1920s Good Times and Prosperity or Is That of Myth?
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1920s Good Times and Prosperity or Is That of Myth?
The history of 1920s to me is myths since I hear story as well as read from the books about those times. However, through the knowledge from the books I can as well imagine that I have the context of what happened. The 1920's are often referred to as the "Good Time Decade", "the Roaring Twenties" and "Jazz Age". They used these names as people wanted to come out of the nightmares of the World War 1 that had ended in 1918. At this time people wanted to do all sort of exciting and good things that would regain their nations to the position, they were before the World War 1 to be precise before 1918. The World War 1 (1914-1918) caused a great blow in the economy, social lives, technology and all aspects of life. The 1920 is being a time when the world was regaining it is peace and the normal way of life thus was a transition from the odd of the war to major technology. This paper addresses some of the good times and the prosperities that took place in 1920s.
By the early 1920s, memories of the tragic conflict of 1914-1918 were slowly shrinking in the minds of many Americans. They saw this period as a period of "fun rather than reforms, of good time's rather high ideals" (Murrin et … al 610). During this decade, the word modern began appearing everywhere: modern technology, modern times as well as modern women. However, this word had some impacts to the people as it changed some beliefs depending on individual's point of view. People "saw science as a better guide to life than religion, they choose their own lifestyle, sex was a source of pressure for women as well as women and minorities were equal to and enjoyed the same rights as white men"( Murrin et … al 610). However, despite this belief some Americans reaffirmed their belief in the Bible. They believed that God's word was beyond science and that moral codes set by the Bible were superficial. They believed that women were not equal to men and the other races, the Mexicans were inferior (Murrin et … al 610).
United States as other countries experienced economic turmoil and depression (Murrin et … al 611). The country experienced several workers strikes in 1918-1919 as they protested against wage reductions and increase in working time. Similarly, the overseas demand for American foodstuffs depressed the farmers. However, beginning 1922, United States started a period of remarkable growth (Murrin et … al 611). Between 1922- 1929, the unemployment rate never exceeded five percent while at the same time the annual rate of gross national product grew by 5.5 percent. Consequently, there was 15 percent rise in real wages unlike the 19th century when the capital growth relied on factory machinery and railroad, this decade the capital growth shifted to consumer goods (Murrin et … al 611).
In 1920s, the car sales reached a new level due to the invention of new affordable models from ford Motor Company. By the end of the decade, there was almost one car per family in the US and the automobile became increasingly important part of lives in America. It made it easier for the workers to commute from their residential places to their working places instead of living close to their working places. For the first time in the history of United States, more consumer goods such as tractors, refrigerators, radios, vacuum cleaners, electric irons and washing machines were made available in the market (Murrin et … al 612). Scientist further discovered the essential of vitamins in the diet and urged the people to eat foods that were rich in vitamins such fruits and vegetables. At the same time, the availability of refrigerators made it possible for the Americans to store and transport even perishable foods.
During this decade, the public responded to the innovations with excitement and the American industry rose to great heights. The standards of life changed tremendously in this decade. "Farmers and their families could hip into their cars and head to the nearest town with its stores, movies, amusements park and sporting events" (Murrin et … al 612). In addition, it is during this time when the Americans discovered the benefits of owning a stock. By 1929, the number of people who owned stock in America was as many as 7 million; many of them were middle-class and ordinary class. This further reduced the gap between the rich and the poor.
The year 1920s did not only favor technology and social life alone, but also there were great reforms in gender and politics. During this decade, many women rose to managerial and accounting practices. Discrimination deterred women from becoming managers, accountants, or supervisors. However, by early 1930s, 2 million female workforces labored in these fields and more female professionals in nursing, social work and teaching increased. This increase caused women to enroll in colleges in large numbers and the number of female students in colleges rose by 50 percent. In addition, the amendment of constitution in 1920 gave women the right to vote. Women were seen to solve the problem of voter participation decline, cleansing of political corruption and launching of reform initiatives that would improve the quality of life (Murrin et … al 617). In politics, the Americans wanted to have presidents who would put the matters of the nation at hand rather the politics of nepotism and private gain. The Americans thus changed from the Democratic presidents to Republican presidents.
On other hand, there were problems associated to this decade. The urge and desire to have a car rendered many families to financial problems. Though there were wages increase, the wages were not yet enough to cater for luxuries as well as the basic commodities. "Although wages were rising, millions of Americans still did not earn enough to partake the market place" (Murrin et … al 612). Further, though there were attempts to improve the roads there were still problems with the roads. There were very few good roads outside the east coast (Bruce 79). During the spring when the snow smelted or after a heavy down pour the cars would stick in the mud up to their hubs. In addition, the discovery of the radio had its own drawbacks. There was part of population who became idealistic by listening to the radios.
The 1920s, though to me was a matter of research, the myths seem to be the beginning of the modern world and technology, where the word modern is referring to the current. The current technology owes back to that decade when most countries were regaining the peace as well as trying to rebuild their nations. It thus took such a dimension for the Americas, which might be to every other nation in the world. The standards of living in America raised to new levels, technology the same and more discoveries and innovations were made. Thus as much as other decades may be important to the United States the 1920s would be of more great importance to them. The remarkable changes that took place gave the Americans an atmosphere for hope and a promise for the future. Life turned to easy, convenient, and much affordable. In nutshell, the 1920s is a decade of good times and prosperity and thanks to the technological advances of 1920s that gave birth to the current world technology.