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1920s

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Irish War of Independence Prohibition in the United States Women's suffrage Babe Ruth Spirit of St. Louis Chinese Civil War March on Rome 1929 stock market crash
From left, clockwise: Third Tipperary Brigade Flying Column No. 2 under Seán Hogan during the Irish War of Independence; Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol in accordance to the 18th amendment, which made alcoholic beverages illegal throughout the entire decade; In 1927, Charles Lindbergh embarks on the first solo nonstop flight from New York to Paris on the Spirit of St. Louis; A crowd gathering on Wall Street after the 1929 stock market crash, which led to the Great Depression; Benito Mussolini and Fascist Blackshirts during the March on Rome in 1922; the People's Liberation Army attacking government defensive positions in Shandong, during the Chinese Civil War; The Women's suffrage campaign leads to the ratification of the 19th amendment in the United States and numerous countries granting women the right to vote and be elected; Babe Ruth becomes the most iconic baseball player of the time.

The 1920s was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1920, and ended on December 31, 1929. In North America, it is frequently referred to as the "Roaring Twenties" or the "Jazz Age", while in Europe the period is sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age Twenties"[1] because of the economic boom following World War I. French speakers refer to the period as the "Années folles" (“Crazy Years”),[2] emphasizing the era's social, artistic, and cultural dynamism.

The economic prosperity experienced by many countries during the 1920s (especially the United States) was similar in nature to that experienced in the 1950s and 1990s. Each period of prosperity was the result of a paradigm shift in global affairs. These shifts in the 1920s, 1950s, and 1990s, occurred in part as the result of the conclusion of World War I and Spanish flu, World War II, and the Cold War, respectively.

The 1920s saw foreign oil companies begin operations throughout South America. Venezuela became the world's second largest oil producing nation.[3]

In some countries the 1920s saw the rise of radical political movements, especially in regions that were once part of empires. Communism spread as a consequence of the October Revolution and the Bolsheviks' victory in the Russian Civil War. Fear of the spread of Communism led to the emergence of far right political movements and fascism in Europe. Economic problems contributed to the emergence of dictators in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, to include Józef Piłsudski in the Second Polish Republic, and Peter and Alexander Karađorđević in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

The devastating Wall Street Crash in October 1929 is generally viewed as a harbinger of the end of 1920s prosperity in North America and Europe.

Millennium: 2nd millennium
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Social history

The Roaring Twenties brought about several novel and highly visible social and cultural trends. These trends, made possible by sustained economic prosperity, were most visible in major cities like New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin and London. “Normalcy” returned to politics in the wake of hyper-emotional patriotism during World War I, jazz blossomed, and Art Deco peaked. For women, knee-length skirts and dresses became socially acceptable, as did bobbed hair with a marcel wave. The women who pioneered these trends were frequently referred to as flappers.[4]

The era saw the large-scale adoption of automobiles, telephones, motion pictures, radio and household electricity, as well as unprecedented industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle and culture. The media began to focus on celebrities, especially sports heroes and movie stars. Large baseball stadiums were built in major U.S. cities, in addition to palatial cinemas.

Most independent countries passed women's suffrage after 1918, especially as a reward for women's support of the war effort and endurance of its deaths and hardships.

Politics and wars

Wars

Internal conflicts

Major political changes

  • Rise of radical political movements such as communism and fascism, amid the economic and political turmoil after World War I and after the stock market crash

Decolonization and independence

Prominent political events

  • Kellogg–Briand Pact to end war
  • Women's suffrage movement continues to make gains as women obtain full voting rights in New Zealand (1893), the Grand Duchy of Finland (1906), Denmark (1915), the United Kingdom in 1918 (women over 30) and in 1928 (full enfranchisement), and in the United States in 1920
  • Women begin to enter the workplace in larger numbers

North America

Prohibition agents emptying barrels of alcohol.

Europe

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union) is created in 1922.

