Roaring Twenties
Overview
The Roaring Twenties is a phrase used to describe the 1920s, principally in North America, but also in London, Berlin and Paris for a period of sustained economic prosperity. The phrase was meant to emphasize the period's social, artistic, and cultural dynamism. 'Normalcy
Normalcy
"A return to normalcy" was United States presidential candidate Warren G. Harding’s campaign promise in the election of 1920...

' returned to politics in the wake of World War I, jazz music blossomed, the flapper
Flapper
Flapper in the 1920s was a term applied to a "new breed" of young Western women who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior...

 redefined modern womanhood, Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 peaked, and finally the Wall Street Crash of 1929
Wall Street Crash of 1929
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 , also known as the Great Crash, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout...

 served to punctuate the end of the era, as The Great Depression set in.
Encyclopedia
The Roaring Twenties is a phrase used to describe the 1920s, principally in North America, but also in London, Berlin and Paris for a period of sustained economic prosperity. The phrase was meant to emphasize the period's social, artistic, and cultural dynamism. 'Normalcy
Normalcy
"A return to normalcy" was United States presidential candidate Warren G. Harding’s campaign promise in the election of 1920...

' returned to politics in the wake of World War I, jazz music blossomed, the flapper
Flapper
Flapper in the 1920s was a term applied to a "new breed" of young Western women who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior...

 redefined modern womanhood, Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 peaked, and finally the Wall Street Crash of 1929
Wall Street Crash of 1929
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 , also known as the Great Crash, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout...

 served to punctuate the end of the era, as The Great Depression set in. The era was further distinguished by several inventions and discoveries of far-reaching importance, unprecedented industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle and culture.

The social and cultural features known as the Roaring Twenties began in leading metropolitan centers, especially Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Paris and London, then spread widely in the aftermath of World War I
Aftermath of World War I
The fighting in World War I ended in western Europe when the Armistice took effect at 11:00 am GMT on November 11, 1918, and in eastern Europe by the early 1920s. During and in the aftermath of the war the political, cultural, and social order was drastically changed in Europe, Asia and Africa,...

. The United States gained dominance in world finance. Thus when Germany could no longer afford war reparations to Britain, France and other Allies, the Americans came up with the Dawes Plan
Dawes Plan
The Dawes Plan was an attempt in 1924, following World War I for the Triple Entente to collect war reparations debt from Germany...

 and Wall Street invested heavily in Germany, which repaid its reparations to nations that in turn used the dollars to pay off their war debts to Washington. By the middle of the decade, prosperity was widespread. The second half of the decade becoming known as the "Golden Twenties
Golden Twenties
Golden Twenties or Happy Twenties is a term, mostly used in Europe, to describe the 1920s, in which most of the continent had an economic boom following the First World War and the severe economic downturns that took place between 1919–1923, and before the Wall Street Crash in 1929.It is often...

". In France and francophone Canada, they were also called the "années folles" ("Crazy Years").

The spirit of the Roaring Twenties was marked by a general feeling of discontinuity associated with modernity
Modernity
Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance...

, a break with traditions. Everything seemed to be feasible through modern technology. New technologies, especially automobiles, moving pictures and radio proliferated 'modernity' to a large part of the population. Formal decorative frills were shed in favor of practicality in both daily life and architecture. At the same time, jazz and dancing rose in popularity, in opposition to the mood of the specter of World War I. As such, the period is also often referred to as the Jazz Age
Jazz Age
The Jazz Age was a movement that took place during the 1920s or the Roaring Twenties from which jazz music and dance emerged. The movement came about with the introduction of mainstream radio and the end of the war. This era ended in the 1930s with the beginning of The Great Depression but has...

.

Economy

The Roaring Twenties was an era of great economic growth and widespread prosperity driven by government growth policies, a boom in construction, and the rapid growth of consumer goods such as automobiles. The North American economy
Economy of North America
The economy of North America comprises more than 528 million people in its 23 sovereign states and 15 dependent territories...

, particularly the economy of the US
Economy of the United States
The economy of the United States is the world's largest national economy. Its nominal GDP was estimated to be nearly $14.5 trillion in 2010, approximately a quarter of nominal global GDP. The European Union has a larger collective economy, but is not a single nation...

, which had successfully transitioned from a wartime economy
War economy
War economy is the term used to describe the contingencies undertaken by the modern state to mobilise its economy for war production. Philippe Le Billon describes a war economy as a "system of producing, mobilising and allocating resources to sustain the violence".Many states increase the degree of...

 to a peacetime economy, boomed, although there were sectors that were stagnant, especially farming and mining. The United States augmented its standing as the richest country in the world, its industry aligned to mass production and its society acculturated into consumerism
Consumerism
Consumerism is a social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods and services in ever greater amounts. The term is often associated with criticisms of consumption starting with Thorstein Veblen...

. In Europe, the economy did not start to flourish until 1924.

The Roaring Twenties ended with the Stock Market Crash of late 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

.

Demobilization

At the end of World War I, soldiers returned to the United States and Canada with wartime wages and many new products on the market on which to spend. At first, the recession of wartime production caused a brief but deep recession, known as the post–World War I recession. Quickly, however, the U.S. and Canadian economies rebounded as returning soldiers re-entered the labor force and factories were retooled to produce consumer goods.

Economic policies

The 1920s was a decade of increased consumer spending and economic growth fed by supply side economic policy. The post war saw three consecutive Republican administrations in the U.S. All three took the conservative position of forging a close relationship between those in government and big business. When President Warren Harding took office in 1921, the national economy was in the depths of a depression with an unemployment rate of 20% and runaway inflation. Harding signed the Emergency Tariff of 1921
Emergency Tariff of 1921
The Emergency Tariff of 1921 of the United States was enacted on May 27, 1921. Due to the Underwood Tariff passed during the Wilson Administration, Republican leaders in the United States Congress rushed to create a temporary measure to ease the plight of farmers until a better solution could be...

 and the Fordney–McCumber Tariff of 1922. Harding proposed to reduce the national debt, reduce taxes, protect farming interests, and cut back on immigration. Harding did not live to see it, but most of his agenda was passed by the Congress. These policies led to the "boom" of the Coolidge years.

One of the main initiatives of both the Harding and Coolidge administrations was the rolling back of income taxes on the wealthy which had been raised during World War I. It was believed that a heavy tax burden on the rich would slow the economy, and actually reduce tax revenues. This tax cut was achieved under President Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

's administration. Furthermore, Coolidge consistently blocked any attempts at government intrusion into private business. Harding and Coolidge's managerial approach sustained economic growth throughout most of the decade. However, the overconfidence of these years contributed to the speculative bubble
Economic bubble
An economic bubble is "trade in high volumes at prices that are considerably at variance with intrinsic values"...

 that sparked the stock market crash and the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. The government's role as an arbiter rather than an active entity continued under President Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

. Hoover worked to get businessmen to respond to the crisis by calling them into conferences and urging them to cooperate. Hoover's vigorous attempts to get business to end the depression failed.

When the income tax was established in 1913, the highest marginal tax rate was 7 percent; it was increased to 77 percent in 1916 to help finance World War I. The top rate was reduced to as low as 25 percent in 1925. The "normalcy" of the 1920s incorporated considerably higher levels of federal spending and taxes than the Progressive era before World War I. From 1929 to 1933, under President Hoover's administration, real per capita federal expenditures increased by 88 percent.

In 1920–1921 there was an acute recession, followed by the sustained recovery throughout the 1920s. The Federal Reserve expanded credit, by setting below market interest rates and low reserve requirements that favored big banks, and the money supply actually increased by about 60% during the time following the recession. By the latter part of the decade "buying on margin" entered the American vocabulary as more and more Americans over-extended themselves to speculate on the soaring stock market and expanding credit. Very few expected the crash that began in 1929, and none suspected it would be so drastic or so prolonged.

New products and technologies

Mass production
Mass production
Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines...

 made technology affordable to the middle class. The automobile, movie, radio, and chemical industries
Chemical industry
The chemical industry comprises the companies that produce industrial chemicals. Central to the modern world economy, it converts raw materials into more than 70,000 different products.-Products:...

 skyrocketed during the 1920s. Of chief importance was the automobile industry
Automaker
The automotive industry designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells motor vehicles, and is one of the world's most important economic sectors by revenue....

. Before the war, cars were a luxury. In the 1920s, mass-produced vehicles became common throughout the U.S. and Canada. By 1927, Ford discontinued the Model T after selling 15 million of that model. Only about 300,000 vehicles were registered in 1918 in all of Canada, but by 1929, there were 1.9 million, and automobile parts were being made in parts of Ontario near Detroit, Michigan. The automobile industry's effects were widespread, contributing to such industries as highway building, motels, service stations, used car dealerships and new housing outside the range of mass transit.

Radio became the first mass broadcasting medium
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

. Radios were expensive, but their mode of entertainment proved revolutionary. Radio advertising became the grandstand for mass marketing
Mass marketing
Mass marketing is a market coverage strategy in which a firm decides to ignore market segment differences and go after the whole market with one offer. It is type of marketing of a product to a wide audience. The idea is to broadcast a message that will reach the largest number of people possible...

. Its economic importance led to the mass culture that has dominated society since. During the "golden age of radio
Old-time radio
Old-Time Radio and the Golden Age of Radio refer to a period of radio programming in the United States lasting from the proliferation of radio broadcasting in the early 1920s until television's replacement of radio as the primary home entertainment medium in the 1950s...

", radio programming
Radio programming
Radio programming is the Broadcast programming of a Radio format or content that is organized for Commercial broadcasting and Public broadcasting radio stations....

 was as varied as TV programming
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

 today. The 1927 establishment of the Federal Radio Commission
Federal Radio Commission
The Federal Radio Commission was a government body that regulated radio use in the United States from its creation in 1926 until its replacement by the Federal Communications Commission in 1934...

 introduced a new era of regulation.

