The Roaring 20s - Essay Example

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The 1920s represented America's 'coming of age' period in history. The country had participated in the First World War and was prosperous by the export of war goods and consumables. Americans had never seen the accumulations of such wealth. …
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The Roaring 20s
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While the smoking pipes of industries spewed off smoke in the same war-time vigour, the working classes had ever more money to spend. America had begun to think. The press had recently got some serious readers. The war had gifted them to the news papers. Although American casualties in the war were quite low when compared to their European allies and foes; the soldiers came back with a shaken mind: they had recently lost their innocence and could not return to their roots. They yearned for a life in the cities, in fun and frolicking city-life, they had seen in Europe. The industries in Europe and America were facing a slight problem. The war had ended long back and they needed new avenues to apply their engineering skills. They mechanised farms and invented gadgets that gave more free time to American housewives. Consumerism was coming of age. Farm machines such as harvesters and planters had reduced employment opportunities in agriculture. The crop prices like urban wages depended on market forces without any protection from the state. But in the postwar boom, businesses flourished and the rich were richer beyond their wildest dreams. The only business that Americans were now doing was business. For the first time in history, the new wealth had helped youths enroll in universities. The number of enrollments almost doubled during the 1920s.
Americans were now enjoying the world's highest per capita income. ...
The telephone, camera and typewriter, all American inventions - were consumed by Americans in tonnes. People fell in love with entertainments. They went to a movie once a week, and had more disposable income with them. The movies were also changing. They provided very little to think. They were entertainers. By the end of the 1920's 100 million movie tickets were sold in the country every week. Actors Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Rudolf Valentino had become 'stars'. Although prohibition was in place, the underground 'speakeasies' were doing brisk business. The night clubs were bulging with young men and women who flaunted new dressing styles, fashion, glamour and all the spoils of wealth. They also took to more daring modes of dress and dance. Dancing, movies, automobile touring, radio and concerts were becoming part of American lives. Many American women had left the farms to join the nation's home-front war duties and turned themselves in to resolutely modern dolls rather than a hard working farm-pig. They also received the right to vote in 1920 and had recently involved themselves in politics. They cut thir hair short and wore flappers, boldly spoke their minds and flaunted their newly attained status.
Western youths had started to rebel. They were disillusioned by the savagery of war and blamed the older generation for it. The university guys became the new intelligentsia. European works of philosophy and Psychology were sweeping in to American living rooms. Freud and Marx were favourite topics of discussion. The Godless world had come in to being in the American minds. Religion, they believed should be a burden to be relieved. Their creative energy spilled in the form of new music and architecture and art and everything that had not been invented ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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The Roaring 20's
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