Contrast Between the 1920's and the 1930's

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 555
  • Published : May 14, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
The 1920s were known as carefree and relaxed. The decade after the war was one of improvement for many Americans. Industries were still standing in America; they were actually richer and more powerful than before World War I. So what was so different in the 1930’s? The Great Depression replaced those carefree years into ones of turmoil and despair. The decade after the First World War saw tremendous change. Progressivism was a leading factor of World War I and in the 1920’s the evidence can be seen. Industries were making their products at an increasing rate. Products that were not populous before World War I were now used by millions of Americans. The automobile was only used by less than ten million of Americans and by the end of this post war decade that number has climbed to over thirty million. Also many new inventions were coming through making life for Americans much more comfortable. Radios, vacuum cleaners, irons, washing machines, and refrigerators were among the new necessities Americans just had to have.

Refrigerators allowed for better production and transportation of food products. This allowed for the ability to keep food cold and fresh thus making exporting of food a valuable agricultural economy. America was on fire during the period of excitement. These new inventions were making home life easier for women and more enjoyable for the men. Not only were American families buying these new trinkets but they also started purchasing stock in companies at an increased rate. A commodity that was available before the war but not readily accessed, now became as high as seven million Americans buying and owning company stock after the First World War. With the purchase of automobiles, washing machines, and stock families were still not making enough to keep up. Even though the wage market had increased, the need for fancy things made it almost impossible for a family to have enough money left over to survive. This demand for the goods but not enough money produced a technique used by manufactures to bring in more customers, consumer credit. Today this method of shopping is used by every American everywhere at some point in their lives. Consumer credit is what is known today as a payment plan. A buying strategy that we all use today, payments, actually came about in the decade after World War I. Now that these companies got Americans to buy their products, they had to design a plan to keep them coming back. That was how we got the ever changing models of automobiles, along with the presence of advertising the new models. These car companies would make changes to how a car looks, making it flashier and advertising that every “true” American needed to have the “new” automobile. Advertising was a new skyrocketing development. With every radio advertisement the latest and newest invention, there were millions of Americans listening and then buying.

The economy wasn’t the only thing changing in the post war decade. Culture and beliefs that were once used as rules to run the family by were also taking new steps in another direction. The word “flapper” came about describing the new modern woman. Young ladies were no longer following the customary rules set upon them by society. Women’s movement during World War I helped to launch women into a new era. “Flappers” are women who smoke, wear short skirts, makeup, date whom ever they like, and basically break all the standards that has been set upon women for decades before the First World War. Not only were young women changing but a look upon marriage was also taking a new view. Husbands and wives were showing affection towards each other in public which was once considered to be inappropriate. Extra-marital relationships were less common which lead to a boom in childbirths during the 1920s.

Marriages were not the only things changing. The workers who operated the factories were also in much better shape than before World War I. In...
tracking img