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1920 1921 1922 1923 1924

1925 1926 1927 1928 1929

1900s 1910s - 1920s - 1930s 1940s
20th century

The 1920s has been referred to as the "Roaring Twenties", "Tawdry Twenties", and the "Golden Twenties". Since the closing of the 20th century, the economic strength during the 1920s has drawn close associations with the 1950s and 1990s, especially in the United States. These three decades are regarded as periods of economic prosperity, which lasted throughout almost the entire decades 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).

However, not all countries enjoyed this prosperity. The Weimar Republic, 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 Treaty of Versailles. Such a crisis would culminate with a devaluation of the Mark in 1923, eventually leading to severe economic problems and, in the long term, favour the rise of the National Socialist German Workers Party.

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 a policy of mixed economics, from 1921 to 1928, and also give birth to the USSR, at the end of 1922. The twenties marked the first time in America that the population in the cities surpassed the population of rural areas. This was due to rapid urbanization starting in the 1920s.

The 1920s also experienced the rise of the far-right and fascism in Europe and elsewhere in an attempt to prevent the spread of Communism. The knotty economic problems also favoured the rise of dictatorships in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, such as Józef Piłsudski in Poland and Peter and Alexander Karađorđević of Yugoslavia. The Stock Market collapsed during October 1929 (see Black Tuesday) and drew a line under the prosperous 1920s.


  • John Logie Baird invents the first working mechanical television system (1925). In 1928 he invents and demonstrates the first color television.
  • Warner Brothers produces the first movie with a soundtrack Don Juan in 1926, followed by the first Part-Talkie The Jazz Singer in 1927, the first All-Talking movie Lights of New York in 1928 and the first All-Color All-Talking movie On with the Show 1929.
  • Charles Lindbergh becomes the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean (May 20-May 21, 1927)
  • Karl Ferdinand Braun invented the modern electronic cathode ray tube in 1897. The CRT became a commercial product in 1922.
  • Record companies (such as Victor, Brunswick and Columbia) introduce an electrical recording process on their phonograph records in 1925 (that had been developed by Western Electric), resulting in a more life-like sound.
  • Robert Goddard makes the first flight of a liquid-fueled rocket in 1926.

International Issues

See also Social issues of the 1920s
  • Rise of radical political movements amid the economic and political turmoil after World War I and after the stock market crash such as communism and fascism.
  • Kellogg-Briand Pact to end war.
  • Women are given the right to vote in multiple countries in the 1920s.
  • Stock market crash of 1929 devastates economies across the world and marks the beginning of the Great Depression.



  • Prohibition of alcohol occurs in the United States in the 1920s. Organized crime related to the illegal sale of alcohol booms in the period such as by Chicago mafia leader Al Capone.




Literature and Arts

Culture and religion


World leaders

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