Economics and History

Civil War


Following the US Civil War, the US economy was heavily damaged.  The loss of life and destruction of major cities hindered production of goods. 




Beginning in the late 1800s, the US began a process of industrialization. Many people left family farms to live in cities and work in large factories.  Trains made it possible to easily ship goods produced in a central location to cities and towns around the country.


Westward Expansion


Economic opportunities in the 1800s also influenced Americans to move west.  Available land and gold rushes in California and Alaska motivated more people to populate the western states.


Great Depression


While the US economy was booming in the 1920s, it fell in the 1930s.  Factors that led to the Great Depression were an overinflated stock market that crashed in 1929 and a severe drought, called the Dust Bowl, which affected the Midwest.  The Great Depression ended after president Franklin Roosevelt passed a series of bills to assist the public called The New Deal and when World War II began and many people went to work to support the war.





After World War II


After World War II, troops who returned home were given benefits to help buy homes and obtain an education.  This boosted the economy and led to many scientific advancements.  More Americans also bought cars, which made travel easier.  Other new inventions like television and air conditioning changed the way people lived.