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Examine the cultural, social, and economic changes of the 1920s, including the impact of Prohibition

cultural, social, and economic changes of the 1920s

Are you wondering what the cultural, social, and economic changes of the 1920s were? They included flappers, the Jazz Age and Film Stars, Fashion, Fads, and the Prohibition Era. More Americans resided in cities than farms first ever. The total wealth of the nation doubled more than (1920-1929), and (GNP) gross national product increased by 40 % (1922-1929). This economic wave swept a majority of Americans into a prosperous “consumer culture” where people did similar dances, saw similar advertisements, listened to similar music, and bought similar goods nationwide.

However, most Americans weren’t comfortable with this zestful modern lifestyle, and the Prohibition decade brought a lot of conflict compared to jubilation. But for a few, the 1920s Jazz Age roared long and loud until the Roaring Twenties excesses fell dramatically while the economy collapsed at the end of the decade.

This article is an in-depth summary of cultural, social, and economic changes of the 1920s and how they impacted American history. Our research paper help will save you the elaborate research required by your paper.

Flappers: (New Woman)

Perhaps the “Roaring Twenties” renowned symbol as reflected in most historical papers  is undoubtedly the flapper: a short skirt and bobbed hair young woman who smoked, drank, and said “unfeminine” things, together with being more “free”  sexually compared to previous generations. Most 1920s young women didn’t do these things (even though the majority embraced a fashionable wardrobe of flappers), but even the women who weren’t flappers received some unmatched freedoms.

They would at last vote: The Constitution’s 19th Amendment had guaranteed the right in the year 1920, although it could be a lengthy period before the South Black women could exercise their voting rights fully without the segregation laws of Jim Crow.

Countless women operated in white-collar jobs (such as stenographers) and blue-collar jobs and could afford to engage in the rapidly growing consumer economy. The increased devices of birth control, like the diaphragm availability, facilitated the women to give birth to fewer children.

An approximated 16 % of households in America had electricity in 1912; above 60 percent did during the Roaring Twenties. With electrification, new technologies and machines like washing machines, freezers, and vacuum cleaners have eliminated part of household work drudgeries.

Were you aware? Because the Volstead Act and 18th Amendment didn’t illegalize drinking alcohol but selling and manufacturing it, most individuals stockpiled alcohol before the restriction was effective. The New York City’s Yale Club was rumored to have a fourteen-year alcohol supply in the basement.

 Film Stars, Fashion, and Fads

Throughout the 1920s, most Americans had additional spending money—and they did spend it on consumer goods like home appliances such as electric refrigerators and ready-to-wear clothing, movies, and fashion. Remarkably, they purchased radios.

1920, Pittsburgh’s KDKA, America’s first commercialized radio station, was aired. Warren Harding addressed the nation through radio two years afterward as the first head of state—and 3 years afterward, there were over 500 national stations. By the 1920s end, radios existed in over 12 million houses.

People also crowded to watch Hollywood movies: By the decade’s end, the American population’s three-quarters visited one movie theatre weekly, and actors such as Tallulah Bankhead, Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, and Gloria Swanson became celebrities, as estimated by historians.

Nevertheless, the automobile was the most significant 1920s consumer product. Low prices (in 1924, the Model-T Ford just cost $260) and abundant credit rendered cars economical luxuries at the decade’s beginning; they were necessities at long last.

There was a car en route for every 5 Americans by 1929. Meanwhile, the automobile economy originated: Businesses such as motels and service stations emerged to meet the needs of drivers—as the rapidly growing oil industry also did.

The 1920’s Jazz Age

The young people were also offered the privilege to visit where they wanted and execute what they pleased by cars. (Some pundits referred to them as “wheels bedrooms.”) Most young people opted to dance, and the popular era dances were Charleston, cakewalk, flea hop, and black bottom.

Venues such as the New York City’s Cotton Club and the Savoy played Jazz bands and the Chicago’s Aragon; phonograph records (in only 1927, 100 million were sold) and radio stations sang to listeners nationwide. Several older people opposed the “depravity” and “vulgarity” of jazz music (and its supposedly inspired “moral disasters”), but a majority of the young people loved the dance floor’s felt freedom.

  1. Fitzgerald’s novels chronicled the Jazz Age’s excitement and hedonism—Fitzgerald claimed that the 1920s was “history’s most expensive orgy”—while other designers, writers, musicians, and artists ushered in modernist creativity and Art Deco’s experimental new era.

Prohibition Era

Some privileges were expanded, whereas other freedoms were curtailed throughout the 1920s. The Constitution’s18th Amendment, authorized in 1919, prohibited “intoxicating liquors,” sale and manufacture and on 16th January 1920, at midnight, the Volstead Act shut all taverns, bars, and saloons in America.

From then onwards, it was not legal to offer for sale any over 0.5 % alcohol “intoxication beverages.”

