Life in the Roaring Twenties Questions and Answers

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The decade of the 1920's has been characterized as both an "age of anxiety" and a "period of hope". Why?

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The beginning of the decade of the 1920's was certainly one of jubilation and hope as the end of World War I in 1918 brought peace and optimism, and, later, prosperity, but there was also the passage of the 18th Amendment which led to the proliferation of crime, and the end of the decade saw the sweeping despair of the stock market "crash." 

Period of Hope

  • America's total wealth doubled between 1920 and 1929 as manufactured goods and food were sold to England and France, who were so debilitated by the war.
  • The nation became a consumer society with the new prosperity. Credit purchases were introduced so that the rising middle class was able to make large purchases such as the new inventions of the refrigerator, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and the automobile that has begun being built on the assembly line in the previous decade. With the rapid purchasing of automobiles--1 car for every 5 Americans--service stations and motels were constructed, and more restaurants appeared.
  • People...

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