America and the War.
World War I had ended in November 1918, and the impact of the war on the economic and business scene had been substantial. The war had passed through two phases: the first phase during which the United States functioned as a supplier of goods and services to the Allied European participants, and the second phase in which the United States provided economic assistance and combat troops. Before the war the United States had been relatively detached from the European economy, and London had played the role of international banker. Yet during the war the U.S. role as a supplier of goods was substantial. As a result, in America prices of most goods rose; labor was in short supply; and wages were high. Agricultural exports skyrocketed, and farmers prospered as never before.
Overall, the impact of the war on the economy was beneficial. Demand for manufactured goods rose in a spectacular fashion as American steel and all sorts of raw materials and other goods flowed toward Europe. These exports imposed no great strain on the economy—far less, for example, than during World War II, which resulted in considerable shortages of material and moderate rationing of consumer goods as well as the imposition of controls over labor. Little of that sort of activity took place during World War I, although railroad...
(The entire section is 1194 words.)
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