In America, the 1920’s were considered to be a ‘roaring’ time for all Americans. However, it seems to be that this ‘roar’ was an illusion for some Americans. This time was known as Americas ‘age of excess’. In 1921, the gross national product was $74 billion, by 1229, it was $104.4 billion, but how much of this was affecting all Americans. Within this essay, I will be looking at different actions, which affected different people in different ways. For example: while the rich got richer, the poor made very little headway, with many families becoming poorer in the 1920’s. By the end of the 1920’s the number of people living below the poverty line (those who do not earn enough to buy food, clothing and basic shelter) had increased to an estimated 42 percent of the American population.
Many people through out America thought alcohol was harmful and dangerous and welcomed the introduction of prohibition. In 1919, after the First World War, they got what they wanted. Congress (the American parliament) passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. The 18th Amendment stated…
“…after one year the manufacture, sale of, transporting of
intoxicating liquors for beverage purpose, the importing and
exporting of such liquors is hereby prohibited.”
The Volstead Act, which was passed the same year, gave the federal governments the power to enforce prohibition, and then backed the 18th Amendment and from the 16th January 1920, the USA went “Dry”. The people who opposed alcohol argued that it caused social problems such as violence, crime, poverty and sexual promiscuity. They believed that when it was banned, then America would be a better, healthier and a more moral place to live. There were many organisations, which led campaigns against alcohol. They included The Anti-Saloon League of America and The Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Therefore, with the introduction of prohibition they had got their way. In some individual states, prohibition laws were already being enforced. There were thirteen totally “Dry” states by 1919, and many other states had introduced some kind of control on the sale and manufacture of alcohol. After the First World War, because many of America’s brewers were of German descent there was a lot of anti-German feeling and campaigners were able to argue that it would be patriotic to close the brewers down.
Therefore, a decline in the amount of alcohol being produced appeared. Prohibition wasn’t something that happened overnight, there had been a gradually build up to it. Even though prohibition seemed like a good idea in theory, it had almost the exact opposite effect from what it intended. Instead of reducing the crime rate, it managed to increase it, and even more people were drinking alcohol. Prohibition forced the general public to act illegally to get the much-wanted alcohol. This illegal alcohol was expensive, the rich were able to have it delivered to there homes, but most people by the end of the 1920’s were making alcohol at home in illegal stills and was know as ‘moonshine’. The homemade alcohol was often dangerous and could cause blindness, serious illness or even death. Some alcohol was still being produced legally for industrial processes (within hospitals etc), and even though the government added poison deliberately to this alcohol, much of it went missing. The stolen alcohol was resold for drinking purposes, and as a result, the rate of alcohol poisoning rose from 98 in 1920 to 760 in 1926.
Smugglers or ‘Bootleggers’ as they were often known, brought illegal alcohol supplies into cities. They often smuggled rum from the West Indies and whiskey often crossed the river from Canada to Detroit. It soon became big business and a lot of money could be made from it bootleggers organised themselves into gangs to transport the alcohol and these gangs soon became rich and powerful. The profits were so great that people would risk imprisonment. Now that there was alcohol entering the country, Americans wanted somewhere where they were able to drink and socialize at the same time, so illegal drinking saloons called ‘speakeasies’ started to appear. Before prohibition there had been 15,000 legal saloons in New York, by 1932 there were around 32,000 speakeasies in the city. Bootleggers or gangsters often ran these speakeasies.
The biggest affect that prohibition had on American society was the increase in organised crime. When the demand for illegal alcohol became apparent, gangsters saw a way to make a lot of money. Every city has its own gangsters. Dutch Schultz ran New York, Chester La Mare ruled Detroit and Dion O’Banion controlled Chicago. Dion O’Banion sang in the choir of the Holy Name Cathedral and the headquarters for his gang was his flower shop, but O’ Banion still murdered at least 25 people. Like many gangsters, he became very rich through bootlegging liquor. He controlled most of the bootlegging business in South Chicago while another gangster John Torrio controlled the whole liquor trade in North Chicago. Rival gangs fought with each other for the rights to supply speakeasies with alcohol.
