Life in the 1920s
After World War One, the United States went through a decade full of industrial, economical, and social growth. This decade is known as the Roaring 20s. The 1920s was a time of important historical events and technological advancement. The development of consumer goods, such as fridges, typewriters, radios, and cars, created jobs and helped the American economy grow. However, not everyone was able to enjoy the advancement that the boom had assured. Although there were many wealthy people, there were still many people who could not afford to live luxurious lives. Many immigrants were not welcome into to United Stats. Prejudice and racism were spread throughout the country. In spite of the prosperity of the 1920s, the nation was divided between rich and poor, native-born and immigrant, and black and white.
Not all Americans were able to enjoy the economic boom of the 1920s. 42% of Americans were living below the poverty line and new immigrants and farmers in the southeast were not as wealthy as others. Industries lowered the number of employed people. (Huggins) The gap between the rich and poor increased as the decade progressed. The few wealthy people in the United States during the 1920s moved to New York to invest money. The rich lived superior lifestyles. They lived in luxurious homes and had high-paying jobs.There were many people who were not as fortunate. Many Americans in the 1920s were poor. They lived in small homes and had low-paying jobs or no jobs at all. Even though they did not live luxurious lives, the poor people found ways of having fun an living comfortably. The average American home would have a wooden stove to keep the house warm and cook their meals. To supply for their family family, the head of the house would have to spend many hours a day cutting down wood because they did not have electricity yet. (America in the 1920s)
During the 1920s, farmers were in debt. During WWI, Europeans bought farm products from America which raised prices and gave American farmers a large profit. The American farmers borrowed money to buy land and tractors and planned to pay off loans from their increased profit. After WWI, European farmers were able to produce enough products for themselves. Prices of American products dropped so American farmers could not pay off their debts. Labor Unions were also in debt. During WWI, labor unions worked with the govt. to keep production from decreasing. Wages could not keep up with the high prices. When WWI was over, workers demanded to be paid more. However, employers refused and labor unions went on strike. (Davidson and Stoff 736-737 )
There was a big gap between the native-born and immigrants in the 1920s. African Americans were not the only people who experienced racism in the 1920s. (Huggins) Masses of non-protestant immigrants arrived to the United States from south-east Europe. Most of them were Jews and Catholics. These new immigrants, along with Orientals, Mexicans,...