In 1925, electrical recording, one of the greatest advances in sound recording
Sound recording and reproduction
Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical or mechanical inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording...

 became available for commercially issued phonograph records.

Hollywood boomed, producing a new form of entertainment that shut down the old vaudeville. Watching a movie was cheap and accessible; crowds surged into new downtown movie palaces and neighborhood theatres, with even greater marvels like sound appearing at the end of the decade. Sound synchronized motion pictures, that is "talkies", were quickly replacing silent films between 1927 and 1929 (details below).

In 1927 Charles "Lucky Lindy" Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was an American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist.Lindbergh, a 25-year-old U.S...

 arose to instant fame with the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight (details below), and advances in aviation
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

 were to lead to commercial aviation in the next decade. Developments in television and Alexander Fleming
Alexander Fleming
Sir Alexander Fleming was a Scottish biologist and pharmacologist. He wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy...

's study of penicillin
Penicillin
Penicillin is a group of antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi. They include penicillin G, procaine penicillin, benzathine penicillin, and penicillin V....

 were laying the groundwork for commercial use of these important products in the 1940s.

New infrastructure

The new technologies led to an unprecedented need for new infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

, largely funded by the government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

. Road construction was crucial to the motor vehicle industry; several roads were upgraded to highway
Highway
A highway is any public road. In American English, the term is common and almost always designates major roads. In British English, the term designates any road open to the public. Any interconnected set of highways can be variously referred to as a "highway system", a "highway network", or a...

s, and expressways
Limited-access road
A limited-access road known by various terms worldwide, including limited-access highway, dual-carriageway and expressway, is a highway or arterial road for high-speed traffic which has many or most characteristics of a controlled-access highway , including limited or no access to adjacent...

 were constructed. A class of Americans emerged with surplus money and a desire to spend more, spurring the demand for consumer goods, including the automobile.

Electrification
Electrification
Electrification originally referred to the build out of the electrical generating and distribution systems which occurred in the United States, England and other countries from the mid 1880's until around 1940 and is in progress in developing countries. This also included the change over from line...

, having slowed during the war, progressed greatly as more of the U.S. and Canada was added to the electric grid. Most industries switched from coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 power to electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

. At the same time, new power plants were constructed. In America, electricity production almost quadrupled.

Telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

 lines also were being strung across the continent. Indoor plumbing
Plumbing
Plumbing is the system of pipes and drains installed in a building for the distribution of potable drinking water and the removal of waterborne wastes, and the skilled trade of working with pipes, tubing and plumbing fixtures in such systems. A plumber is someone who installs or repairs piping...

 and modern sewer system
Sanitary sewer
A sanitary sewer is a separate underground carriage system specifically for transporting sewage from houses and commercial buildings to treatment or disposal. Sanitary sewers serving industrial areas also carry industrial wastewater...

s were installed for the first time in many regions.

These infrastructure programs were mostly left to the local governments in both Canada and the United States. Most local government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

s went deeply into debt under the assumption that an investment in such infrastructure would pay off in the future, which later caused major problems during the Great Depression. In both Canada and the United States, the federal governments did the reverse, using the decade to pay down war debts and roll back some of the tax
Tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

es that had been introduced during the war.

Urbanization

Urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

 reached a climax in the 1920s. For the first time, more Americans and Canadians lived in cities of 2,500 or more people than in small towns or rural areas. However the nation was fascinated with its great metropolitan centers that contained about 15% of the population. New York and Chicago vied in building skyscrapers, and New York pulled ahead with the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Buildings. The finance
Finance
"Finance" is often defined simply as the management of money or “funds” management Modern finance, however, is a family of business activity that includes the origination, marketing, and management of cash and money surrogates through a variety of capital accounts, instruments, and markets created...

 and insurance
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 industries doubled and tripled in size.

The basic pattern of the modern white collar
White-collar worker
The term white-collar worker refers to a person who performs professional, managerial, or administrative work, in contrast with a blue-collar worker, whose job requires manual labor...

 job was set during the late 19th century, but it now became the norm for life in large and medium cities. Typewriters, filing cabinets and telephones brought unmarried women into clerical jobs. In Canada, one in five workers was a woman by the end of the decade. The fastest growing cities were those in the Midwest
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 and the Great Lakes region, including Chicago and Toronto. These cities prospered because of their vast agricultural hinterland
Hinterland
The hinterland is the land or district behind a coast or the shoreline of a river. Specifically, by the doctrine of the hinterland, the word is applied to the inland region lying behind a port, claimed by the state that owns the coast. The area from which products are delivered to a port for...

s. Cities on the West Coast
Pacific Coast
A country's Pacific coast is the part of its coast bordering the Pacific Ocean.-The Americas:Countries on the western side of the Americas have a Pacific coast as their western border.* Geography of Canada* Geography of Chile* Geography of Colombia...

 received increasing benefits from the 1914 opening of the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

.

Suffrage

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 became the last of 36 states needed to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment
Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920....

, granting women the right to vote
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

. Equality at the polls marked a pivotal moment in the women's rights movement
Women's rights
Women's rights are entitlements and freedoms claimed for women and girls of all ages in many societies.In some places these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behaviour, whereas in others they may be ignored or suppressed...

.

Lost Generation

The Lost Generation were young people who came out of World War I disillusioned and cynical about the world. The term usually refers to American literary notables who lived in Paris at the time. Famous members included Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

, F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

, and Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein was an American writer, poet and art collector who spent most of her life in France.-Early life:...

. These authors, also referred to as expatriates, wrote novels and short stories expressing their resentment towards the materialism and individualism that permeated during this era.

Social criticism

As the average American in the 1920s became more enamored of wealth and everyday luxuries, some began satirizing the hypocrisy and greed they observed. Of these social critics, Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis
Harry Sinclair Lewis was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of...

 was the most popular. His popular 1920 novel Main Street
Main Street (novel)
- Plot summary :Carol Milford is a liberal, free-spirited young woman, reared in the metropolis of Saint Paul, Minnesota. She marries Will Kennicott, a doctor, who is a small-town boy at heart....

satirized the dull and ignorant lives of the residents of a Midwestern town. He followed with Babbitt
Babbitt (novel)
Babbitt, first published in 1922, is a novel by Sinclair Lewis. Largely a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure on individuals toward conformity....

, about a middle-aged
Middle age
Middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. Various attempts have been made to define this age, which is around the third quarter of the average life span of human beings....

 businessman who rebels against his safe life and family, only to realize that the young generation is as hypocritical as his own. Lewis satirized religion with Elmer Gantry
Elmer Gantry
Elmer Gantry is a satirical novel written by Sinclair Lewis in 1926 and published by Harcourt in March 1927.-Background:Lewis did research for the novel by observing the work of various preachers in Kansas City in his so-called "Sunday School" meetings on Wednesdays. He first worked with William L...

, which followed a con man
Confidence trick
A confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. A confidence artist is an individual working alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility,...

 who teams up with an evangelist to sell religion to a small town.

Other social critics included Sherwood Anderson
Sherwood Anderson
Sherwood Anderson was an American novelist and short story writer. His most enduring work is the short story sequence Winesburg, Ohio. Writers he has influenced include Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, J. D. Salinger, and Amos Oz.-Early life:Anderson was born in Clyde, Ohio,...

, Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton , was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer.- Early life and marriage:...

 and H.L. Mencken. Anderson published a collection of short stories titled Winesburg, Ohio
Winesburg, Ohio (novel)
Winesburg, Ohio is a 1919 short story cycle by the American author Sherwood Anderson. The work is structured around the life of protagonist George Willard, from the time he was a child to his growing independence and ultimate abandonment of Winesburg as a young man...

, which studied the dynamics of a small town. Wharton mocked the fads of the new era through her novels, such as Twilight Sleep (1927). Mencken criticized narrow American tastes and culture in various essays and articles.

Art Deco

Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 was the style of design and architecture that marked the era. Originating in Belgium, it spread to the rest of western Europe and North America towards the mid-1920s.

In the U.S., one of the most remarkable buildings featuring this style was constructed as the tallest building of the time: the Chrysler Building
Chrysler Building
The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco style skyscraper in New York City, located on the east side of Manhattan in the Turtle Bay area at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Standing at , it was the world's tallest building for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State...

. The forms of art deco were pure and geometric, even though the artists often drew inspiration from nature. In the beginning, lines were curved, though rectilinear designs would later become more and more popular.

Expressionism and Surrealism

Painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 in North America during the 1920s developed in a different direction than that of Europe. In Europe, the 1920s were the era of expressionism
Expressionism
Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas...

, and later surrealism
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

. As Man Ray
Man Ray
Man Ray , born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Perhaps best described simply as a modernist, he was a significant contributor to both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal...

 stated in 1920 after the publication of a unique issue of New York Dada: "Dada
Dada
Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zurich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922. The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestoes, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a...

 cannot live in New York".

Cinema

At the beginning of the decade, films were silent and colorless. In 1922, the first all-color feature, Toll of the Sea, was released. In 1926, Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 released Don Juan
Don Juan (1926 film)
Don Juan is a Warner Brothers film, directed by Alan Crosland. It was the first feature-length film with synchronized Vitaphone sound effects and musical soundtrack, though it has no spoken dialogue...

, the first feature with sound effect
Sound effect
For the album by The Jam, see Sound Affects.Sound effects or audio effects are artificially created or enhanced sounds, or sound processes used to emphasize artistic or other content of films, television shows, live performance, animation, video games, music, or other media...

s and music. In 1927, Warner released The Jazz Singer
The Jazz Singer (1927 film)
The Jazz Singer is a 1927 American musical film. The first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences, its release heralded the commercial ascendance of the "talkies" and the decline of the silent film era. Produced by Warner Bros. with its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system,...

