The Great Changes In1920s In America
America in the 1920s was a period of great change. This was the decade in which there was mass production, jazz, cinema, dating, and the introduction of prohibition. Life was very great for all Americans and so that is why this time period is known as the “roaring twenties”. Politically, the United States’ government was seemingly conservative and experimented with many approaches to public policy. There were concerns about communism and modernism among many Americans but the government attempted to reduce these scars as much as possible. While the years of 1920 were very prosperous and positive, the following years of the 1930s were on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. The 1930s were a time period of loss, struggle, and a time for a new beginning. Because of the money crisis that started the Great Depression for the whole nation, many citizens lost everything proving that the Stock Market Crash of 1930 left individuals with great pain and full of struggles. The mindset of the 1920s was very relaxed and full of positivity but the Great Depression shocked the government into becoming more centralized in the years of the 1930s.
The 1920s were a time period of many dramatic changes in social and economic lives. Although this was an era of great success and power many citizens were afraid of communism and modernism controlling America. During the dating era and mass production of automobiles, many individuals were worried about the end of the open immigration policy and the revival of the Ku Klux Klan. In the first few years following World War I, the country experienced a period of anti-radical hysteria. This time period was known as the Red Scare. Joseph Stalin tried to spread communism globally which in fact scared many Americans. In the text, it states. “The United States refused diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union for more than a decade, because of Stalin’s blood purges as well as the opposition of communists to private property and religious freedom”(118). The United States did not want to intervene with Stalin’s opposition and attempted to stay out of all communism. This was not the only worry about communism during the roaring twenties. Spanish anarchists attempted to kill many American government officials by sending addressed packages with bombs inside. Also, a horse-drawn carriage exploded on Wall Street killing around 38 individuals. If this does not sound like enough, the Ku Klux Klan started to expand after the Great War. Modernism also took a toll on the lives of many Americans. This was a way in which new innovations and ideas were breaking the means of traditions that individuals were used to. Many American modernists later moved to Europe to express their new writings and paintings. All of these incidents caused many Americans to question whether communism and modernism were spreading across their country. Americans were feeling great anxiety thinking that the government was about to have a leftist revolution.
In the 1920s the American government had three presidents who strongly held the laissez-faire principle and let the bigger businesses have control. All three presidents, Harding Coolidge, and Hoover were all Republican candidates that won by massive landslides that all saw different perspectives and views toward what they would accomplish during their presidencies. All three presidents were focused on fiscal conservatism and foresaw a smaller government being most beneficial for the United States. Warren Harding was the first of the three presidents and supervised an impressive economic recovery for America. He wanted to make necessary changes and steps that would allow him to prosper a pro-free market agenda. Harding’s administration fought out to neutralize progressive regulations (116). Congress aimed to reduce tax rates for individuals in the top income brackets. Calvin Coolidge, the second president during the roaring twenties, oversaw a booming economy and flowing stock market. Coolidge strived to cut spending and taxes to a very low. Coolidge believed that prosperity rested in the hands of business leadership and the United States government should not intervene. Calvin Coolidge’s pro-business policies focused on industrial development. Finally, the last president during this era was Herbert Hoover. Hoover’s administration focused on prosperity in the United States and promoted “A Car in Every Garage and a Chicken in Every Pot”(134). Hoover dictated the presidency during a time of economic recession that later became depressed after the stock market crash. He relied on private charity from churches and private institutions during the depression. As it states in the text, “When he could no longer deny it, he assured Americans that economic downturns were a normal part of capitalism and the crisis would simply need to run its course”(136). Hoover at first did not believe the economic crisis but when he came into realization of the situation, he made sure to promote positive slogans and explain that these downturns are normal and were bound to happen. President Hoover initiated cooperative individualism. This meant that he encouraged manufacturers to form small organizations and provide information to the government to boost the economy. Overall, all three presidents provided their own means of ideas to prosper the economy and promote a great society.
President Roosevelt had many successful outcomes during his presidency and helped to shape how our nation is today. Roosevelt’s main goals were to promise a “New Deal”, repeal the prohibition, and aid for the unemployed by cutting spending costs. The whole reason for making the New Deal was to offset the effects of the Depression. The first part of the New Deal was to employ people through work relief programs and try to make the government and businesses cooperate(157). The New Deal programs that were used during Roosevelt’s presidency were the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the National Industrial Recovery Act, and the Civil Works Administration. The Agricultural Adjustment Act helped large-scale farmers boost their farm profits but was later declared unconstitutional because the government did not have the authority to regulate agriculture and because landowners had no need for sharecroppers, many individuals lost their jobs. In the National Industrial Recovery Act, they sought to help labor conditions and create more jobs and more citizens. If the companies cooperated with this Act then they would be allowed to cooperate with other businesses and the federal government would overlook their monopolistic behaviors. Unfortunately, many companies did not want to volunteer in the program. Lastly, the Civil Works Administration helped to create millions of jobs regarding repairing railroads and constructing airports or schools. The main difference between Roosevelt’s administration and the other Presidents is that Roosevelt understood that there was no quick and simple solution to the Depression and sought out to work on public work projects.
Overall, the roaring twenties was a time period of prosperity and tremendous change in America. The three presidents during the 1920s tried their best to stabilize the economy and make sure that the positivity in growth stayed consistent throughout the years. Unfortunately in the years of 1930, the stock market crashed and caused the Depression which was a great loss for the United States and President Roosevelt. There were many suspicious activities that caused citizens to speculate communism in the United States.
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