The 1920s marks a time of sustained economic progress. It is also considered a time of social, cultural, and economic diversity and prosperity. After the First World War, a sense of normalcy in world politics and other concerns was more or less attained. …
Although this picture of America presented a favorable image of life for Americans, others believed that it also presented a picture of an America which was shallow, greedy, and empty, one where people were judged for their wealth and their properties. They also believed that America’s values were crumbling and that hedonism was fast becoming a norm in their society. This paper shall analyze these themes, and to what extent each group is right or wrong. This paper shall first provide an overview of the various developments seen during the 1920s, secondly, an analysis of these developments in terms of their implications shall also be presented. Lastly, concluding remarks shall end this discussion. This paper is being carried out in order to establish a clear understanding of the 1920s and how the developments during this time impacted on the American people in general. America in the 1920s marked a transition period, from a wartime economy to a peacetime economy. And its economy flourished during this time as it was able to engage in mass production and consumerism. Soldiers returning from war with their wages were reintroduced into the workforce and the post-World War recession soon saw an end. The 1920s also marked an era of increased consumer spending which was further supported by mass production of various consumer products. Changes in government policies, mostly in relation to the reduction of the national debt, of taxes, and of the protection of farming interests, and cutting back of immigration led to the economic boom (Filip). President Coolidge also imposed policies which sought to increase taxes on the rich and prevent government interference in private businesses (Filip). Soon enough, his approach was able to sustain economic growth for most of the 1920s. However, overconfidence in these economic policies also caused the stock market to crash, leading to the Great Depression. The sustained recovery during the early 1920s caused the Federal reserve to expand credit, as market rates were decreased; in effect, the value of the dollar increased by 60% during this time (Schultz, 349). This caused the Americans to over-extend their spending. As was mentioned above, such over-extension led to the stock market crash in the late 1920s, and the crash and the depression that followed was very much prolonged. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the favorable economic growth in the 1920s led to the Great Depression, the 1920s marked a bountiful time for the Americans (Schultz, p. 351). The automobile, movie, radio and chemical industries experienced much growth during this time. Cars were now mass-produced and they also assisted various businesses in the country, including hotels, service stations, and highway building (Schultz, p. 350). Radio advertising also soon became the primary means of advertising for many businesses. Hollywood also experienced a very rosy period as watching movies became an affordable activity. Commercial aviation also helped advance more economic progress and activities. New roads, railroads, and highways were opened and paved and electricity as well as telephone lines soon run through each state (Schultz, p. 349). Massive urbanization was taking place and it was slowly expanding into the rural towns. More people flocked into the urban areas looking for jobs and various opportunities. Beyond, economic progress, women’s right to vote soon became firmly entrenched into the state policies (Schultz, p. 349) ...
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