This rivalry often caused huge confrontations between the gangs, many gang members were killed and alcohol supplies hijacked during these confrontations. Unfortunately it wasn’t only gang members who got hurt, if you were associated with gang members, a friend or sibling for example, then you’re life was often in danger. Hundreds of innocent people lose their lives because they managed to be ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’. In Chicago alone, there were 227 gang murders between 1927 and 1931, which no one was ever convicted for.
Gangsters were able to take control of cities by bribing local policemen, judges and politicians. This meant that gangsters could operate with little fear of arrest. The most notorious city that was ruled by gangsters was Chicago, where the Mayor ‘Big Bill’ Thompson was known to be a close associate of Torrio and his new partner, who would become one of the best-known gangsters of all time, Al Capone. Torrio and Capone had gained control over him by offering huge bribes. Consequently, Big Bill did not interfere with the gangs activities and he sacked any city officials who caused problems for Torrio. In addition, many of the badly paid police force were also willing to accept bribes to keep out of their business.
The aim of prohibition was to stop things like violence, crime, poverty and sexual promiscuity which people said alcohol caused. , But instead of stopping these things, it increased them. There was a rise in organised crime and violence related to it. With the introduction of prohibition organisations like The Anti-Saloon League of America and The Women’s Christian Temperance Union, who opposed to alcohol got what they wanted. In addition, the prohibition era ‘roared’ for bootleggers and gangsters, who were making a huge fortune on supplying the alcohol to the general public. The prohibition era did not ‘roar for the general public, they were forced into breaking the law, meaning they faced the fear of arrest and they also had to pay extortionate prices for the illegal alcohol.
The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was notorious for stirring up hatred and prejudice against anyone who did not fit their ideals. After the American civil war, in the mid-19th century, a terrorist organisation was started in the southern states, to try to maintain white supremacy over the newly freed black slaves. The Klan did it best to terrorise blacks who tried to take part in local politics. There name comes from the Greek word Kuklos meaning circle. The members of the group wore white robes and pointed hoods to conceal their identities. In time, the Klan died out, until 1915 when William Simmons started up the Klan again. He added a new list of target for the Klan’s hatred, as well as blacks: Jews, Catholics, homosexuals, foreigners and anyone of liberal views. By 1925 the Klan had 5 million members, and it’s were members were not just in the southern states, but those outside the southern states were more anti-catholic then anti-black.
One American magazine, the New York World wrote a report on the Klan’s activities, it found out: there had been 5 kidnappings, 43 orders for Negroes to leave town, 27 tar and featherings, 41 floggings, 1 branding with acid, 1 mutilation and 4 murders. In many ways, the beliefs of the Klan were like those of the Nazis in Germany and the fascists in Italy. By the end of the 1920’s the Klan’s membership had gone into decline, its reputation was undermined by a number of scandals. This included the conviction of D.C Stephenson, the Klan leader of the state of Indiana; he was convicted for the abduction, rape and multination of a girl who later killed herself. His actions stunned America, it shocked most Klansmen and millions left the Klan because of it. The Klan’s influence rapidly died and soon the movement collapsed, but did not die out altogether; there are still some Americans who belong to the Ku Klux Klan.
During the Klan’s era, it is easy to see who it didn’t ‘roar’ for, anyone who was on the Klan’s list of targets. This meant Jews, Catholics, homosexuals, foreigners, anyone of liberal views and of course black people. This era ‘roared’ for people involved in the Klan, they were part of a club and were reigning supreme over those on their hate list.
The biggest concentration of black people was in the southern states; they were either labourers or ‘sharecroppers’ (they paid a share of their crops to landowners). Three quarters of a million black farm workers lost their jobs during the 1920’s, due to farming depression. Many made the journey northwards to find work in the bigger cities. By the end of the 1920’s 25 percent of black people were living in cities. There were great opportunities for blacks in the cities, but they were still faced with discrimination and were forced to live in great poverty. In Harlem in New York, blacks lived in poorer housing, but paid a higher rent. In Chicago, blacks suffered great prejudice from longer-established white residents; if blacks attempted to move away from the black belt to adjacent neighbourhoods, they got a very hostile reception. They also got a similar reception from the poor white residents. In Chicago again, if blacks attempted to use playgrounds, parks and beaches in the Irish or Polish districts they would be set upon by gangs of whites who referred to them selves ‘athletic clubs’.
