The Roaring Twenties And Its Effect On American Culture

1297 words - 5 pages

In 1918 when World War I ended, American society and culture changed immediately after. World War I resulted in the death of nine million soldiers and twenty one million wounded. Families were left mourning the loss of their relatives and people titled World War I as a “war to end all war.” With the nation going through such tragedy, change was bound to happen. During the 1920s there was a change in consumer culture, art, music and literature. So much changed happened during the 1920s that it’s referred to as the roaring twenties. Entertainment was on a rise and the way that Americans were used to living started to change. Along with that came immigration laws that changed American culture as well.
In the 1920s welfare capitalism took place and this was good news for the working class because working conditions began to improve. Wages started to increase and the hours in a work day were shortened. Instead of working ten hours a day employees worked eight hours and if they wished to work more than eight hours that day they received pay for working overtime. Also they now worked five days a week instead of six and there were benefits available. There was this belief in the workforce that if employers made their workers happy then things will be better for everyone. Meaning no labor unrest or raids, however the wages that the workers were getting were not enough to keep with the rising prices of goods. A lot of the time employers wanted their workers to buy from their stores, which had prices that were unreasonably higher than other places.
The economy was booming during this time. There were more job opportunities than ever before because of new technologies and new industries, such as aluminum. The radio was developed and it had the most impact on American culture. The radio provided people with entertainment; they were able to listen to music, they were informed with the latest news and they were able to come up with new ideas from the advertisements that they heard. Magazines and newspapers were used to get information across the nation as well. Journalist who were given the name “muckrakers” used newspapers and magazines as an outlet to get their opinions heard by Congress. Yellow journalism, where stories were exaggerated and not always true became very popular during the 1920s. Nevertheless it got viewers’ attention and that was the objective.
Jazz music was popular in the 1920s and it not only captured the attention of blacks but whites as well. New dances started to develop because of jazz music, including the one step and the Charleston. Jazz was a part of a new era and a lot of older generations weren’t fond of that idea. They thought that the dances and the fashion that went along with it were inappropriate. In fact they weren’t fond of the idea of change at all but their children were influenced by it. Movies during this decade became newly developed as well. For the first time movies had sound and color because...

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