Consumerism In The 1920s Essay

771 Words4 Pages
The 1920s and the 1950s were times of substantial growth and economic prosperity. The two decades led to historical breakthroughs as well as setbacks; they are imperative to the history of the United States. Consumerism and innovations had a large role throughout the time periods. While the decades were similar in heightened consumerism, they each affected Americans and their ideology regarding freedom differently. The 1920s, following World War I, was a period of economic growth, new technology, consumption, and entertainment (Foner, 611, 612). Telephones, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, and refrigerators all made the lives of Americans more convenient (Foner, 611). Radios and phonographs also promoted entertainment. Purchasing these…show more content…
The television, air-conditioning, dishwasher, and cheaper phone calls and air travel all made life easier (Foner, 728). The “postwar baby boom” caused a large demand for “housing, television sets, home appliances, and cars” (Foner, 739). Automobiles became an essential part of daily life, causing a trend of “motels, drive-in movie theaters, and roadside eating establishments” (Foner, 740). During WWII, women had a vital role in working during the war; in 1955, the tendency continued and a higher amount of women worked than during the war. However, the motives were different in that the purpose was no longer “to help pull it out of poverty or to pursue personal fulfillment or an independent career” (Foner, 742). Feminism had become nearly nonexistent; it was merely seen as “evidence of a mental disorder” or “unhappiness of individual women” due to “failure to accept the ‘maternal instinct’” (Foner, 742). There was a heightened amount of segregation in the 1950s, with “rigid racial boundaries” (Foner, 742). White people moved to the suburbs, which non-white people lived in urban ghettos due to employment discrimination and lack of educational opportunity (Foner,
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