We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

The “Roaring twenties” in US History

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

The “Roaring twenties” was a time when many people defied prohibition, indulged in new styles of dancing and dressing, and rejected many traditional moral standards. The United States had developed a surging economy which created an era of mass consumerism. The almost instant urge to create a life of lavish supported by the new and seemingly perfect idea of credit lead to debt and recessions. The 20s was a decade of change, when many Americans owned cars, radios, and telephones for the first time. As Jazz-Age flappers flouted, prohibition laws and the Harlem Renaissance redefined arts and culture. The beginning of this new decade began with the last American troops returning from Europe after World War I. They were coming back to their families, friends, and jobs. Most of the soldiers had never been far from home before the war, and their experiences had changed their perspective of life around them. After seeing Europe, they wanted some of the finer things in life for themselves and their families. Aviation represented another area where lifestyle changes were rapidly improving which, in turn, made ordinary people believe they can also accomplish great things. This gave everyone a feeling of hope and optimism.

As optimistic and refreshing as the 20s sounded, the decade also represented the worst of times. In 1921 a revival of the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) took place. The KKK was targeting Catholics, blacks, and Jews with its terrorism. Social changes in the 1920s led to a major religious revival among conservative Christians. They did not like the influence of cinema and jazz, or the new way in which women dressed and behaved. The rebirth of christianity also aided in the rebirth of the KKK. The era marked by social experimentation, prohibition, a new morality, nativism, and drastic social change witnessed the rise of America’s most notorious homegrown brand of fascism. The KKK was bread on christianity and those who were not white christians, were seen as the enemy. The similarities and direct connections between religion and the Klan were anything but imagined. Following the idea of conservative small minded christians, the Scopes Monkey trial was born. After Charles Darwin had proposed his theory that humans and apes had shared a common ancestor, in 1925 the Tennessee legislature passed the butler law which forbade the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution in any public school or university. Although some progressive and urban churches had been able to accept Darwin’s theory, most rural preachers preferred a stricter interpretation. Amid the dizzying changes brought by the roaring decade, religious fundamentalists saw the Bible as the only salvation from a materialistic civilization in decline. John T. Scopes, a science teacher, challenged the butler law and was soon arrested. During his trial, the jury sided with the law. Scopes was in violation of Tennessee statute by teaching that humans evolved from apes. He was fined $100 and released. But the battle that played out before the nation proved a victory for supporters of evolutionary theory. A later court dismissed the fine imposed on Scopes, though in the short term, the anti evolution law was upheld. This showed a promising light of progressivism and had renaissance esc feels to it. This goes to show how religion still played a role in the government and the minds of society.

The United States throughout history has always been a place where those seeking religious freedom have come too. Between 1880 and 1920, a time of rapid industrialization and urbanization, America received more than 20 million immigrants. By 1920 more than 4 million had entered the United States. Jews from Eastern Europe fleeing religious persecution also arrived in large numbers. Immigrants in bustling cities tended to congregate together with their community. Immigrants, many speaking little or no English, settled together within their close-knit communities, often creating and establishing their own ethnic shops, markets, banks, and even radio stations. The U.S did however create the 1924 Immigration Act. This included a provision excluding from entry any alien who by virtue of race or nationality was ineligible for citizenship. The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota provided immigration visas to two percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 national census. It completely excluded immigrants from Asia.

Many of the patterns that were formed from migration were influenced by African Americans. The “Great Migration” was the mass movement of African Americans moving from the south to the north. Although staying in their own country, they had migrated for new opportunities that seemed more possible in the north, much like what most immigrants did.

Throughout many eras, the restriction of alcohol has tried to been enforced to reduce crime and prevent unnecessary deaths and injury via being drunk. National prohibition of alcohol was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America in the 20’s. The results of the prohibition failed miserably on all accounts. Although consumption of alcohol fell at the beginning of Prohibition, it ironically increased as the decade progressed. Alcohol became more dangerous to consume and crime increased and became planned and organized. One of the most profound effects of Prohibition was on government tax revenues. Before Prohibition, many states relied heavily on excise taxes in liquor sales to fund their budgets. In New York, almost 75% of the state’s revenue was derived from liquor taxes. With Prohibition in effect, that revenue was immediately lost. At the national level, Prohibition cost the federal government a total of $11 billion in lost tax revenue, while costing over $300 million to enforce. The most lasting consequence was that many states and the federal government would come to rely on income tax revenue to fund their budgets going forward.

Ultimately, the 20s were a time or exploring a new type of world and experiencing the thrills of living. They were an age of dramatic social and political change. For the first time, more Americans lived in cities than on farms. It was the decade where the mindset of people were changing. From women gaining the right to vote, to jazz being discovered, and to the harlem renaissance, the 20s helped shaped the world into what it is today.

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59