In the 1920s, the United States' economy was booming. Manufacturing flourished, industry boomed, and the stock market was invincible. The nation followed a consumerist view which drove up demand, and manufacturing met this demand. Meanwhile, farmers were suffering from a change in pay, because of the end of WWI.
Stock Brokers in the 20s took advantage of the boom, and became rich. They let people buy stocks on a margin. They would always come back to collect their debt, but they became irresponsible when it came to using people's debt.
This picture shows 2 stock brokers with their wives walking down the street in their fancy clothing.
Industrialists were still living a life of luxury in their massive mansions. Their companies were still producing a solid profit. Their businesses were still the envy of many American families coast to coast.
This picture shows an industrialist at his exotic and extremely costly wedding.
Home Life in the 1920s
The American household in the Roaring 20s was full of many clashes like: youth vs. adult, urban vs. rural, and science vs. religion are just a few. The youth rebelled against the traditional values of their elders, and this started a bunch of clashes between modern and traditional values.
Women in the 20s started to rebel on how people viewed them. Women fought for their right to vote, and they got it with the 19th Amendment. They also broke down the traditional views of how women should act.
This picture shows woman walking down the street in their expensive clothing.
Farmers in the 1920s had to deal with a huge shift in income. During World War 1, the U.S. Government payed farmers a lot of money to supply food for the soldiers overseas. Using their pay, farmers bought more land for crops. At the end of the war, the farmers had so much land, they didn't know what to do with it. This created a surplus.
This picture shows a group of poor farmers just barely living on their low income.
Leisure Time in the 1920s
Americans in the 1920s lived in a bustling environment. Many people from all over the country came to see jazz concerts. People went to dance clubs to cut loose. People went to speakeasies to drink in secret because of prohibition. People went to go see sporting events to watch the legendary Babe Ruth in action.
African Americans spent their time performing. Their amazing jazz music complemented the masterpieces of literature and art being produced by them. The Harlem Renaissance broke many barriers of racism through the composition of music and writing of books or poetry.
This picture shows an African American jazz band performing.
Women spent their leisure time going to dance clubs and speakeasies. They wore clothing that was viewed as being "immoral," to the older generation. Laws were put in place to tell women what to wear, and how to act. Women didn't follow them.
This picture shows a group of flappers wearing their "immoral," clothing.
The Busted Economy of the Great Depression
In 1929, an event known as Black Tuesday occurred. The stock market plummeted and didn't rise back up until after World War II. Businesses played people off, and were forced into bankruptcy. Banks were forced to close because of high demand from people wanting to withdraw their savings. But banks couldn't meet this demand. This sparked the Great Depression.
Many stock brokers lost their jobs to the crash. When they tried to collect their customers' debt, they couldn't because banks couldn't give the customers their money back. This caused brokers to lose thousands of dollars and go bankrupt.
This picture shows a poor stock broker that is trying to sell his car for nearly nothing.
Industrialists took very, very minor hits from the Depression. Even if they gambled in the stock market, they were fine because of their million dollar fortune. They laid off very little workers. Their businesses were still fine, and running very smoothly. So industrialists were fine.
This picture shows an industrialist that barely lost any money from the Depression.
Home Life in the Great Depression
The Depression struck many families with poverty. People had to either sell or foreclose on their houses. They had to be either homeless, or live in a Hooverville. Many farmers had to foreclose on their farms and move. But farmers who stayed on their farms, were stuck with a devastating tragedy.
Women in the Great Depression had very tough lives. Since they had to foreclose or sell their homes, they moved and built a home in a Hooverville. In order to offer a better life for their children, they had to get jobs. In most cases, their husbands left their families.
This picture showing a woman who is forced to care for her family after her husband left.
Farmers who stayed on their farms were struck with terrible dust storms. These storms were caused by a drought in the Great Plains. The crops farmers planted needed a lot of water to grow. So when farmers used tractors to pull out the crops, top soil was removed. This caused loose dust to fly around when wind came. This was known as the Dust Bowl.
This picture shows a group of Okies vacating from the dust storms.
Leisure Time in the Great Depression
When Franklin D. Roosevelt became president, he put the "New Deal," into place. Many programs were launched to insure the Great Depression would never happen again. To calm people down, he introduced, "Fireside Chats." People would tune in on their radios to listen in.
Many African Americans were fired from their jobs. So they didn't have a stable source of income. They couldn't see jazz performers, go to sporting events, or go to clubs. So they just worked most of the time instead.
This picture shows an African American family that is living in a Hooverville.
When women got had to get jobs because her husband left, they had no competition at first. But, since more and more divorced or widowed women needed jobs to supports their families. Women were getting laid of left and right so more women could get that job. So, they couldn't do all of the fun things they once did.
This picture shows a wife that lives in a Hooverville after loosing her job.