The Roaring 20’s
May 26, 2013
So what made the 1920’s roar? The “Roaring Twenties” pretty much had it all. During this decade, prosperity, technology, and culture rained fluent. People were buying, buying, buying, and the investors were making profits, profits, profits. In the meantime, the standard of living was becoming a lot better for the urban and working class people. But it wasn’t all peaches and cream for everyone—a large portion of the people in agricultural continued to suffer an extended depression.
Let’s go back to the beginning. After World War I, there was a bit of a challenge adjusting back to peacetime. Labor unions had grown strong, and were fighting to keep that power. They fought for that power in the form of strikes. The largest of those strikes were the General Strike in Seattle, and the American steel . They came very close to all-out class warfare. Thru the threat of violence the workers were forced to return to work which put an end to the strikes. From the mess of the labor unions, there was a short recession, which brought unemployment up to exceed 11 percent in 1920-1921. Fortunately Herbert Hoover, Commerce Secretary at the time, encouraged industrial leaders to raise wages and production to help pull the economy back up.
The 1920’s was a great time to be rich. Mass production was made a whole lot easier with the new technologies of electricity and the assembly line production. The investment opportunities were skyrocketing, and so was the Dow Jones. Maybe this is where the old saying “the rich get richer” comes from. Anyway, the rich were not the only ones that were profiting. The urban and middle class were making their way as well with wages increasing by about 20 per cent. Because of the assembly line techniques, the cost of all these new-fangled products were being reduced so that anyone could buy, buy, buy. So it wasn’t too bad to be middle class either .
Unfortunately not everyone gained and prospered. Almost half of the population lived on the farms and depended on their crops to survive. This wasn’t an easy task. The demand for the farmer’s products had diminished greatly at the Wars end, and they were left with a lot of product, and not enough buyers. Farmers that had taken out loans to expand on their land, and bought new machines, were now looking at foreclosures. Quite a big difference between the cities and the country, and this divide brought resentments to life .