Historical Influences of the Roaring Twenties
The Jazz Age, the Age of Intolerance, The Age of Wonderful Nonsense was the era better known as the Roaring Twenties. This era pioneered the way to modern America. This decade followed the conclusion of World War I, “the war to end all wars”. The United States experienced a radical change socially, economically, politically and innovatively. The 1920’s would be an era where the identity of the United States would evolve and become a staple in modern society. “The most vivid impressions of that era are flappers and dance halls, movie palaces and radio empires and prohibition and speakeasies.” (Zeitz, n.d.) This decade influenced urbanism and modernism, science and technology and social ferment such as the Klu-Klux Clan, nativism and religious fundamentalism. Other areas such an innovation and tradition created the fundamentals of modern America and an era of great change in the United States. Trends in the automobile industry, an increase in health and life expectancy, changes in social values, technological innovations, religious revitalism, women and equal rights, politics and government and economic advancements were the catalyst for the America we know today.
The 1920’s was an era filled with innovation, prosperity, reform and a thriving U.S. economy. Popular lifestyles were transformed, free time and leisure activities were introduced into everyday life. New inventions and technological breakthroughs, shorter workweeks and an increase in wages were the stepping stones for modern day communications, transportation and recreation. This decade of change brought about both positive and negative aspects of the American society. As society struggled with its recent past and attachments to the nineteenth century, fear and the resistance to change created a social ferment which included the Red Scares, the Klu-Klux-Klan and the Immigration Act of 1924. Other areas such as the economy, technology and science transformed the country from wartime to peacetime. Innovations such as the automobile, the radio, techni-colored movies, mass consumption of canned foods, ready made clothes and appliances and urbanism were the catalyst to a modern society. Science and public health was also influenced by introducing new immunizations, dietary habits, physical activity and the discovery of vitamins and their effects on life expectancy. Finally, the economy and the stock market would end an era filled with changes, transitions and revolution. Consumerism, politics and government, tax policies, buying on credit and the crash of the stock market would end an era of great change in America.
American life in the Roaring Twenties was one of radical change. During this time period, new social values emerged the abundance of cigarette smoking; drinking and openness about sex identity and social expression were new found freedoms of expression. Changes to society included forced education where children would attend school until the graduated or until they turned eighteen, sports and social clubs and interaction between males and females within the same age group would push physical and emotional boundaries and opportunities for the next generation. Another notable educational reform of this era was established by Professor John Dewey, his theory of “learn by doing” formed the foundation for progressive education (Aboukhadijeh , 2012). Radio and Movies
Leisure, art and music reflected the changes of the nation’s values. Innovative technologies such as radio became a popular fad. The radio can be compared to the television of today. The radio provided comedy shows, news, live events, jazz, variety shows, drama and opera. The twenties also paved the way for broadcast radio station, and the U.S. radio network. Programs such as Amos ‘n’ Andy were popular in the twenties along with Red Menace News....
References: Gouveia, Michele. (2004). Great Novels of the Twenties by Mrs. Parker.
The Radio Act of 1927. (1927, February 23). The Radio Act of 1927. Retrieved from: http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Stevenson-Burgess-Others/Federal%20Radio%20Act%201927.pdf
Retrieved from: http://history1900s.about.com/od/1920s/a/stockcrash1929.htm
The Volstead Act (1920)
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