THE 1920’S IN COMPARISON TO TODAY 2Abstract The 1920’s was an era of change and growth that has extended influence into today’s era. This research paper compares the main similarities between the 1920’s and today to better understand how much of an influence the 1920’s had on present society. The research paper focuses and compares entertainment, prejudice towards African Americans, minorities, and immigrants, and the prohibition era in comparison to today’s issues with Marijuana. Throughout the research it is noticeable that these issues are very similar to each other, and many of these issues and topics are still strongly prevalent today. The purpose here is to allow readers to make deep connections with how many similarities there are within the two eras and how decisions and events in the 1920’s affect and influence lives today. THE 1920’S IN COMPARISON TO TODAY 3The 1920’s in Comparison to Today The 1920’s, known as the Roaring Twenties, was a time of major political, cultural, and economic change and growth. After World War 1, Americans began to move to cities in hopes of better style of life and better paying jobs. For the first time in America, more Americans lived in cities than in the countryside. Change came drastically. Stock prices began going up rapidly and Americans were finding jobs that paid well. Tom Ford, a businessman and founder of the Ford Motor Company, brought mass production to new heights, allowing more goods to be available to Americans, like the Model T, the first affordable car for the average American. With better paying jobs, Americans had more free time, and from that stemmed the love for spectator sports, movies, literature, music, etc. The 1920’s also brought along politicians and activists like Marcus Garvey who fought for the rights of African Americans, and movements like the National Women’s Party, inspiring future movements and organizations to fight for the same rights. The 1920’s was one of the most impactful eras to happen in the U.S, and many of today’s activities and traits come from the 20’s. One of the biggest 1920’s traits still present today is the love for entertainment during leisure time. The 1920’s saw the first of film, as the movie industry began to rise. During the 1920’s, 60 to 100 million Americans were watching movies weekly. For most of the decade filmmakers were making silent movies, in which there was no spoken dialogue, just background music matching the mood of the scene, with mimes, gestures, and title cards used as the dialogue. In 1927, the movie “The Jazz Singer” came out, and it was the first movie with sound THE 1920’S IN COMPARISON TO TODAY 4synchronized to the action. The movie shook the world and changed the film industry forever. All studios moved from silent movies to movies with sound, known during the era as “talkies”. Today watching movies and shows is a huge part of many people’s lives. Now, movies are a lot more accessible as everything can be found online through streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Film has also evolved to absolute new heights with new filming equipment, making everything more realistic and enjoyable. According to Statista, just Netflix alone has 109.25 million subscribers. The numbers for all streaming services and movie theater tickets summed up would be a huge number, definitely doubling, even tripling the amount of Americans who watched movies in the 1920’s. Spectator sports was also something very common in the 1920’s that still has a strong presence today. The increase of radio broadcast and newspaper readership in the 1920’s brought a new meaning and rise to sports, making Americans a lot more interested in watching sports. The 1920’s was often called the “Golden Age of Sports” due to the many extraordinary athletes who emerged. Many are still remembered today such as Babe Ruth. Today, watching sports is also a big part of many American individuals and families lives. To many it’s more than just a sport. Every sport has a professional league today, for example FIFA (soccer), NBA (basketball), NFL (football), and many more. Due to technological advancements, it is all very easy to watch and access. Entertainment spoke directly to the desires, needs, passions, and fantasies of millions of Americans, and that is why it has such a strong presence in many American lives. THE 1920’S IN COMPARISON TO TODAY 5Another huge trait in the U.S that has been present since the 1920’s is the prejudice against colored Americans and immigrants. In the 1920’s, Americans known as Nativists argue that immigrants were taking native-born Americans jobs and threatening American culture. People were afraid of outside cultures and ideas, so they tried to completely shut them down. On May, 19, 1921, President Warren Harding signed the 1921 Emergency Quota Act, which restricted the number of immigrants to 357,000 per year. The Quota Act was followed up by The National Origins Act in 1924, which also restricted entrance of Immigrants in to the U.S. Immigrants were being treated poorly and threatened by organizations like the Klu Klux Klan, who targeted Immigrants and African Americans. African Americans immigrated from the South to the North in hopes of being treated and paid better. African Americans did find better paying jobs, but they were still being discriminated against and treated as second class citizens. African Americans did not have the chance to prosper the same way as their fellow white citizens did. Today, African Americans and Immigrants face the same problems they did in the 1920’s. President Donald Trump recently repealed DACA, a program that protected and allowed illegal minors from being deported immediately and allowing them to continue studies and lives here. Now these immigrants, most young latinos, will have to go back to their countries, many of them to countries they are unfamiliar with. African Americans have also been facing all types of prejudice. Many unarmed African Americans have been shot by police, with no real justice being served. One of the most famous incidents was the case of 17 year old Trayvon martin, who was shot by a cop for looking suspicious. African Americans are also more likely to be put in jail than white people are. A Connecticut study in April 2015 also shows prejudice against African THE 1920’S IN COMPARISON TO TODAY 6Americans and other minorities, reporting Black drivers are 31 percent more likely to be pulled over than white drivers and Hispanic drivers are 23 percent more likely to be pulled over than white drivers. Even though discrimination against African Americans has dramatically decreased, it is still a pressing issue in society today. The Marijuana controversy today relates very closely to the prohibition era in the 1920’s. In 1919, the states ratified the 18th Amendment, which forbade the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcohol anywhere in the U.S. Congress then passed the Volstead Act which officially enforced the Amendment. Americans were outraged and didn’t accept the amendment. The Americans wanted their alcohol, and many people resorted to illegally purchasing it. That gave a chance for Gangs and criminals to sell illegal alcohol. Many gangsters like Al Capone made huge amounts of money selling alcohol to the American people. This brought a lot of violence and crime, as Gangs were trying to claim and keep territory in the bootlegging business. The marijuana issue today has been very similar to the alcohol issue in the early twentieth century . For a long time Marijuana has been illegal in the U.S, but many people still wanted it. This allowed gangs to build empires off of marijuana, making billions of dollars. Americans have now pushed to make marijuana legal in many states, and now the Government can make money off marijuana instead of gangsters. The 1920’s has influenced the way we live today. The 1920’s created many social norms and movements that evolved throughout the years to shape who Americans are today. The Era also created many of the traits Americans still have till today, rebellious and fun. Comparing the 1920’s to today allows Americans to view our weaknesses and strengths as a Nation and how THE 1920’S IN COMPARISON TO TODAY 7Americans can improve to become better as a people. Comparing the eras, it is obvious Americans have not yet rid the problem of prejudice towards African Americans, minorities, and Immigrants. Racism and Hate have always had a place in American life. Looking at this data and evidence allows Americans now to try and find a solution to this problem so it does not continue on in to America’s future. But we also see many positives comparing the eras, like progressing and advancing in entertainment, showing the American creativity and desire to push forward. The 1920’s showed many positive and negative similarities to today, all in which have helped Americans grow.