"How far do you agree with the view that America was a land of opportunity during the 1920s?"
Explain your answer using sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and your own knowledge.
The 1920s are widely known as the 'Boom Era', or the 'Roaring Twenties' and a "decade of lively economic growth" (Source 3), due to the sheer economic success and advancement, and the emergence of the motor car, Hollywood, consumerism and materialism. However, there were many Americans whom this period of prosperity did not benefit, meaning that although America was a land of opportunity, this did not necessary spread to every citizen.
In the 1920s, America became the "World's first consumer society" (3), with the phenomenal expansion and stimulation of American industries. The motor car, for example, began thanks to Henry Ford's Model T, to be mass produced using the "assembly line method of production" (3), which led to greatly increased production and lower costs. The industry grew to the extent that, incredibly, by 1927, America owned "over 81% of all the automobiles in existence, or one for every 5.6 people" (2). The motor car industry in turn led to the stimulation of other American industries such as rubber (for tyres) and oil (for petrol), and also led to the "development of the US road system" (3), meaning communications and transport links were greatly advanced.
Furthermore, the economic boom is associated with the birth of America's consumer society, with the mass production of refrigerators, sewing machines, and in particular the radio. By 1924, American farmers alone owned over 550,000 radios, by 1929 "there were 618 radio stations throughout the USA" (4), and by the early 1930s, "almost every US family" (3) possessed a wireless radio.
This prosperity led to plenty of new opportunities for many Americans, with thousands of new jobs created, in particular, in industrial centres in the North, "such as Chicago, Detroit and New...