, the first sound feature to include limited talking sequences.

The public went wild for talkies, and movie studios converted to sound almost overnight. In 1928, Warner released Lights of New York
Lights of New York (1928 film)
Lights of New York was the first all-talking feature film, released by Warner Brothers and directed by Bryan Foy. The film, which cost only $23,000 to produce, grossed over $1,000,000. It was also the first film to define the crime genre...

, the first all-talking feature film. In the same year, the first sound cartoon, Dinner Time
Dinner Time
Dinner Time is an animated short subject produced and directed by Paul Terry, co-directed by John Foster, and produced at Van Beuren Studios...

, was released. Warner ended the decade by unveiling, in 1929, the first all-color, all-talking feature film, On with the Show
On with the Show (1929 film)
On with the Show! is a 1929 American musical film released by Warner Bros. The film is noted as the first ever all-talking all-color feature length movie, and the second color movie released by Warner Bros.; the first was a partly color, black-and-white musical, The Desert Song . -Plot:With unpaid...

.

Cartoon Shorts were popular in movie theaters during this time. The late 1920s saw the emergence of Walt Disney
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

. Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves...

 made his debut in "Steamboat Willie
Steamboat Willie
Steamboat Willie is a 1928 American animated short film directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. It was produced in black-and-white by The Walt Disney Studio and released by Celebrity Productions. The cartoon is considered the debut of Mickey Mouse, and as his girlfriend Minnie, but the characters...

" on November 18, 1928 at the Colony Theater in New York City. Mickey would go on to star in more than 120 cartoon shorts, not to mention starring in the Mickey Mouse Club
Mickey Mouse Club
The Mickey Mouse Club is an American variety television show that began in 1955, produced by Walt Disney Productions and televised by the ABC, featuring a regular but ever-changing cast of teenage performers. The Mickey Mouse Club was created by Walt Disney...

, and other specials. This would jump start Disney and would lead to creation of other characters going into the 1930s.
Oswald
Oswald
-Fictional characters:*Oswald Bastable, a character in E. Nesbit's The Story of the Treasure Seekers and Michael Moorcock's The Warlord of the Air*Oswald, servant of Goneril in Shakespeare's King Lear...

, a character created by Disney, before Mickey, in 1927, who was contracted by Universal
Universal Studios
Universal Pictures , a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios....

 for distribution purposes, starred in a series of shorts between 1927 and 1928. Disney lost the rights to the character, but in 2006, regained the rights to Oswald. He was the first Disney character to be merchandised.

The period saw the emergence of box-office
Box office
A box office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertop, through an unblocked hole through a wall or window, or at a wicket....

 draws such as:Mae Murray
Mae Murray
Mae Murray was an American actress, dancer, film producer, and screenwriter. Murray rose to fame during the silent film era and was known as "The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips" and "The Gardenia of the Screen"....

, Ramón Novarro
Ramón Novarro
Ramón Novarro was a Mexican leading man actor in Hollywood in the early 20th century. He was the next male "Sex Symbol" after the death of Rudolph Valentino...

, Rudolph Valentino
Rudolph Valentino
Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor, and early pop icon. A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the "Latin Lover". He starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and Son of the Sheik...

, Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I...

, Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton was an American comic actor, filmmaker, producer and writer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face".Keaton was recognized as the...

, Harold Lloyd
Harold Lloyd
Harold Clayton Lloyd, Sr. was an American film actor and producer, most famous for his silent comedies....

, Warner Baxter
Warner Baxter
Warner Leroy Baxter was an American actor, known for his role as The Cisco Kid in In Old Arizona , for which he won the second Academy Award for Best Actor in the 1928–1929 Academy Awards. Warner Baxter started his movie career in silent movies...

, Clara Bow
Clara Bow
Clara Gordon Bow was an American actress who rose to stardom in the silent film era of the 1920s. It was her appearance as a spunky shopgirl in the film It that brought her global fame and the nickname "The It Girl." Bow came to personify the roaring twenties and is described as its leading sex...

, Louise Brooks
Louise Brooks
Mary Louise Brooks , generally known by her stage name Louise Brooks, was an American dancer, model, showgirl and silent film actress, noted for popularizing the bobbed haircut. Brooks is best known for her three feature roles including two G. W...

, Bebe Daniels
Bebe Daniels
Bebe Daniels was an American actress, singer, dancer, writer and producer. She began her career in Hollywood during the silent movie era as a child actress, became a star in musicals like 42nd Street, and later gained further fame on radio and television in Britain...

, Billie Dove
Billie Dove
Billie Dove was an American actress.-Early life and career:She was born as Bertha Bohny in New York City to Charles and Bertha Bohny who were Swiss immigrants. As a teen, she worked as a model to help support her family and was hired at the age of 15 by Florenz Ziegfeld to appear in his Ziegfeld...

, Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill
Dorothy Mackaill was an English-born American actress, most notably of the silent film era and into the early 1930s.-Early life:...

, Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Mary Astor was an American actress. Most remembered for her role as Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon with Humphrey Bogart, Astor began her long motion picture career as a teenager in the silent movies of the early 1920s.She eventually made a successful transition to talkies, but almost...

, Nancy Carroll
Nancy Carroll
Nancy Carroll was an American actress.-Career:She was christened Ann Veronica Lahiff in New York City. Of Irish parentage, she and her sister once performed a dancing act in a local contest of amateur talent. This led her to a stage career and then to the screen. She began her acting career in...

, Janet Gaynor
Janet Gaynor
Janet Gaynor was an American actress and painter.One of the most popular actresses of the silent film era, in 1928 Gaynor became the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in three films: Seventh Heaven , Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans and Street Angel...

, Charles Farrell
Charles Farrell
Charles Farrell was an American film actor of the 1920s silent era and into the 1930s, and later a television actor...

, William Haines
William Haines
Charles William "Billy" Haines was an American film actor and interior designer. He was a star of the silent era until the 1930s, when Haines' career was cut short by MGM Studios due to his refusal to deny his homosexuality...

, Conrad Nagel
Conrad Nagel
Conrad Nagel was an American screen actor and matinee idol of the silent film era and beyond. He was also a well-known television actor and radio performer.-Biography:...

, John Gilbert
John Gilbert (actor)
John Gilbert was an American actor and a major star of the silent film era.Known as "the great lover," he rivaled even Rudolph Valentino as a box office draw...

, Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

, Dolores del Río
Dolores del Río
Dolores del Río was a Mexican film actress. She was a star of Hollywood films during the silent era and in the Golden Age of Hollywood...

, Norma Talmadge
Norma Talmadge
Norma Talmadge was an American actress and film producer of the silent era. A major box office draw for more than a decade, her career reached a peak in the early 1920s, when she ranked among the most popular idols of the American screen.Her most famous film was Smilin’ Through , but she also...

, Colleen Moore
Colleen Moore
Colleen Moore was an American film actress, and one of the most fashionable stars of the silent film era.-Early life:...

, Nita Naldi, John Barrymore
John Barrymore
John Sidney Blyth , better known as John Barrymore, was an acclaimed American actor. He first gained fame as a handsome stage actor in light comedy, then high drama and culminating in groundbreaking portrayals in Shakespearean plays Hamlet and Richard III...

, Norma Shearer
Norma Shearer
Edith Norma Shearer was a Canadian-American actress. Shearer was one of the most popular actresses in North America from the mid-1920s through the 1930s...

, Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford , born Lucille Fay LeSueur, was an American actress in film, television and theatre....

, Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford was a Canadian-born motion picture actress, co-founder of the film studio United Artists and one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...

, Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. was an American actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He was best known for his swashbuckling roles in silent films such as The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood, and The Mark of Zorro....

, Anna May Wong
Anna May Wong
Anna May Wong was an American actress, the first Chinese American movie star, and the first Asian American to become an international star...

, and Al Jolson
Al Jolson
Al Jolson was an American singer, comedian and actor. In his heyday, he was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer"....

.

Harlem Renaissance

African-American literary and artistic culture developed rapidly during the 1920s under the banner of "The Harlem Renaissance
Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement", named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke...

". In 1921, the Black Swan Corporation
Black Swan Records
Black Swan Records was a United States record label founded in 1921 in Harlem, New York. It was the first widely distributed label to be owned and operated by, and marketed to, African Americans....

 opened. At its height, it issued ten recordings per month. All-African-American musicals also started in 1921. In 1923, the Harlem Renaissance Basketball Club
New York Renaissance
The New York Renaissance, also known as the Renaissance Big Five and as the Rens, was an all-black professional basketball team established February 13, 1923, by Robert "Bob" Douglas in agreement with the Renaissance Casino and Ballroom...

 was founded by Bob Douglas
Bob Douglas
Robert L. "Bob" Douglas was the founder of the New York Renaissance basketball team. Nicknamed the "Father of Black Professional Basketball", Douglas owned and coached the Rens from 1923 to 1949, guiding them to a 2,318-381 record...

. During the later 1920s, and especially in the 1930s, the basketball team
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 became known as the best in the world.

The first issue of Opportunity
Opportunity
Opportunity may refer to:*Opportunity International - An International microfinance network that lends to the working poor*Opportunity NYC is the experimental Conditional Cash Transfer program being launched in New York City...

was published. The African-American playwright, Willis Richardson, debuted his play The Chip Woman's Fortune, at the Frazee Theatre (also known as the Wallacks theatre). Notable African-American authors such as Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance...

 and Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston was an American folklorist, anthropologist, and author during the time of the Harlem Renaissance...

 began to achieve a level of national public recognition during the 1920s. African American culture
African American culture
African-American culture, also known as black culture, in the United States refers to the cultural contributions of Americans of African descent to the culture of the United States, either as part of or distinct from American culture. The distinct identity of African-American culture is rooted in...

 has contributed the largest part to the rise of jazz.

