)
  • Cheap steel for railroads, machinery, etc.
  • Refinement of oil (1850s)
  • Replaced whale oil with kerosene, created
    gasoline, etc.
  • Harnessing of electricity (1879)
  • Telegraph and Telephone (1850s and 1876
  • Automobiles
  • US built its first gas powered car in 1893
  • Airplanes (1903)

The rise of corporations and powerful business
leaders led to the dominance of big business in
the United States.
Development of the NationBig Business
  • Many entrepreneurs formed their businesses in the
    late 1800s as corporations.
  • Corporations encouraged more investment in
    businesses because stockholders could sell stock
    whenever they wanted.
  • This led to a Huge and rapid growth of business
    in America.
  • Canada soon followed America to a lesser extent.
  • Big Business in Mexico was constantly hampered by
    inefficiency, non-rule of law, govt.
    nationalization of companies, etc.

Development of the NationLabor Movement Ideas
  • People and the government began to view big
    business as a problem in the late 1800s.
  • Concerned about child labor, low wages, and poor
    working conditions

Development of the NationAnti Trust Movement
  • Critics said many businesses earned their
    fortunes through unfair business practices.
  • Used size and strength to drive smaller
    competitors out of business
  • Powerful trusts sold goods and services below
    market value until smaller competitors went out
    of business, then raised prices.
  • Some people were concerned when a trust gained a
    monopoly, or total ownership of a product or
  • The Sherman Antitrust Act passed in 1890 made it
    illegal to create monopolies or trusts that
    restrained trade.
  • The act did not clearly define a trust in legal
    terms, so it was hard to enforce.
  • Corporations and trusts continued to grow in size
    and power.

Development of the NationTransportation Systems
  • All three countries had a very similar
    progression for their transportation systems.
    However, all 3 progressed at different rates.
  • System Progression
  • Stage Coach
  • Rail Roads
  • Roads

Pacific Railroad Act, 1862
  • Authorized a route from Omaha, Nebraska, to San
    Francisco, California.
  • Building the railroad could not have been
    possible w/out the substantial land grants from
    the US govt to the railroad companies
  • Land grants financed construction. Allowed
    homesteaders to claim 160 acres (about 200,000
    pyeong) of land free if they lived and worked on
    it for 5 years.
  • Companies received 120km right of way gt 60 km on
    either side of the rail line
  • Value of this land increased w/the coming of the
    railway b/se it was close to the line
  • 1920 peak of railroad construction w/420,000 km
    of track

  • 1900 8,000 automobiles in the US
  • 1920 8 million cars, 1 million trucks
  • 1904 rural roads were dirt tracks
  • 1924 750,000 km of rural highways w/paved

Venturing AbroadTrade and Muscle Asian Policy
  • China
  • European powers gained spheres of influence in
    China and the United States feared it would be
    shut out of the valuable China trade.
  • Increased foreign presence in China led to the
    Boxer Rebellion in 1900 and the US contributed
    troops to help.
  • Japan
  • Commodore Matthew Perry brought four steamships
    into Tokyo Bay in 1853 to pressure Japan to
  • open its ports to trade. Tactic was
  • known as Gunboat Diplomacy.
  • Korea
  • Similar to Japanese opening tactic.

Venturing AbroadSpanish American War
  • The US and Spanish fought on 2 fronts
  • Caribbean
  • Philippines
  • Decisively defeating Spain in both areas, the US
    took over the areas (as well as Guam) and
    governed them for varying periods of time before
    letting the people declare independence and
    forming their own pro-US countries.

Annexing the Philippines
Controversy raged in the United States over
whether to annex the Philippines.
  • For Annexation
  • Believed the United States had a duty to spread
    its values overseas.
  • Philippines had economic and strategic value that
    should not fall into the hands of other
  • Against Annexation
  • Believed annexation would violate the ideal of
  • Did not want oppression to occur The United
    States should not export racism and violence
  • Some Americans believed annexation would increase
    immigration to the United States.

