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Explain the key features of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ in American during the 1920s

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Explain the key features of the 'Roaring Twenties' in American during the 1920s During the 1920's America went through an important social and economical change. They were enjoying a 'boom' which is a time of prosperity and there were many key features that gave the 'Roaring Twenties' their historical character. These were the production line, the new music and media scene and family life ( the role of women in society in particular ). These key features modernised the way and attitudes of living that we share today. One feature of the 'Roaring Twenties' was that America's cities were growing due to an increase in population and development. The increased population was caused by urban migration. America was viewed as the 'Land of opportunity' and many people were migrating there in the hopes of getting a second chance in a better standard of living. People were migrating to the cities because of the appeal and image that was built around the new skyscrapers. Skyscrapers were being built which gave much more space than ever before for offices as the area was built up in levels rather than being spread out. The skyscrapers also added to the symbolisation of the cities being the power and strength of America. ...read more.


These new electrical appliances gave families more time and money to spend on leisure activities and entertainment, but there was a reason why consumerism increased in the 1920's. The industry that increased the consumerism in America was the advertising industry. Closely linked with the entertainment industry, adverts were being put up on posters, in newspapers, in magazines, on the radio and especially in the cinemas. They manipulated people into buying their products and making the consumers want and think they needed the product. The commercial advertising industry would pay to have their product promoted this way and as you can see by today's advertising industry, it worked ! So now with all this spare time and money to spend, the Americans began to spend more money the entertainment industries such as film, music and dancing. In the 1920s the film industry kicked off. Hollywood as we know it today was developing outside of Los Angeles and actors such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton kept people rolling with laughter in the aisles. Although the first film with sound was later in 1927, the film industry became a multi-billionaire industry selling 100 million tickets each week! Advertising companies used films as a way of selling their product to the young or impressionable audience of the cinema. ...read more.


In many cases this actually gave the woman even more free time as she could spend less time doing the washing and more time working, or dancing. Politically, women were also making a stand, although not quite a radical one. Women's votes were valued by the government but they were still thought to be unelectable and not desired as political candidates. Only a handful had been elected by 1929 but many of them had a high public standing such as Eleanor Roosevelt. The role of women lead to much controversy as already mentioned but some started to blame the morality of the cities for it. Many of those who lived in the country thought the cities to be full of sex, crime and lack of religion. They thought that the film industry had publicly influenced sex and crime through it's new and radical films which pictured men half naked and were more often than not about gangsters and love stories. The problem was that these films were what sold 100 million tickets each week (the equivalent of a whole years tickets today in Britain). The once taboo subject of sex was being virtually sold across the films, the first 'It' girl Clara Bow and Rudolph Valentino ( who appeared half naked in 1921s 'The Sheik') were thought to be influencing the young minds. ...read more.

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