Dance

Dance clubs became enormously popular in the 1920s. Their popularity peaked in the late 1920s and reached into the early 1930s. Dance music came to dominate all forms of popular music by the late 1920s. Classical pieces, operettas, folk music, etc. were all transformed into popular dance melodies in order to satiate the public craze for dancing much as the disco
Disco
Disco is a genre of dance music. Disco acts charted high during the mid-1970s, and the genre's popularity peaked during the late 1970s. It had its roots in clubs that catered to African American, gay, psychedelic, and other communities in New York City and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and...

 phenomena would later do in the late 1970s. For example, many of the songs from the 1929 Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

 musical operetta The Rogue Song (starring the Metropolitan Opera star Lawrence Tibbett
Lawrence Tibbett
Lawrence Mervil Tibbett was a great American opera singer and recording artist who also performed as a film actor and radio personality. A baritone, he sang with the New York Metropolitan Opera company more than 600 times from 1923 to 1950...

) were rearranged and released as dance music and became popular club hits in 1929.

Dance clubs across the U.S. sponsored dance contests, where dancers invented, tried, and competed with new moves. Professionals began to hone their skills in tap dance and other dances of the era throughout the stage circuit across the United States. With the advent of talking pictures (sound film) musicals became all the rage and film studios flooded the box office with extravagant and lavish musical films, many of which were filmed in early Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

. One of the most popular of these musicals, Gold Diggers of Broadway, became the highest grossing film of the decade. Harlem played a key role in the development of dance styles. With several entertainment venues, people from all walks of life, all races, and all classes came together. The Cotton Club
Cotton Club
The Cotton Club was a famous night club in Harlem, New York City that operated during Prohibition that included jazz music. While the club featured many of the greatest African American entertainers of the era, such as Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Adelaide Hall, Count Basie, Bessie Smith,...

 featured black performers and catered to a white clientele, while the Savoy Ballroom
Savoy Ballroom
The Savoy Ballroom, located in Harlem, New York City, was a medium sized ballroom for music and public dancing that was in operation from March 12, 1926 to July 10, 1958. It was located between 140th and 141st Streets on Lenox Avenue....

 catered to a mostly black clientele.

The most popular dances throughout the decade were the foxtrot, waltz
Waltz
The waltz is a ballroom and folk dance in time, performed primarily in closed position.- History :There are several references to a sliding or gliding dance,- a waltz, from the 16th century including the representations of the printer H.S. Beheim...

 and American tango. From the early 1920s, however, a variety of eccentric novelty dances were developed. The first of these were the Breakaway
Breakaway (dance)
From 1919 to 1927, Breakaway was a popular swing dance developed from the Texas Tommy and Charleston in Harlem's African American communities. The Breakaway was danced to jazz, and while it often began in closed position, the leader would occasionally swing the follower out into an open position,...

 and Charleston. Both were based on African-American musical styles and beats, including the widely popular blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

. The Charleston's popularity exploded after its feature in two 1922 Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 shows. A brief Black Bottom
Black Bottom (dance)
Black Bottom refers to a dance. which became popular in the 1920s, during the period known as the Flapper era.The dance originated in New Orleans in the 1900s. The theatrical show Dinah brought the Black Bottom dance to New York in 1924, and the George White's Scandals featured it at the Apollo...

 craze, originating from the Apollo Theater
Apollo Theater
The Apollo Theater in New York City is one of the most famous, and older, music halls in the United States, and the most famous club associated almost exclusively with Black performers...

, swept dance halls from 1926 to 1927, replacing the Charleston in popularity. By 1927, the Lindy Hop
Lindy Hop
The Lindy Hop is an American social dance, from the swing dance family. It evolved in Harlem, New York City in the 1920s and '30s and originally evolved with the jazz music of that time. Lindy was a fusion of many dances that preceded it or were popular during its development but is mainly based...

, a dance based on Breakaway and Charleston and integrating elements of tap, became the dominant social dance
Social dance
Social dance is a major category or classification of danceforms or dance styles, where sociability and socializing are the primary focuses of the dancing...

. Developed in the Savoy Ballroom, it was set to stride piano
Stride piano
Harlem Stride Piano, Stride Piano, or just Stride, is a jazz piano style that was developed in the large cities of the East Coast, mainly in the New York, during 1920s and 1930s. The left hand may play a four-beat pulse with a single bass note, octave, seventh or tenth interval on the first and...

 ragtime
Ragtime
Ragtime is an original musical genre which enjoyed its peak popularity between 1897 and 1918. Its main characteristic trait is its syncopated, or "ragged," rhythm. It began as dance music in the red-light districts of American cities such as St. Louis and New Orleans years before being published...

 jazz. The Lindy Hop would later evolve into Swing
Swing (dance)
"Swing dance" is a group of dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s-1950s, although the earliest of these dances predate swing jazz music. The best known of these dances is the Lindy Hop, a popular partner dance that originated in Harlem and is still danced today...

 dance. These dances, nonetheless, were never mainstreamed, and the overwhelming majority of people continued to dance the foxtrot, waltz and tango throughout the decade.

The dance craze had a large influence on music. Large numbers of recordings labeled as foxtrot, waltz and tango were produced and gave rise to a generation of performers that became famous as recording artists or radio artists. Top vocalists included Nick Lucas
Nick Lucas
Nick Lucas born Dominic Nicholas Anthony Lucanese was an American singer and pioneer jazz guitarist, remembered as "the grandfather of the jazz guitar", whose peak of popularity lasted from the mid-1920s to the early 1930s.-Career:In 1922, at the age of 25, he gained renown with his hit renditions...

, Scrappy Lambert
Scrappy Lambert
Harold "Scrappy" Lambert was an American dance band vocalist who appeared on hundreds of recordings from the 1920s to the 1940s....

, Frank Munn, Lewis James
Lewis James
Lewis James Lewis James Lewis James (unknown - February 19, 1959 was a vocalist and among the most active of recording artists in the United States from 1917 through much of the 1930s. He was a member of the The Shannon Four, The Revelers, and The Criterion Trio. He had many Top Ten hits during...

, Chester Gaylord
Chester Gaylord
Chester Gaylord was a vocalist and among the most active of recording artists in the United States during the late 1920s through the early 1930s. He was known as The Whispering Serenader on radio and on his phonograph records.He began his career as a singer and announcer for radio station WTAG in...

, Gene Austin
Gene Austin
Gene Austin was an American singer and songwriter, one of the first "crooners". His 1920s compositions "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street" and "The Lonesome Road" became pop and jazz standards.-Career:...

, James Melton
James Melton
James Melton , a popular singer in the 1920s and early 1930s, later began a career as an operatic singer when tenor voices went out of style in popular music around 1932-35...

, Franklyn Baur
Franklyn Baur
-Recording career:Baur made hundreds of recordings for about a dozen different recording companies, including the three major labels, Victor, Columbia and Brunswick. His first recording, If the Rest of the World Don't Want You, was for Victor in 1923...

, Johnny Marvin, Vaughn De Leath
Vaughn De Leath
Vaughn De Leath was an American female singer who gained popularity in the 1920s, earning the sobriquets "The Original Radio Girl" and "First Lady of Radio." Although popular in the 1920s, De Leath is little known today....

, and Ruth Etting. Leading dance orchestra leaders included Bob Haring
Bob Haring
Bob Haring was an American popular music bandleader of the 1920s and early 1930s.Haring held a contract with Brunswick Records. His best recordings were issued on the Brunswick label, one of the three major recordings labels in the 1920s. His first commercial recording for Brunswick was made on...

, Harry Horlick, Louis Katzman, Leo Reisman
Leo Reisman
Leo Reisman was a violinist and bandleader in the 1920s and 1930s. Born and reared in Boston, Reisman studied violin as a young man, and formed his own band in 1919. He became famous for having over 80 hits on the popular charts during his career. Jerome Kern called Reisman's orchestra "The...

, Victor Arden
Victor Arden
Victor Arden was the stage name for an American pianist named Lewis John Fuiks who was best known as the piano duo partner of and co-orchestra leader with Phil Ohman from 1922 to 1932....

, Phil Ohman
Phil Ohman
Phil Ohman was an American film composer and pianist.Fillmore Wellington Ohman was born in New Britain, Connecticut in 1896. He is remembered as being one half of one of the pre-eminent piano duos in the 1922-1932, paired with Victor Arden...

, George Olsen
George Olsen
George Edward Olsen, Sr. was an American band-leader.Born in Portland, Oregon, he played the drums and attended the University of Michigan, where he was drum major. Here he formed his band, George Olsen and his Music, which continued in the Portland area...

, Ted Lewis
Ted Lewis
Ted Lewis may refer to:*Ted Lewis , Edward Morgan Lewis*Ted Lewis , US bandleader, musician, entertainer, singer*Ted Lewis , English crime novelist...

, Abe Lyman
Abe Lyman
Abe Lyman was a popular bandleader from the 1920s to the 1940s. He made recordings, appeared in films and provided the music for numerous radio shows, including Your Hit Parade....

, Ben Selvin
Ben Selvin
Benjamin B. Selvin , son of Russian-immigrant Jewish parents, was a musician, bandleader, record producer and innovator in recorded music. He was known as The Dean of Recorded Music....

, Nat Shilkret, Fred Waring
Fred Waring
Fredrick Malcolm Waring was a popular musician, bandleader and radio-television personality, sometimes referred to as "America's Singing Master" and "The Man Who Taught America How to Sing." He was also a promoter, financial backer and namesake of the Waring Blendor, the first modern electric...

