Chapter 20 Review: America in the Twenties
For most Americans, the decade of the 1920s was a time of wealth. It was a time of rapid growth in American industry, with the construction, automobile, and public utilities industries leading the way. New methods of mass production made American workers more productive than ever before. The result was a higher standard of living for most workers and much higher profits for business and corporations. Profits were also increased by the tax and tariff policies of three successive Republican presidents. The administrations of Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover pursued a foreign policy designed to extend and protect American overseas investments and trade.
The twenties were an era of dramatic social change in the United States. Women won the right to vote and went on to gain a greater measure of economic dependence. Although European immigration declined with the passage of restrictive acts, migration of rural Americans to the cities continued. African Americans migrated from the rural South to northern Industrial cities in large numbers. They were confined to low-paying jobs and to housing in the poorest neighborhoods. Racial discrimination made movement out of these ghettos nearly impossible. Cities grew upward and outward. Skyscrapers and suburban neighborhoods became common features of the landscape.
Many Americans were disturbed by the changes of the 1920s. They were alarmed that young people were rebelling against the Victorian standards of morality. Some Americans felt traditional values were being eroded as society was becoming culturally diverse. The resurgence of nativism made groups like the Ku Klux Klan more popular.