It has been 100 years since the 1920s, a decade that was known for a lot of things. Life after World War 1 was polarizing.
There was prohibition, but there was also the roaring 20s, where people flourished in spite of the restrictions and floundering economy. Yet, the decade still ended with the Great Depression in 1920.
As the world in the 2020s works to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, is another decade like the 20s on the horizon? Can we stand up to restrictions and launch forward with new literature, amazing athletes, and a flourishing economy?
Warren G Harding was president during the first part of the roaring 20s and was generally considered a man of peace. After him, Calvin Coolidge was president of the U.S. and led the country through the remainder of the 1920s.
In the 2020s, we are also undergoing a presidential election that will shape the future.
While the roaring 20s might not specifically occur again in the same way of 100 years ago, there are certain elements of the 20s that might reappear as we continue to recover from the pandemic – all rights reserved.
Economy and the Stock Market
One similarity between now and the 20s is the fluctuating stock market. While we are not recovering from a world war in the United States right now, people are watching the stock markets recover after the economy suffered at the height of the global pandemic.
In the roaring 20s, stocks crashed and the economy tanked as the result of the world war. Something similar happened now, in that we saw a bit of a recession in March 2020. Stocks recovered almost immediately, but there is no guarantee that will continue through the rest of the decade.
Charles Lindbergh piloted the first solo airplane across the United States in 1927. This served as inspiration in the 1920s for others to dream of a new and better world. Nowadays, while it seems like major new inventions are fewer and farther between, we still are developing new products at record speeds.
Tesla is leading the electronic car industry, and in 100 years the decade we are in right now could be looked at in the same light as the 1920s. With the way Tesla stock is soaring, this could shape the economy over the next decade.
Wealth could be built in stocks then just like you can earn money and wealth in today’s world.
The Virus in the United States
People are slowly recovering now from the spike in the pandemic that hit in March 2020, but there are certain industries that have not recovered yet like air travel and transportation.
While we no longer have to worry about creating washing machines or toaster ovens, there are other factors that have an impact on us today that did not exist in the roaring 20s. One problem for today’s society is the virus has affected the whole world and is stunting the growth of some industries.
The roaring 20s may not have had the coronavirus, but there was a war effect to consider as World War 1 was just winding down. The world was still under stress.
In the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance was the development of a neighborhood in New York, and we could see similar neighborhood developments now in the wake of the virus.
In reality, certain parts of the world have been decimated and entire industries will close down. One thing we could see is a similar rebirth that we saw in the 1920s. People are fleeing from major cities like New York City, but over the course of the decade, cities might see a rebirth.
Calvin Coolidge decided not to run for a second term as president. The effect of the virus on the U.S. has led many to wish the current U.S. president would follow that notion and not run for a second term either.
Al Capone and Prohibition
The 1920s were the height of prohibition, and Capone was a gangster who led a multi-million dollar operation in Chicago in bootlegging, prostitution, and gambling.
While we can now drink alcohol with ease and there have been steps made to legalize gambling, prostitution is still illegal. In reality, while Capone is long gone, other sharks have taken over in the world of gambling.
Another here of the 1920s, Jack Dempsey, was known for his boxing prowess and is one of the best boxers of all time.
In addition to Dempsey, there are plenty more people to come out of the 1920s and be remembered as the best in their field. For example, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway wrote some of the best literature of all time.
If we can produce as many amazing great novels in the 2020s as the 1920s, we will be in great shape.
Intellectuals led the way in the 1920s, and there are novelists today trying to follow the footsteps of the great writers and athletes from the 1920s.
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Jazz and Music
The 1920s were the age of Jazz music and flapper girls who wore short skirts and generally rebelled against conservative behavior. Some of that still holds true today, as women have been able to gain freedom and independence. Some elements of the flappers’ lifestyle still exist for a woman today.
Flappers started as a way to revolt against prohibition and other restrictions of the time period. Nowadays, people hold theme parties like the roaring 20s, where they serve gin out of bathtubs just like in the 1920s.
During the height of prohibition, drinking out of bathtubs was out of necessity not for fun, and some from that time period would likely scoff at the idea of doing that for fun.
The government attempted to control alcohol, which made many uncomfortable and caused protests. Nowadays, there is likely no scenario in which prohibition would occur again.
The 1920s were an interesting decade, full of Jazz music, flapper girls, and a recovery from a world war. As we start the 2020s, the world is changing before our eyes.
COVID-19 has been a global pandemic that has shifted the way the world operates. While we will not see an exact replica of the 1920s, we will see similar themes.
Just like major changes happened in the 1920s, major changes will happen in the 2020s, as cars shift more towards being electrically operated ( read more on roaring 20s cars ) than gas-operated, and as major corporations work remotely more than ever before.
While we do not need flapper girls standing up to prohibition, we do continue to change socioeconomically, as we stand up to racism and homophobia.
There is no doubt that the 2020s will be another historic decade, just like the 1920s were since the coronavirus stands to change the world forever.
Written by Kerry Wisby – GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Owner & Founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Kerry Wisby, a former teacher with a BA in English, is the founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com. With a passion for all things 1920s, including The Great Gatsby novel, her website is the ultimate source for Roaring Twenties fashion, history, and party ideas. Read more about Kerry here.