The US did annex the Philippines. Several years
later, they were fighting Filipino rebels. Full
independence was giving in 1944.
Venturing AbroadCentral America
  • The US had long claimed that the Western
    Hemisphere was off-limits to Foreign Powers.
  • Monroe Doctrine was an early declaration in 1823.
  • However, until the late 1800s, the US was too
    weak to force European countries to stay out.
    Post civil war, the US gained the strength and
    will to use their new power.
  • Reasons for creation
  • Keep Europe out of the Western hemisphere
  • Reserve area for US commercial and political
  • Roosevelts motto "Speak softly and carry a big
    stick, and you will go far.

Venturing AbroadCentral America
  • The US began an interventionist policy to
    protect US political and commercial interests
    in central America.
  • The US invaded many countries in the area, from
    Mexico, Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, etc.
  • Sometimes on the request of the home govt., ie.
  • Sometimes on the request of US business
    interests, ie. Guatemala (United Fruit now

Venturing AbroadPanama Canal
  • Another extension of American military and
    economic might was the building of the Panama
  • In 1902, the US purchased the right to build the
    canal from the French and went on to support the
    new Panamanian government against rebel troops.
    For their help, they were given a lease for the
    Panama canal.
  • Took from 1904 to 1914.
  • Allows trade and military vessels much quicker
    travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Venturing AbroadWWI
  • World War I was an important time period in US
    and Canadian history that must be mentioned.
    Although the main points, as they relate to
    N.America, are not primarily business related,
    they still have a large degree of economic
  • When the great powers of Europe went to war in
    1914, the US wanted to remain neutral although
    they did have greater support for England and
    France due to historical and business ties.
  • Canada, however, began shipping volunteer troops

Venturing AbroadWWI
  • Despite remaining neutral for some time, the US
    finally entered the war for 2 reasons
  • U-Boats sinking of US passenger and merchant
  • Zimmerman note where Germany proposed an allience
    with Mexico and requested them to attack the USA.
    Mexico declined.
  • In 1917, the US began raising an army.
  • Both the US and Canadian troops fought with
    distinction until the war ended in 1918.

Mobilizing the Economy
Mobilizing Workers
  • During the war, the profits of many major
    industrial companies skyrocketed because
    companies sold to the federal government.
  • This created enormous profits for stockholders of
    industries like steel, oil, and chemicals.
  • Factory wages also increased, but the rising cost
    of food and housing meant that workers were not
    much better off.
  • War demands also led to laborers working long
    hours in increasingly dangerous conditions in
    order to produce the needed materials on time and
    faster than other companies.
  • These harsher conditions led many workers to join
    labor unions.

Union membership increased by about 60 percent
between 1916 and 1919, and unions boomed as well,
with more than 6,000 strikes held during the war.
Looking InwardBefore the Collapse
  • The Roaring 20s were a period of great social and
    economic change in the US.
  • Women sought more rights.
  • Urbanization
  • First time that there were more Americans in
    cities than on farms.
  • Many negros migrated to northern cities.
  • Prohibition
  • Business prospered
  • Rise of radio and movies

The Appearance of Prosperity
  • Strong Stock Market
  • The stock market, where people buy stocks, or
    shares, in companies, performed very well in the
    1920s, with stock values sharply increasing each
  • The value of stocks traded quadrupled over nine
  • The steep rise in stock prices made people think
    the market would never drop, and more ordinary
    Americans bought stocks than ever before.
  • The number of shares traded rose from 318 million
    in 1920 to over 1 billion in 1929.
  • Business leaders said everyone could get rich
    from stocks.
  • Strong Economy
  • Between 1922 and 1928 the U.S. gross national
    product, or total value of all goods and
    services, rose 40 percent.
  • Though farmers and some other workers didnt
    benefit, the overall economy performed well,
    especially for automakers and those who made auto
  • Overall unemployment remained low, averaging
    around five percent between 1923 and 1929.
  • Union membership slowed as employers expanded
    welfare capitalism programs, or employee
  • This feeling of prosperity encouraged workers to
    buy new products and enjoy leisure activities
    such as movies.

