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Lecture 5

AMS 207 Lecture 5: AMS 207 Notes 2-23

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Miami University
American Studies
AMS 207
Busch Andrew

Isolationism and Growth Monroe Doctrine continues to dominate US policy after the Civil War. Despite cultural skirmishes, economic and demographic growth are extremely strong, making the US the fastest growing nation in the world while still being very inward looking. Protectionism Increased specialization Railroads, steel, electricity, oil, and immigration fuel a tremendous increase in specialization and mechanization, leading to rapid gains in productivity after the Civil War. Economies of scale and centralization of production lead to national markets for many mass produced goods, Industries Industries grow spectacularly Meatpacking in Chicago Steel in Pittsburgh and elsewhere in the Midwest Railroads, oil, and automobiles all use extractionbased natural resources Economic growth leads to a new middle class that absorbs manufactured goods. Leisure economy Department stores, amusement parks, baseball New amusement parks cater to younger people looking forward to have fun away from adult supervision Blurs ethnic and class lines, breaks down barriers among groups, reinvests disposable income Isolationist Almost all growth is focused internally; although some financial markets are becoming international, most are entirely local or national. By the late 1890s, US is also beginning a more aggressive foreign policy (SpanishAmerican War) US Interests Initially, follows Monroe Doctrine Us manufacturers and banks profit greatly by staying neutral US only enters when Mexico is threatened by Germany US picks winning side Treaty of Versailles Germany and other defeated nations are given still penalties: Germany loses about 15 of its territorial holdings and is forced to pay steep reparations. Internationalism after the War League of Nations: effort to build up marginal nations to stave off stark power imbalances Fourteen Points: Wilsons plan for equity in Europe covenants of peace, free trade, sovereignty Dawes Plan: removes Allies from Ruhr industrial region in Germany and allowed Germany a reparations payment plan (administered by us bankers)
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