1920's to 1930's Boom to Bust

Leisure Time

African Americans in the 1920s

African Americans enjoyed playing Jazz music and did it frequently in large bands for the public on stages all throughout the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920's.

African Americans in the 1930s

African Americans still enjoyed playing Jazz music, but they now did it less for fun and more for distraction and in much smaller groups for their own entertainment.

The Rebellious Life

Women were very spontaneous and rebellious in the 1920's. Flappers represented the New woman and the equality and independence women were experiencing.

Barely Living

When the Great Depression hit, the traditional values returned to the minds of Americans. Women were expected to stay home and tent to the family as men went out and foraged for jobs. For women, the standard of living took a nose dive along with the economy in the 1930's.

The 1920's were filled with many activities and conveniences that contributed to the fast paced, era of change. For women, many home inventions such as the iron and vacuum cleaner helped to save time and energy and allowed for more enjoyable activities to be done. In the 1920's most people spent their nights dancing at clubs, drinking at bars, or attending movie screenings or sports events. Prohibition also affected the rebellious thoughts of the era. Many citizens quickly broke the law as alcohol became a very popular substance. But after the stock market crash of 1929, all this changed. People could no longer afford to spend money by going to movies and sports events. Every penny had to be saved just so that families could survive. The two things that Americans continued to do, despite all their financial troubles, were go out dancing and listen to Jazz music. Although much of this was now happening in homes, these activities along with listening to the radio continued to be very popular activities.


Farmers in the Agricultural Business

Many Farmers lost their farms due to foreclosure because of all the money they owed banks and conditions didn't get any better when the Great Depression hit.

Agriculture Worsens in the 1930's

Farmers continued to loose money and struggled to support their families.

The Banking Boom...

Buying stock on margin was very popular, especially with banks, and the stock market prospered all throughout the 20's.

... To Total Failure

But, when the stock market crashed, banks had not received heir payments and were not able to give their clients back their savings. his resulted in Nationwide bank failure and caused over 5,500 banks to go out of business.

Throughout the 1920’s, the agricultural economy wasn’t doing as well as the industrial and manufacturing industries. Many farmers took out huge loans on their farms during WWI that they couldn’t repay and lost their farms due to foreclosure. The one good aspect the farmers had going for them was that the 1920’s were turning out to be one of the best rain seasons, which was especially unusual for the dust bowl region. As for the urban industries, the economy was booming. The supply and demand rates were through the roof and products were being made, bought and sold at an extremely fast pace. But, many items were being bought on margin, including stock. Eventually there was too much credit and not enough money running through the economy and the economy plummeted, putting the country into a depression. Businesses closed. Banks closed. People lost their life savings and grew poor and hungry. Over half of the American workforce lost their jobs, therefore meaning that the unemployment rate skyrocketed. Life overall became very bad for Americans. The agricultural side of this wasn’t any better. Farmers continued to lose their farms and began to notice that the 1930’s wouldn’t be as produce growth friendly as the 1920’[s were. The land became brittle and infertile and many farmers had to leave with everything they had and traveled long distances to find a new home.

Role in Government

Advocates of the 19th Amendment

The 19th Amendment was one of the greatest obstacles that women have concurred in history, giving women the right to vote. But, as the 1920's became the 1930's, the urge to ensure gender equality stayed in the 1920's and women became much less involved in the government in the 1930's

Eleanor Roosevelts Encouragement

The Election of Franklin Roosevelt into office brought with it one of the greatest American inspirations of all time- Eleanor Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt held press conferences exclusively for women and did all she she could to promote the involvement of women in government while still being a huge advocate for racial, gender, and religious equality.

The Employment Process of Businesses

Employers didn't respect their employees and didn't provide sufficient conditions for them. Working areas were very dirty and disease ridden and employers wouldn't provide the money to renovate working space. Employers also didn't care much about who they employed- women, children, it didn't matter just as long as they were getting cheap labor.

And How the New Deal Modified it

In the 1930's, many "New Deal" laws were passed to protect the rights of workers. Labor Union workers became guaranteed to always have work, and working conditions improved. A minimum wage was also set to help the poor and decrease the poverty count.

The three well known Republican presidents of the 1920's were Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. The main thing that all three of these presidents had in common were that they strongly believed in following a Laissez- faire policy, where government and business don’t collide. In the 1930's, this all changed when Franklin D. Roosevelt became president. President Roosevelt was keen on trying to fix the nation's depression and interfered in every aspect of the economic problems the country was having as much as he could. Many of his “new Deal” policies had a lot to do with the right of workers and the qualifications that a person had to have for it to be legal for them to be hired. A minimum wage was also set. Due to all these new changes, president Roosevelt was not liked by many business owners because in this process he was making it harder and more expensive for them to find good workers. Roosevelt's wife, Eleanor Roosevelt also encouraged many women to get involved with the political aspects in their society. Although many of her efforts were ignored, Eleanor Roosevelt tried to restore the confidence that women had in themselves throughout the 1920's.

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