Feature

Life in the 1920’s vs the 2020’s

   100 years ago, America was still recovering from the conclusion of World War I, and society was changing dramatically. Telegraphs were popularly used, alcohol was deemed illegal, women officially got the right to vote, flappers were at their peak of excitement, and the start of the Great Depression in 1929 changed the future of America. A lot has changed from the 1920’s, but aspects from the decade are visible in today’s society. 

   Even in the 1920’s, pop culture was vibrant, as the “Jazz Age” was in full effect. America’s younger population embraced this new trend as their own. With prohibition concurring with this, the combination of two led to the establishment of illegal bars named speakeasies. These bars were popular meet up places for people to have fun and engage in activities such a dancing, drinking, and socializing, many times accompanied by a jazz band. Now, pop culture is heavily influenced by social media, and new trends change rapidly with these bases for widespread communication. The 1920’s brought the first commercial radio station, which was one of the most fundamental innovations for the development of communications in the history of the United States. Radio stations meant that news could be transmitted to populations everywhere across the country. The first television was also invented in the decade, and it is still one of the most popular items of technology and communications. 

   In the 1920’s many big political events occurred, and one of the most prominent was women gaining the right to vote. This was achieved after a long women’s suffrage movement that united many women to protest their lack of rights. This aspect of the 1920’s is still impactful in the 2020’s, as feminists today strive for things such as equal pay, reproductive rights, and protection against domestic violence. World War I ended soon before the start of the 1920’s, the United States was in a situation that propelled them to become the industrial leader of the world. Even though America was in a prime economic position, 1929 brought the Great Depression. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 lost money for millions of investors and the next ten years would be economically detrimental to many citizens, putting many families in debt. Another political event was the Teapot Dome, which was when members of President Harding’s administration in need of money sold rights to federal oil reserves to private oil companies. As a result, Harding’s Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall, ended up going to prison.

   A lot has happened in the last 100 years, with many advancements propelling America to become one of the most developed countries in the world. A lot can change in 100 years, and only the future will tell what the next 100 years hold.

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