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The Roaring Twenties (February 2020 issue)

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The Roaring Twenties (February 2020 issue)

Postby junkers » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:30 am

In my view the 1920s were a period of extravagance and over-indulgence by some people (mostly rich people), but very poor conditions for the vast majority. After the First World War most of the surviving members of the armed forces came back to the UK, although some served overseas in the Army of Occupation until 1923. Women often were widowed, women lost their war jobs as men took back their jobs they had previously held and the country was certainly not 'a land fit for heroes'. There were riots, racial discrimination and Winston Churchill made a terrible error going back onto the Gold Standard despite the dire warnings from John Maynard Keynes and Treasury officials, leading to the General Strike in 1926, mass unemployment and the Wall Street Crash in 1929.

As far as the General Strike records goes, some are indexed at The National Archives (TNA) under 'emergency'. Women may have been represented by more MPs but it is well-known that Nancy Astor was anti-Semitic, she wasn't the only person or institution in the UK to be so. Of course Britain still ruled the British Empire denying most countries freedoms. Incidentally records for asylums and psychiatric hospitals are based on the last date of the papers and not the age of birth of individuals.

Some women may have had a good time but most didn't and there was little contraception. Let's not forget women lost their jobs in almost most cases when they got pregnant (a situation which could get a woman dismissed, which existed until 1973 in Government) or were getting married, let alone divorced. A lot of records on the General Strike and the Wall Strike Crash have been available for some years, if not decades. What about the men?, a number were physically and mentally affected by the First World War in a 'country made for heroes' which didn't happen and a number ended up in "mental" hospitals. Incidentally the article (like others, see The National Archives for example) doesn't cover men at all, which is becoming very unfair. In fact the article on the front page of the website and in the Magazine are about women only.
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Re: The Roaring Twenties (February 2020 issue)

Postby Lancer_MiG » Sat Feb 29, 2020 4:00 pm

The situation was similar in France (as my grandmother on my father's side is from Picardy) after World War I, there were villages with not a single adult male left, and a significant part of the Northern regions of the country were razed to the ground and (some places still are!) polluted by chemical weapons. For example, my cousins weren't allowed to go play in the woods in some places due to the huge number of unexploded ammunition... and that was in the 90s, not in the 20s!
The dead left behind them legions of orphans, widows and parents who would grow old alone, and many people who came back turned to alcohol or were handicapped by their war wounds, so women had to do most of the work themselves, and that's why they demanded more and more, from important things like the right to vote or have their own bank account, to less important but still significant things like wearing clothes that were more and more inspired by men's clothing.

I've got a feeling that the 20th century started in 1914, for it was World War 1 that ended the "old world" inherited from the 19th.
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