Download Homework for The Roaring Twenties

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Homework for The Roaring Twenties
*You should have this direction page with a section for notes below, and an article to read, attached.*
1. Read the attached article carefully and, in the margins or spaces of your paper, paraphrase every two or three
2. Then, once you finish, write down, on the spaces below, what you consider five of the most important ideas to take out of
your aspect of the roaring twenties. You should teach the class about this aspect, so ensure you write specific information down
for you to recall.
My Aspect of the Roaring Twenties: ________________________________________________
Top Five Facts About the Roaring Twenties
1. ____________________________________________________________________________________________
2. ____________________________________________________________________________________________
3. ____________________________________________________________________________________________
4. ____________________________________________________________________________________________
5. ____________________________________________________________________________________________
The Economy of the Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties is traditionally viewed as an era of great economic prosperity driven by the introduction of
a wide array of new consumer goods. The North American economy, particularly the economy of the US, transitioned from a
wartime economy to a peacetime economy and finances subsequently boomed. The United States augmented its standing as the
richest country in the world, its industry aligned to mass production, and its society acculturated into consumerism. In spite of
the social, economic and technological advances, though, African Americans, recent immigrants and farmers—along with a
large part of the working class population—were not much affected by this period. In fact, millions of people lived below the
poverty line of US $2,000 per year per family.
At the end of World War I, soldiers returned to the United States and Canada with money in their pockets and many new
products on the market on which to spend it. At first, the recession of wartime production caused a brief but deep recession,
known as the Post-WWI recession. Quickly, however, the U.S. and Canadian economies rebounded as returning soldiers reentered the labor force and factories were retooled to produce consumer goods.
Because so many soldiers began working again and factories created so many products, a new class of Americans
formed, called the Nouveau riche (French for "new rich"), or new money. This term refers to a person who has acquired
considerable wealth within his or her generation. It is generally to emphasize that the individual was previously part of a lower
socioeconomic rank, and that such wealth has provided the means for the acquisition of goods or luxuries that were previously
unobtainable. The term highlighted the stark contrast to the usual upper-class description—the ‘Old rich,’ or those who were
born into money. Because soldiers and other working class men seized opportunities to better jobs and money savings, more and
more men began entering the nouveau riche group.
Because so many more people could afford innovative
products, as a result of this nouveau riche class, mass production
made technology affordable to the upper and middle class. Many
of the devices that became commonplace had been developed
before the war but had been unaffordable to most people. The
automobile, movie, radio, and chemical industries skyrocketed
during the 1920s. Of chief importance was the automobile
industry. Before the war, cars were a luxury. In the 1920s, massproduced vehicles became common throughout the U.S. and
Canada. By 1927, Henry Ford had sold 15 million Model Ts. Only
about 300,000 vehicles were registered in 1918 in all of Canada,
but by 1929, there were 1.9 million. The automobile industry's
effects were widespread, contributing to such disparate economic
pursuits as gas stations, motels, and the oil industry.
Radio became the first mass broadcasting medium. Radios were affordable, and their mode of entertainment proved
revolutionary. Radio became the grandstand for mass marketing. Its economic importance led to the mass culture that has
dominated society since. During the "golden age of radio", radio programming was as varied as TV programming today. The
1927 establishment of the Federal Radio Commission introduced a new era of regulation.
Advertisement reels, shown before early films, augmented the already booming mass market. The "golden age of film",
during the 1930s and 1940s, evolved from its humble 1900s origins of short, silent films. Like radio, film was a medium for the
masses. Watching a film was cheap compared to other forms of entertainment, and it was accessible to factory and other bluecollar workers.
Since corporations and advertisers began catering to this nouveau riche class either through automobiles, radio, or other
types of recreation, those born into money—or who somehow had money throughout their lives—began to resent this nouveau
riche class and, thus, a subtle class war developed. Such generational tycoons classified as ‘the old riche,’ used ‘nouveau riche,’
in a derogatory fashion, for the purposes of social class distinction, to describe persons with newfound wealth and who are
viewed as lacking the experience or finesse. Veterans of wealth accused the nouveau riche of 'Conspicuous consumption' and
immature or irresponsible use of America’s money. They complained about playing the role of ‘big brother’ to the nouveau
riche, ones that must listen and give advice to the nouveau riche problems concerning money and adapting to the world.