This resulted in the black communities in the northern cities were in ghetto areas, where one racial group was concentrated and others were excluded. Sixty percent of black women worked as low paid domestic servants in white-households. Car factories hired blacks in small numbers: but most owners operated an all white policy. Also through out the 1920s the black Americans had the Ku Klux Klan after them. Through out the 1920’s there is suddenly an interest in a lot of black culture. The popularity of Jazz music had turned many black Americans into media figure, and soon the Black neighbourhood in Harlem, New York because a centre of musical creativity. On performer, Paul Robeson managed to fight back against the prejudice to become one of America’s most celebrated performers. The 1920’s have been called the ‘Jazz age’ due to the fact that black music, whether it was jazz, soul or blues, was dominate over all other music at the time.
This music had arrived in the northern cites at the time of the great black migration from the southern states. It had a huge effect on the young, but older people saw it as a corrupting force linked to sexual excess. The music fed into popular music, dance halls and stage musicals. Magazines like the Messenger, the Crusader and Challenge put forward a black viewpoint on America at the time. Through the form of books and poems, there was also a rise in black pride. Black poets like Lansten brown and Sterling Brown helped to raise the profile of black writers. Some blacks started to stand up to the prejudice, and doing their own thing. Marcus Gavery was the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in New York, which spread, to most major American cities. They encouraged blacks to take pride in who they were. It also helped blacks to set up their own businesses and by the mid 1920’s there were UNIA restaurants, grocery stores, laundries and even a printing workshop.
The 1920’s were not a ‘roaring’ time for all black Americans, some, like those involved in the music scene did give some blacks recognition and this meant they were able to earn a little more. But it didn’t matter what they did, black Americans through out America suffered from prejudice and discrimination, if jobs had to be cut then blacks would lose theirs first, they were forced to live in poorer conditions etc. Overall the 1920’s were not a ‘roaring’ era for black Americans, but this was not a new thing and had been going on for years before 1920’s and would for quite a few years afterwards.
The 1920’s were known as America’s ‘Jazz Age’, which during this time the mass entertainment industry flourished. Music, cinema and sport gained popularity during this time.
The film industry had begun before the First World War, but its popularity soared during the 1920’s. Audience numbers more then doubled during this time and by 1929 it was estimated that about 95 million Americans were going to the cinema per week. Hollywood in California became the centre of the film industry. It was here that great movie companies like MGM, Warner Brothers and Paramount had their studios and produced the films, which were captivating the American public. These companies were making huge amounts of money as the popularity of going to the cinema increased. From the 1920’s thousands of wannabe film stars were pouring into Hollywood in hopes of getting into the movie business. The first early films were ‘silent movies’ and people like Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Rudolph Valentino and Mary Pickford became stars of the silent screen. As the films were silent, cinemas would hire piano players to play the background music during the film. Then in 1928 the first ‘talkies’ were made and film was no longer silent.
This introduction was good for the movie companies as more people were going to see their movie, but not for all silent movie actors. Many of the actors who stared in silent movie may have looked good but a lot of them had terrible voices or, so with the introduction of ‘talkies’ they were losing their jobs. The American movie industry was going strong and would only start to decline with the introduction of television after the Second World War. Not everybody approved of cinema; many people were worried by the impact of the movies especially on the morals of young people. Many older Americans were horrified by the much ‘freer sex’ of the 1920’s and the movie industries blatant use of sex symbols like Rudolph Valentino and Clara Bow. These older Americans were shocked by the seeming lack of morals in Hollywood films and in private lives of some of the movie stars. Many people in the movie industry feared that the many Hollywood scandals would be the end on the motion-picture industry.
Scandals like the mysterious death of a young girl at a party given by Fatty Arbuckle (a famous comic film star). This lead to a call for censorship, but Hollywood got in first by setting up the Hays code which specified that: ‘no film shall be produced which will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience shall never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil or sin.’ Nudity was also not allowed and the length of kisses was restricted to no longer then ten feet of film. Therefore, each kiss scene had to be shot twice, once for the American audience and one to be sent over for the European audiences. Even the poor were able to join the movie craze. In Chicago, there were hundreds of cinemas showing four performances a day. The working people spent more then half their leisure budget on going to the cinema, even those who were so poor they were getting Mothers’ Aid Assistance went often. It only cost 10-20 cents for a ticket.
