The estimated reading time for this post is 9 Minutes

The Decade of Unity

Immersed in fairytale flamboyance and a flashy show of grandeur, the early twentieth century was positively engrossed within America’s newfound opulence. Similarly, the 1920s welcomed the optimism that came with the better part of the premature century, heralding a strong sense of togetherness throughout. Unity, the defining aspect of the 1920s, translates directly to ”a state of being united or joined as a whole” (New Oxford American Dictionary). In a time where organized crime, the telephone, sports, and the mass media were rapidly on the rise, unity was an ever-present factor of the decade, steeping the decade in a rich cadence of togetherness and camaraderie as a young America continued to discover her charm in light of the rather devastating stock market crash in the late 1920s. Further entwined as a whole as a result of the entertainment industry and the radio, the 1920s can be befitted as the “Decade of Unity” due to the prosperity experienced by many throughout its course.

Of the numerous cultural influences that served to further unite the country, it is perhaps live entertainment that truly solidified unity through the entertainment industry. Initially, it was an unspoken rule that, within the social hierarchy, only the wealthy were privy to forms of sophisticated showbusiness; however, as the decade continued to prosper with major economic and financial success in the stock market, it was with marked optimism that those born of lower social class were able to accumulate both the means and time to indulge in a luxury previously deemed unfit for them. Not only did the common bulk of society benefit from the rise in live entertainment, but Broadway, in particular, experienced a large influx of audiences during the 1920s (Edelman et. al 2). This is largely due to the fact that the mid-twenties heralded numerous stage productions that permanently resided on a stage for the term of their run, bringing in a large mass of audiences and revenue (Edelman et. al 2; Benson 3). In addition to the trend of live entertainment through Broadway, dance also aided in the unity that can be associated with this particular decade. The “Charleston” dance became immensely popular during the rise of Broadway, as it was not only affiliated with the large musical numbers on the stage but was eagerly embraced by the “rebellious youth” of the time (Benson 3). It was also thought that, for many, the flapper represented “equality and sexual freedom” for the post-war effort, garnering an occult following for its powerful message of nonconformity (“Jazz Age” 1). The active acceptance of live entertainment trends served to unify a great many, as gatherings were quite common in order to share and revel in the current rage of the decade. Many also accumulated in order to simply converse about the happenings of the day, with conversational topics revolving around the current productions and dance trends. Live entertainment certainly played a hand in the overall unity and optimism of the 1920s, concocting a period of togetherness experienced by those who dared to embrace its flamboyance.

In correlation with the live entertainment industry, the ‘Jazz Culture’ of the decade aided in solidifying the sentiment of overall unity between the American people throughout the 1920s. Jazz clubs spread like wildfire across popular cities, with the speakeasy culture only further igniting the thirst for live music and entertainment in a casual setting. As it can be seen, Jazz Culture appeared to be the spark that was needed in order to kickstart modernized consumer culture (“Jazz Age” 1). It was with conspicuous sanguineness that the general public received jazz clubs, as it was perhaps this aspect of the culture of the time that truly redefined ideas of nationwide unity (“1920s” 2). For a time, the barriers of the race were begotten with haste, bringing whites and blacks together in the search for the carefree demeanor so commonly associated with the decade. As it was, much of the Jazz Culture stemmed from African American influence, lending itself to the diminishing of segregation during this time; however, it is to be noted that, despite the lessening of racial barriers during the 1920s, racism was still a very prevalent and pressing societal issue until much later on (“Jazz Age” 1). Furthermore, the lure of jazz clubs eventually led to the rise of flappers, defying any cultural standards of the past through the unity of black and white women together. In a time in which feminism was a rising concept, the movement relished the limelight that was wrought on by the flapper trend, moreover lending itself to the concept of overall unity throughout the country (Benson 1). Overall, the introduction and subsequent popularity of Jazz Culture undoubtedly played a role in the trademark optimism and togetherness of the 1920s, ushering along a nation already steeped in a resolute desire to gather and grow as a whole.

