First, the US economy grew into a major world importer and exporter, eventually becoming the world’s biggest economy (as measured by Gross Domestic Product, or GDP) by the 1920s. US economic dominance would be near its height at the end of the period in 1945 with the end of World War Two (WWII) thanks partly to US war material production. This transition included smaller trends like increased urbanization and increased industrialization.
This growth was not without problems and hiccups, so Progressives tried to make the bad parts of industrial society better and the Great Depression challenged US politicians to come up with new solutions to increasing economic instability.
Technology & Migration
Thanks to new technologies that spread faster than ever, the US changed into a consumer culture, with fewer goods being made inside the home and more and more goods being “imported” from stores. Thanks to technologies like cars and radios, the US culture became more national in its scope.
People migrated within the US—suburbanization and migration westward and southward—and came in changing numbers of immigrants from other countries.
Changes: The US grew into a dominant position militarily and politically through this time period. At the start of the period, the US was generally uninvolved in overseas events other than through trade. The US then began to get more involved in colonialism beyond its own continental borders in places like the Pacific Ocean and Latin America.
Participation in both World War One (WWI) and World War Two (WWII) raised questions about the US role in world affairs and how to keep the US safe. By 1945, the US was heavily involved all over the world and saw military and diplomatic engagement as necessary for its national security and for the good of the rest of the world.
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