In this century and a half of history, U.S. consumption has changed so much. With the increase in industry starting in the 19th century and the growing concern for targeting consumers with new and improved goods, consumers had become a primary target for economic growth and security. At the end of the Civil War, goods were just beginning to be advertised and sold nationally and transported through the use of trains, now goods can be shipped from across the country in a matter of hours. As American’s have continued to consume, goods have taken on another level importance. The type of good, the price, the look of the good have not begun to represent good on the market but a material representation of the owner. What you buy and what you wear, tell society how you want to be portrayed.
Growth of the shopping mall, shopping for fun, and the deal-driven consumer
Shift from downtown stores to shopping centers because of convenience – the ability to drive and park easily, more night hours, improved store layouts, increased self-service, and simplified credit with the charge plate, more available at suburban stores. Shopping centers would begin targeting male and female patrons by widening their inventory to include items that appealed to the whole family.
By the 1970s, not only did Americans spend as much as four times as many hours shopping as Europeans but we also devoted more space to shopping malls and other retail commercial activity (Cross).
- Sunday shopping came into question in the 1960s, discounters and drug and food stores opened on Sundays while department stores did not. These stores lobbied for local governments to ban Sunday hours or enforce existing “blue laws.” Sear, appealed to others to stop Sunday opening but no one followed. Chick-fil-A, founded in 1967, is one of the few national stores that don’t open on Sunday.
If you fast forward, 30 years roughly shopping malls have taken on an even bigger persona. The Mall of America, built in 1992, showed that entertainment and shopping could be successfully combined. They built an amusement park, miniature golf, aquarium, Movie Theater, night clubs and restaurants, coupled with pleasant unthreatening crowds. Shopping for the enjoyment of shopping, not necessary the necessity of it has been a growing trend since the latter half of the 20th century.
With the growth of shopping and shopping malls there has also been a rise in the discount warehouse. Many of warehouses gained popularity with the claim of cheaper prices to the consumer. Wal-Mart formed in 1962. By 1990, it was a dominant force in the market. Other warehouse stores followed such as Price Club and Sam’s Club followed. Sam’s Club, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, in particular offers shoppers cheaper prices by buying in bulk instead of individual servings with participation the membership program. Discount warehouse shopping offered a new style of shopping that was more focused on providing shoppers with good deals and cheaper alternatives.
Consumers Rights, Environment, Overconsumption (1960s and 1970s)
Reporting fraud against consumers became a minor industry in the 1960s. Sidney Margolius, one of U.S. first consumer journalist – warned against loan sharks, unnecessary car repairs, home improvement scams, and overpriced insurance. He attacked the food industry for converting inexpensive ingredients into costly processed foods. (Aside: I feel like we still see this today with goods that are no different generically or branded aside from the fact that companies and branding make them appear different)
Great achievements were made with this new focus on consumer rights. The Hazardous Substances Labeling Act of 1960: required a warning on dangerous household products, and The Child Protection Act (1966): banned toys and other articles containing hazardous materials. More water quality act (1965) and air quality act (1967).
Ground water contamination from storage tanks, hazardous waste sites, and landfills was becoming a major problem by the 1960s. A new form of environmentalism emerged propelled by a systematic critique of economic growth.
Books such as The Limits to Growth and Small is Beautiful were published to emphasize the limits of overconsumption
The Limits to Growth (1972) commission by the “Club of Rome,” an independent non-profit organization that addresses root causes of the challenges and crisis’s the world faces today. The basic behavior mode of the world system is exponential growth of population and capital, followed by collapse. The book predicts population change and resource use, and anticipated global shortages in essential raw material, pollution, and starvation by 2100 unless zero population and limited growth were achieved (Cross). The Club of Rome had demonstrated the contradiction of unlimited and unrestrained growth in material consumption in a world of clearly finite resources and had brought the issue to the top of the global agenda (Club of Rome).
African American Consumers
In early 1960s, marketers sought to attract African American consumers’ with purchasing power and appeal to their distinctive values and concerns that they assumed blacks brought the marketplace. This was the result of a combination of the larger change in marketing practice and the impact of a civil rights movement that continued to mobilize blacks at the point of consumption – through sit-ins, selective buying campaigns, and boycotts – as an effective means by which to demand rights (Cohen).
