Consumerism from 1900 and the causes of the Great Depression (How was a consumer society vulnerable?)

Required Readings for the Essays

Consumerism from 1900 (What is it?)







Required Preparation: Read with care how workers’ pay was essential to make consumerism work. See Chapter 21 under the heading “Social and Cultural Change in the Wilson Years.” Notice the chart on the “Model T Ford” and the  subheading ”Automobiles for a Mass Market.”


Also, look in the index for consumerism.

For the period covered by this question:

1900+  Beginnings of Consumerism P517 (Also reading method example)

1900+ Beginnings of Consumerism P518 (Also reading method example)pdf







Required Preparation: Use the Snapshot in the Resources for Reading Quiz E to see consumer patterns, including an increase in leisure.

Consumerism from 1900 and the causes of the Great Depression (How was a consumer society vulnerable?)







Required Preparation: Use the resources above for consumerism

Also use this link to complete the time period for this question:








Required Preparation: Use the Resources for Reading Quiz F as a quick way to see all the information on causes of the Great Depression. This  applies to 2 other questions below.


Assumptions about Consumerism  (Page references are to the 4th edition paperback.)

·         Consumerism starts in the early 1900s. It is still the foundation of this economy today.

·         Consumerism is dependent on workers (referred to as “average Americans” in 517- 518) being able to buy the products they made. This was a new thing that had never happened before.

·         When the workers weren’t paid enough to be able to buy or when those who could buy had already bought, the slowdown started about 1927 (p. 629)

·         After the Great Depression, the United States made job creation and the minimum wage part of the responsibility of government. That’s why the events (including with the Federal Reserve) happened from the last year of the Bush administration through today.

General Assumptions

·         Something cannot cause another thing if it happens after it. Events after 1929 did not cause the 1929 disaster.

·         In 1900 through the start of the Great Depression, we did not measure employment so there is no official measurement or agency or anything.

The 5 Ws I Would Have Made If Were You 

Once you have read using the method I provided for you in the aid for the Major Essay (the link just under the instructions), this method lets you understand, not just type the author’s words. It’s fast and works with anything real (including a memo to a boss). I take another color and make a check box for what I plan to write. I practice saying it aloud for 3 or so times and I dictate to myself as I type.

if you look at the pages that I cite to the right of the label, you will be able to better guess the meaning. If you follow the lines across the page, you will see for yourself the interconnections.



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