Looking InwardUnseen Trouble
Looking InwardThe Crash
  • October, 1929 Rumors began to circulate.
  • Thursday, October 24, 1929 Panicked selling
    causes huge sell-off to occur
  • Friday, October 25, 1929 Leading bankers join to
    buy shares and stop a collapse.
  • But on Monday the market sank again, and Black
    Tuesday, October 29, was the worst day, affecting
    stocks of even solid companies.
  • In those short days, overall company market value
    fell by 50.

  • The loss from the crash was unbelievable
  • 12 million people went out of work,
  • 12,000 people was made unemployed everyday,
  • 20,000 companies and 1616 banks had gone
    bankrupt, and
  • 23,000 people committed suicide in one year the
    highest ever.
  • The total loss by the end of the next week
    amounted to 30 million dollars, ten times more
    than the annual budget of the federal government,
    far more than the U.S. had spent in all of World
    War 1.
  • Contributing to The Great Depression.

Looking InwardCrash Effects
  • Individuals
  • Most the stock they held is now worthless.
  • Banks
  • Many people were worried about their money so
    they withdrew it from banks en mass. Causing
    banks to fail.
  • Some banks also failed due to their stock market
  • Businesses
  • Banks would not lend money so no new investment.
  • People were not spending so people were laid off.
    Now people have even Less money to spend.

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Looking InwardCrash Effects
  • International Trade
  • The fragile economies of Europe were still
    struggling from World War I. They had borrowed a
    great deal of money from American banks that the
    banks now wanted back.
  • With U.S. buying power down, foreign businesses
    were less able to export their products and were
    forced to fire workers so they were less inclined
    to buy US exports.
  • Governments tried to protect themselves by
    passing high tariffs, making foreign goods
    expensive. Due to this, the export market began
    drying up thus making the situation even worse.

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
The Act
The Effects
Looking Inward Great Depression
  • Beginning with the stock market crashes, the US
    economy sank.
  • Many were effected
  • Farmers Demand went down and so did crop prices.
    Hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies and
  • Workers Unemployment averaged 25

The Impact of the New Deal
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected President
    and implemented 2 plans that are called the New
  • Relief
  • Millions of Americans enjoyed some form of help.
  • Direct relief or jobs that provided a steady
  • Programs such as Social Security and unemployment
    insurance became a fixture of government.
  • Recovery
  • Not as successful at economic recovery
  • Unemployment remained high.
  • Some critics argued that Roosevelt needed the
    support of big business.
  • Other critics said that the New Deal didnt spend
    enough money.
  • Reform
  • More successful and long-lasting
  • FDIC restored public confidence in the nations
  • SEC restored public confidence in stock markets.
  • New Deal left thousands of roadways, bridges,
    dams, public buildings, and works of art.

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The Impact of the New Deal
  • The New Deal promised relief, recovery, and
  • Relief programs put billions of dollars into the
    pockets of poor Americans.
  • The New Deal was less successful in delivering
    economic recovery.
  • New Deal reforms were successful and
  • The New Deal changed the link between the
    American people and their government.
  • Roosevelt believed that government could help
    businesses and individuals achieve a greater
    level of economic security.
  • The New Deal required a much bigger government.
  • Americans now began to look regularly to
    government for help.

Superpower and BeyondInteresting Times...
  • A song by Billy Joel recounts much of what we
    will discuss in this section.

Superpower and BeyondTrying to Stay Out!
  • Hostilities were erupting in Europe again and N.
    American nations tried to maintain their
  • People even turned against the League of Nations
    as they felt that it would drag them into another
  • Even a new trade policy was even implemented...
  • Congress changed the neutrality laws to a new
    policy called cash-and-carry.
  • Countries at war could buy American goods if they
    paid cash and picked up their goods at American

Superpower and BeyondTroubles with Japan
  • America was finally pulled into the war in 1941
    as the result of an attack on Hawaii by the
    Japanese navy.
  • Afterward, the US declared war on Japan, Germany
    and Italy.