The beginning of the 1920’s ‘roared’ for movie companies like MGM, Warner Brothers and Paramount who were making huge sums of money from the movie craze. Up to 1928 silent film star were making a lot of money, but after the first ‘talkie’ was made many lost their jobs because even though they had good looks they did not have good voices need for these new films. Also going to the cinema was accessible to nearly everybody, even the poor, because it was so cheap. There was some opposition from older people who felt that there would be a negative impact on the morals of young people.
The 1920’s were an era of great change for women. During the First World War, millions of women had taken over jobs that previously, had been exclusively for men, proving that they could do any job just as well as a man and the money they earned gave them new independence. After the war, during the 1920’s, even more women started to work. With this new financial independence, which had been unknown in the past, meant that they no longer had to live at home or rely on men to supply them with money for the things they wanted and needed. By the end of the 1920’s 10 million American women were in paid employment, a 25% increase on 1920. Even women who did not earn their own money were increasingly seen as the ones who made the decisions about whether to buy new items for the home. There is evidence that women’s role in choosing cars triggers the change in Ford’s ‘only black’ policy, and made other colours widely available. Also in 1920, women were given the vote; this gave them more political power. Many of the social habits and restrictions had changed since from before the First World War.
For example, clothes had changed; the tight waisted, ankle-length, voluminous dresses of pre-war days had been replaced with waist less, knee length, lightweight dresses. They gave greater freedom of movement as well as being more daring. Hair, which in pre-war years would have been expected to be kept long was cut short in a new bobbed style, and this style became of liberation among women. Make up became popular and sales of it boomed. As well as women’s physical appearance, other habits changed as well. Women drove cars and smoked in public, which before the war had been frowned upon. They went out without a chaperon and as contraception became generally available, they became less dependant on men and could make their own decisions on how to live. The divorce rate rose as women became more liberated; they were less likely to stay in unhappy marriages now. In 1914, there were 100,000 divorces, while in 1929 there were twice as more. Many middle class women had more free time due to many new domestic labour-saving products like vacuum cleaners and washing machines. If they had a car (as many did at this time), then they no longer had to be bound at home. They were able to go out and do what they wanted.
Flapper was a name given to a liberated urban woman. Few women would have identified themselves as flappers. Flappers represented an extreme example of the changes affecting women. Flappers could be identified by their short skirts, bobbed hair, powdered knees, bright clothes and lots of make-up. Not all people approved of these changes. Most women were not flappers, they were too busy working and raising families to go out partying. Most of these changes had a greater impact on city life then it did for those who lived in the country, where traditional values of decency and respectability still acted as a powerful restraint on how people behaved. Older people found these changes improper and threatening, they felt that things should be kept the same and had no desire for change. Most of the time the biggest opposition to these changes was from men, who did not like the fact that they were losing control, there were not as dominant now, women were taking control of their own lives and were less reliable on men.
Some men, mostly young men found these changes exciting and appealing and thought the changes were good. A lot was changing for these young middle-class urban women especially, but in some case, there was not complete change. In work, women were paid less then men even thought they did the same job. The reason women’s employment rose was because they were cheaper then male employees. In politics, women may have been given more political freedom, but they were no way equal to men. Political parties wanted the women’s vote but did not want women as political candidates as they considered them ‘unelectable’. There were only a handful of women elected by 1929, although many, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, had a high public standing.
There was a lot of change for women in the 1920’s, but the change did not affect all American women. Women who lived in rural area were hardly affected by the changes, whilst middle-class women living in the urban areas felt the changes most. Some women bought these changes to an extreme (flappers) whilst most felt the changes in subtle ways, like the right to vote and not being bound at home, having the freedom to travel away from home. There was opposition from older people and many men. In the 1920’s women were still not completely equal to men, but it was the start and the 1920’s were quite a ‘roaring’ time for most American women.
Farming slumped during the 1920’s, this was because as European farming recovered after the First World War, Europe no longer needed as much American meat and grain. American farmers also had to compete with farmers from Argentina and Canada. Farm income dropped from $22 billion to $13 billion in 1928. 30 million people earned a living through farming and half of Americans lived in rural areas. New machinery had made American farming more efficient then any other in the world, but it was producing too much, more than Americans needed. During WW1 America had shipped millions of tons of grain to Europe; it had become the main market for American farm exports. However, European countries were so bankrupt after the war that many could not afford to buy American farm produce any more. To make matters worse America turned to a state of isolation, this meant that the tariff barriers were put up, so that it would be expensive for anybody who wanted to sell their produce in America, but America could still sell their produce to them reasonably.
