"Was Gangsterism the most important problem in America in the 1920s?"

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“Gangsterism was the most important problem in America in the 1920s”

Gangsterism was not the most important problem in the 1920s, as there were other ongoing problems at the same however some were and weren’t as significant as gangsterism. 1920s in America can be seen as a good thing as well as a bad time for others. It can be seen as a good time because during the 1920s there was an economic boom, or known as the age of consumerism; where many Americans bought cars, radios, fridges etc.  In addition the 1920s was the start of the jazz age, or also known as the ‘Roaring Twenties’.  However, not all Americans saw the 1920s as a time of prosperity. For many Americans it was a decade of poverty. Some groups such as farmers, factory workers and those living in the Deep South, experienced extreme shortage of money and food. This, together with social inequality and racism, resulted in increased tensions across the nation. In this essay I will be exploring the problems that people faced during the 1920s. Furthermore, I will be stating whether it had a large impact on society or not.  The first problem I will be looking at that people had to deal with is racism.

Many blacks lived in southern USA, or otherwise known as the Deep South. They lived in poverty, mostly farming cotton or tobacco. Many were sharecroppers, which meant they had to give a share of their crop to the landowner from whom they rented the land they farmed. As a result, most sharecroppers lived in absolute poverty, despite the boom years of the 1920s. Black people also suffered from discrimination. In the southern states such as, Alabama and Georgia, Blacks faced segregation under the ‘Jim Crow’ Laws. The ‘Jim Crow’ laws were essentially segregation laws which stated that Black people had to do everything separately. They had to live separately, go to different schools and when they applied for jobs, they had to follow the saying, “last hired, first fired”.

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What made things worse for Black people was the Ku Klux Klan, the KKK. This was an organisation of white people, who disliked Blacks, Catholics and Jews; they wanted white supremacy. Also, they believed is WASP which was White Anglo Saxon Protestants. The KKK terrorised black people, as well as lynching them. In 1925, there were 135 lynching in the state of Georgia alone. This shows that the Ku Klux Klan was a difficulty people faced however gangsterism was still a more important problem. Although, racism was a more important problem as even though gangsterism caused alot of problems, after ...

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