Oil Shortage and Recession 1970s
The worst recession in 40 years since the great depression. The Arab Oil Embargo between 1973-1974, made U.S. consumers aware of their reliance on oil. By 1969, oil already contributed 43% of U.S. Energy consumption and 40% of that demand was met by foreign oil by 1974. The quantities of oil were low and prices expensive. Says historian David Shi, “The same advertisers who had promoted the buy-buy lifestyle were now hired by oil companies and public utilities to convince the public to buy less, heat less, and drive less (PBS). The scarcity of oil would mean the scarcity of other products, due to the cost and inability to transport goods across the country.
(We see this now in a different light in the US with higher gas prices, the price of commodities increase, through overall consumption is not affected…some people are not able to buy as much).
Return to Consumption in the 1980s
In the 80s, a mass redistribution of wealth was supposed to be created by enactment of the trickle-down theory, as part of President Regan’s Reganomics. It reconfigured the tax structure to tax the wealthy and business less in hopes that they would invest more in the economy, when in all actuality it taxed the middle class more and drove more people into poverty while supporting the wealthy class. At the end of the Decade of Greed, as some have called it, 33 percent of all personal wealth in the nation was in the hands of 1 percent of its households (PBS).
Expressions of individualism:
The expressive individualism of the 1960s was more than a style or even a rejection of suburbia (Cross). It was a culmination of a trend toward goods, rather than relationships defining self. The feelings of guilt and consumer responsibility that had reemerged in the 1960s had begun to die going into the 1970s and the 1980s; consumers were becoming less conscious of their choices as consumers and the impacts of those choices. The popularity of the SUV had grown as well as the consumption of goods such as video games, music, clothing, food items. By 1980 there were far more cars, ads, and credit cards and many more ways of expressing oneself through goods than there had been in 1960 (Cross).
The Rise of Internet Consumerism
The internet was unleashed to the public in the 1980s, as the 1990s progressed the popularity of the internet spread to homes across America. And so did the idea of game play, music, and social networking. Games could be played and/or purchased on the internet to play. Music in the form of mp3s could be purchased and listen to on the computers or mp3 devises. And the internet became essential for meeting people keeping in contact with old friends. The iPod really symbolized the rise of the online music consumption. In 2004, the Economist remarked that “digital music-players would change the consumption of music and it has done that. As of today, as many as 100 million ipods had been sold, reported in 2007.
Sites like Amazon, Zappos, and Ebay sell goods directly to consumers and offer opportunites for consumers to sell to other consumers. Department stores and other businesses now market and advertise on the internet and ship goods directly to customers. The internet in the last 20 years has really opened up the consumer to another level of shopping. A level in which they don’t have to leave their homes to consume goods.
Consumption has been the driving force behind the U.S. economy since its creation. The methods through which corporations, manufactures, and even the government have prompted people to consume have changed but the target has always been consumption. We have seen what underconusmption and underproduction can do to the U.S. economy during the Great Depression but we are just now starting to see in the later part of the 20th and early 21st century what overconsumption can do to not only the economy but also the environment. People have become more focused on owing the new gadget and feeding their need to belong than to ensuring that their impacting the environment and society in a good way. Children emulate cartoon characters and only want to own toys with their faces on them, people own iPods and smartphones which connect them with the world but also disconnect them from their surroundings, pollution continues through fossil fuels and other forms of waste. Consumerism has been a positive force in the U.S. but one must think has it been a positive force for the good of society or the good of corporations and manufacturers.
UNC-TV PBS. History of Affluenza: Questioning Growth (1970s). http://www.pbs.org/kcts/affluenza/diag/hist12.html
Cohen, Lizabeth. A Consumer Republic. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 2003.
Cross, Gary. An All-Consuming Century. New York: Columbia University Press. 2000.
Club of Rome. http://www.clubofrome.org/eng/about/5/
Goodwin, Susan and Becky Bradley. “1960-1969.” American Cultural History. Lone Star College-Kingwood Library. Last modified July 2010. http://wwwappskc.lonestar.edu/popculture/decade60.html.