When the other countries realised what was happening they raised their tariff barriers, making it too expensive for America to sell their produce their, meaning farms were over-producing. America was up against strong competition from Canadian farmers who were supply grain to the world market; the price of grain dropped and many small farmers went broke. More then three million farming families were earning less then $1000 a year. As there income dropped, it became harder for farmers to pay their mortgage payments; some were evicted while others had to sell their land to clear debts. Between 1920 and 1930, the number of farms in America dropped for the first time ever. Farm labourers found themselves out of work, especially as mechanisation meant that fewer were needed for the running of farms. Many went as migrant workers to California, and others went to industrial cities, but those who remained often barely scraped a living.
It wasn’t just the fact that America had isolated itself from the rest of the worlds, which made the price of grain drop; it was also the t introduction of prohibition meaning farmers were producing more grain then was needed. The 1920’s were not bad for all farmers, big mechanised farms did well, as did the Midwestern grain growers and the California and Florida fruit growers who made a good living by shipping there produce in large quantities. Those farmers who grew luxury produce suffered less as well. The rich Americans wanted fresh fruit and vegetables through out the year, so shipments of lettuce to the cities, for example, rose from 14,000 crates in 1920 to 52,000 in 1928. America’s black population was hit badly; three quarters of a million black farm workers lost their jobs during the 1920’s. Black people would be the first people to lose their jobs, so nearly all black Americans who worked on farms, lost their jobs.
Overall, the 1920’s were not a ‘roaring’ time for those peoples involved in the farming industry, expect for a select few. People who owned large mechanised farms did well, as did fruit farmers. This time was especially ruff for the unskilled labourers, who most of the time they were black, who were fired first. It was very difficult for them to get jobs anywhere else. This era was also especially ruff on the farming families, who had farmed the land for generations, and they now had to sell it off to pay their debts.
During the 1920’s America isolated itself from the rest of the world, mostly due to the fact that many American people blamed the rest of the world for dragging them into a war, which resulted in American deaths. They wanted to forget about the war and wanted to return to the policy of isolation it had maintained before the war. Woodrow Wilson had wanted to set up strong international relations but joining the League of Nations (his own idea), but many American politicians were strongly against the Versailles Treaty. Under the constitution, the Senate has to agree to all treaties with foreign countries, so in March 1920 the senate rejected the Versailles Treaty.
After this, there was a Republican landslide and they took control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and America returned to a policy of isolation. During the 1920’s, America’s relations with European countries were bad. Wilson had a policy of encouraging free trade, but during the 1920’s this was reversed. In 1922, the Fordney-McCumber Tariff act placed high tariffs on all foreign goods being sold in the United States. This meant that foreign good were very expensive and American good were cheap. This meant that other countries found it very hard to sell in America, so in retaliation European countries placed tariffs on American goods. This now meant that American farms were over-producing with no one buying the goods overseas.
The beginning of the isolation of America in the 1920 was good for farmers because more of their produce was being sold at home and abroad, but after the other countries realised what was going on and raised their own tariff barriers, the farmers suffered because they were overproducing.
During the 1920’s there was a consumer boom, which was encouraged by the easily available credit system. It meant that people could buy goods like cars, fridges etc, even thought they did not have enough money to pay for the goods on the spot. Firms and companies arranged for the customers to pay by instalments or hire purchase. Hire purchase was pioneered by Henry Ford and the car companies in America at the time, hire purchase enabled the customer to buy the goods they wanted with a small deposit and pay the rest off in weekly or monthly supplements. It was a good scheme to begin with, people who didn’t have a lot of money could afford to have luxuries they would not normally have had the chance to have.
Unfortunately, soon nearly everybody had a car or a fridge and didn’t need another one, but the factories were still producing large numbers of goods, this coupled with the European tariffs on American goods, the factories were now over-producing. Then in 1929, the worst possible thing happened, Wall Street crashed. Many businesses went bankrupt due to this and people were not able to pay there weekly or monthly supplements on their good, meaning the companies were not getting any money. The Wall Street Crash was the start of the great depression in America, during this time, people could not afford these goods anymore and most were taken back.