Lastly, working in tandem with the aforementioned forms of live entertainment, the rise of cinema also greatly contributed to the successful unification of Americans across the country. Similar to Broadway or a jazz club, the commonplace gathering of a cinematic theatre allowed for many to gather in a singular place, resulting in an opportunity for new bonds to be forged between strangers. For example, with the establishment of Walt Disney Productions in 1923, adults and children alike congregated together in order to watch experimental animation films, drawing together a great many over a common topic (Edelman et al 5; “1920s” 5). In addition, the rise in “talkies”, or films with sound, led to an increase in cinematic discussion amongst the public, once more garnering enough attention to bring people together (Edelman et al 9). With the cinematic industry bringing in so many audiences, it became one of the most affluent industries of the time, far surpassing Broadway with the revenue that it generated (“1920s” 8; Benson 3). The rise of this industry instilled hope within a great many, as job opportunities began to grow in rapid succession. In light of so much positive change, the American people were brought together regardless of color, race, and age, giving way to a decade steeped in togetherness and comprehensive unity.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay

  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee

Place Order

As more attention was garnered by these establishments, other upcoming technological breakthroughs were aided by the sudden burst of media attention—the radio, for example, was perhaps the subject of the most benefit.

In conjunction with the growing popularity of communal places of entertainment, the quick advancements in radio technology only served to better unification between the American people. Prior to 1921, although the majority of premature radios were undeniably functional, most were crystal sets, which were notoriously arduous to operate, tune, and function (“1920s” 8; “Radio Technology” 2). Thus, many people disregarded the radio as a household appliance, meaning that the subsequent boom in commercial radio use was all the more impactful upon the whole of American society (“1920s” 8; Howley 1). In order to improve upon the preexisting model, inventors and scientists working in conjunction to better vacuum tubes, an internal component of transmission technology that is often attributed to the overall success of the radio later on in the decade (“Radio Technology” 2). The initial improvement of the radio meant that it was no longer demanding of convoluted thought, resulting in the commercial popularity experienced in the years following 1921 (“1920s” 8). This particular invention brought a myriad of people together due to the first broadcast of the presidential election of 1922, as the importance of what was being announced once more drew many together over a common topic; subsequently, as radio technology continued to progress, people would soon begin to gather over daily news and music, further substantiating the unity of the American people.

With the amelioration of radio technology, the wealth of new knowledge led to the creation of the first radio station, bringing a plethora of Americans together as never before. Dr. Frank Conrad, who was an engineer hailing from Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing in Pennsylvania, is credited with beginning the first commercially successful radio station, the likes of which revolutionized the era of mass communication (“Radio Technology” 2). Despite the licensing Conrad had obtained in order to operate his station, the idea did not initially resonate with the public; as of the decade, wireless technology was still new, and many were hesitant to embrace it immediately after its birth. Additionally, the amalgamation of the post-war effort and the Great Depression rendered the use of the FM radio nearly unattainable until later on in the decade (“Radio Technology” 2-3; Howley 1). However, as many bands began to set their music to physical records, people began to buy into the idea, with radios becoming greatly successful in a consumer culture with the rise of more radio stations as the decade progressed (Radio Technology” 2; “1920s Science” 9-10). The first radio station brought many together, as the invention itself required that families gather around the singular unit. Additionally, the relative practicality and affordability of the unit and its services made it a large contender for the epitome of all-encompassing unification of the American people throughout the 1920s.

Lastly, as radio consumer culture skyrocketed, advances in the overall design of the radio led to a multitudinous of people coming together and contributing to the widely acknowledged tone of unity and optimism throughout the decade. Contrary to the primal radio of the early 1920s, the rather compact and efficient design established by the end of the century only served to further unify the American people (“1920s Science” 10; Howley 1). For example, the revolutionary invention of the car radio in 1927 not only allowed for superfluous excess in technological advances but allowed for the success of bands and the betterment of unification between individuals (1920s” 6; “1920s Science” 9-10). With music once more acting as a common bridge between two potential strangers, the radio served to draw a great many together, akin to the entertainment industry through its ability to spark common conversation amongst those unfamiliar with one another. As a result, the compact household radio was normalized, bringing Americans together in a new era of communication and entertainment.

Further entwined due to the entertainment industry and the radio, the 1920s can be deemed the “Decade of Unity” for the success experienced by many throughout its course. The radio and the entertainment industry—both defining aspects of the decade—were vastly important to the overall theme of the decade, as both served to unify the general public over a common topic. Due to the news and culture of the time, the 1920s became a prosperous decade steeped in togetherness and unity, marking it as a time of exponential growth and potential for those who dared to embrace its opulence.

Liked this content and would like yours written from scratch? Press “Order Now” to place your new order Now!

Blade Research
Directly chat?
Do you need any help from us?
Thankyou for visiting our website. We can help you to place your order via the order system. Just send the instructions including attachments to our WhatsApp Live chat.
Thank you!