An Effect of the Roaring Twenties

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 The Roaring Twenties

    The Roaring Twenties also known as the Jazz Age first began in the 1920s and it mainly impacted the United States and Western Europe. During the 1920s there was many great occurrences in this time period such as women’s rights and the all time high of Jazz music. Although, there were many good things that came out during this time they did not compare to how great the cons impacted the society, there was the Great Depression which spiraled the economy to an all time low, prohibition, and radical groups such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

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Prohibition was a constitutional ban on the production and sale of alcohol during the 1920s. Sandbrook (2012) stated, Today we often think of Prohibition as a deluded experiment, instinctively associating it with images of Al Capone, the mafia and the Valentine’s Day Massacre. What lead to the cause of prohibition was the temperance movement, temperance advocates finally were able to pass this law in 1920 but little did they know all the trouble that would follow. This led to bootlegging, officers accepting bribes, speakeasies and many other things. Bootlegging during this time was very dangerous and the alcohol produced by bootleggers could take the life of anyone who tried it, the editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica (2018)  stated, Millions of gallons of this were illegally diverted, washed of noxious chemicals, mixed with tap water and perhaps a dash of real liquor for flavour, and sold to speakeasies or individual customers this led to many people dying from alcohol poisoning. On the other hand, organized crime during this time was very common within the society. Since there was prohibition people turned more and more to criminal activity, organized criminals such as the American mobsters, mobsters such as Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, and John Dillinger (Nash, n.d.). Overall organized crime during the 1920s became a billion dollar industry for gangsters, who were also known as mobsters.


Nativism majorly increased during the Roaring Twenties, after World War I (WWI) many immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe came into America, with the immigrants came their lifestyles which many native-born Americans did not enjoy. With immigration rising in the U.S. nativism returned. The Ku Klux Klan formally known as the KKK encouraged native-born white Americans to believe that bigotry, harassment, and extralegal violence were perfectly compatible with, if not central to, patriotic respectability (Rothman, 2016). The Emergency Immigration Act of 1921 was established since the amount of immigrants coming into the U.S. was high. This Act only permitted 3% of a countries residents to enter the U.S. The KKK nearly reached 4 million members by 1924 as it spread beyond the South and into Northern cities (Appleby, 2006). Also in 1924 the The National Origins Act of 1924 was introduced, which lowered the entry rate to 2% instead of three. According to labor unions and the Ku Klux Klan supported this bill.

The Great Depression

The Roaring Twenties lasted from 1920 to 1929, during this time period the nation’s wealth increased, which led to such extravagant spending. According to many people ranging from millionaire tycoons to janitors poured their savings into stocks, and by August 1929 production declined and unemployment had risen. By this time stock prices were higher than ever, leaving consumers in debt. The stock market crashed October 24th or also known as Black Thursday. Five days later on October 29 Black Tuesday millions of shares ended up worthless, and the investors who bought stocks with borrowed money were wiped out completely (Great Depression History, n.d.). The stock market crash eventually led to factories firing their workers and because of this thousands of people were left without jobs, while all of this was happening foreclosures and repossessions climbed steadily (Great Depression History, n.d.) this was only the beginning of a ten year depression within the society.


The Roaring Twenties had many flaws that happened during it’s time, because of these flaws it lead to one bigger problem. Not only did the flaws contribute to the twenties ending horribly it was mainly the good things that happened throughout this time that made the twenties eventually end in a Great Depression. Since the nation’s wealth increased many people started to spend extravagant amounts of money, and put their money into stocks which led to the stock market crashing in 1929, because of the crash it put the economy through a ten year depression. Overall the Roaring Twenties had a negative effect on it’s society.


  1. Sandbrook D. (2012, August 25) How Prohibition backfired and gave America an era of gangsters and speakeasies. Retrieved from
  2. Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica (2018, August 03) Prohibition. Retrieved from
  3. Nash T. (n.d.) The Legendary of Bonnie and Clyde. Retrieved from
  4. Rothman J. (2016, December 04) When Bigotry Paraded Through the Streets. Retrieved from
  5. Appleby J., Brinkley A., Broussard A.,Mcpherson J., Ritchie D. (2006) The American Vision Modern Times.
  6. The Reemergence of the KKK. (n.d.) Retrieved from
  7. Great Depression History. (n.d.) Retrieved from                                                                                        
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An Effect Of The Roaring Twenties. (2020, Apr 07). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from

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