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Starting with Harding’s term in 1920 and continuing with Coolidge and Hoover after, the 1920s became known as the Roaring Twenties. The 1920s also represented an important watershed in the development of a mass national culture. A new emphasis on leisure, consumption, and amusement characterized the modern era, although its benefits were more accessible to the white middle class than to minorities and other disadvantaged groups. The Roaring 1920s were largely developed by the arts and entertainment industries. The Roaring Twenties had cultural and economic characteristics. Starting with a recession from 1920-1921, aftermaths of WWI, the economy had a boom. Many things contributed. Automobiles were being produced massively by General Motors. Producers switched from using steam power to electric power. The large businesses kept the economy stable. By 1929, the largest 200 corporations held 49% of the corporate wealth and 43% of the corporate income. The top 5% of the corporations in the nation had 85% of the corporate income. And 3.2% banks owned 46% of the banking resources. After the recession, the unemployment rate stayed at a mere 3-4%. Per capita income rose from $641 in 1921 to $847 in 1929. There were mass-production techniques which resulted in a 40% increase in workers’ productivity. The arts of the Roaring Twenties lay primarily in the literature. Talented writers were disgusted with the hypocrisy and materialism of contemporary American society. They decided to express their concern in their own works. The period was called the “lost generation” to them. There were great authors in this time. They include Earnest Hemmingway who wrote The Sun Also Rises (1926), and A Farewell to Arms (1929). F. Scott Fitzgerald also contributed to this period, creating The Great Gatsby (1925), and Tender is the Night (1929). H.L. Mencken was a journalist in this time. He published the American Mercury Magazine i...

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