The Roaring Twenties
Do you ever find yourself wondering why the 1920s were called the Roaring Twenties? The Roaring Twenties was a celebration of youth and culture. During the 1920s, many different forms of art, music, and literature began. There were many changes that took place in the 1920s, and many people were influenced by these changes. The Roaring Twenties was a constant party because America was celebrating the victory of World War I. Many customs and values changed in the United States in the 1920s.
In the 19th century right before 1920, America was a country of small towns and farms that were held together by conservative moral values and close social relationships. The middle-class rural population believed in the values of thriftiness, moderation, and respectability. Before automobiles became of importance to Americans, the small towns were very independent places. Everyone knew each other in on the streets, and for entertainment they went to church socials and county fairs. Little did America know that soon their world would be changing more than they had ever seen.
In 1920 right after World War I, America changed dramatically, becoming an urban nation. An estimated 51.4 percent of Americans lived in communities with a population of 2,500 to more than one million. Between 1922 and 1929, nearly two million people left farms and towns each year. "Cities were the place to be, not to get away from," said one historian. Small-town spirits began to lose control on the American mind as the cities rose to fame.
Moving to a metropolitan environment was a great change for small town people. Every day living changed. The city population attended great art exhibits and museums, sports events and plays, nightclubs and movies. They began to judge fellow neighbors by their accomplishments and not by their backgrounds as they did before. The people of the city drank and gambled, shocking small town people. They considered these things sins. Each day more and more people would enter the cities making it more impersonal and frightening. The streets were now filled with strangers, where as before they were filled with friends and neighbors. Social standards, the business climate and foreign cultures were very hard to accept because of their objectives of wealth and gratification.
During the Twenties, American women changed greatly from long hair and dark prudish ankle-length dresses, to short bobbed hair and bright waistless dresses. Many young Twenties women became more confident with themselves. Some began smoking cigarettes and drinking in public, which was not acceptable before and would have ruined reputations. Many rebellious women became flappers, which were liberated young women who embraced the new urban attitudes and fashions.
After World War I, many Americans had money to spare and the time to enjoy it. In 1929, Americans spent $4.5 billion on entertainment, which was mostly on changing fads. By 1925,...