"The Roaring Twenties."
The 1920s have been dubbed everything from "The Roaring Twenties" and "The Era of Wonderful Nonsense" to "The Decade of the Dollar" and "The Period of the Psyche" to the "Dry Decade" and the age of "Alcohol and Al Capone." Many historians regard the years between World War I and the stock-market crash of 1929 as the culmination of a long process of social change, which Frederick Lewis Allen described as a "revolution in manners and morals."
The Wake of World War I.
The 1920s opened in the aftermath of World War I. The war's brutality and devastation in Europe culminated in euphoria at home over the armistice, followed by political controversy over the Treaty of Versailles. While President Woodrow Wilson helped end the war "over there," he claimed Americans did not "want to be coached and led" and as a result offered no organized plan to convert the economy from military mobilization to peace or to incorporate masses of returning veterans into society.
Conversion to Peacetime Economy.
In the absence of government planning, conversion to a peacetime economy was abrupt. Veterans poured into the job market and competed with the nine million workers, including many blacks and women, who had advanced because of the economic expansion caused by the war. As government...
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