At the beginning of mass-production, credit and hire purchase ‘roared’ for the general public and the businesses. The business had found a way to churn out a lot of good and were now getting a steady income of people paying on credit. The general public were able to purchase luxury good even if they didn’t have the money too. It ‘roared’ until the consumer market became saturated, people didn’t need to buy any more good. When Wall Street crash this made it worse because not only were the general public not buying anymore good but now they couldn’t afford to pay off the credit and most companies were going bankrupt. So in the 1920’s it ‘roared’ for businesses and the general public using credit and hire purchase at the beginning, but not at the end.
The 1920’s did not ‘roar’ for all Americans, for some the 1920’s were a ‘roaring’ time and for others it was not. The prohibition era did not ‘roar for the general public, they were forced into breaking the law, meaning they faced the fear of arrest and they also had to pay extortionate prices for the illegal alcohol. In addition, the aim of prohibition was to stop things like violence, crime, poverty and sexual promiscuity which people said alcohol caused. , But instead of stopping these things, it increased them. There is a rise in organised crime and violence related to it, this endangered the general public. For gangsters, bootleggers and people involved in the illegal liquor trade the prohibition era was a roaring time, they were making a huge fortune on supplying the illegal alcohol to the general public. With the reintroduction of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), the 1920’s were not a ‘roaring’ time for anybody on their target list, for example black people. For anybody who agreed to what the KKK was about then they had no worries, they had a group to belong to and they were able to reign supreme over those who were on their target list.
The 1920’s were not a ‘roaring’ time for all black Americans. Some who were involved in the music scene did give some blacks recognition and this meant they were able to earn a little more. However, it didn’t matter what they did, black Americans through out America suffered from prejudice and discrimination. The 1920’s were not a ‘roaring’ era for black Americans. The beginning of the 1920’s ‘roared’ for movie companies like MGM, Warner Brothers and Paramount who were making huge sums of money from the movie craze. Up to 1928 silent film star were making a lot of money, but after the first ‘talkie’ was made many lost their jobs because even though they had good looks they did not have good voices need for these new films. Also going to the cinema was accessible to nearly everybody, even the poor, because it was so cheap. There was some opposition from older people who felt that there would be a negative impact on the morals of young people. There was a lot of change for women in the 1920’s, but the change did not affect all American women.
Women who lived in rural area were hardly affected by the changes, whilst middle-class women living in the urban areas felt the changes most. Some women bought these changes to an extreme (flappers) whilst most felt the changes in subtle ways, like the right to vote and not being bound at home, having the freedom to travel away from home. There was opposition from older people and many men. In the 1920’s women were still not completely equal to men, but it was the start and the 1920’s were quite a ‘roaring’ time for most American women. The 1920’s were not a ‘roaring’ time for those peoples involved in the farming industry, expect for a select few. People who owned large mechanised farms did well, as did fruit farmers. This time was especially ruff for the unskilled labourers, who most of the time they were black, who were fired first. It was very difficult for them to get jobs anywhere else. This era was also especially ruff on the farming families, who had farmed the land for generations, and they now had to sell it off to pay their debts. America readopted it’s policy of isolation, this included raising the Tariffs on good entering the country.
In retaliation, European countries placed tariffs on American goods. This now meant that American farms were over-producing with no one buying the goods overseas. At the beginning of mass-production, credit and hire purchase, it ‘roared’ for the general public and the businesses. The business had found a way to churn out a lot of good and were now getting a steady income of people paying on credit. The general public were able to purchase luxury good even if they didn’t have the money too. It ‘roared’ until the consumer market became saturated, people didn’t need to buy any more good.
When Wall Street crash this made it worse because not only were the general public not buying anymore good but now they couldn’t afford to pay off the credit and most companies were going bankrupt. Therefore, in the 1920’s it ‘roared’ for businesses and the general public using credit and hire purchase at the beginning, but not at the end. As you can see the 1920 roared for some people and didn’t for others. America, to the rest of the world gave the impression that everything was wonderful and everybody was happy, and for some people this was true, but for most it wasn’t and that view was in fact a mask to hide the bad things which were going on.