Topics: Roaring Twenties, 1920s, Jazz Age Pages: 7 (2228 words) Published: September 27, 2013
Roaring Twenties
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The Roaring Twenties is a phrase used to describe the 1920s, principally in North America but also in London, Paris and Berlin. The phrase was meant to emphasize the period's social, artistic, and cultural dynamism. 'Normalcy' returned to politics in the wake of World War I, jazz music blossomed, the flapper redefined modern womanhood, Art Deco peaked, and finally the Wall Street Crash of 1929 served to punctuate the end of the era, as The Great Depression set in. The era was further distinguished by several inventions and discoveries of far-reaching importance, unprecedented industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle. The social and cultural features known as the Roaring Twenties began in leading metropolitan centers, especially New York, Paris and Berlin, then spread widely in the aftermath of World War I. The United States gained dominance in world finance. Thus when Germany could no longer afford war reparations to Britain, France and other Allies, the Americans came up with the Dawes Plan and Wall Street invested heavily in Germany, which repaid its reparations to nations that in turn used the dollars to pay off their war debts to Washington. By the middle of the decade, prosperity was widespread. The second half of the decade becoming known as the "Golden Twenties". In France and francophone Canada, they were also called the "années folles" ("Crazy Years").[1] The spirit of the Roaring Twenties was marked by a general feeling of discontinuity associated with modernity, a break with traditions. Everything seemed to be feasible through modern technology. New technologies, especially automobiles, moving pictures and radio proliferated 'modernity' to a large part of the population. Formal decorative frills were shed in favor of practicality in both daily life and architecture. At the same time, jazz and dancing rose in popularity, in opposition to the mood of the specter of World War I. As such, the period is also often referred to as the Jazz Age. Economy

The Roaring Twenties was an era of great economic growth and widespread prosperity driven by government growth policies, a boom in construction, and the rapid growth of consumer goods such as automobiles. The North American economy, particularly the economy of the US, which had successfully transitioned from a wartime economy to a peacetime economy, boomed, although there were sectors that were stagnant, especially farming and mining. The United States augmented its standing as the richest country in the world, its industry aligned to mass production and its society acculturated into consumerism. In Europe, the economy did not start to flourish until 1924.[2] The Roaring Twenties ended with the Stock Market Crash of late 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression. Culture

Main article: Women's suffrage
On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the last of 36 states needed to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote. Equality at the polls marked a pivotal moment in the women's rights movement. Lost Generation

Main article: Lost Generation
The Lost Generation were young people who came out of World War I disillusioned and cynical about the world. The term usually refers to American literary notables who lived in Paris at the time. Famous members included Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. These authors, also referred to as expatriates, wrote novels and short stories expressing their resentment towards the materialism and individualism that permeated during this era. Social criticism

Main article: Social issues of the 1920s
As the average American in the 1920s became more enamored of wealth and everyday luxuries, some began satirizing the hypocrisy and greed they observed. Of these social critics, Sinclair Lewis was the most popular. His popular 1920 novel Main Street...
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