American History: Boom to Bust: 1920-1929

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Boom to Bust: 1920-1929 The start of this decade was an economic boom. With the war over and done, people were happy and rich. This did not last long. By the end of the century the Great Depression would begin. In the beginning of the twenties America was in the midst of an economic boom, people were happy- World War I was over and Americans were rich. But by the end, because of prohibition, and in large part because of the stock market crash, the American economy quickly declined into the Great Depression. During this time the 18th Amendment- prohibition- was passed. Prohibition's supporters were initially surprised by what did not come to pass during the dry era. When the law went into effect, real estate developers and landlords expected rents to rise as saloons closed and neighborhoods improved. Theater producers were expecting an increase in customers as Americans searched for new ways to entertain themselves, ways that did not involve alcohol. But this did not happen. Instead, there was a decline in amusement and entertainment industries all over the United States. Some restaurants even failed, as they could no longer make a profit without legal liquor sales. On the whole, the initial economic effects of Prohibition were largely negative. The closing of breweries, distilleries and saloons led to the elimination of thousands of jobs, and in turn thousands more jobs were eliminated for barrel makers, truckers, waiters, and other related trades. One of the most profound effects of Prohibition was on government tax revenues. Before Prohibition, many states relied heavily on excise taxes in liquor sales to fund their budgets. Almost 75% of New York’s revenue came from liquor taxes, but with prohibition in effect, all that reven... ... middle of paper ... ...aid attention to it. Liquor was sold behind closed doors, and speak easys became very common. The 19th Amendment was also ratified during the twenties. After 81 years of campaigning, woman had the right to vote. During this time the Klu Klux Klan, which gained popularity, seized political control of seven states. A very famous case during the 1920’s was the Scopes Monkey Trial. In 1925 teacher John Scopes went on trial for teaching evolution. This raised a countrywide debate on whether people believed in evolution or creationism. Overall there were a couple important Amendments passed during the 1920’s and few political arguments. The twenties were a time of economic boom, but this boom would end in a crash. It was a good time to be an American, but it only lasted so long. The stock market crash was a blow to the American economy that would not easily be healed.

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