American Industry and Science in World War II
  • Troops needed proper equipment to fight World War
  • Factories that produced consumer goods were
    converted to the production of military supplies.
  • Roosevelt called for the production of new planes
    and tanks.
  • War supplies had to be shipped overseas.
  • Submarines took a terrible toll on American
  • American shipyards turned out thousands of new
    vessels to replace those lost during the war
    using assembly-line techniques.
  • Wartime agencies regulated what factories
    produced, what prices they could charge, and how
    the nations raw materials could be used.

Mobilizing Industry and Science
  • Factories needed workers at the same time men
    were leaving to join the armed forces.
  • Women solved the problem. Millions began to work
    outside the home in industrial jobs.
  • Working women of the war were represented by the
    symbolic figure known as Rosie the Riveter.

Rosie the Riveter
  • Many workers joined labor unions and the
    government was concerned about strikes.
  • The National War Labor Board was established in
    1941 to help settle labor disputes.
  • The Smith-Connally Act passed in 1943.

Labor in WW II
  • The Manhattan Project began a top-secret mission
    to build an atomic bomb.
  • Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and other
    American scientists raced to develop this weapon
    ahead of the Germans.

Mobilizing Science
Challenges after the War
  • United Nations
  • Representatives from 50 countries met to form a
    new organization, the United Nations.
  • The UN was meant to encourage cooperation among
    nations and to prevent wars.
  • Potsdam Conference
  • Allied leaders met in the German city of Potsdam
    to discuss the spread of communism and Soviet
    influence in the postwar world.
  • Truman hoped to get Stalin to live up to his
    promises from Yalta.
  • Stalin did not do this.
  • Rebuilding
  • MacArthur led efforts to help Japan rebuild its
    government and economy.
  • Seven Japanese leaders were tried for war crimes.
  • Rebuilding Europe caused tensions between the U.S
    and the Soviet Union.

Marshall Plan
  • 1947 Massive aid package to help war-torn Europe
    recover from the war
  • Purpose prevent communism from spreading into
    economically devastated regions
  • Result Western and Central Europe recovered
    economically -- the "economic miracle"
  • Soviets refused to allow U.S. aid to countries in
    eastern Europe

Cold War?
  • The tension and rivalry between the USA and the
    USSR was described as the Cold War (1945-1990).
  • There was never a real war between the two sides
    between 1945 and 1990, but they were often very
    close to war (Hotspots). Both sides got involved
    in other conflicts in the world to either stop
    the spread of communism (USA) or help the spread

Superpower and BeyondCold War Hotspots
Clockwise Korea Cuba Afghanistan Berlin
Wall Vietnam
Economic Miracles
  • Causes
  • Marshall Plan aid helped western Europe begin
    recovery in 1947
  • Korean War in 1950 stimulated economic activity.
  • Economic growth became a basic objective of all
    western European governments.
  • Governments accepted Keynesian economics to
    stimulate their economies.
  • Germany and France were especially successful and
  • In most countries many people willing to work
    hard for low wages expanding industries
  • Increased demand for consumer goods.
  • Many economic barriers eliminated and a large
    unified market emerged Common Market.

1970sMajor Trends
  • Energy
  • OPEC formation
  • Oil Shocks (1973, 1979)
  • Intl. Economic Cooperation
  • Bretton Woods system (rules intl. commercial and
    financials relations, currency pricing, etc.)
  • Stagflation
  • Growth of Technology

1980sMajor Trends
  • USA
  • Trade
  • Worldwide Liberalization
  • Multinationals Grow
  • Growth of Japanese Imports
  • Canada
  • Quebec Referendum
  • Independence! (1982)
  • Mexico
  • Zapatistas
  • Glasnost!

1990sMajor Trends
  • USA
  • Trade Grew
  • GATT and WTO Formation
  • Energy
  • Cheap Oil
  • General Economy
  • DOW skyrocketing
  • Canada
  • Growth of Quebec Separatism
  • Mexico
  • Zapatistas

2000sMajor Trends
  • USA
  • ?
  • Canada
  • ?
  • Mexico
  • ?
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