The Rise

Detroit emerged as the quintessential manufacturing town during the early 20th century. Due to the advancements in assembly line production by Henry Ford, consumers were able to purchase cheaper goods and workers were being paid higher salaries. This explosion in commerce led to the influx of immigrants and create a dichotomy in the town that would linger on even today. Immigrants came to the city of Detroit in the masses after hearing Henry Ford was offering 5$ work days, an opportunity to provide for their families and rise up the ladder of social hierarchy. During this time period was also the advent of prohibition. Before the 18th amendment was passed federally, the state of Michigan prohibited the sale of liquor two years earlier. This gave bootleggers and swindlers added time to set up trading links to obtain whiskey from Canadian sources. During Prohibition, the sale of alcohol was extremely successful; liquor sales was the second biggest business behind the auto industry during prohibition. Detroit was being re-defined by the influx of immigration and changing economic spheres of manufacturing.


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