Updated September 10, 2022

The New Era in US History

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The New Era in US History essay
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The 1920’s was essentially a time for change. To name a few, the decade saw social, political and economic changes. The 1920’s was also known as “The New Era” because America was becoming more modernized. Some didn’t like all the new customs and rebelled. The assembly line paved the way for many advancements. With the automobile and motor vehicles it spiked a need for more contruction with people being able to get around more efficiently. In the 1920’s radio was very popular. Reginald Fessenden made it possible to transmit speech and music, earlier radio was morse code. The 20’s saw rapid growth of its cities and the middle class was on the rise.

Commercial aviation was being developed very slowly and mainly a way to deliver mail, it was used more as a use of travel in the 30’s the 20’s essentially paved the way. Trains were getting faster due to the developments of the diesel-electric engine. Electric,oil,plastics,home appliances all saw growth and spurred an economic boom. For fear of recession, the idea of over-production was looming, the New Era was striving to create an economy that wouldn’t collapse again. Henry Ford did remarkable things like shortening the work week, raised pay, and implimented paid vacation hours.

“Welfare Capitalism” improved working conditions. Unions were most often forbidden and Welfare Capitalism really didn’t last long. While wages did rise it still wasn’t enough. It really was dependant on several workers in a typical household to make ends meet. While unemployment was lesser in the 20’s, some were out of work for at least some portion of the decade with some jobs becoming obsolete alltogether. Woman worked “Pink-Collar jobs that were underpaid.

African Americans were stuck with jobs like janitors, dishwashing and garbage duty as they were often excluded in major trades. Agriculture was taking on new technolgies in hopes of producing more. There was alot more tractors on American farms and they were decked out with combustion engines. It allowed more crops and less workers to tend to it. A lot of people left agriculture in the 20’s. Other farmers demanded “Parity” or a set price that way they would at least earn back their production costs regardless of any fluctuations. The Mcnary-Haugen Bill attempted to get “parity” for the farmers and was shot down by President Coolidge. By the end of the 1920’s there were more than 30 million cars on American roads, it allowed people to venture from their homes and go out and about.

People were able to travel for vacations and for lesiure. Traveling wasn’t just for the wealthy anymore. A successful book of the 1920’s was entitled The Man Nobody Knows by Bruce Barton. Women bought cosmetics and clothes and men smoked cigarettes. Middle class families were purchasing new appliances and these appliances made an impact in women’s lives. Advertising was becoming big with the rise of newspapers and magazines like the Saturday Evening Post. Movies were a great form of entertainment and the addition of sound in 1927 made it even more enjoyable. The National Broadcating Company was formed in 1927. Women were still limited as far as occupations although there were a few women doctors and lawyers, However most middle class women who were married did not in fact work outside the home at all.

Margaret Sanger thought women should be able to have a healthy sex life without always having to procreate, due to her teachings birth control became more readily availible especially to middle class. Some birth control was illegal however. The flapper image tore down old views of the way a woman should be. Women could wear seductive clothes, smoke, drink, and dance until their hearts content. It was a liberating thing for women as they could attend clubs and dance halls. The Flappers weren’t completely liberated because they still depended largely on men in both the workplace and at home. The national women’s Party campaign was launched in 1923 and had little support from congress.

Women were awarded the right to vote. Education was becoming more important in the 1920’s than previously. Enrollment in colleges and universites were increasing. Adolescents were recognized as a period in your life that sets the stage for adult life. African American culture was on the rise, with the launch of Jazz Music and the “Harlem Renaissance”. Alain Locke who was published in 1925 made people take notice. Aaron Douglas was commissioned for murals at the universities. Prohibition was going strong in January 1920. Al Capone essentially built a criminal empire because of alcohol being illegal. A new KKK sprung up and in 1924 there were about four million members or so.

The Klan went downhill quickly after 1925. The Scopes Monkey trial was very stressful for most fundamentalists, Clarence Darrow defended scopes. Scopes agreed to be arrested, Darrow scored an important victory for modernists and it was broadcasted on the radio. Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge served as president during most of the 1920’s. Harding was elected in 1920. He was a gambler from Ohio. In the summer of 1923, he suffered two major heart attacks and died. Coolidge followed Harding as president and he was an honest man. Coolidge opted out of the presidency years later by handing the press a paper that read that he didn’t want to run for president in 1928.

What a way to resign! The New Era seemed great on the surface, however there were many cultural and political conflicts and while there were many industrial achievements, more than half of the actual population didn’t really get any benefits. With many a controversy, ultimately the decade ended with an economic crash as well as many Americans not liking the changes and challenging them.

The New Era in US History essay

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How did the new era began when the United States?
America in the 1920's was called the new era. It is called a new era because it became a turning point in American society, and marked a separation from the 19th century and the 20th century . We soon begin to develop our own social norms, music, and culture as we evolve into a modern nation.
In what ways were the 1920s a new era in US history?
Apart from a recession in 1920–1921, the 1920s saw the American economy reach a new level of industrial production and prosperity . New industries flourished, especially in the areas of electric power, automobiles, gasoline, tourist travel, and highway and housing construction.
What changed in the new era?
To a large degree, these changes were the result of industrialization, the rapid growth of cities, and the increasing size and power of the middle class . Contemporaries liked to refer to the 1920s as the "New Era" - an age in which America was becoming a modern nation.
Why was the New Era important?
The New Era provides a history of American thought and culture in the 1920s through the eyes of American intellectuals determined to move beyond an older role as gatekeepers of cultural respectability and become tribunes of openness, experimentation, and tolerance instead.
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