The Nineteen Twenties

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If you were to travel back to the twenties how would you picture it in your head, what do you see? Many of us have been taught about the twenties with a nostalgic view, we are told they were the days where everybody had a good time. Although prohibition banning alcohol had been enacted as a law at the time, life still paraded on and people still found a way to party. Technological advances in the twenties excited consumers and fostered an obsession with materialistic satisfaction. Alongside the accumulation of these technologies for the sake of buying something, they also made the lives of the people much easier. People cruised along the streets in their black Model T Fords who had before walked or rode in a horse drawn buggy. They also enjoyed chilled food from their handy refrigerators and tuned into the radio every night. Women, who before the twenties were confined to their homes as only housewives, and did not have the freedom to vote or work a job made incredible gains during the time. With the ratification of the nineteenth amendment granting women the right to vote, more opportunities for women were right around the corner in the twenties. This time not only gave women a newfound freedom, but also a whole new outlook on “the woman”. For the first time in American history, women’s bodies became the focus of attention. Flappers were the young radicals of women who wore short skirts, cut their hair and set new standards of what behaviors from women were accepted. Doesn’t it sound like a time you would like to explore and live in? Contrary to the popular reflection of the twenties, not everything was as grandeur and happy as we like to think it was. Various social issues associated with race, gender, religion, and class pla...

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...at experiment that failed. People did not regard Prohibition as a legitimate law and many people sold and drank illicit alcohol therefore participating in organized crime. Lastly, education was challenged when evolution and the bible clashed. The contradictions of the 1920’s prove that not everything was satisfactory. The twenties are looked at from two extremes; it is either wistfully viewed or seen oppositely. If the people and events of the 1920’s were surveyed objectively, you would see that there was good and bad in the twenties, but regardless of how you choose to tell it, it played a very important role in the shaping of our history and the face of America today.

Works Cited

Payne, Brian (2013). Poverty in the Prosperous Years: The Working Poor of the 1920s and Today. Bridgewater Review, 32(2), 11-15.Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/br_rev/vol32/iss2/6

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