The United States, 1920-1941
America in the 1920’s. A period of boom and bust. An era known as the Jazz Age. One in which racial tensions were prominent. The 20’s in America saw the emergence of Hollywood, the first ‘talkie’ and a rapid growth in advertising and consumer goods. Prohibition in the United States led to the emergence of the speakeasy, illegal production of alcohol and the glamorising of some gangs.
Economically the United States enjoyed lots of highs in the early to mid 1920’s. Factories innovated and mass production became cheaper and more lucrative. The market for consumer goods grew quickly after the First World War. Advertising and hire-purchase agreements meant that a new middle class could enjoy a much more comfortable lifestyle.
All was not rosy though. Though slavery was long since abolished the attitude of race supremacy lived on. It manifested itself in the most violent ways in the 1920’s. Lynchings were quite common. Agricultural workers and farm owners failed to enjoy the same prosperity that those in industry did.
The prosperity was short lived. The decade ended with the financial market crashing. The Wall Street Crash saw much of the savings and investments wiped out. With it, the boom years were gone and a great economic depression followed.