What Happened During the Roaring Twenties?


Quick Answer

Mass culture, consumerism, jazz and Prohibition all occurred during the Roaring Twenties. The American economy began to prosper in the 1920s, becoming strong enough that many Americans had extra money to spend. This led to consumerism and mass culture. For the first time in American history, people were able to buy the same goods and listen to the same music throughout the entire nation, thanks to industry and radio.

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Full Answer

One of the musical genres that made an impact on America's youth and young adults was jazz. The Roaring Twenties started the jazz age with the improvisation, saxophones and other instruments characteristic of the genre. Women changed as well, cutting their hair, shortening their skirts, and smoking and drinking just like the men. Although the 1920s marked an age of enlightenment for some, conflict underscored the era. Not all Americans appreciated the ways in which America was changing, considering the new culture vulgar and depraved.

These voices managed to help pass Prohibition, in which the government banned all alcohol and intoxicating liquors. However, this merely encouraged the underground production and selling of liquor. Another conflict appeared in the form of the migration of African-Americans from the countryside in the South to cities in the North for work. Many participated in the jazz age and Harlem Renaissance, a period in history marking the education and literary movement of African-Americans. In retaliation, many others joined the Ku Klux Klan to re-establish the old America.

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