Post War Development
By Andrew Morris
Florida went from 2.7 million people in 1950 to 15.9 million in 2000. This growth transformed Florida from a rural and underdeveloped state to a state full of metropolises.
During the postwar boom times in Florida, areas that were just swamp or farm land a few years earlier were turned into single family homes.
After rationing during World War II the American public was ready to move forward and be able to consume freely again. The suburban growth led to the construction of many new shopping plazas.
During the war civilian car production was discontinued to support the war effort so after the war there was a huge demand for new vehicles.
The GI Bill of Rights gave veterans access to favorable mortgages and had a major impact on fueling the exodus from cities to the suburbs.
This new construction was heavily developed around car ownership compared to how older cities were developed around trains and street cars.
The boom in car ownership led to development of businesses that served cars like gas stations, drive ins, and fast food restaurants.
To connect this new suburban development states and the federal government heavily invested in building roads and highways to connect urban job centers to these neighborhoods.
From Defense and Tourism spending Orlando grew rapidly from the 50's to the 2000's. This turned Orlando from a small city that relied on agriculture to a modern metropolis.
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