, and Paul Whiteman
Paul Whiteman
Paul Samuel Whiteman was an American bandleader and orchestral director.Leader of the most popular dance bands in the United States during the 1920s, Whiteman's recordings were immensely successful, and press notices often referred to him as the "King of Jazz"...

.

Fashion

Immortalized in movies and magazine covers, young women's fashion of the 1920s was both a trend and a social statement, a breaking-off from the rigid Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 way of life. These young, rebellious, middle-class women, labeled ‘flappers’ by older generations, did away with the corset and donned slinky knee-length dresses, which exposed their legs and arms. The hairstyle of the decade was a chin-length bob, of which there were several popular variations. Cosmetics
Cosmetics
Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and...

, which until the 1920s was not typically accepted in American society because of its association with prostitution
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

, became, for the first time, extremely popular.

The changing role of women

With the passage of the 19th Amendment
Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920....

 in 1920 that gave women the right to vote
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

, women finally attained the political equality that they had so long been fighting for. A generational gap began to form between the "new" women of the 1920s and the previous generation. Prior to the 19th Amendment, feminists commonly thought that women could not pursue both a career and a family successfully, believing that one would inherently inhibit the development of the other. This mentality began to change in the 20s as more women began to desire not only successful careers of their own but also families. The "new" woman was less invested in social service than the Progressive generations, and in tune with the capitalistic spirit of the era, she was eager to compete and to find personal fulfilment.

The 1920s saw significant change in the lives of working women. World War I had temporarily allowed women to enter into industries such as chemical, automobile, and iron and steel manufacturing, which were once deemed inappropriate work for women. Black women, who had been historically closed out of factory jobs, began to find a place in industry during World War I by accepting lower wages and replacing the lost immigrant labor and in heavy work. Yet, like other women during World War I, their success was only temporary; most black women were also pushed out of their factory jobs after the war. In 1920, seventy-five percent of the black female labor force consisted of agricultural laborers, domestic servants, and laundry workers.

Legislation passed at the beginning of the 20th century mandated a minimum wage and forced many factories to shorten their workdays. This shifted the focus in the 1920s to job performance in order to meet demand. Factories encouraged workers to produce more quickly and efficiently with speedups and bonus systems, increasing the pressure on factory workers. Despite the strain on women in the factories, the booming economy of the 1920s meant more opportunities even for the lower classes. Many young girls from working-class backgrounds did not need to help support their families as prior generations did and were often encouraged to seek work or receive vocational training which would result in social mobility.

The achievement of suffrage led to feminists refocusing their efforts towards other goals. Groups such as the National Women's Party (NWP) continued the political fight, proposing the Equal Rights Amendment
Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Amendment was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and, in 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time...

 in 1923 and working to remove laws that used sex to discriminate against women. But many women shifted their focus from politics to challenge traditional definitions of womanhood.

Young women, especially, began staking claim to their own bodies and took part in a sexual liberation of their generation. Many of the ideas that fueled this change in sexual thought were already floating around New York intellectual circles prior to World War I, with the writings of Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

, Havelock Ellis, and Ellen Key. There, thinkers outed that sex was not only central to the human experience but that women were sexual beings with human impulses and desires just like men and restraining these impulses was self-destructive. By the 1920s, these ideas had permeated the mainstream.

The 1920s saw the emergence of the co-ed, as women began attending large state colleges and universities. Women entered into the mainstream middle-class experience, but took on a gendered role within society. Women typically took classes such as home economics, "Husband and Wife", "Motherhood" and "The Family as an Economic Unit". In an increasingly conservative post-war era, it was common for a young woman to attend college with the intention of finding a suitable husband. Fueled by ideas of sexual liberation, dating underwent major changes on college campuses. With the advent of the automobile, courtship occurred in a much more private setting. "Petting", sexual relations without intercourse, became the social norm for college students.

Despite women's increased knowledge of pleasure and sex, the decade of unfettered capitalism that was the 20s gave birth to the ‘feminine mystique’. With this formulation, all women wanted to marry, all good women stayed at home with their children, cooking and cleaning, and the best women did the aforementioned and in addition, exercised their purchasing power freely and as frequently as possible in order to better their families and their homes. This left many housewives feeling frustrated and unsatisfied.

Tolerance towards other groups

In urban areas, minorities were treated with more equality than they had been accustomed to previously. This was reflected in some of the films of the decade. Redskin
Redskin (film)
Redskin is a feature film with a synchronized score and sound effects, filmed partially in Technicolor. Color film was used for the scenes taking place on the Indians' land, while black and white was used only in the scenes set in the white man's world. Roughly two-thirds of the film is in...

(1929) and Son of the Gods
Son of the Gods
Son of the Gods is a black-and-white romantic drama film with Technicolor sequences. It was adapted from the novel of the same name by Rex Beach...

(1929), for instance, deal sympathetically with Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 and Asian American
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

s respectively, openly reviling social bias. On the stage and in movies, black and white players appeared together for the first time.

It became possible to go to nightclub
Nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

s and see whites and minorities dancing and eating together. Even popular songs poked fun at the new social acceptance of homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

. One of these songs had the title "Masculine Women, Feminine Men." It was released in 1926 and recorded by numerous artists of the day and included the following lyrics:


Masculine women, Feminine men

Which is the rooster, which is the hen?

It's hard to tell 'em apart today! And, say!

Sister is busy learning to shave,

Brother just loves his permanent wave,

It's hard to tell 'em apart today! Hey, hey!

Girls were girls and boys were boys when I was a tot,

Now we don't know who is who, or even what's what!

Knickers and trousers, baggy and wide,

Nobody knows who's walking inside,

Those masculine women and feminine men!


The relative liberalism
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 of the decade is demonstrated by the fact that the actor William Haines
William Haines
Charles William "Billy" Haines was an American film actor and interior designer. He was a star of the silent era until the 1930s, when Haines' career was cut short by MGM Studios due to his refusal to deny his homosexuality...

, regularly named in newspapers and magazines as the #1 male box-office draw, openly lived in a gay relationship with his partner, Jimmie Shields. Other popular gay actors/actresses of the decade included Alla Nazimova
Alla Nazimova
Alla Nazimova , was a Russian American film and theatre actress, a screenwriter and film producer. She is perhaps best known as simply Nazimova, but also went under the name Alia Nasimoff.-Early life:...

 and Ramón Novarro
Ramón Novarro
Ramón Novarro was a Mexican leading man actor in Hollywood in the early 20th century. He was the next male "Sex Symbol" after the death of Rudolph Valentino...

.

In 1927, Mae West
Mae West
Mae West was an American actress, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades....

 wrote a play about homosexuality called, The Drag,. and alluded to the work of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs
Karl Heinrich Ulrichs
for the periodical directory, see Ulrich's Periodicals DirectoryKarl-Heinrich Ulrichs , is seen today as the pioneer of the modern gay rights movement.-Early life:...

. It was a box-office success. West regarded talking about sex as a basic human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 issue, and was also an early advocate of gay rights
LGBT social movements
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender social movements share inter-related goals of social acceptance of sexual and gender minorities. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies have a long history of campaigning for what is generally called LGBT rights, also called gay...

. With the return of conservatism in the 1930s, the public grew intolerant of homosexuality, and gay actors were forced to choose between retiring or agreeing to hide their sexuality.

Immigration laws

The United States, and to a lesser degree Canada, became more xenophobic or, at least, anti-immigrant. The American Immigration Act of 1924
Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act , was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already...

 limited immigration from countries where 2% of the total U.S. population
Demographics of the United States
As of today's date, the United States has a total resident population of , making it the third most populous country in the world. It is a very urbanized population, with 82% residing in cities and suburbs as of 2008 . This leaves vast expanses of the country nearly uninhabited...

, per the 1890 census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 (not counting African Americans), were immigrants from that country. Thus, the massive influx of Europeans that had come to America during the first two decades of the century slowed to a trickle. Asians and citizens of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 were prohibited from immigrating altogether. Alien Land Laws, such as California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

's Webb-Haney Act
Webb-Haney Act
The Webb-Haney Act, also known as the Alien Land Law, was a California statute passed in 1913. It stripped "all aliens ineligible for citizenship" of the right to own land in California. It also limited the leasing of land by said aliens to three years...

 in 1913, prevented aliens ineligible for citizenship, (except Filipinos, who were subjects of U.S.) of the right to own land in California. It also limited the leasing of land by said aliens to three years. Many Japanese immigrants, or Issei, circumvented this law by transferring the title of their land to their American-born children, or Nisei, who were citizens. Similar laws were passed in 11 other states.

In Canada, the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923 prevented almost all immigration from Asia. Other laws curbed immigration from Southern
Southern Europe
The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical...

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. A Gentlemen's Act gave America the right to prevent any Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

 immigrants from entering the country.

Popular music

The 1920s also saw the rise in popularity of various new styles of recorded music. Jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 became the most popular form of music for young people and the flapper culture. Famous jazz performers and singers from the 1920s include Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong , nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana....

, Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and big band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions...

, Sidney Bechet
Sidney Bechet
Sidney Bechet was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer.He was one of the first important soloists in jazz , and was perhaps the first notable jazz saxophonist...

, Jelly Roll Morton
Jelly Roll Morton
Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe , known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, was an American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer....

, Joe "King" Oliver, James P. Johnson
James P. Johnson
James P. Johnson was an American pianist and composer...

, Fletcher Henderson
Fletcher Henderson
James Fletcher Hamilton Henderson, Jr. was an American pianist, bandleader, arranger and composer, important in the development of big band jazz and swing music. His was one of the most prolific black orchestras and his influence was vast...

