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"This film shows what may be the first annual automobile parade. Held on November 4, 1899, in downtown Manhattan, the parade demonstrated at least ten different makes and models, including models with electric and steam-powered machines. ... In 1901, newly discovered Texas oil fields lowered gasoline prices. That same year, mass production techniques were introduced into car manufacturing. These two factors would prove to be key in the rapid growth of the American automobile industry."

For more information about Henry Ford and early automobile history, please go to the Library of Congress.

American Business History

American business history is designed to provide students with an examination of major business and economic developments in the U.S. from the Civil War to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the ideas, forces and personalities in the ever-changing role of business and economics and their impact on the nation and its citizens. Course is recommended for students majoring in business, economics and history.

Approaching History

  • Legacy of the Civil War
  • Money and Banking: a Changing Emphasis
  • Transportation, Communication, and Commerce
  • Industry: the American Rise to World Leadership
  • Labor Organization: a Reaction to Big Industry
  • Agriculture and Farm Organization
  • The Role of Government in the Changing Economy
  • Progress and Poverty: the American Standard of Living
  • The American Economy, 1914-1945:
  • The era of World War I: the impact of world affairs on the U.S. economy
  • The 1920s: from Prosperity to Crash
  • The 1930s: Depression and the New Deal
  • The 1940s: World War II and the aftermath
  • Fiscal and Monetary policy since World War II
  • The Search for Productivity: Manufacturing, Marketing, Industrial Government Growth
  • Labor since 1945
  • Overview of the Economy in the 21st century


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Last Updated: 15 November 2010