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Before the widely known Great Depression, there was an era of great economic, political, and social transformation: the 1920s. This was an equally important period; however, it is discussed less often than the following years of devastation. The involvement of people and the changes they were making during this time significantly developed the social world. Most importantly, the twenties were a dynamic period that roared. The reasons behind this were the new rights for women, the development of new technologies, and the expansion of various forms of entertainment.
Firstly, the twenties brought many new rights for women that contributed to the roar of the era. One of the biggest changes for women was that they gained the right to vote after decades of protesting. The right was granted to them due to the 19th Amendment to the U.S Constitution which states “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” This right for women to vote in elections, also known as women’s suffrage, was ratified on August 18, 1920. This shows that both women and men now had equal rights to voting, which gave women some sense of freedom and equality after countless years of only men having this basic civil right. Overall, this contributed to the roar of the twenties because women were becoming happier as they gained equal opportunities to input their choices into elections especially since they had to fight for it. Additionally, women gained the ability to become more independent and be able to express their opinions. Along with their new roles within society, women also adopted a new sense of freedom through fashion. For example, flappers in the 1920s were young women who pushed the barriers of sexual, economic, and political freedom for women through the way they dressed and behaved in public. They were known for their short deck hair, flat chests, shorter skirts, make-up, smoking cigarettes, exposing their bodies more, and having the image of a rebel. This allowed women to be more free and open about how they dressed. The majority of women were gradually beginning to make their own choices of clothing instead of dressing how others expected them to. Prior to the 1920s, women were required to cover their bodies by wearing long gowns with long sleeves to avoid exposing their arms, but, later on, they started being more experimental with fashion, accessories, and make-up. This contributed to the roar of the era because it was great social change and was creating more freedom for people. Lastly, more jobs became available to women after they proved themselves by taking on “men’s work” while the men were at war. Some jobs that opened up for women include secretaries, typists, stenographers, and filing clerks. These work opportunities gave married women the chance to disprove the stereotypical belief that they were supposed to focus on children, housework, and their significant other. Therefore, the era continued to roar because of women since they were making social changes by pushing past stereotypes, becoming more independent, and earning freedom on their own. To conclude, women played a significant role in making the twenties era roar by contributing to a lot of the positive social change at the time. They did this by gaining the right to vote, changing their style of clothing, and earning more work opportunities.
Secondly, the twenties continued to roar due to the development and use of advanced technologies. For example, many new household appliances were becoming widely used such as refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, and irons. These made work easier and efficient at home creating more time for other productive or fun activities. People no longer had to spend as much time washing clothes by hand or cleaning their homes as a result of widespread technologies like washing machines and vacuum cleaners. This added to the roar of the twenties because people began to create more time to enjoy themselves while, simultaneously, still getting the same amount of work done. Furthermore, for women, who were the ones doing the majority of the chores, it was an opportunity to commit to other activities with more time on their hands. Another example of an important technology during the 1920s is the telephone. This invention brought a new and faster way of communication for many people. Although only a quarter of people in Canada owned telephones at the beginning of the era, by the end of the decade, around three-quarters of people had one in their homes. This expansion of telephones contributed to the impact of technology on the roar of the twenties because it made connecting with others easier. Telephones were more convenient than mailing a letter or going out to talk to someone. People could easily contact someone who was close or far away without having to leave their homes, which was quite a change for many people. Lastly, the automobile industry was prosperous during this era and brought a new form of transportation for its customers. For instance, Ford was the biggest car company at the time known for its cheap, but very reliable cars such as the Ford Model T. This helped the twenties to roar because people could live farther away from their jobs but still get to their destinations with ease. It allowed for efficient and quicker transportation compared to walking, biking, or taking the train. With the booming economy, most people could afford cars and were living life to the fullest as their daily lives became easier. To conclude, advances in technology such as household items, telephones, and cars brought many new opportunities and ways of life in the twenties.
Lastly, most of the fun and excitement during the 1920s emerged from the various forms of entertainment for people to enjoy. For instance, one of the major forms of entertainment during the 1920s was the radio, which was introduced during the First World War and soon became a common item in homes across America. Radios were a form of entertainment for people because it provided many different types of broadcasts including news, jazz music, sports, dramas, operas, variety shows, comedy shows, and much more. The radio contributed to the fun of the twenties because it brought entertainment into homes and made it easier to access and enjoy broadcasts. Additionally, it helped popularize musicians and sports athletes as well as their accomplishments in their respective industries. Another widespread form of entertainment during the twenties were silent films. These films were black and white movies with synchronized background music and no dialogue, but they were loved by many. People of all ages went to cinemas to watch these movies far more often than people watch movies today. By the end of the decade, weekly movie attendance moved up to ninety million. These movies helped the twenties roar because it became an escape for people during hard times. It helped bring joy and a time of relaxation into people’s lives, allowing them to have a break from work. Furthermore, it brought important film industry figures onto the main screen such as Charlie Chaplin who gained his fame during the silent film era. Finally, another major form of entertainment during the twenties was the jazz music which gave this era the name “The Jazz Age.” Jazz is an African-American style of music that was born in the southern USA but during the 1920’s it set down roots in northern cities such as Chicago and Toronto. Jazz musicians were able to develop a firm following of young whites as their popularity spread. Due to this, new dance crazes formed that reflected the fun and excitement of the music, such as the Charleston. This shows how jazz was an important part of the roaring twenties because it left an impact on everyone. People took the excitement of the music and created new forms of fun giving everyone something to enjoy and appreciate. Ultimately, these various forms of entertainment brought excitement and fun into the lives of many people in the twenties. They helped the twenties roar and become an era of huge development in the different entertainment industries.
In conclusion, the twenties were a dynamic era that roared for various reasons. This includes the changing roles of women, the development of technology, and the growth of entertainment. All these aspects of the era brought positive social, economic, and political change into the lives of many people. Due to the brutal war that occurred two years before this decade, people took full advantage of the peace and fun of the twenties. They enjoyed it, created new ways of living, and found new opportunities for themselves. Without the roaring twenties, many social aspects that people across the world freely enjoy today may not have existed. Overall, the twenties were a time of great development and change, making the era an important one in world history.
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