It was in the aftermath of World War I when Americans saw an incredible amount of prosperity. There came a shift in attitude from a more serious approach to life, to a pursuit of personal happiness. The economy was booming. Shopping centers began popping up. New technologies, especially automobiles, began to be a more common thing. For the first time, advertising played a large role in consumer spending as people now had money to spend. If they did not have the cash, credit played an important role in consumer spending because it allowed Americans to purchase goods and pay for them at a later date. This is the first occurrence of the characteristic that is often portrayed by Americans, careless spenders. It was at this time when Americans became big buyers and began to invest in the stock market, attempting to make their money grow even more. Because of the high demand for goods, mass production took place to meet the demand of the people. It was high times in America but it would not last for long. Most Americans did not save their money and felt that the excess money they had would continue to come into their hands. They also put much hope in the stock market as some of the key manufactures", such as automobile makers, stocks continued to grow.
In the late 1920's and early 1930's, the United States went through a breakdown, sparked by the stock market crash in 1929, in their economic prosperity that they had experienced in the early 1920's as the United States fell into the worst depression in it's history. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, while campaigning for the presidency in San Francisco, gave a speech before the Commonwealth Club where he strongly stated, "The government should assume the function of economic regulation only as a last resort, to be tried only when private initiative, inspired by high responsibility, with such assistance and balance as Government can give, has finally failed.