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History11 - Capitalism: The American Experience 1907-1941: Overview

Year 11, Unit 1

Course Focus

  • Rise of capitalism in the USA- railways, post Civil-War reconstruction, immigrant labour, oil, mass production
  • Role and impact of significant individuals
  • Key ideas: capitalism, laissez-faire, consumerism, individualism, limited government, economic liberty, American Dream
  • Impact of WW1, the 1920s, WWII until 1941 on American Capitalism; the growth of consumerism, shaping of American values: film, fashion, prohibition and the Jazz Age.
  • Causes of the Great Depression, consequences for groups, effectiveness of political response: New Deal and impact upon capitalism
  • Impact of capitalism upon African Americans, urban workers, rural workers, immigrants, industrialists, Native Americans; reasons for division
  • Significance of capitalism in the period compared with other key ideologies, in particular, communism.

To be considered throughout the unit:

  • Economic
  • External forces/International Relations
  • Ideas
  • Leadership
  • Political
  • Social/Cultural