Asia

Africa

Economics

Crowd gathering after the Wall Street Crash of 1929
Dow Jones Industrial, 1928–1930

Disasters

Natural:

Assassinations and attempts

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

Science and technology

Technology

Science

  • Charles Lindbergh becomes the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean (May 20–21, 1927), nonstop from New York to Paris.
  • Howard Carter opens the innermost shrine of King Tutankhamun's tomb near Luxor, Egypt, 1922
  • In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovers the penicillin

Popular culture

Film

The first short film by Walt Disney, Steamboat Willie, 1928

Fashion

The most memorable fashion trend of the Roaring Twenties was undoubtedly “the flapper” look.

The 1920s is the decade in which fashion entered the modern era. It was the decade in which women first abandoned the more restricting fashions of past years and began to wear more comfortable clothes (such as short skirts or trousers). Men also abandoned highly formal daily attire and even began to wear athletic clothing for the first time. The suits men wear today are still based, for the most part, on those worn in the late 1920s. The 1920s are characterized by two distinct periods of fashion. In the early part of the decade, change was slow, as many were reluctant to adopt new styles. From 1925, the public passionately embraced the styles associated with the Roaring Twenties. These styles continue to characterize fashion until the worldwide depression worsened in 1931.

Music

The period from the end of the First World War until the start of the Depression in 1929 is known as the "Jazz Age"

Radio

  • First commercial radio stations in the U.S., 8MK (WWJ) in Detroit and (KDKA 1020 AM) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, go on the air on August 27, 1920.
  • Both stations broadcast the election results between Harding and Cox in early November. The first station to receive a commercial license is WBZ, then in Springfield MA, in mid-September 1921. While there are only a few radio stations in 1920–21, by 1922 the radio craze is sweeping the country.
  • 1922: The BBC begins radio broadcasting in the United Kingdom as the British BroadcastingCompany, a consortium between radio manufacturers and newspapers. It became a public broadcaster in 1926.
  • On August 27, 1920, regular wireless broadcasts for entertainment began in Argentina for the first time,[8] by a Buenos Aires group including Enrique Telémaco Susini. The station is soon called Radio Argentina. (See Radio in Argentina.)

Arts

Literature

Architecture

Sports highlights

1920

1921

1923

1924

1925

  • May 28: French Open invites non-French tennis athletes for the first time
  • Germany and Belgium in first handball international tournament.

1926

1927

1928

1929

Miscellaneous trends

People

World leaders

Science

Literature

Entertainers

Musicians

Film makers

Artists

Architects

Sports figures

See also

Timeline

The following articles contain brief timelines listing the most prominent events of the decade:

1920192119221923192419251926192719281929

References

  1. ^ Paul Sann, The Lawless Decade Retrieved 2009-09-03
  2. ^ Andrew Lamb (2000). 150 Years of Popular Musical Theatre. Yale U.P. p. 195.
  3. ^ Wilkins, Mira (1974). "Multinational Oil Companies in South America in the 1920s: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru". The Business History Review. 48 (3): 414–446. doi:10.2307/3112955.
  4. ^ Price, S (1999). "What made the twenties roar?". 131 (10): 3–18.
  5. ^ "The Ku Klux Klan, a brief biography". The African American Registry. Archived from the original on 2012-08-25. Retrieved July 19, 2012. and Lay, Shawn. "Ku Klux Klan in the Twentieth Century". The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Coker College.
  6. ^ African History Timeline
  7. ^ "Inflation and CPI Consumer Price Index 1920-1929". Inflation Data. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  8. ^ Altgelt, Carlos A. "EARLY HISTORY OF RADIO BROADCASTING IN ARGENTINA". The Broadcast Archive. Retrieved 5 November 2017.

Further reading

  • Allen, Frederick Lewis. Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s (1931), classic popular history of United States; online free
  • Grossman, Mark. Encyclopedia of the Interwar Years: From 1919 to 1939 (2000). 400pp.
  • McAuliffe, Mary. When Paris Sizzled: The 1920s Paris of Hemingway, Chanel, Cocteau, Cole Porter, Josephine Baker, and Their Friends (2016) excerpt
  • Mowat, Charles Loch. Britain Between the Wars, 1918–1940 (1955), 690pp; thorough scholarly coverage; emphasis on politics online at Questia; also online free to borrow, scholarly survey of the era.
  • Sobel, Robert The Great Bull Market: Wall Street in the 1920s. (1968)
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