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The 1920's
The 1920s - How They Roared

The 1920's
The 1920's


The 1920s - How They Roared
Print The 1920s - How They Roared Reading Comprehension


Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.98

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    consumerism, culture-wide, frivolity, long-accepted, materialism, nullify, mentality, scandalous, automation, upheaval, paranoia, awash, unmask, equilibrium, consumption, cult
     content words:    Roaring Twenties, Jazz Age, Wonderful Nonsense, Lost Generation, Ku Klux Klan, Great War, World War, Ellen Welles Page, Sir Alexander Fleming, Sigmund Freud


The 1920s - How They Roared
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     The 1920s have been called the Roaring Twenties, the Age of Intolerance, the Jazz Age, and the Age of Wonderful Nonsense. The people of the 20s were known as the Lost Generation. The fact that one ten-year span generated so many colorful labels is a clue to the spirit of the era. By any name, the decade was a curious episode in American history.
 
2     A bird's eye view of the period reveals a writhing, restless jumble of intense movements, conflicts, and events. The 20s were awash with crazes, from wacky fads and fashions to movements fueled by dark fears and suspicions. Trends ranged from fun-loving antics like flagpole sitting to the paranoia expressed in the "Red Scare" and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.
 
3     The mood of the 20s was heavily influenced by the trauma of what was then known as the Great War. The horrors of World War I made a deep impression on the collective psyche of America. One young journalist said: "The war tore away our spiritual foundations and challenged our faith. We are struggling to regain our equilibrium." (Ellen Welles Page, A Flapper's Appeal to Parents)
 
4     When the war was over and the soldiers returned, the nation "blew off steam" in a headlong rush into materialism and frivolity. Higher wages for average Americans meant more spending power. Prosperity burst upon the nation in a way that few had ever experienced. At the same time, automation was taking over factories. Mass production brought ready availability and cheaper costs. In 1908, a person could expect to pay over $800 for a car. By 1925, the average car could be had for under $300.
 
5     Credit was another factor in the 20s cult of consumerism. Big ticket items like cars and household appliances had been, up to this point, a family's reward for patiently saving and doing without. With the blossoming of the installment plan, people signed on the dotted line and took their purchases home immediately. They were then tied to weekly or monthly payments which included interest charged on the debt. Of course, the total cost of the item was far more in the end than if it had been purchased for cash. By the end of the decade, runaway consumer credit was part of the overload that tipped the nation over the edge of a deep economic chasm.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
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The 1920's
             The 1920's


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United States
             United States


    American Government  
 
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
 
    Children in History  
 
    Government Careers  
 
    Hispanic Heritage  
 
    How Can I Help?  
 
 
    Immigration  
 
    National Parks and Monuments  
 
    Native Americans  
 
    Presidents of the United States  
 
    Women's History  
 


United States History
    A Nation Divided
(1840-1861)
 
 
    A New Nation
(1776-1830)
 
 
    After the Civil War
(1865-1870)
 
 
    American Revolution  
 
    Cold War
(1947-1991)
 
 
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
 
    Lewis and Clark
(1804-1806)
 
 
    Pearl Harbor  
 
    Spanish American War (1898)  
 
    The 1890's  
 
    The 1900's  
 
    The 1910's  
 
    The 1920's  
 
    The 1930's  
 
 
    The 1940's  
 
    The 1950's  
 
    The 1960's  
 
    The 1970's  
 
    The 1980's  
 
    The 1990's  
 
    The 2000's  
 
    The Civil War
(1861-1865)
 
 
    The Great Depression
(1929-1945)
 
 
    The United States Grows
(1865-1900)
 
 
    The War of 1812  
 
    Wild, Wild West  
 
    World War I
(1914-1918)
 
 
    World War II  
 


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             Fifty States Theme Unit


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