The Economist: Rational Consumer. The meaning of the ipod. June 10th, 2004. http://www.economist.com/node/272443
Hof, Rob. 100 Million iPods sold, how many are still in use? April 9th, 2007. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2007/04/100_million_ipods_sold_but_how_many_are_still_in_use.html
A wife and her friend trick her husband into purchasing a new home with a new modern kitchen. The husband left home along to fend for himself and his son in an old outdated kitchen, in which he can get nothing done while his wife is away visiting her mother. Of course, a new home with a new kitchen can solve this problem. The consumerist spirit of the 1950s, new homes and new appliances make everything better. This clip also shows a traditional family structure: the wife at home and the husband at work.
“Despite joblessness and wartime austerity, ordinary Americans held tight to old consuming habits and dreams. They clung to their “luxuries” or longed for their return. Even though economic collapse in the 1930s and diversion of commodities to the war effort in the 1940s dramatically reduced personal spending, American business continued to seek new ways and new things to sell to consumers” (Cross). Consumers would continue to buy when possible and advocate for more government involvement in the production and inspection of goods. Within this time frame of 1930 to 1960, discount stores targeting shoppers who wanted good products for good prices were created. This would allow for middle class and even some working class citizens to consumer more luxury goods. Consumption overall would rise during this period and continue to form our modern day consumerist society. People would continue to buy but often at levels which coincided with the times. During the depression those that could buy would, those who could not would not; at the dawning of WWII Americans were encouraged to purchase some items and not purchase others, along with contribute to funding the war effort. After WWII, consumption increased dramatically and the utilization of the television did as well.
The Depression 1930s
To many American living in the early Depression, the 1920s symbolized excess, a vain and irresponsible decade for which the Depression was punishment (Cross). Many people downsized, because of necessity. Some families stayed inside instead of going out to seek entertainment. They listened to the radio instead of going out to a movie. Others could not consolidate their need to consume with the economic climate and were unwilling to abandon some luxuries. Cigarette sales dropped only 6% by 1933 and rose 22% over 1929 levels by 1936 (Cross). Americans also purchased refrigerators and radios. As economic historian Winifred Wandersee notes, “To many families a radio, the latest movie a pack of cigarettes, or the daily newspaper were as necessary to the family well-being as food, clothing, and shelter (Cross). Families would meet these needs by purchasing things on credit. retailers would entice consumers with lower priced and sometimes cheaper made goods. They would appeal to their sense of a “good deal,” or more for their money. Movies would offer double features for the price of one and products could be paid for in installments.
Continued Rise of Consumer Movements
“If “commitment” was the key word of the Depression decade, many thousands of Americans expressed their engagement in the realm of consumption though membership in a consumer organization or cooperative, or thorough boycotts education campaigns, “Don’t buy where you can’t work” and cost-of-living strikes” (Glickman). Consumer organizations distributed pamplets and magazines, such as Consumer Reports, Consumer, Women Shopper, and Consumers’ Guide to better educate consumers on the utility of goods and quality. Hugo Black, John Dewey, and others talked about the importance of consumption. They “singled out underconsumption as a root cause of the Great Depression, they called for the construction a consumerist political economy and pronounced America to be entering into new era defined economically by consumption and driven politically by the might of organized consumers” (Glickman).
In 1933, Arthur Kallet, director of Consumers’ Research, and Frederick Schlink, an engineer published “100,000 Guinea Pigs: Dangers in Everyday Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics.” In 1936, the Consumers’ Union, a union owned and controlled by organized consumers, was founded. It was created to provide information on goods and services. The consumers union reports emerge in the same year. It publishes results of experiments on quality of products which ratings of Best Buy, Also Acceptable, Not Acceptable.
Production and consumption accompanied with U.S. involvement in WWII helped bring the U.S. out of the Depression. Many materials and resources such as metals and other raw materials would be dedicated to the war effort and left civilian citizens without. Americans did not mind this lack of goods because it was all for the good of the war effort but it often left them with more money than they could spend. “Home-front workers found their wallets and purses full, many for the first time in a decade. Much of this cash was burning holes in the pockets of millions of Americans just waiting for the day when they could spend it on washing machines, cars, and other long-deferred goods (Cross).
