The United States had been a leading industrial power since the late nineteenth century, when industrialists and entrepreneurs such as Andrew Carnegie and J. D. Rockefeller made the names of their companies synonymous with American prestige. However, by the 1980s the American economy was changing. The emergence of the service economy brought into question the accuracy of labeling the twentieth century as the American Century, a term coined by Henry Luce to emphasize the powerful status of the United States in relation to that of other nations. Indeed, some began to refer to the 1980s as the end of the American century. U.S. involvement in World War II had helped to strengthen the position of the United States as the American economy emerged from the war at the height of its power while other industrial rivals, especially Japan and Germany, lay in ruins. In 1946 the United States produced 60 percent of the steel...
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