Contextual Analysis: The Roaring 20s

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1844 Words
Date:  2022-12-22


The roaring 20s was the decade in 1920s which saw an unprecedented change in interests, moral standards and popular culture in the United States. The simultaneous change in new technologies like an electric washing machine, radio, automobile, and the original factory machinery which resulted in a more efficient production was experienced during the period of roaring 20s. The widespread of increased technology in the production area resulted in increased wages among employees and reduced there working time. Therefore Americans became increasingly interested in athletic events, music and dancing and also movie production. In summary, the new and existing popular culture in the 1920s was a result of the boom of the new consumer ideology and technologies and modern manufacturing from the younger generation (Lusted 2014).

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For the first time, many Americans started living in cities than on farms. The total wealth of the American nation doubled significantly between 1920 and 1929, and as a result, many Americans were swept into an affluent but unfamiliar consumer society. Because of the increased advertisements, people from coast to coast bought similar goods, and they did the same dances as they listen to the same music. As a result, many Americans were uncomfortable with the new urban or racy mass culture for most people in the United States which in the 1920s it resulted in more conflict than celebration. Thus, encouraging for the handful of youths in the big cities in a nation. The 1920s were roaring indeed (Carnes & Garraty 2015).

Thesis: the given the core characteristics of the roaring 20s, Hagen's carelessness might seem astonishing to the contemporary audience, yet it was not surprising.

Distributive question: what are the core characteristics of the Roaring Twenties that are relevant to Hagen's game?


The primary evidence was that by 1925, a thousand of speakeasy clubs were operating out of the New York City and the bootlegging operations emerged around the country to supply citizens who were thirsty with alcoholic drinks (Okrent, 2010). The speakeasies often featured the jazz bands are playing within their walls while the flappers danced the night away to the tune of the 20s. Indicating the secondary evidence of consumerism in the roaring 20s (Jen & Ceyanna 2010).

The United States shifted from a wartime economy to a peacetime economy after World War 1. The U.S moved to a consumerism nation from the producer-oriented country; in other words, .it means that the market started producing items desired by the consumer. As compared to the past where only what was needed was provided without no surplus, however, the expansion of the market was encouraged during the 1920s after the World War 1.the formation of the consumerism was made possible by the factors such as advertising industry. Due to advertising, different products were promoted that appealed to the eyes of the consumers and as a result, the selling of those products increased with more production leading to the flourishing of the economy of the U.S during the roaring 20s (Schaeffer 2010).

The shift to consumerism was also caused by factors like advancement in industrialization, changes in national demographics, transportation, manufacturing, and communication. The new forms of technology also impacted consumerism a lot. The rapid growth in stock prices and the increasing consumption of the stock was termed as the bull market. Also, people began to buy on the market which was known as the margin system of purchasing stock in which the buyer paid less percentage of the purchase while the broker advances the rest. It led to the overall boom in the stock market with a very successful but unstable economy.

Economic Prosperity

The primary evidence of commercial success was in 1917 where the American Medical Association which was supporting prohibition claimed that there was no need to use alcohol as a therapeutic remedy of whichever kind. Then the realization came to them as a result of the gap that there was some opportunity to make money (Okrent, 2010). The secondary evidence comes in whereby the owners started acting as the doormen to the speakeasies; they accepted passwords to enter within the walls of the hidden bar and therefore got money as a profit for their effort.

During the 1920s, the economy grew by 42%, and the mass production spread the new consumer goods into each household. Because the World War 1 destroyed Europe mostly, the United States produced almost half of the world's output. The United States was able to transform into a free market economy from the traditional market economy. The average income of every individual increased from $ 6,460 to $ 8, 016 even though the prosperity in wage increase was not distributed evenly. (Carnes & Garraty 2015)

The U.S economic prosperity increased as the production of consumer goods rose in the 1920s. Things like refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and washing machines became everyday household items. During that period, over 50% of the families bought radios, and by 1922, radio broadcast stations increased, and everything from music to weather reports to the news was broadcasted.

The auto industry also expanded, which resulted in economic prosperity. The expansion of the auto industry occurred in the economic benefit for all Americans. The government builts new bridges, roads, and traffic lights worth shillings $1 billion in response to the expansion of the auto industry. Also, there were introduction of restaurants, motels and gas stations which was to serve drivers who covered long distances. The insurance industries added high protection of the vehicles and their owners. Lastly, the benefit was also to the bank when they could lend to the car owners.

