The Roaring 20’s was the an age of economic prosperity and cultural explosion after WW1 and brought a wide array of great changes and a few bad changes. The roaring 20’s birthed revolutionary new technologies that changed the way American society lived forever. The Roaring 20’s also was a time of social reform for women’s rights and women’s rights in America.
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Not only that the Roaring 20’s was a time of an explosion of racial pride, art and culture for African Americans in addition to them obtaining for rights and a political voice.
Soon after WW1 ended America’s economy began to surge and nearly doubled after a very short recession and the economic prosperity is a result of America beginning to produce nearly half the world’s input, as the rest of Europe was recovering from the damage from The Great War, America remained untouched and was able to produce resources for Europe and make money of the war. President Herbert Hoover in his inaugural address even referenced the great economic boom that occurred after the war, We have emerged from the losses of the Great War and the reconstruction following it with increased virility and strength. From this strength we have contributed to the recovery and progress of the world. (Hoover, 1929).
From the massive growth in the economy it lead to the creation of labor saving devices such as the washing machine, the lawnmower and electricity which saved a lot of time for the average American allowing for a lot more leisure time in American society. The most significant of these new inventions that really shaped the Americans lived and still does today was the radio, automobile and electricity. During the 1920’s homes, especially those in industrialized areas were powered by electricity and this electricity is what allowed the average American to actually run and use these new labor saving devices (Alchin, 2018). These new labor saving devices for so accessible because time of prosperity as well, as there was access to easy credit which is what allowed everyday people to get these new devices (Alchin 2018). The radio is another significant invention coming from the 1920’s as it was a device that for the first time ever unified the entire nation. The radio was a new form of communication and entertainment and while other forms of entertainment were a lot more expensive, you could listen to your radio at no cost at all. (Kendell, Stefanyshyn, 2012). The radio also began to grow more popular in education and they were used to teach sometimes in classrooms (Kendell, Stefanyshyn, 2012).
The automobile was another creation in the 1920’s that affects the way Americans live even today. Because of Henry Ford’s creation of the assembly line he was able to make the production of the automobile quicker and make it affordable for the average American (Patel, 2015). The way that the automobile affected American society is that it made travel extremely easy and less dangerous and since traveling was so easy it allowed for more job opportunities (Patel 2015). A lot of these time saving devices created during the 1920’s are still used today in America and have become everyday things, such as a car, most people have a car as their main form of transportation and they improved America for the better.
During the Roaring 20’s women’s roles in America massively change and they gained more rights. In the 1920’s women roles changed considerably, although there still were many women in the 1920’s that remained the role of housewife, according to Alchin, the number of working women increased by 25% as a result of the work they had undertaken during WW1. The jobs these women had taken during this time include jobs like, secretaries and telephone clerks (Alchin, 2018). Women also changed the way they live and dress entirely with flappers, who changed the old image of women from the old Victorian image of women. Flappers completely changed the fashion of women in the 1920’s they cut their hair short, dropped multiple layers of clothing, they wore makeup and even created the idea of dating (Rosenberg, 2018). Flappers were eccentric women for the time and lived nothing like the older generation of women before the flappers, they did things that were not considered ladylike at the time. Flappers would do things, such as, smoking, drinking alcohol, and they also drove cars which were fast a risky which was befitting for flappers, as a result of these habits these young flappers were seen as scandalous during the era (Rosenberg, 2018). Flappers were very reckless and irresponsible and did things women have never done before and broke many social barriers for women and left quite a large impact in society by making women more independent, but by the end of the 1920’s flappers’ reckless behavior would have to come to an end, although the great impact they left on society never left. The roaring twenties also was a time of a great turning point for women’s rights as the 19th amendment would be ratified and grants women the right to vote and which means they have the equal responsibility of citizenship. The fight for women’s suffrage in America was a very long battle and women finally gained that right on August 26, 1920. One of the biggest contributing factor to this accomplishment was women’s role in society. Women’s help in the war showed that they were just as patriotic as the men were and are deserving of the same rights (Women’s Suffrage, n.d.). The effects of this were massive as it gave women the power to change things and made it where women have a say in things furthering women’s independence in society. The overall social changes and rights gained during the roaring 20’s were so great and are still apparent in today’s society as women work in even more jobs and with their right to vote they made big changes and are more independent and have more power than ever before.
The Roaring 20’s was also an era of change for African Americans in America where they undergo a great bloom in racial pride and art as well as regaining their lists rights. Soon after WW1 had ended something known as the Great Migration had occurred, in which, hundreds and thousands of African Americans migrate from the South to the North for better opportunities that they couldn’t find in the South, as well as, to escape from the segregated society (The American Vision, 2010). It was with this migration African Americans in Harlem where they developed an place where African Americans could come together with a sense of community and could feel proud that they were African American in addition during the Harlem Renaissance African American art and cultural flourished. One of the most significant factors of the Harlem Renaissance is the writers as they continue to influence writers even today ( The American Vision, 2010). One of these great writers were Zora Neale Hurston, she was one first people to write novels where African American females were the ones to be main character of the story. During the 20’s African Americans also got to show that they too had talent. Many of them got to show this at the Cotton Club, which was a very popular nightspot at the time (The American Vision, 2010). In addition to the Harlem Renaissance African Americans were also able to regain their political voice that they had lost during the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War. After the Great Migration African Americans in northern cities could actually have a fairly significant effect and could sway the outcome of an election.
During this time most African Americans voted Republican, as it was the party of Abraham LIncoln, and in 1928 they made a breakthrough in politics helping elect the first African American Congress representative from a northern state, Oscar DePriest (The American Vision, 2010). During his time in congress DePriest introduce laws helping African Americans, such as, providing pensions to those formerly enslaved and were over 75, and even making Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday a public holiday. Also in politics the NAACP was an organization that would fight against segregation in America through the court. One of these cases is when they lobbied against lynching and to make it illegal. Although they failed they still fought to bring an end to it. The changes in society for African Americans were great ass they were able to regain the voice to be able to act and make changes in the country while also coming together and showing America that they are equal.
The Roaring 20’s was an era of prosperity and social progression and brought many good changes to America with lasting effects and really formed society into what it is now. Things, for example, the technological advancements that occurred developing products we still use to this day, as well as, women gaining their political voice and changing the social norm for women in America, and African Americans regaining their political and coming together and pushing to end segregation in America. And while there are negatives that may have occurred during the Roaring 20’s they pale in comparison to all the positives that happened.
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