• Rose

The end of the Gilded Age...part 1 of the history of the 1920's! There is even a movie at the end!


Let’s go back in time to 1919, when 2 million service members return to celebrate a victory of World War 1. They parade through Madison Square Garden where the cheering crowds of an optimistic country can be heard for miles. They are in the midst of the world's largest financial market, considered to be the beating heart of American capitalism. If only they knew on that cheerful day that both veterans, bankers, and hell...the whole country, were in for an unpleasant surprise, I wonder if they would have done it differently.


I hear a lot about the Gilded Age, every generation believes that they are ushering in a new Gilded Age, better than the one before. I spent a lot of time researching, reading, listening, watching, and writing notes about what the end of the Civil War to the end of World War 1 really meant for Americans, and I am not sure that Gilded Age would be the term that I would have used. But to those living in that brief moment of time- I am sure that it all seemed like a Gatsby moment. Or was it? What did Mark Twain say? It was glittering on the outside but corrupt on the inside. In my own thoughts, the end of the Gilded Age occurred the moment those service members walked down Madison Square Garden. Let me explain why I think this….more than just because someone said it did, lets look at the events themselves.



Let’s go back in time to 1919, when 2 million service members return to celebrate a victory of World War 1. They parade through Madison Square Garden where the cheering crowds of an optimistic country can be heard for miles. They are in the midst of the world's largest financial market, considered to be the beating heart of American capitalism. If only they knew on that cheerful day that both veterans, bankers, and hell...the whole country, were in for an unpleasant surprise, I wonder if they would have done it differently.


I hear a lot about the Gilded Age, every generation believes that they are ushering in a new Gilded Age, better than the one before. I spent a lot of time researching, reading, listening, watching, and writing notes about what the end of the Civil War to the end of World War 1 really meant for Americans, and I am not sure that Gilded Age would be the term that I would have used. But to those living in that brief moment of time- I am sure that it all seemed like a Gatsby moment. Or was it? What did Mark Twain say? It was glittering on the outside but corrupt on the inside. In my own thoughts, the end of the Gilded Age occurred the moment those service members walked down Madison Square Garden. Let me explain why I think this….more than just because someone said it did, lets look at the events themselves.


This event can be described as a singular moment of destruction that encompassed what so many Americans were going through. While Wall-Street Wolves maintained a happy face and money flowing into their bank accounts, the end of World War I applied the brakes to the American economy and almost half of service members were unemployed and relying on bread lines. The situation had become so dire, that many were unable to afford leather shoes priced at $20.00 a pair and instead opted for the wooden shoes, better known as clogs, that cost only $1.25.

March 1921, the newly elected President- Warren G Harding promises that he will put things right for America. He called it 'a return to normalcy'. Sound familiar? Yes, we hear politicians using that same wording in today's society. Harding is considered to be the worst President, but at the time he was benefiting from an age of rapid innovation. I think that this month would be a great time to go over some of these innovations that shaped America so drastically and happen so very quickly.


I think that we should talk about J. Edgar Hoover and the history of the FBI, the Women’s suffrage movement, the year that the U.S. Constitution was amended twice, the history of the Ponzi scheme (by the way this is a real person- who would have thought), mass media boom, discuss was Ford really a good person or not, Babe Ruth and sports legends, the Buy Now and Pay later philosophy, Harding and why he is consider the worst president of all times (did his wife really kill him?), President Wilson stroke that left him incapacitated for 18 months (and no one knew?), might be because he worked so hard at creating the League of Nations and then our own Senate rejects our participation, the Scopes trial over teaching evolution in schools, and so much more.



I have a challenge this November- 50,000 words or more in 1 months- and I am taking you all on the journey with me. So, buckle in sweetheart, its going to be a hell of a 30 days. Crap- this was only 664 word and I need 1,700 a day. Not even half way? Does captions on memes count? Man, this is going to be hard. Look I am at 681 now!

P.S. I went back and wrote more- I am up to 742!

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