, Frankie Trumbauer
Frankie Trumbauer
Orie Frank Trumbauer was one of the leading jazz saxophonists of the 1920s and 1930s. He played the C-melody saxophone which, in size, is between an alto and tenor saxophone...

, Paul Whiteman
Paul Whiteman
Paul Samuel Whiteman was an American bandleader and orchestral director.Leader of the most popular dance bands in the United States during the 1920s, Whiteman's recordings were immensely successful, and press notices often referred to him as the "King of Jazz"...

, Bix Beiderbecke
Bix Beiderbecke
Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke was an American jazz cornetist, jazz pianist, and composer.With Louis Armstrong, Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s...

, and Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation....

. The development of urban and city blues also began in the 1920s with performers such as Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith was an American blues singer.Sometimes referred to as The Empress of the Blues, Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s...

 and Ma Rainey
Ma Rainey
Ma Rainey was one of the earliest known American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of such singers to record. She was billed as The Mother of the Blues....

. In the later part of the decade, early forms of country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 were pioneered by Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family, Uncle Dave Macon
Uncle Dave Macon
Uncle Dave Macon , born David Harrison Macon—also known as "The Dixie Dewdrop"—was an American banjo player, singer, songwriter, and comedian...

, Vernon Dalhart
Vernon Dalhart
Vernon Dalhart , born Marion Try Slaughter, was a popular American singer and songwriter of the early decades of the 20th century. He is a major influence in the field of country music.-Early life:...

, Charlie Poole
Charlie Poole
Charlie Poole was an American old time banjo player and country musician and the leader of the North Carolina Ramblers, an American old-time string band that recorded many popular songs between 1925 to 1930.-Biography:...

, and others.

Prohibition

In 1920, the manufacture, sale, import
Import
The term import is derived from the conceptual meaning as to bring in the goods and services into the port of a country. The buyer of such goods and services is referred to an "importer" who is based in the country of import whereas the overseas based seller is referred to as an "exporter". Thus...

 and export of alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 was prohibited by the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Eighteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution established Prohibition in the United States. The separate Volstead Act set down methods of enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment, and defined which "intoxicating liquors" were prohibited, and which were excluded from prohibition...

 in an attempt to alleviate various social problems
Social issues
Social issues are controversial issues which relate to people's personal lives and interactions. Social issues are distinguished from economic issues...

; this came to be known as "Prohibition". It was enacted through the Volstead Act
Volstead Act
The National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act, was the enabling legislation for the Eighteenth Amendment which established prohibition in the United States...

, supported greatly by churches and leagues such as 'The Anti Saloon League
Anti-Saloon League
The Anti-Saloon League was the leading organization lobbying for prohibition in the United States in the early 20th century. It was a key component of the Progressive Era, and was strongest in the South and rural North, drawing heavy support from pietistic Protestant ministers and their...

'. America's continued desire for alcohol under prohibition led to the rise of organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 as typified by Chicago's Al Capone
Al Capone
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. The Chicago Outfit, which subsequently became known as the "Capones", was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, and other illegal activities such as prostitution, in Chicago from the early...

, smuggling and gangster associations all over the U.S. In Canada, prohibition was only imposed nationally for a short period of time, but the American liquor laws nonetheless had an important impact.

Rise of the speakeasy

Speakeasies
Speakeasy
A speakeasy, also called a blind pig or blind tiger, is an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages. Such establishments came into prominence in the United States during the period known as Prohibition...

 became popular and numerous as the Prohibition years progressed and led to the rise of gangsters such as Lucky Luciano
Lucky Luciano
Charlie "Lucky" Luciano was an Italian mobster born in Sicily. Luciano is considered the father of modern organized crime in the United States for splitting New York City into five different Mafia crime families and the establishment of the first commission...

, Al Capone
Al Capone
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. The Chicago Outfit, which subsequently became known as the "Capones", was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, and other illegal activities such as prostitution, in Chicago from the early...

, Moe Dalitz
Moe Dalitz
Morris Barney "Moe" Dalitz was a Jewish American bootlegger, racketeer, casino owner and philanthropist who was one of the major figures who helped shape Las Vegas, Nevada in the 20th century. He was often referred to as Mr...

, Joseph Ardizzone
Joseph Ardizzone
Joseph "Iron Man" Ardizzone was an early Los Angeles mobster, who became the first Boss of the Los Angeles crime family. He was involved in a long-standing feud with the Matranga family, and became the only Los Angeles boss to be murdered by his own men...

, and Sam Maceo
Sam Maceo
Salvatore Maceo, also known as Sam Maceo, was a businessman, community leader, and organized crime boss in Galveston, Texas in the United States. Because of his efforts, Galveston Island became a nationally known resort town during the early and mid 20th century, a period known as Galveston's Open...

. They commonly operated with connections to organized crime and liquor smuggling. While the U.S. Federal Government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 agents raided such establishments and arrested many of the small figures and smugglers, they rarely managed to get the big bosses; the business of running speakeasies was so lucrative that such establishments continued to flourish throughout the nation. In major cities, speakeasies could often be elaborate, offering food, live bands, and floor shows. Police were notoriously bribed by speakeasy operators to either leave them alone or at least give them advance notice of any planned raid.

Literature

The Roaring Twenties was a period of literary creativity, and works of several notable authors appeared during the period. D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation...

's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Lady Chatterley's Lover is a novel by D. H. Lawrence, first published in 1928. The first edition was printed privately in Florence, Italy with assistance from Pino Orioli; it could not be published openly in the United Kingdom until 1960...

was a scandal at the time because of its explicit descriptions of sex.

Books that take the 1920s as their subject include:
  • The Great Gatsby
    The Great Gatsby
    The Great Gatsby is a novel by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. First published in1925, it is set on Long Island's North Shore and in New York City from spring to autumn of 1922....

    by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

     is often described as the epitome of the "Jazz Age" in American literature.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
    All Quiet on the Western Front
    All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book describes the German soldiers' extreme physical and mental stress during the war, and the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the front.The...

    by Erich Maria Remarque
    Erich Maria Remarque
    Erich Maria Remarque was a German author, best known for his novel All Quiet on the Western Front.-Life and work:...

     recounts the horrors of World War I and also the deep detachment from German civilian life felt by many men returning from the front.
  • This Side of Paradise
    This Side of Paradise
    This Side of Paradise is the debut novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Published in 1920, and taking its title from a line of the Rupert Brooke poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post-World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is an attractive Princeton University...

    by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

     portrays the lives and morality of post–World War I youth.
  • The Sun Also Rises
    The Sun Also Rises
    The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway about a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. An early and enduring modernist novel, it received...

    by Ernest Hemingway
    Ernest Hemingway
    Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

     is about a group of expatriate Americans in Europe during the 1920s.

Solo flight across the Atlantic

Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was an American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist.Lindbergh, a 25-year-old U.S...

 gained sudden great international fame as the first pilot to fly solo and non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, flying from Roosevelt Airfield
Roosevelt Airfield
Roosevelt Field was originally an airfield in Garden City, Nassau County, New York.-History:Originally named the Hempstead Plains Aerodrome, it was renamed in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt's son, Quentin, who was killed in air combat during World War I...

 (Nassau County
Nassau County, New York
Nassau County is a suburban county on Long Island, east of New York City in the U.S. state of New York, within the New York Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,339,532...

, Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

), New York to Paris on May 20-May 21, 1927. He had a single-engine airplane, "The Spirit of St. Louis", which had been designed by Donald Hall
Donald Hall
Donald Hall is an American poet. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2006.-Personal life:...

 and custom built by Ryan Airlines
Ryan Aeronautical Company
The Ryan Aeronautical Company was founded by T. Claude Ryan in San Diego, California in 1934. Part of Teledyne after 1969, Northrop Grumman purchased Teledyne Ryan in 1999...

 of San Diego, California
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

. His flight took 33.5 hours. The President of France
President of the French Republic
The President of the French Republic colloquially referred to in English as the President of France, is France's elected Head of State....

 bestowed on him the French Legion of Honor and, on his arrival back in the United States, a fleet of warships and aircraft escorted him to Washington, D.C., where President Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

 awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918." The...

.

Sports

The Roaring Twenties was the breakout decade for sports across the modern world. Citizens from all parts of the country flocked to see the top athletes of the day compete in arenas and stadiums. Their exploits were loudly and highly praised in the new "gee whiz" style of sports journalism
Sports journalism
Sports journalism is a form of journalism that reports on sports topics and events.While the sports department within some newspapers has been mockingly called the toy department, because sports journalists do not concern themselves with the 'serious' topics covered by the news desk, sports...

 that was emerging; champions of this style of writing included the legendary writers Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice
Grantland Rice was an early 20th century American sportswriter known for his elegant prose. His writing was published in newspapers around the country and broadcast on the radio.-Biography:...

 and Damon Runyon
Damon Runyon
Alfred Damon Runyon was an American newspaperman and writer.He was best known for his short stories celebrating the world of Broadway in New York City that grew out of the Prohibition era. To New Yorkers of his generation, a "Damon Runyon character" evoked a distinctive social type from the...

 in the U.S. Sports literature presented a new form of heroism departing from the traditional models of masculinity.

High school and junior high schools were offered to play sports that they hadn’t been able to play in the past. Several sports, such as golf, that had previously been unavailable to the middle-class finally became available. Also, a notable motor sports feat was accomplished in Roaring Twenties as driver Henry Seagrave, driving his car the Golden Arrow, reaches at the time in 1929 a record speed of 231.44 mph.

Argentina

Football (soccer) was an important aspect of mass culture in Buenos Aires during the 1920s, serving as a focus of national identity and pride. Sportswriters wrote in terms of the values and achievements of the popular classes. In their discourse nationalist rhetoric was combined with a more traditional emphasis on sportsmanship.