After the war, Americans were encouraged to consume and purchase surplus goods. The purchase of many types of goods went up such as food, clothing, cars, and electric appliances. Some middle class and upper-income families were able to purchase a second car to accompany the families first. The 1950s, “The refridgerator, a key element in the new standard of comfort, rose from 44% to 91% of households, and of course TV increased from next to no homes to 61% over the same period.” (Cross)
The TV was easily the most important domestic consumer product in the 1950s (Cross). The uses of the radio were still up but television provided something that radio could not: picture. Consumers were able to see images accompanied with sound upon a screen. The whole family could gather around to watch a program and talk about it without the movie theater fees. Between 1946 and 1953, movie audiences had shrunk by half (Cross). The television was a source for family programming, dramas, sitcoms. It also was a bigger representation of family values often the programming was family centered and the family centeree programming perpetuated the idea of family coming together and being a unit. Advertisements were also very popular on the television. Manufacturers had found a highly productive method of reaching consumers through the television that they had not previously had. After WWII ended the drive to consume more coupled with the growing availability of televisions, made for an advertisers paradise.
Utilization of the Discount Store
Discount retailing emerged in 1912, but this niche did not begin to draw attention until 1950s in New England (Huddleston). Stores like E.J. Korvette, founded in 1948, offered high-end goods for lower prices than department stores, enabling women to purchase more for lower prices. Some stores lured women in the promise of a luxurious shopping experience coupled with fancy decorations and goods while other stores sold large amounts of goods at lower prices with no luxurious finishes. Many stores existed between both boundaries, “attempting to offer stylish merchandise at discounted prices” (Huddleston).
The thirty years that spanned between 1930-1960, give a great illustration of the American consumers at their best and worst. The Great Depression tossed many from a previously fruitful decade into a period of austerity. Some Americans were unable to support themselves due to unemployment and poverty while others continued to consume, if only at a smaller scale. WWII brought the U.S. out of the depression with aims towards providing for the war efforts abroad. As soon as the war ended, consumption increased exponentially. Americans were finally able to spend on items they wanted and needed. The television made great headway in the advertisement of goods and the reinforcement of the family structure. Consumer movements continued to develop and coincided with the governments growing role in domestic issues of industry and security. These years would influence the years to come, especially the role of television in consumption.
Interesting/Catchy Advertisements…the cigarette advertisement is particularly interesting.
Cross, Gary. An All-Consuming Century. New York: Columbia University Press. 2000.
Huddleston, Patricia and Stella Minahan. Consuming Behavior: Women and Shopping. New York: Business Expert Press. 2011.
Glickman, Lawrence B. Buying Power: A History of Consumer Activism in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2009.
Consumerreports.org. About Us: Our History. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/aboutus/history/printable/index.htm
Cohen, Lizabeth. A Consumer Republic. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 2003.
Beginning in the 1900s, industry and economy reached a boom state. The early 20th century marked a period of reform and expansion in many areas as well. Advertising and consumer consumption would become big areas of reform and expansion with the growth of industry and consumer reform societies to the outcry for more truthful advertisment. Progressives, Women’s movements, and Henry Ford and his assembly line would become characteristic icons of the time. As consumers took a closer look into the products they were buying and working class person’s began to demand better working conditions, America hit a crossroads between industry and consumer satisfaction. Industrial reform for consumers would be the answer to inconsistencies that existed between product, price, and consumer satisfaction. The First consumer wave marked a shift toward recognition “the centrality of consumers to the nation’s economy and polity” (Cohen). The companies, that were producing goods began to realize that patrons were the driving force behind there success and failure and so they began to begin efforts toward targeting consumers on a more massive scale. This targeting of more consumers did not help with the sometimes substandard quality of the products they produced.
Progressive and Everyday Citizens Efforts at Reform
The Progressives, a group focused on the raising the living standards of the working class, began at this time to promote everyday citizens involvement in industrial reform. Progressives, as well as other American citizens began to realize the value in fighting for better quality goods. Consumers should be guaranteed some type of accountability from industries in their food and goods quality.
The Food and Drug Administration and the federal Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.Many people had begun to complain about the quality of the food and drugs they were receiving.With the passage of the food and drug act, drugs had contain the ingredients they advertise. Consumers would know more of what they were putting into their body.
New York Jewish Immigrant Wives Kosher Meat Boycotts in 1902
The price of kosher beef rose and smaller kosher butchers went on strike to prompt lower prices but the prices did not go down and the consumers were made to pay higher prices. As many as 20,000 Jewish women went on strike to boycott the price hikes. “The kosher meat boycott was an early demostration of the political consciousness of Jewish women in New York Ghettos.”
