Nov 14, 2020 in History

American Life

Question 4

The history of the USA is sometimes quite disputable and needs a deep and detailed analysis to understand particular events. The post-World War I period deserves particular attention to grasp the true essence of changes it brought and their consequences for American citizens. The 1920s were a period of considerable transformations in the lives and beliefs of the Americans. Many scholars call it the decade of disillusionment due to the lost generation and new policies developed at that time. (Henretta, Brody, & Dumenil, 2007, p. 596). In fact, it really brought both disenchantment and a better life to various groups of the population. This paper will represent the 1920s as a period of contradictions and changes to prove that the representation of this decade as the time of disillusionment has a solid background.


The review of the period must primarily refer to such events as the end of the war and the era of changes in the Constitution. World War I was filled with horrors, and the task of the government was to bring people to normal life. However, even though many reforms were issued, there remained a considerable gap between those who lived in poverty and prosperity. Therefore, the promises of a better life given by Calvin Coolidge were not kept, and one can hardly find any contradictions against the statement that it was the era of disillusionment. In their novels, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Stein proved that the era of the lost generation had brought much disenchantment to soldiers who did not manage to get back to a new life, as well as to minorities who had to suffer even regardless of the fact that the war had finished. Victims of the war did not get rehabilitation they needed to return to normal life. Poverty and destroyed houses were what they met instead of happiness caused by the end of the war (Henretta et al., 2007, p. 711).

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While people imagined prosperity and life in peace, Jim Craws Laws were part of the unfortunate American reality. Hence, the African Americans could hardly account for equality or fairness. Their strong discrimination on the part of the white majority made people suffer. In addition to that, activities of Ku Klux Klan were devastating for many Catholics, Jews, and black people (Henretta et al., 2007, p. 709). Finally, 1929 led the USA to a considerable economic decline. Therefore, promises that the country would prosper and succeed in the agrarian and business sectors became another illusion.

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The next decades and the New Deal of Roosevelt became good evidence that many of the spheres of the American life were far from ideal and required effective economic strategies. In fact, the new policy reflected all sectors that demanded considerable changes after the end of World War I. The support of Roosevelt by more than a half of the population proves that citizens felt the need for these transformations in the banking system, public domain, agriculture, unemployment, prices, subsidies for the private sector, gender and racial equality and migration. Overall, policies were aimed to ensure social welfare that was illusionary in the 1920s (Henretta et al., 2007, p. 743).

To conclude, the review of the post-war realities and the consequent actions by President Roosevelt proves that the 1920s can really be regarded as a decade of disillusionment. After World War I, very few people could get what they dreamed of and live a happy life in peaceful society. The lost generation lacked support from the government. Effective steps to ensure the welfare of the citizens were made only in a decade by Roosevelt and his New Deal.


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