The Roaring Twenties

The 1920s witnessed many modern changes, some of them were permanent and some were temporary. The Roaring Twenties is a term coined by historians to illustrate the 1920s, especially in the United States of America. Various inventions and permanent discoveries, extraordinary industrial development, growing consumer demand and aspirations start to prevail in the society. During this period there were also notable changes in standard of living and culture. This paper is going to look at the characteristics, which permanently or temporarily shaped the “temper” of the 1920s. The paper takes into consideration most notable developments of the 1920s and analyses their novelty. Going further, the paper tends to reveal what stood out or boomed during that period of history.

During the “temper” period a debate came up about the setting of authority. There happened a downturn in reform adoption process, a development of private manipulation in group politics, and, worst, a hostility aimed at the federal intervention in the financial system. This period witnessed the raise in consumer culture, entertainment, and freedom to self-expression. However, these characteristics did not emerge without any resistance from some groups. For instance, Americans showed their negative response to the thrashing of autonomy at the work place while they reckoned issues conserning key differences over race and class matters. However, all of them accepted consumer culture. Amusingly, women were the main actors in the consumer culture as the “New woman” signified modernity itself, and this is a landmark in history. It is considered as modern because earlier women had never been close to consumer culture. Today they are the major players along with their male counterparts. On the other hand, the period witnessed an increase in the consumer culture of men returning from the World War I. However, this was a temporary rise because of the great depression of 1929.

The “temper” of the 1920s spoilt culture and disrupted stability. Some people revelled in the modernity while others resisted. The era brought about the flare of modernity, which overlooked traditional ideas and old ways of perceiving the universe, human lifestyle and activities. Therefore, it created an ambience of doubt, instability, and anxiety. Acutely alert about the developments taking place, some Americans reacted negatively to changes while others adapted. Traditionalists advocated conformity, trying to cultivate it in immigrants, socialist groups, labour champions, as well racial minorities and groups, which were considered as belonging to a different religion. These were the anti-racism campaigns, immigration limitations and prohibitions that stood out during this era. Traditionalist wanted to regain their political and cultural authority in order to secure their power.

The “temper” changed everything almost permanently; the emergence of mass media and vibrant consumer market changed people’s perception. Appreciably more organised behaviour of the modernized society was destined to bring variations in work places as well political environment. Like men, women experienced diversity, which depicts the pluralistic behaviour of society at that time. It may be said that these were the immigrants who made the greatest contribution to the situation. People of different cultures came into play in the social setup of 1920s. Gender is important in determining what is new in this era and what appears to be modern. Present-day historians realised this unreservedly by characterising the “the modern woman” as a sign of modernity itself. Their emergence in the public became apparent through taking part in politics and an extended attendance in the workplace. These factors changed the traditionalists’ view of women. However, their place was limited thanks to the conservative nature of politics of the 1920s. The following decades after 1920s indicate that the active role of the woman in the society tended to become permanent.



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