The National Consumer’s Leauge (NCL)
Middle class progressive women began organizations like NCL in response to the substandard quality of goods and the lack of involvement by the government in protecting consumers against terrible food and other goods conditions.
Published in 1906, by Upton Sinclair. The Jungle was a fiction account of the life of the working class and the the quality of substandard food and the terrible conditions under which workers work in the food industries how their wages reflect a serious disassociation with the American standard of living at the time.
Henry Ford’s Assembly Line
Starting in the late 1900s, by 1913 Henry Ford’s Assembly line was the first industrious means of assembling the car. It helped to rise the popularity and availability of automobiles and other products. The Assembly line was a quick and effective means of producing a simple and affordable car. That average citizens could afford. The level of production brought down the price to produce the goods and make them more affordable to all. The Assembly line not only made good more accessible but also perpetuated the growing American consumerist spirit of consumption.
Rise of Advertising
In the 1910s, adverting products of the assembly line became more widestream. “With the automobile came advertising which employed the appeals of a better, more luxurious life; kitchen appliances, radios” (Bauer). In the last few decades before the emergence of advertising on a wide scale, much of the advertising to customers was done on a local scale but with the growing distribution of products in the 1900s, national marketing began. Appealing to national markets was accomplished with the “technical advances of more uniformly produced and packaged branded goods” (Bauer). The rapid growth of investment in advertising is seen the short 15 year span between pre-WWI and WWI. Between 1900 and 1915, advertising grew from $500 million to $1.3 billion (Bauer). Along with the rise in advertising their was call for more reform in the truthfulness the advertising claims. Some products were not of the quality the advertisements promised leaving consumers unhappy and the validity of the advertising and company in question. Samuel Dobbs and the Associated Advertising clubs of America (now American Advertising Federation) worked to “curb untruth in advertising” which spurred the “truth in advertising” campaign in 1911.
Popular goods of consumption between 1900-1930
Because electricity was becoming more popular in American households, so did electric appliances. Things such as the electric toaster, waffle irons, Hoover vacuums, the radio, the automobile had become favorite commodities of the U.S. public. As new approaches to retailing emerged so did the idea of buying on credit. American citizens were able to buy these popular and useful items without the worry of saying up for them. American purchases of cars, pianos, and other big-ticket items nearly doubled over the 1898-1916 period because of credit (Cross).
The early 1900s were a period of unprecedented growth in industry and advertising. In these few decades we see the emergence of mass production, national advertising, and reform in industry and in the production of products. Consumption of goods would become a dominate part of the American economy, companies would not only try to target the nation’s needs as a whole but appeal to an individual’s wants. With “discretionary spending (beyond that for the necessities of housing, clothing and food) increased form 20 percent to almost 35 percent in the first three decades of the century” (Cross). We see that the 30 years of so followed, we’re over all years of great promise with the dawning of the Great Depression in the 1930s this promise would be shaken and the spirit of consumption would be stunted.
Bauer, Raymond A. and Stephen A. Greyser. Advertising in America: The Consumer View. Boston: Harvard University. 1968.
Cohen, Lizabeth. A Consumer Republic. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 2003.
Cross, Gary. An All-Consuming Century. New York: Columbia University Press. 2000.
Jewish Virtual Library. The Kosher Meat Boycott of 1902. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/bc1902.html
As the United States emerged from a fierce string of battles that literally tore the nation apart, Reconstruction and the reunion of the nation was the government’s primary goal. This being said, consumers we’re still alive and well. With severely depleted supplies in the South, widowed women with children, many displaced African Americans, and a thriving Northern economy. What drove the consumer economy at that time?