Olympics

Following the 1922 Latin American Games in Rio de Janeiro, IOC officials toured the region, helping countries establish national Olympic committees and prepare for future competition. In some countries, such as Brazil, sporting and political rivalries hindered progress as opposing factions battled for control of international sport. The 1924 Olympic Games in Paris and the 1928 games in Amsterdam saw greatly increased participation from Latin American athletes.

Sports journalism, modernity, and nationalism excited Egypt. Egyptians of all classes were captivated by news of the Egyptian national soccer team's performance in international competitions. Success or failure in the Olympics of 1924 and 1928 was more than a betting opportunity but became an index of Egyptian independence and a desire to be seen as modern by Europe. Egyptians also saw these competitions as a way to distinguish themselves from the traditionalism of the rest of Africa.

Balkans

The Greek government of Eleftherios Venizelos
Eleftherios Venizelos
Eleftherios Venizelos was an eminent Greek revolutionary, a prominent and illustrious statesman as well as a charismatic leader in the early 20th century. Elected several times as Prime Minister of Greece and served from 1910 to 1920 and from 1928 to 1932...

 initiated a number of programs involving physical education in the public schools and raised the profile of sports competition. Other Balkan nations also became more involved in sports and participated in several precursors of the Balkan Games, competing sometimes with Western European teams. The Balkan Games, first held in Athens in 1929 as an experiment, proved a sporting and a diplomatic success. From the beginning, the games, held in Greece through 1933, sought to improve relations among Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, and Albania. As a political and diplomatic event, the games worked in conjunction with an annual Balkan Conference, which resolved issues between these often-feuding nations. The results were quite successful; officials from all countries routinely praised the games' athletes and organizers. During a period of persistent and systematic efforts to create rapprochement and unity in the region, this series of athletic meetings played a key role.

United States

The most popular American athlete of the twenties was baseball player Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth
George Herman Ruth, Jr. , best known as "Babe" Ruth and nicknamed "the Bambino" and "the Sultan of Swat", was an American Major League baseball player from 1914–1935...

. His characteristic home run
Home run
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process...

 hitting heralded a new epoch in the history of the sport (the "Live-ball era
Live-ball era
The live-ball era, also referred to as the lively ball era, is the period in Major League Baseball beginning in , following the dead-ball era. During that year offensive statistics rose dramatically in what would be mistakenly attributed to the introduction of a new "lively" ball...

"), and his high style of living fascinated the nation and made him one of the highest-profile figures of the decade. Fans were enthralled in 1927 when Ruth hit 60 home runs, setting a new single-season home run record that was not broken until 1961. Together with another up-and-coming star named Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig
Henry Louis "Lou" Gehrig , nicknamed "The Iron Horse" for his durability, was an American Major League Baseball first baseman. He played his entire 17-year baseball career for the New York Yankees . Gehrig set several major league records. He holds the record for most career grand slams...

, Ruth laid the foundation of future New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

 dynasties.

A former bar room brawler named Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey
William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey was an American boxer who held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey's aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first...

 won the world heavyweight boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

 title and became the most celebrated pugilist of his time. College football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...

 captivated fans, with notables such as Red Grange
Red Grange
Harold Edward "Red" Grange, nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost", was a college and professional American football halfback for the University of Illinois, the Chicago Bears, and for the short-lived New York Yankees. His signing with the Bears helped legitimize the National Football League...

, running back
Running back
A running back is a gridiron football position, who is typically lined up in the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block.There are usually one or two running...

 of the University of Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a large public research-intensive university in the state of Illinois, United States. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system...

, and Knute Rockne
Knute Rockne
Knute Kenneth Rockne was an American football player and coach. He is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in college football history...

 who coached Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame du Lac is a Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, an unincorporated community north of the city of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States...

's football program to great success on the field and nation-wide notoriety. Grange also played a role in the development of professional football in the mid-1920s by signing on with the NFL
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

's Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

. Bill Tilden
Bill Tilden
William Tatem Tilden II , nicknamed "Big Bill," is often considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. An American tennis player who was the World No. 1 player for seven years, he won 14 Majors including ten Grand Slams and four Pro Slams. Bill Tilden dominated the world of...

 thoroughly dominated his competition in tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, cementing his reputation as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. And Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones (golfer)
Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones Jr. was an American amateur golfer, and a lawyer by profession. Jones was the most successful amateur golfer ever to compete on a national and international level...

 popularized golf
Golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

 with his spectacular successes on the links; the game did not see another major star of his stature come along until Jack Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus
Jack William Nicklaus , nicknamed "The Golden Bear", is an American professional golfer. He won 18 career major championships on the PGA Tour over a span of 25 years and is widely regarded as one of the greatest professional golfers of all time. In addition to his 18 Majors, he was runner-up a...

. Ruth, Dempsey, Grange, Tilden, and Jones are collectively referred to as the "Big Five" sporting icons of the Roaring Twenties.

Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

 ran on a promise to "Return to Normalcy", a term he coined, which reflected three trends of his time: a renewed isolationism
Isolationism
Isolationism is the policy or doctrine of isolating one's country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one's country to its own advancement and remain at peace by...

 in reaction to World War I, a resurgence of nativism
Nativism (politics)
Nativism favors the interests of certain established inhabitants of an area or nation as compared to claims of newcomers or immigrants. It may also include the re-establishment or perpetuation of such individuals or their culture....

, and a turning away from the government activism
Activism
Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

 of the reform era. Throughout his administration, Harding adopted laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

policies. Harding's "Front Porch Campaign" during the late summer and fall of 1920 captured the imagination of the country.

It was the first campaign to be heavily covered by the press and to receive widespread newsreel coverage, and it was also the first modern campaign to use the power of Hollywood and Broadway stars who traveled to Marion
Marion, Ohio
Marion is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Marion County. The municipality is located in north-central Ohio, approximately north of Columbus....

 for photo opportunities with Harding and his wife. Al Jolson
Al Jolson
Al Jolson was an American singer, comedian and actor. In his heyday, he was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer"....

, Lillian Russell
Lillian Russell
Lillian Russell was an American actress and singer. She became one of the most famous actresses and singers of the late 19th century and early 20th century, known for her beauty and style, as well as for her voice and stage presence.Russell was born in Iowa but raised in Chicago...

, Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. was an American actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He was best known for his swashbuckling roles in silent films such as The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood, and The Mark of Zorro....

 and Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford was a Canadian-born motion picture actress, co-founder of the film studio United Artists and one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...

, were among the luminaries to make the pilgrimage to central Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

. Business icons Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

, Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

 and Harvey Firestone
Harvey Firestone
Harvey Samuel Firestone was an American businessman, and the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, one of the first global makers of automobile tires.-Family background:...

 also lent their cachet to the Front Porch Campaign. From the onset of the campaign until the November election, over 600,000 people traveled to Marion to participate.

One of the most significant accomplishments of the Harding Administration was the Washington Naval Conference
Washington Naval Conference
The Washington Naval Conference also called the Washington Arms Conference, was a military conference called by President Warren G. Harding and held in Washington from 12 November 1921 to 6 February 1922. Conducted outside the auspices of the League of Nations, it was attended by nine nations...

 that set limits to military build-up around the world. His administration was plagued with scandals with which he was likely not involved (see Teapot Dome). On the scandals, he commented, "My God, this is a hell of a job!" and, "I have no trouble with my enemies, but my damn friends, they're the ones that keep me walking the floors at night." Harding's presidency was cut short by a sudden heart attack which some historians believe was caused by the stress of his scandals.

Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

 was inaugurated as president after the death of President Harding. He was easily elected in 1924 when he ran on a basis of order and prosperity. Coolidge made use of the new medium of radio and made radio history
History of radio
The early history of radio is the history of technology that produced radio instruments that use radio waves. Within the timeline of radio, many people contributed theory and inventions in what became radio. Radio development began as "wireless telegraphy"...

 several times while president: his inauguration was the first presidential inauguration broadcast on radio; on 12 February 1924, he became the first President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 to deliver a political speech on radio, and only ten days thereafter, on 22 February, he also became the first to deliver such a speech from the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. He is famous for his quotation "The chief business of the American people is business". Coolidge continued Harding's laissez-faire politics. In foreign policy, he preferred isolationism
Isolationism
Isolationism is the policy or doctrine of isolating one's country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one's country to its own advancement and remain at peace by...

 but did sign the Kellog-Briand Pact as a way to prevent future wars.

Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

 was the final president of the 1920s, taking office in 1929. He stated in 1928, "We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

 than ever before in the history of any land." Hoover signed the controversial Smoot-Hawley Tariff into law and was forced to deal with the consequences of the Wall Street Crash of 1929
Wall Street Crash of 1929
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 , also known as the Great Crash, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout...


Decline of labor unions

Unions grew very rapidly during the war but after a series of failed major strikes in steel, meatpacking and other industries, a long decade of decline weakened most unions and membership fell even as employment grew rapidly. Radical unionism
Unionism
-Trades:*Community Unionism, describes the various ways in which trade unions can work with communities and community organizations*Craft unionism, an approach to union organizing in the United States and elsewhere that seeks to unify workers in a particular industry along the lines of the...

 virtually collapsed, in large part because of Federal repression during World War I by means of the Espionage Act of 1917
Espionage Act of 1917
The Espionage Act of 1917 is a United States federal law passed on June 15, 1917, shortly after the U.S. entry into World War I. It has been amended numerous times over the years. It was originally found in Title 50 of the U.S. Code but is now found under Title 18, Crime...

 and the Sedition Act of 1918
Sedition Act of 1918
The Sedition Act of 1918 was an Act of the United States Congress that extended the Espionage Act of 1917 to cover a broader range of offenses, notably speech and the expression of opinion that cast the government or the war effort in a negative light or interfered with the sale of government bonds...

