1920 – 1940
During this time period of American history, the country could not have been more contrasting than from 1920 through 1940. The twenties were a period of fun, partying, and economic security hence the term “roaring twenties”. While the nineteen thirties were known as the time of the “Great Depression.” From 1920 to 1940 our country saw five presidents, the first flight around the world, the completion of the worlds largest dam, a depression, prohibition, women given the right to vote, and new musical expressions.
The 1920’s began shortly after World War I
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In contrast to the twenties where people were having fun and enjoying economic security, the thirties were a very dark time for our nation. The “Great Depression” was the worst economic slump ever in U.S. history. The depression began late in 1929 and lasted for about a decade. Many factors played a role in bringing about the depression; however, the main cause for the “Great Depression,” was the combination of the unequal distribution of wealth throughout the 1920’s and the extensive stock market speculation that took place during this time. This speculation kept the stock market artificially high, but eventually lead to large market crashes. These market crashes, combined with the maldistribution of wealth caused the American economy to capsize. For the American people prosperity seemed destined to go on forever, and the stock market reflected the gains with steadily rising prices. However, by the summer of 1929 the stock market, fueled by speculation, was so far out of touch with economic reality that business began to slow and profits started to decline. Americans had a saying at the time, “we mortgaged not only the future, but the hereafter” (pretty scary). In September the market broke; in October it crashed. For the next ten years the economy was in an economic whirlpool sinking fast.
Another blunder of this era was the passing of the 21st Amendment, “Prohibition.” Prohibition was passed at the beginning of the twenties, but was