Millennium: 2nd millennium

The 1920s is sometimes referred to as the "Jazz Age" or the "Roaring Twenties," usually applied to America. In Europe the decade is sometimes referred to as the Golden Twenties (see 1920s Berlin).

Since the closing of the 20th Century, the 1920s has drawn close associations with the 1950s and 1990s, especially in the United States. The three decades are regarded as periods of economic prosperity, which lasted throughout almost the entire decade following a tremendous event that occurred in the previous decade (World War I and Spanish flu in the 1910s, World War II in the 1940s, and the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s).

Despite the comparisons, however, there were a number of differences. In contrast to the liberalism of the 1920s and 1990s, the 1950s was very conservative. Secondly, Weimar Republic Germany, like many other European countries, had to face a severe economic downturn in the opening years of the decade, because of the enormous debt caused by the war as well as the one-sided Treaty of Versailles. Such a crisis would culminate with a devaluation of the Mark in 1923, eventually leading to severe economic problems and the rise of the Nazis.

Additionally, the decade was characterized by the rise of radical political movements, especially in regions that were once part of empires. Communism began attracting large numbers of followers following the success of the October Revolution and the Bolsheviks' determination to win the subsequent Russian Civil War. The Bolsheviks would eventually adopt semi-capitalist policies--New Economic Policy--from 1921 to 1928.

The 1920s also experienced the rise of the far-right in Europe and elsewhere, starting with Fascism in the world as an antidote to Communism.

The Stock Market collapsed during October 1929 (see Black Tuesday) and drew a line under the prosperous 1920s.


Poster for the second All-Color All-Talking movie: Gold Diggers of Broadway 1929.

War, peace and politics[]

See also Social issues of the 1920s


Literature and Arts[]

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at 1920s. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.