The boom (otherwise known as the roaring twenties) was a time during American history in the 1920's when America became very prosperous. They were extremely economically successful. They were lots more jobs and business was thriving. New forms of transport were created and the entertainment industry was born. The country grew as new industries and products arose. Many people had disposable income, and consumerism began. Night life and social life changed drastically, and crime rates went up. The growth of cities increased.
It was the first time in American history that more people lived in the cities then in rural areas. People moved to the cities for work, and more immigrants entered the country e. g. Italians came to escape poverty and send money back home to their families. So many people were moving back into the cities that there wasn't room for enough houses, which triggered the construction industry. They started building skyscrapers so everyone could fit it. They also started building roads, as they introduced the federal road act in 1916. However a tension grew between rural areas and cities.
The rural areas were mainly Christian and had strong beliefs, where as in the cities many people started to believe in evolution. The rural areas were displeased with the cities, because they didn't approve of their morals and social life's such as flappers whom the believed were a disgrace to God, and alcohol which they believed was wrong to drink. Transport grew as new methods of production were discovered, such as the moving production line (other wise known as the assembly line) -which was invented by Henry Ford in the production of cars.
This was when you had the same job all day, and as the product rolled past you on the conveyor belt you just added one or two more components e. g. putting toothpaste lids on. Henry Ford revolutionised the motor industry, and created many jobs, not only through the production of cars but also other supplying industries such as the glass production, sheet metal, rubber and leather. Services stations, engineers and roads were all needed and their supplying industries also provided many more people with jobs for example building roads not only required construction workers but also concrete, metal bridges and road signs.
Thanks to him poorer people were able to purchase cars. The most popular of which was the Model T- more than 15 million were produced by 1925, coming of the production line at the rate of one every ten seconds. This increased tourism, the entertainment industry and peoples social life's, as they were more able to get around. There was also a new truck industry. A passenger aircraft was created in 1927 which by 1930 companies flew over 162,000 people per year. The entertainment industry grew rapidly, especially in the cities.
The cinema was first invented and had already sold 100 million tickets a week by the end of the twenties-which is more then cinemas in the UK make in a year nowadays. All films were silent until 1927 when the first "talkie" was made. It was rumoured that women would faint at the sight of Rudolph Valentino in "the Sheik" and when he died many slit their wrists. Films had started to affect peoples social life's,and were being blamed for moral degeneracy, for example"Up in Mabel's room" and similar films were believed to be the cause of the fact that sex outside marriage was a lot more common and contraceptive advice was widely available.
Censorship boards were first proposed ,as films were tame by today's standards but shocking in the twenties. In television the news started and adverts began. However they were redirected towards selling consumer goods, which contributed towards consumerism. More people were going to theatres and buying records. Radio stations started springing up, in August 1921 there was only one licensed radio station, but by December 1922 there were 508. Music took a turn,and the 1920's were nicknamed "the jazz age". As Blacks moved from the country to the cities, they brought Jazz and Blues with them.
A popular dance at the time was the Charleston. Sports like boxing were also popular, and the heavy weight champion was Jack Dempsey. In baseball the New York Yankees and Boston red sox were popular. Al Capone (an extremely famous gangster) was a huge baseball. Peoples social life's changed drastically during the twenties, as their morals were questioned. The Anti-Saloon league for Women's Christian Temperance Union campaigned for prohibition(which originated in the nineteenth century)), until politicians won rural votes for upholding prohibition.
In January 1920 the Volstead Act was passed, which banned alcohol in the U. S. A. However it was impossible to enforcing in Urban area, as speakeasies (illegal bars) were available. Bootleggers(suppliers of illegal alcohol) were becoming very rich. An FBI agent went under cover to find out how long it took to access illegal alcohol, and found that in New Orleans it took as little as 35 seconds. Prohibition lead to corruption, and organised gangs made $2 billion in illegal sales of alcohol. Al Capone alone made $60 million a year from his speakeasies, he said "Prohibition is a business.
All I do is supply a demand. "There was a lot of organised crime. Gangsters usually came from poor immigrant families, and were clever and ruthless e. g. Irish,Polish,Italian, and Jewish neighbourhoods. They fought over control of speakeasies, prostitution, gambling, and the liquor trade. A lot of gangsters did some racketeering e. g. if you owned a chain they kept away away competition in return for a share, or helped immigrants get across in return for their votes. Fear and bribery made law enforcement ineffective.
Enforcement was under financed, there was not enough agents and they were poorly paid. Each agent was in charge of a large areas, so they often accepted bribes to leave their bureaus alone. Senior officers and even judges were bribed, and one in twelve officers were dismissed. In Chicago there were 130 gang lead murders in 1926 and 1927, but not even one arrest. Don Chaplin (a New York FBI boss) once said to his 200 agents "put your hands on the table, both of them.
Every son of a bitch wearing a diamond is fired" Not as many women dressed in the old fashions e. . Corsets and long dresses, but showed more skin. A new generation known as flappers formed. Flappers wore short skirts,had bobbed hair,many wore men's clothing,smoked,drank,used make up,danced in Jazz clubs,played tennis, and were openly lesbian or sexually active. The Anti-Flirt association tried to persuade them to "behave decently". The older generations were particularly disgusted with them and looked down on them, they blamed "modernisation". Consumerism was also a very significant part of the boom. The prices of products fell, and the demand increased.
This started a "consumer boom" based on vacuum cleaners,telephones,washing machines, and radios. Between 1919 and 1920 the number of homes with a radio rose from 60,000 to 10 million, and the number of people filing income and tax returns for earning more then $1 million a year rose from 65 to 513. A lot of people used credit and hire purchase to buy things. This started a cycle of prosperity. There was more disposable income so people spent more and companies sold more. As companies sold more they , they made more, and employed more people.
The more people they employed, the more people has disposable income, and the cycle started all over again. All these features are linked to one another. The growth of cities is linked to peoples social life's, as people you lived in the cities behaved very differently, and had different morals to those who lived in rural areas. The growth of transport affected the entertainment industry and peoples social life's, because it enabled people to be able to get to more places in their social life's and in the entertainment industry, such as theatres, cinemas,baseball stadiums... etc.
The entertainment industry is linked to peoples social life's, as it is what people enjoy and do for fun. Peoples social life's affect the entertainment industry,the growth of transport, and the growth of cities. Consumerism is linked to the entertainment industry, as it is caused by peoples desire to consume services, that they find entertaining. However I think the most important feature of the boom is peoples social life's, because that affects most of the other features. It affects transport, as people need cars to get to where they want to go or travel in their social life's.
It affects the entertainment industry, as it is what people want to do or find fun and entertaining. It affects the growth of cities as it is where people want to live, as they have very different social life's according to were they live. It affects consumerism, because it's what people want to consume or by in order to better their social life's e. g. A fridge so they can store food for longer and don't have to go shopping as much because they don't need to have it fresh everyday as it wont go off.