Traditionalism vs. Modernism

The primary evidence for the characteristics was revealed where the alcoholic miasma which was enveloping much of the nation in the 19th century inspired a men and women movement who then created a template of political activism which was still being followed a century later (Okrent, 2010). The resultant secondary evidence was the establishment of the constitution by the government which will be maintained for almost 131 years will exist according to the views of the world (Okrent, 2010).

Therefore, the traditionalist who was the old people wanted to live the simple life having a wife and kids and most preferably farming. Modernist, on the other hand, were the young people who wished to more excitement in life. Thus the flappers or women who were wearing short dresses and dancing existed. Since traditionalist respected profoundly cultural and religious values, the modernists were focusing on new ideas, social trends, and styles.

In 1920s America became deeply divided because of the clash between the traditionalists and modernists. The defenders of traditional morality supported prohibition. Still, the modernism was at the core of the movement of the youths and challenged the traditionalism. Therefore the modernist movement lived in urban and fast-paced cities while the anti-modernists lived in small communities, villages, and farms.


American entered the distinctive 1920s which was an era of Republican leadership fundamentalist's movement, nationalistic and the changing social conventions. It was as a result of the end of World War 1 and also the passage of the eighteenth amendment. The American public enjoyed unlimited prosperity during that period because they were electing Republican presidents who favored expansion of the businesses rather than the regulations.

Primary evidence of politics indicated that the prohibition became the known sort of political football that people from both sides would use as they try to struggle to get it towards their goal and it was the control of the country (Okrent, 2010). The secondary evidence showed that the pro-prohibition people were out organizing and marching as they vote while anti-prohibition was busy drinking deciding to do any of those things which pro-prohibition people were doing (Okrent, 2010).

During the 1920s, the three Republicans occupied the white house; the Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge and Warren G. Harding. As a result, the American nation turned away from the moral vision of Wilson's wartime leadership and also from the reforming zeal of Progressive Era towards the government who opposed federal regulations and encouraged the expansion of businesses as one of its economic policies.

Technological Innovations

The eighteenth amendment which was addressing the single subject of intoxicating beverages set off a pace of change in areas such as international trade, tourism practices, soft drink, marketing speedboat design, and English language indicated primary evidence of the technological innovation (Okrent, 2010, p. 38). On the other hand, the secondary evidence illustrated that the Manhattans 21 club was the most secure club with safety switches which summed up to four that could be used during a raid to cut the access to all the doors that contained alcohol (Jen & Ceyanna 2010, p. 44).

After World War 1 had given birth to a new age of consumerism and affluence in the 1920s, it is of importance to consider inventions and innovations which took place during that period. Therefore some designs included;

Discovery of Penicillin

The advancement in medical science was done by Fredrick Grant Banting, who invents the process of using insulin for the treatment of diabetes in 1922 (Lusted, 2014). Also, penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming's. The two indicates the greatest invention in medical history during the roaring 20s.

Bubble Gum and Food Technology

Walter Diemer invented the first bubble gum which was less sticky than the previous types of chewing gum which kept children's jaws busy in 1928. On the other hand, Wilson Gunn is working on the food technology industry and helps in patenting different types of chewing gum. Birdseye also invented a lot in the food technology which included the pop-up toaster and even the introduction of the frozen foods.

Therefore the invention of the 1920s are the promises to a positive attitude after the war and showing the hard work that went into making the twenties such a great decade. Thus from the innovations, there are still hopes that the 2020s can still produce the same level of changes.


In conclusion, the 1920s was a time of continued sexual tension and racial tension as a result of the subjugation of some groups, but also it was a time of relative societal change, economic prosperity, and political stability. The economy during the decade was relatively prosperous as there was a boom in the manufacturing sector and technological sector. The economics of America transformed because Americans became more devoted to collecting material goods leading to a mass consumer society that America is today.

The roaring 20s sawed the birth of the new national awareness for African American people. Harlem Renaissance then proved that African Americans were also increasingly talented and will not be silent until they are also considered equally. Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, and Louis Armstrong who were incredibly gifted African American made their debut into the artistic world.

Women also found a sense of self during the roaring 20s. Even though they lost their manufacturing jobs from World War 1, these women especially young ones knew that they were capable and broke away from the traditional gender roles as was shown in the flapper girls. Generally, the roaring 20s saw the societal and economic change as the Americans became more interconnected with the new technologies, and thus they dedicated their money to more self-gratifying leisure activities and goods (Sch...

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Contextual Analysis: The Roaring 20s. (2022, Dec 22). Retrieved from

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