. The major unions supported the third party candidacy of Robert La Follette
Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Robert Marion "Fighting Bob" La Follette, Sr. , was an American Republican politician. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was the Governor of Wisconsin, and was also a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin...

 in 1924.

Progressivism in 1920s

The politics of the 1920s was unfriendly toward the labor unions and liberal crusaders against business, so many if not historians who emphasize those themes write off the decade. Urban cosmopolitan scholars recoiled at the moralism of prohibition and the intolerance of the nativists of the KKK, and denounced the era. Richard Hofstadter
Richard Hofstadter
Richard Hofstadter was an American public intellectual of the 1950s, a historian and DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University...

, for example, in 1955 wrote that prohibition, "was a pseudo-reform, a pinched, parochial substitute for reform" that "was carried about America by the rural-evangelical virus". However as Arthur S. Link
Arthur S. Link
Arthur S. Link was a leading American historian and a scholarly authority on Woodrow Wilson.-Biography:Born in New Market, Virginia, to a German Lutheran family, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received a B.A. in 1941 and a Ph.D. in 1945...

 emphasized, the progressives did not simply roll over and play dead. Link's argument for continuity through the twenties stimulated a historiography that found Progressivism to be a potent force. Palmer, pointing to people like George Norris, say, "It is worth noting that progressivism, whilst temporarily losing the political initiative, remained popular in many western states and made its presence felt in Washington during both the Harding and Coolidge presidencies." Gerster and Cords argue that, "Since progressivism was a 'spirit' or an 'enthusiasm' rather than an easily definable force with common goals, it seems more accurate to argue that it produced a climate for reform which lasted well into the 1920s, if not beyond." Even the Klan has been seen in a new light, as numerous social historians reported that Klansmen were "ordinary white Protestants" primarily interested in purification of the system, which had long been a core progressive goal.

Business Progressivism

What historians have identified as "business progressivism", with its emphasis on efficiency and typified by Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

 and Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

 reached an apogee in the 1920s. Wik, for example, argues that Ford's "views on technology and the mechanization of rural America were generally enlightened, progressive, and often far ahead of his times."

Tindall stresses the continuing importance of the Progressive movement in the South in the 1920s involving increased democracy, efficient government, corporate regulation, social justice, and governmental public service. William Link finds political progressivism dominant in most of the South in the 1920s. Likewise it was influential in Midwest.

Historians of women and of youth emphasize the strength of the progressive impulse in the 1920s. Women consolidated their gains after the success of the suffrage movement, and moved into causes such as world peace, good government, maternal care (the Sheppard–Towner Act
Sheppard–Towner Act
The Sheppard–Towner Maternity and Infancy Protection Act of 1921 was a U.S. Act of Congress providing federal funding for maternity and child care. It was sponsored by Senator Morris Sheppard of Texas and Representative Horace Mann Towner of Iowa, and signed by President Warren G...

 of 1921), and local support for education and public health. The work was not nearly as dramatic as the suffrage crusade, but women voted and operated quietly and effectively. Paul Fass, speaking of youth, says "Progressivism as an angle of vision, as an optimistic approach to social problems, was very much alive." The international influences which had sparked a great many reform ideas likewise continued into the 1920s, as American ideas of modernity began to influence Europe.

There is general agreement that that the Progressive era was over by 1932, especially since a majority of the remaining progressives opposed the New Deal.

Canadian politics

Canadian politics were dominated federally by the Liberal Party of Canada
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada , colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federally registered party in Canada. In the conventional political spectrum, the party sits between the centre and the centre-left. Historically the Liberal Party has positioned itself to the left of the Conservative...

 under William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King, PC, OM, CMG was the dominant Canadian political leader from the 1920s through the 1940s. He served as the tenth Prime Minister of Canada from December 29, 1921 to June 28, 1926; from September 25, 1926 to August 7, 1930; and from October 23, 1935 to November 15, 1948...

. The federal government spent most of the decade disengaged from the economy and focused on paying off the large debts amassed during the war and during the era of railway over expansion. After the booming wheat economy of the early part of the century, the prairie provinces
Canadian Prairies
The Canadian Prairies is a region of Canada, specifically in western Canada, which may correspond to several different definitions, natural or political. Notably, the Prairie provinces or simply the Prairies comprise the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, as they are largely covered...

 were troubled by low wheat prices. This played an important role in the development of Canada's first highly successful third party, the Progressive Party of Canada
Progressive Party of Canada
The Progressive Party of Canada was a political party in Canada in the 1920s and 1930s. It was linked with the provincial United Farmers parties in several provinces and, in Manitoba, ran candidates and formed governments as the Progressive Party of Manitoba...

 that won the second most seats in the 1921 national election
Canadian federal election, 1921
The Canadian federal election of 1921 was held on December 6, 1921 to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 14th Parliament of Canada. The Union government that had governed Canada through the First World War was defeated, and replaced by a Liberal government under the young leader...

. As well with the creation of the Balfour Declaration of 1926 Canada achieved with other British former colonies autonomy; creating the British Commonwealth.

Black Tuesday

The Dow Jones Industrial Stock Index
Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Dow Jones Industrial Average , also called the Industrial Average, the Dow Jones, the Dow 30, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index, and one of several indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow...

 had continued its upward move for weeks, and coupled with heightened speculative
Speculation
In finance, speculation is a financial action that does not promise safety of the initial investment along with the return on the principal sum...

 activities, it gave an illusion that the bull market of 1928 to 1929 would last forever. On October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday
Wall Street Crash of 1929
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 , also known as the Great Crash, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout...

, stock prices on Wall Street
Wall Street
Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

 collapsed. The events in the United States added to a worldwide depression
Depression (economics)
In economics, a depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe downturn than a recession, which is seen by some economists as part of the modern business cycle....

, later called the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, that put millions of people out of work across the world throughout the 1930s.

Repeal of Prohibition

The 21st Amendment
Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which had mandated nationwide Prohibition...

, which repealed the 18th Amendment
Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Eighteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution established Prohibition in the United States. The separate Volstead Act set down methods of enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment, and defined which "intoxicating liquors" were prohibited, and which were excluded from prohibition...

, was proposed on February 20, 1933. The choice to legalize alcohol was left up to the states, and many states quickly took this opportunity to allow alcohol.

Europe

  • Archer-Straw, Petrine. Negrophilia: Avant-Garde Paris and Black Culture in the 1920s (2000).
  • Berliner, Brett A. Ambivalent Desire: The Exotic Black Other in Jazz-Age France (2002)
  • Brockmann, Stephen, and Thomas W. Kniesche, eds. Dancing on the Volcano: Essays on the Culture of the Weimar Republic (1994)
  • Guerin, Frances. Culture of Light: Cinema and Technology in 1920s Germany (2005)
  • Jones, Andrew F. Yellow Music: Media Culture & Colonial Modernity in the Chinese Jazz Age (2001)
  • Rippey, Theodore F. "Rationalisation, Race, and the Weimar Response to Jazz", German Life and Letters", Jan 2007, Vol. 60 Issue 1, pp 75-97,
  • Schloesser, Stephen. Jazz Age Catholicism: Mystic Modernism in Postwar Paris 1919–1933 (2005)
  • Taylor, D. J. Bright Young People: The Lost Generation of London's Jazz Age (2009)

United States

  • Allen, Frederick Lewis. Only Yesterday:An Informal History of the Nineteen-Twenties. (1931), the first and still the most widely read survey of the era, complete text online free.
  • Best, Gary Dean. The Dollar Decade: Mammon and the Machine in 1920s America. (2003).
  • Cohen, Lizabeth. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919–1939 (1990)
  • Cohen, Lizabeth. "Encountering Mass Culture at the Grassroots: The Experience of Chicago Workers in the 1920s", American Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Mar., 1989), pp. 6–33. in JSTOR
  • Conor, Liz. The Spectacular Modern Woman: Feminine Visibility in the 1920s. (2004). 329pp.).
  • Cowley, Malcolm. Exile's Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s. (1934) online 1999 edition
  • Dumenil, Lynn. The Modern Temper: American Culture and Society in the 1920s. 1995
  • Fass, Paula. The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s. 1977.
  • Hicks, John D. Republican Ascendancy, 1921–1933. (1960) political and economic survey
  • Huggins, Nathan Irvin. Harlem Renaissance. (1971).
  • Kallen, Stuart A. The Roaring Twenties (2001) ISBN 0-7377-0885-9
  • Kyvig, David E.; Daily Life in the United States, 1920–1939: Decades of Promise and Pain, 2002 online edition
  • Leuchtenburg, William E. The Perils of Prosperity, 1914–1932 (1958), influential survey by scholar
  • Lynd, Robert S., and Helen Merrell Lynd. Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture. (1929); highly influential sociological study of Muncie, Indiana
  • Marsden, George M. Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism, 1870–1925 (1980)
  • Noggle, Burl. Into the Twenties: The United States from Armistice to Normalcy. (1974).
  • Scharf, Lois, and Joan M. Jensen, eds. The American Housewife between the Wars. Decades of Discontent: The Women's Movement, 1920–1940. (1983).
  • Stricker, Frank. "Afluence for Whom? Another Look at Prosperity and the Working Classes in the 1920s", Labor History 24#1 (1983): 5-33
  • Soule, George. Prosperity Decade: From War to Depression: 1917–1929 (1947), comprehensive economic history
  • Starr, Kevin. Material Dreams: Southern California through the 1920s. (1996) online edition
  • Tindall, George Brown. The Emergence of the New South, 1913–1945 (1967) comprehensive regional history

External links

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