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Roaring 1920's

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Giulio1997
Words 1562
Pages 7
Giulio Grassi
01/15/2015
P. 6^ The Roaring 1920s World War I which was known as a war that ended all the other wars and as the Great War finally came to an end in 1918 changing life in many countries, it had devastating effects on Europe. The Great War demolished the Austria-Hungary Empire and the Russian Empire. New states were established out of these former empires. However, the effects of the war were also felt across the Atlantic Ocean in America. Due to the war industry in the USA grew, the women’s movement progressed, and the government adopted new diplomatic policies. The Great War affected all areas of life in America, and continued to have its effect for many years to come. The decade that came right after was called “The roaring 1920s”. It was a time where Americans were living the American dream. Was the first time in American history that people could afford to buy in abundance and buy anything they pleased. The roaring 1920’s was effected by many inventions and a new life that Americans were adapting to. The introduction of cars, planes, Sports and Prohibition effected the 1920s. Americans were learning how to live their lives. One of the biggest changes probably also the one the influenced the most all the Americans were the new forms of transportation. After the World War I all the industries in America started to grow back slowly, some of those were starting to build the things that would revolutionize the life of all the Americans this invention was the car. “Americans took motoring like proverbial ducks to water” (AH, p. 56) by 1923 the car had become a necessity, and everybody, regardless of social or financial position, had to have one. “It was a petting parlor for the young, an errand runner for the housewife, and an escape hatch for the restless” (AH, p. 56) they were feeling more free driving cars. “If one could afford an elegant Pierce-Arrow or a Luxurious Cadillac, so much better, but just for $290 the country cousin could get there just as surely in his Model T runabout” (AH, p.56) many companies were building many different kinds of cars, from the most expensive to the cheapest, that anyone could be able to afford one. “Nothing so affected the economy as the automobiles” (AC, p. 180) never in hundreds and hundreds of years had the same affect on the American economy that automobiles had. The First World War hastened the development of aeroplanes which were then in their infancy, so that by the early 1920's they were much more reliable and capable of flying longer distances and carrying heavier loads. This made possible the carrying of passengers and freight on a commercial basis, the ability to travel long distances quickly but with relatively light loads meant that the earliest commercial freight services were mainly mail deliveries. “The use of airplanes facilitated aerial exploration and surveying of inhospitable areas like the Antarctic that were difficult to explore by traditional ground-based methods. In 1929 Commander Byrd was able to discover many previously unknown features of Antartica with his flights generating numerous aerial photographs for later analysis and mapping.” (militaryfactory.com) the airplane revolutionized the entire state, they were used for everything. “After Lindbergh’s flight to Paris, Americans took the skies in increasing numbers. Watching air passenger figures quadruple in 1928, financiers decided that aviation might actually prove profitable. Securities were marketed, the infant accommodate them.” (FC, p. 69) suddenly the world had become smaller with these new inventions this is why one of the biggest changes in the 1920s was the transportation. All of the famous sport players owned their new cars and showed them off which meant that sports were becoming more famous and were starting to have more influence on the Americans. Sports which grew and flourished in the nineteen twenties due to unprecedented publicity and promotion included baseball, tennis, golf, swimming, football and boxing. Newspapers, magazines, radio and movies all played a role in boosting the profile of sport and the sporting giants. The 1920's was a transition period for many sports. Sports that had up until that time been largely amateur events caught the eye of promoters who could see an opportunity to capitalize and make money. “By 1927, when he hit his high-water mark of 60 home runs, Babe Ruth was a better-known American to most foreigners than Calvin Coolidge, are he rivaled the dashing Prince of Wales as the most photographed man in the world.” (FC, p. 134) people couldn’t believe this man had so much talent. It made people want to go to baseball games and watch him play. “Babe Ruth started to earn $100,000 and more through salary, bonuses, and product endorsement, while the average player earned between $4,000 and $10,000 a year.” (baberuth.com) the sport’s stars were starting to get more money than anyone else, sports were most famous than ever. “He appeared in three Hollywood films between 1920 and 1931. The movies were Heading Home, Play Ball with Babe Ruth, and How Babe Ruth hits a Home Run4.” (baberuh.com) the movies were automatic success. People would go and see the movie to get fashion tips and what the latest style. Gambling became a big issue in sports. “Red Grange signed a contract to play football professionally, playing for about $1000 a minute, he was a millionaire in just three years” (FC, p. 139) in the early 1920s many players would throw games for money. They got paid more for throwing a game then actually winning the game. “On September 28, 1920, a Chicago grand jury indicted eight Chicago White Sox baseball players for conspiring to throw the 1919 World Series, which they had played against the Cincinnati Reds. This was called “The White Sox Scandal”.” (1920-30.com) after this scandal many other sports like boxing, wrestling, track meets, and horse racing also came under suspicion because they were so closely associated with gamblers. Baseballs affected the 1920 by creating organized crime and corruption. Many people started to become obsessed with gambling and wasting their life earnings on games, but also many Americans’ lives were changed by sports for something positively, such as the spending of the time watching sport’s games, and negatively, such as the wasting of time and money in gabling.

America’s biggest mistake happened on January 20, 1920 when the government passed the 18th amendment called Prohibition. The Eighteenth Amendment was put into effect and all importing, exporting, transporting, selling, and manufacturing of intoxicating liquor was put to an end. “Prohibition was the most openly flouted law of the 1920’s, if not of all American history, and gave the decade much of its reputation for lawlessness.” (AC, p.196) it was supposed to end corruption and reduce crime but it only increased it. People started to smuggle alcohol into America and sell it for much more. Many people hid their liquor in hip flasks, false books, hollow canes, and anything else they could find. Speak-easies were also illegal which replaced saloons after the start of prohibition. “By the middle of the decade there were thought to be 100,000 speak-easies in New York City alone” (FC, p. 160) people were pushed by the prohibition to create these places for drink alcohol illegally, there was no other way. Just about five percent of smuggled liquor was hindered from coming into the country in the 1920s. “Many illegal liquor businesses fell under the control of organized gangs, which overpowered most of the authorities.” (1920-30.com) the illegal trade of alcohol has become so wide that it had left the authorities almost useless. “The major crimes, however, such as homicides, and burglaries, increased 24 percent between 1920 and 1921. In addition, the number of federal convicts over the course of the prohibition period increased 56 percent.” (history.com) the worst point of the prohibition were the crimes, rather than what some supporters of the prohibition said which was that with this new law crimes would decrease. “The crime rate increased because “prohibition destroyed legal jobs, created black-market violence, unfocused resources from enforcement of other laws, and increased prices people had to pay for prohibited goods”.” (vintageperiods.com) it gave to the people one more reason for create illegal jobs and illegal markets. Although speakeasies were illegal, there were many benefits to those who took the risks of ownership. A speakeasy could net its owner a lot of money, but it also took money to make a profit. “One of New York's proprietors estimated his operation costs at about $1370 per month. Of this sum, $400 was graft money to Federal Prohibition Agents, police officers, and the New York District Attorney.” (speakeasies.com) these places became a huge market. Prohibition changed completely negatively the way of life of many Americans giving them illegal jobs and creating e real and strong alcohol’s commerce and production.

The 1920s was a time of positive and negative changes. It when the American government realized its mistakes. The 1920s was a decade where a lot of inventions were made that are still in use today. America is still facing many of the same problems as the 1920s, such as gambling, alcohol production (illegal one), and baseball scandals.

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