Was the Roaring Thirties Just an Illusion (Canadian History)

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Was the Roaring of the 1920’s Just an Illusion?

The era of the 1920’s was perceived by many to be “roaring”. Exiting new inventions, entertainment, and social trends dominated the lives of people living in this decade. However, not everything was as glamorous as it seemed at the time, and hindsight has shed much light on the harsh realities of this period. Perhaps the 1920’s were not as “roaring” as people at the time perceived them. Examples of misconceptions in the 1920’s are: that the stock market was “roaring”, that everyone shared in the prosperity, and that society was making leaps forward.

In the 1920’s the stock market appeared to “roar”. People with little knowledge or understanding of how the stock market worked invested heavily, as stock prices were rising rapidly with the with the demand created by all these investors. People believed this trend would always continue, and stocks were viewed as a quick and easy way to make money. Many put themselves into debt, or wagered sums of money they couldn’t afford to lose, in order to invest in the sock market. In reality, stock prices were extremely overvalued, and investors were wildly overconfident. This idea of an infallible stock market was an illusion, a “house of cards” that would fold as soon as confidence eroded. This was ultimately proven by the stock market crash in October 1929. Stocks started to drop, people panicked, sold their stocks, and the stock market plummeted, leading to the financial ruin and disillusion of millions of stockholders.

Not everyone shared in the prosperity of the 1920’s. People in this decade where consumed by the need to have the latest innovations and current trends before their neighbors did, to “keep up with the Joneses”. There was a common misconception that everyone was prospering, and that life was good for all people. Hollywood, and the emerging stars of the film industry did much to fuel this belief. However, this was not the case. People...
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