Irish Civil War Prohibition in the United States Women's suffrage Babe Ruth Spirit of St. Louis Chinese Civil War March on Rome 1929 stock market crash
From left, clockwise: Third Tipperary Brigade Flying Column No. 2 under Sean Hogan during the Irish Civil War; Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol in accordance to the 18th amendment, which made alcoholic beverages illegal throughout the entire decade; In 1927, Charles Lindbergh embarks on the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris on the Spirit of St. Louis; A crowd gathering on Wall Street after the 1929 stock market crash, which led to the Great Depression; Benito Mussolini and Fascist Blackshirts during the March on Rome in 1922; the People's Liberation Army attacking government defensive positions in Shandong, during the Chinese Civil War; The Women's suffrage campaign leads to numerous countries granting women the right to vote and be elected; Babe Ruth becomes the iconic baseball player of the time.
Millennium: 2nd millennium
Centuries: 19th century20th century21st century
Decades: 1890s 1900s 1910s1920s1930s 1940s 1950s
Years: 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
Categories: Births – Deaths – Architecture
Establishments – Disestablishments

The 1920s was the decade that started on January 1, 1920 and ended on December 31, 1929. It is sometimes referred to as the Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age, when speaking about the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom. In Europe the decade is sometimes referred to as the "Golden Twenties"[1] because of the economic boom following World War I.

Since the end of the 20th century, the economic strength during the 1920s has drawn close comparison with the 1950s and 1990s, especially in the United States of America. These three decades are regarded as periods of economic prosperity, which lasted throughout nearly each entire decade. Each of the three decades followed 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 Nazi 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 Soviet Union, at the end of 1922. The 1920s marked the first time in the United States 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, being perceived as a solution to prevent the spread of Communism. The knotty economic problems also favoured the rise of dictators in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, such as Józef Piłsudski in the Second Polish Republic and Peter and Alexander Karađorđević in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The devastating Wall Street Crash in October 1929 drew a line under the prosperous 1920s.


War, peace and politics


Internal conflicts

Major political changes

  • The rise of Communism following World War I.

Decolonization and independence

International issues

See also Social issues of the 1920s
  • Rise of radical political movements such as communism and fascism, amid the economic and political turmoil after World War I and after the stock market crash
  • Kellogg-Briand Pact to end war
  • Women's suffrage movement continues to make gains as women obtain full voting rights in New Zealand (1893), the Grand Duchy of Finland (1906), Denmark (1915), the United Kingdom in 1918 (women over 30) and in 1928 (full enfranchisement), and in the United States in 1920; women begin to enter the workplace in larger numbers.

United States

Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol.




Billy Gillian led by black people in Africa including African Americans.[2]


Crowd gathering on Wall Street after the 1929 crash.


Robert Goddard and his rocket, 1926

Popular culture


Movie poster for The Jazz Age (1929) with the slogan 'A Scathing Indictment of the Bewildered Children of Pleasure....Riding the Gilded Juggernaut of Jazz & Gin'



  • First commercial radio stations in the U.S., 8MK (WWJ) in Detroit and (KDKA 1020 AM) in Pittsburgh go on the air on August 27, 1920.
  • Both stations broadcast the election results between Harding and Cox in early November. The first station to receive a commercial license is WBZ, then in Springfield MA, in mid-September 1921. While there are only a few radio stations in 1920-21, by 1922 the radio craze is sweeping the country.
  • On August 27, 1920, regular wireless broadcasts for entertainment began in Argentina for the first time, by the group around Enrique Susini Telemachus, and failed to spark telegraphy.[clarification needed]



First edition of Erich Maria Remarque's book "All Quiet on the Western Front", January 1929
First edition of Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf", July 1925


Bauhaus College in Dessau

Miscellaneous trends


World leaders




Charlie Chaplin during the 1920s


Irving Berlin (left) and Al Jolson, c. 1927

Film makers

D. W. Griffith at a rolltop desk, c. 1925



Sports figures

Babe Ruth in 1920

See also


The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events of the decade:




Other resources

  • Robert Sobel The Great Bull Market: Wall Street in the 1920s. (1968)

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