Why Were the 1920s Called the "Jazz Age?"

Also known as the Golden Twenties and the Roaring Twenties, the Jazz Age was marked by a strong cultural movement toward Jazz music, dances and clothing styles that were considered risqué by previous generations. Jazz music was considered more sensual than other types of music and inspired dances such as the "One Step" and "Black Bottom."

Although the increase in popularity of Jazz music in the '20s is generally attributed to African-Americans, Caucasians, as well as African-Americans were at the root of the movement. The cultural shift that occurred during this decade is most often attributed to the blending of African-American traditions and Caucasian middle-class ideals. The era was also preceded by the Great War, which destroyed many old social conventions, leaving the way wide open for new ones to be developed.

Famous Jazz musicians of the time period include Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and Benny Goodman. Several female artists were also prominent such as Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday, which served to pave the way for future female artists.

The Jazz Age continued up to the Great Depression. During this time, many Americans migrated toward cities such as Chicago and New York City due to the fast-paced living that occurred there.