The U.S. economy in the 1920s

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

The U.S economy was so important to the world economy in the 1920’s… why?

I was reading a book about the world economy and it said the u.s. economy was so important to it. why? just curious.

Long story short, food.

In 1913, Germany, for example, produced enough food to feed 40 million people, while its actual population was 67 million, so it imported over ten million tons of food a year. Other European countries were in a similar position, as their soils were depleted by many centuries of cultivation and their adoption of machinery and mineral fertilizers was relatively slow. So for a while, the U.S., along with Canada, Australia, and Argentina, provided the food that Europe and Asia needed, but could not produce…

The situation changed by 1950, when Western Europe caught up with the U.S. in the use of machinery and fertilizers. Since then, machinery, fertilizers, and high-quality seeds have been increasingly adopted worldwide, leading to consistent increases in global per-capita food production…

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