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Research Papers on the Politics of Prosperity: The 1920's

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The 1920s is perpetually known as one of the eras of greatest prosperity in American history. A few facts regarding the politics of prosperity in the 1920's are as follows:

  • Our economy, bolstered after emerging from World War I unscathed, was able to grow and develop in ways never seen before
  • Many Americans experienced a level of material comfort they had never before encountered.
  • Wealth and prosperity was largely reserved for the upper tier of American businessmen
  • The Average citizen was only able to afford material goods through the use of lines of credit and marginally-increasing wages. The Politics of Prosperity: The 1920's

The 1920s saw a rise in the dominance of the Republican Party, a political group that supported the rights and practices of large corporations and businessmen. Their philosophy of putting business interests before the interests of the American people was a sharp deviation from the Progressive era of the 1910s and a far cry from the growing social support that would mark the government’s response to the depression of the 1930s. As President, Warren G. Harding proposed a “return to normalcy,” or a return to traditional business practices after World War I. It was also in his presidency that the close connection between big business and the White House was made clear with the Teapot Dome Scandal of 1923. Following Harding’s death, Calvin Coolidge became President in late 1923, a man that supported limited government involvement in Americans’ lives. This lack of intrusion allowed business practices to go unchecked by the government, leading to rampant worker exploitation and the accumulation of wealth on the backs of hard-working immigrants. Ironically, though, this notion of limited government involvement in people’s lives was contradicted with the enacting of the 18th Amendment-- Prohibition. An era of contradictions, the “Roaring 20s” were only “roaring” for the upper tiers of American society, due in large part to a lack of government regulation of business practices.

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