Second Industrial Revolution
The second industrial revolution prompted rapid industrialization of manufacturing industries. With improvements to machinery and increased productivity of workers, more goods could be produced and therefore purchased by consumers. The process of rapid industrialism brought about a heightened standard of living for many Americans, creating for the first time a distinct middle class (the Encyclopedia of the New American Nation). The ability to purchase goods and increase income left some American behind while it propelled others forward. These heightened states of living would include the ability to purchase more goods, purchase homes, and live in more desirable locations within cities. The outward migration of Americans from rural areas to urban would also be a dividing line for some Americans. Those that had been employed in seasonal work or low-skilled labor would find work in factories where they would have access to more work but pay did not always increase. “Industrialization heightened an emerging sense of national identity and professionalization among citizens in the leading industrialized nations. The rise of nationalism was fueled not only by the technologies that these system builders created, but by other technologies and systems that rose with them, including low-cost mass-circulation newspapers, recordings of popular songs and national anthems, and public schools designed to instill in pupils the work ethic and social structure of the modern factory.” (The Encyclopedia of the New American Nation). Not only did industrialization increase productivity but it also began to reunite fellow citizens, an important occurrence considering this period included the end of the divided civil war.
Growing divide between classes
- The consumer culture is defined as “the value system that underlies a society saturated by mass-produced and mass-marketed goods, but also a new set of sanctions for the elite controls of that society” (Fox). Purchasing power and the ability to buy at will, was a representation of status and continues to be. Even with instability in the economy with boom and bust cycles, elites are still able to maintain a social hierarchy through their purchases. This is seen in advertisements for expensive goods at this time.
Advertising companies began to arise during this time. With the productivity of goods and the new travel networks, created by the transcontinental railroad, goods were available nationally and targeting customers took on a national attitude. Advertising companies such as Volney B. Palmer and N.W. Ayer and Son were couple of these new advertising companies to emerge. They would market many types of goods for companies with the hopes of finding and maintaining a new customer base.
Rise of the Department Store: Sears
Department Stores had begun to gain prominence during this period. Many had emerged during the early 1800s but they were growing and targeting a larger consumer base by this time. The early department stores grew out of small, dry goods stores, most of them founded by persons of humble beginnings (ANBHF). Storeowners began with small operations, sometimes out of their homes or small corner stores and grew their businesses to accommodate demand. Richard Sears would become one of these business owners and sell watches. Richard Sears elaborated the principles of mail ordering created by Aaron Montgomery Ward and, with his flair for sales promotions, built an even more successful mail order business (ANBHF). Sears would join forces with a man named Roebuck and they would build the business. They would target consumers with the strategy of low prices, heavy advertising and money-back guarantees (ANBHF).
While most people purchased things that fit into their everyday routine: including toiletries, foodstuffs, clothing, and other home items. The new emphasize on advertising products to consumers, presented goods to Americans nationwide and allowed for more choice in the purchase of items.
In addition, goods began to gain brand names. By 1893, firms began to market their packaged goods under brand names. Some of the first brands were firms like Ivory, Colgate, Wrigley and Coca Cola. Previously such everyday household products like milk, sugar, soap, rice and candles had been sold in neighborhood shops from bulk packages. This consumers realizing they had a choice and possibly some type of brand preference in following generations. Brands promotes consumer loyalty that plain generic items do not illicit.
Packed goods assumed a new symbolic meaning. The generic cracker in the barrel and the potato by the pound were gradually replaced by products of vast and diverse processing industry: Campbell and Heinz offered precooked soups, condiments, and vegetables for single-family meals (Cross). Other companies like C.W. Post, W.K. Kellogg, Colgate, and Gillette began selling their own name branded goods.
By 1900, the United States was already the richest country in human history – and well suited to create far more wealth. (Cross). The second industrial revolution propelled workers and consumers into an age of productivity and nationalism. Advertising on the national level would emerge to target consumers and market goods. Branding would also become a successful mode of marketing; it would promote customer loyalty and associations of quality and consistence with certain goods and brands. In next week’s blog, we will see how this increasing wealth along with increased industrialization would lead to far more consumer buying opportunities and how growing industry would shape what was being consumed.
19th and 2oth Century Advertising.
Cross, Gary. All Consuming Century. 2000. New York: Columbia University Press.
Richard Wightman Fox and T.J. Jackson Lears: Editors. The Culture of Consumption: Critical Essays in American History, 1880-1980. 1983. New York: Pantheon Books.
We’re all consumers motivated by desire and necessity to purchase items that we use everyday. How exactly did our society grow to consume the things it does today? The easy answer would be to just chalk it up to changing attitudes but it’s much more than that. History, current events, economy, and social behaviors call all be attributed to the consumer-based society that America is today. This blog will chronicle the years from 1865 until today. 1865 being a highly proflific date…the end of the Civil War.
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