It ended the liquor—now, rather than ordinary bars, individuals simply migrated to barely illegal night clubs, where the control of liquor was done by racketeers, bootleggers, as well as other organized criminal masterminds like Al Capone Chicago gangsters. (Capone reportedly had one thousand gunmen and half of the police force of Chicago to pay.)

To most working-class Caucasians, Prohibition asserted some rebellious immigrant masses control who swarmed the cities of the nation, for example, to “Kaiser brew,” allegedly called “Drys,” beer. Drinking was their modern city’s disliked symbol, and prohibiting alcohol, they believed, would return to a more comfortable earlier period.

Prohibition was renowned in rural regions compared to cities, resulting in the multiplication of secret nightclubs, “speakeasies,” and saloons. The term’s exact origin is not known. Still, it might have originated from prospective patrons looking for entry to speak easily—or “whisper”—through the illegal establishment of main entrance peepholes.

Moonshiners working outdoors in the country’s rural areas devised a wise approach to covering their tracks—accurately. To evade agents of Prohibition, moonshiners attached cow hooves resembling wooden blocks to their shoes. That way, all footprints left behind could seem cow-like, not human-like, and hence didn’t make the agents suspicious.

Americans who consumed alcohol continuously throughout the Prohibition era had to look for creative ways of hiding their alcohol.

In their sense of fashion, a few cunning drinkers even included their secret spots of hooch hiding.

Initially, the Department of Treasury had the duty to prohibit its transfer to the Department of Justice.

The illegal liquor sale and manufacturing, referred to as “bootlegging,” happened massively across America. Bootleggers depended on creative methods of concealing their shipments.

Sometimes, bootleggers ran extended operations outside their houses.

The 1920s Racism and Immigration

Throughout the 1920s, Prohibition didn’t cause social tension only. The Red Scare “anti-Communist” from 1919 to 1920 inspired an anti-immigrant hysteria and widespread nativism. This caused an extremely prohibitive immigration law passage, the 1924 Immigration Act, which put immigration quotas excluding some people (Asians and Eastern Europeans) supporting others (for example, Great Britain people and Northern Europeans).

Immigrants were rarely this decade’s only targets. The Black Americans (rural South-Northern cities) Great Migration and the rising Black culture visibility — blues music and jazz, for instance, and the Harlem Renaissance, a literary movement —discomfited several white Americans. In the Roaring Twenties, countless people, not only in the Southern region but countrywide, enrolled in the KKK.

By the decade’s middle, the Ku Klux Klan had 2 million members, most of whom assumed that a Klan illustrated the entire “values” return that the city-slicker, fast-paced 1920s were crushing. More particularly, the 1920s portrayed Black Americans’ political and economic uplift that was a threat to Jim Crow oppression’s social hierarchy.

Early Activism Civil Rights

Black Americans searched for political participation, stable employment, and finer living standards during the decade. Many who went to the Northern region found employment in meatpacking, automobile, shipbuilding, and steel industries. But more exploitation resulted from more work.

In 1925, Philip Randolph, an activist in civil rights, founded the 1st Black labor movement, called the (BSCP) Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, which emphasized the Black’s discriminatory working conditions and hiring practices. As Black people’s demands for houses increased in the Northern, the discriminatory practices of housing also increased,  causing urban ghettos to rise, where African- Americans—not included in prestigious neighborhoods—were consigned to unsanitary, inadequate, and overcrowded conditions of living.

Black Americans fought for civil and political rights during the 1920s and afterward. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People launched Black disenfranchisement investigations in the presidential election of 1920, and white gang violence surges, like the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also advocated for the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill passage, a rule to render lynching an allied offense. Still, in 1922, a Senate filibuster defeated it. Finally, a Black American political milestone happened in 1928 when a Republican of Chicago, De Priest, Oscar, became the 1st Black congressman from the Reconstruction period to be voted for in the Representatives House.

The 1920s ushered in various shifts demographically, or what a historian called the “Civil War culture” between small-town residents and city-dwellers, Catholics and Protestants, whites and Blacks, old-fashioned family beliefs advocates, and “New Women.”

But coming instantly after the Spanish flu pandemic and First World War hardships, the 1920s also gave most middle-income Americans a bizarre freedom taste, unbridled fun, and vertical economic mobility unrivaled in United States history.

All these cultural, social, and economic changes of the 1920s are ideal for your paper writing.


The Roaring Twenties represented a growth and change era. The decade involved exploration and learning, as is evident in this article on the cultural, social, and economic changes of the 1920s. America became a global power and was no longer just any previous British colonies. American culture, like Broadway theatre, books, and movies, was now exported globally. The First World War had declined in Europe and risen America. The 1920s decade helped set up the United States’ global position through its creativity, industry, and inventions. If you need help with your cultural, social, and economic changes of the 1920s assignment, contact us at Use our website’s cultural, social, and economic changes of the 1920s examples as your learning aid! We will do your coursework at affordable prices.

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