Was the 1920's an era of liberal social change or a period of conservative retrenchment

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ku Klux Klan, United States Pages: 4 (983 words) Published: April 16, 2014

Was the 1920's an era of liberal social change or a period of conservative retrenchment

After returning from World War I, in 1920, the United States was desperate for excitement. While there was retrenchment with the KKK and immigration restrictions liberal social change took over the nation. In the decade of the 1920's the United States radically altered its economy, culture and politics. This was an era of mass production that created a pathway for the lower class to better life.

Mass production beginning in the 1920's allowed a broader group of people to increase their consumption. The influx in the production of products created more jobs and money. Advertising took advantage of this new consumer money and convinced many to buy unneeded goods. Also, a system of credit was established to allow lower class citizens to consume more. Credit gave people time to pay off the cost of the product. Henry Ford was the first factory owner who believed that if he payed his workers more they would be happier and work would be superior, he raised their wages to $5 a day. In 1925 having industrious workers Ford was able to create an assembly line, for his Model T cars, to be built every 24 seconds. This mindless and fast repetitive work rather than the slow work by skilled craftsmen was less expensive for factory workers and allowed for an increase in affordable consumer goods. Scientific management and time-motion studies created a greater knowledge of production. With this knowledge, factory workers produced goods at an outstanding speed. By 1930 60% of families owned cars. The mobility of cars created more consumption because goods could be transported without the use


of trains. The economic boom gave more people throughout the United States the opportunity to enjoy themselves.
Before the 1920's quality entertainment was reserved for the upper class. In the middle and working class, men went to work, women worked at home, and children went to school....
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