New Era: Reaction to “Boom To Bust”

Published: 2021/12/28
Number of words: 957

The Keith Nichols documentary, “The Century: America’s Time – 1920-1929: Boom to Bust,” has educative historical facts on significant events that occurred in the 1920s that shaped American. While watching, several themes emerged, most of which form crucial pillars in the development of the USA. Most of the main topics covered in the documentary delve into the social, political, cultural, and economic aspects of American people during this era. The key areas I find intriguing in the video include prohibition law, jazz age, Ku Klux Klan (KKK), plights of women in society, and the emergence of the US as a superpower. Filled with enthusiasm and disillusionment simultaneously, Americans disengaged from the rest of the world and concentrated on their country to improve its economy and image.

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I find several aspects interesting during the roaring twenties. Street names and their significance is one of the themes I find most exciting. I noticed that Americans were hopeful about their activities, and every view made meaning. Furthermore, people believed in the naming and even made meanings out of them. Three iconic streets emerged. Broadway was well-known for its entertainment, such as music, and this made it famous historically. Wall Street is another one highlighted by the author. Several Americans visited this place because of economic endeavors. Madison is the last street mentioned in the documentary, whose value is linked to the advertisement. I now realize how far people have come and the evolution that has occurred in the marketing industry. So, I noticed that many Americans loved these streets because they made life entertaining and easier for them. The origin of fashion, especially those of women, is the new event I did not know to have occurred during this era. Short dress codes were introduced, and it marked the rise of glamorous fashion trends for middle classed American women. I was shocked at how people grew in confidence during this time, especially with their stock market investments. I noticed false prosperity characterized by overproduction of goods, stock prices inflation, and buying on credit. Also, there was excessive speculation on the stock market, which made people invest more.

The 1920s era undoubtedly played a significant part in current America. Americans isolated themselves from the rest of the world, and they focused entirely on economic improvement. I realized that it was an era full of disillusionment, but some of the mistakes were lessons that still play a part today. For example, prohibition law barred people from selling and drinking alcohol, which created a bootlegging business and led to the rise of mobsters, such as Al-Capone, Chicago mafia. I noticed that the federal government realized later that they made a mistake and instead lifted the ban. Tax increment was then created as a substitute to discourage people from this business, and drinking as prices increased. I find it difficult to buy alcohol because their prices are high now, and after reading this scenario, I noticed the approach emanated from prohibition law. Another development from this era still happening today is the freedom of women who now enjoy equality in all life dimensions, be it political, economic, or social. The amendment was made during this era to enable them to vote.

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Several themes featured in this video, such as prohibition, business booms, KKK, jazz age, women and gender equality, and America as the wealthiest nation globally shaped the USA. Most of these topics changed America and made it to be recognized as superpower, a merit still enjoyed now. Most of themes defined the cultural, social, political, and economic changes that shaped America. Business booms emerged as people were filled confidence to invest. Motor car industries allowed people to buy care on hire purchase terms, which made 20% of Americans to own car. Migration became inevitable as more people travelled from upcountry to go live in town, especially New York. Evidences of stock market investments increased as many people injected much into it without thinking about the risks. The culture of music, such as jazz emerged. In politics, significant changes appeared that altered America significantly. People began to solve labor problems through unions, conservative politics started, Christian values soared, and citizens championed for a system whereby government has less interference into their lives. This video changes my understanding of the USA by providing information about main events that marked the origin of a better America. From the social, cultural, economic, and political problems faced from 1920 to 1929, Americans learned good lessons, which were used to generate better policies for governing the nation.

American citizens underwent significant social, cultural, political, and economic metamorphosis during the 1920s by detaching from the rest of the world and engaging in activities that improved their well-being and the country’s image. I noticed that people had higher hopes than usual, evidenced by their ability to invest in stock without forecasting risks. Disillusionment fostered error in people, but this scenario, later on, shaped the country, as adjustments were made to avoid the mistakes. From my view, I believe prohibition had a significant impact on how to control alcohol consumption today. Also, amending the suffrage law to give women the right to vote, and this event orchestrated the beginning of the movements to address the women’s plights. On the whole, this era, a span of nine years, instigated a lot of developments in the USA, most of which shaped the merits people enjoy in the USA today.

Works Cited

Nichols, Keith. “The Century: America’s Time – 1920-1929: Boom to Bust.” YouTube, uploaded by John McDonnell, 28 Dec. 2013,

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