The Roaring Twenties Essay

When President Warren Harding took office in 1921, the national economy was in the depths of a depression with an unemployment rate of 20% and runaway inflation.Harding signed the Emergency Tariff of 1921 and the Fordney–Mc Cumber Tariff of 1922.As such, the period is also often referred to as the Jazz Age.

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These policies led to the “boom” of the Coolidge years.

One of the main initiatives of both the Harding and Coolidge administrations was the rolling back of income taxes on the wealthy which had been raised during World War I.

However, the overconfidence of these years contributed to the speculative bubble that sparked the stock market crash and the Great Depression.

The government’s role as an arbiter rather than an active entity continued under President Herbert Hoover.

Finally the Wall Street Crash of 1929 ended the era, as the Great Depression set in worldwide, bringing years of worldwide gloom and hardship.

The social and cultural features known as the Roaring Twenties began in leading metropolitan centers, especially Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Paris and London, then spread widely in the aftermath of World War I.

“Normalcy” returned to politics in the wake of hyper-emotional patriotism during World War I, jazz music blossomed, the flapper redefined modern womanhood, and Art Deco peaked.

Economically, the era saw the large-scale diffusion and use of automobiles, telephones, motion pictures, and electricity, unprecedented industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle and culture.

When the income tax was established in 1913, the highest marginal tax rate was 7 percent; it was increased to 77 percent in 1916 to help finance World War I.

The top rate was reduced to as low as 25 percent in 1925.


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