From Boom to Bust: American Society 1920-1933

Ref: C3747279

Although America in the 1920s was a decade without ‘booze’, many of its people benefited from an economic boom, where families could own their own cars and homes, and acquire the material trappings of affluence - radios, record players, telephones - as American society underwent profound social changes. This was the 'Jazz Age'; an era of gangsters, popular music, Hollywood movies and lazy Presidents; where women shortened, or “bobbed,” their hair, 'flappers' wore short fancy dresses and danced on car roof tops, and men shaved off their beards as traditional assumptions, attitudes and moralities were loosened. This eight session course will examine aspects of American society in the era of the ‘eighteenth amendment’.

Course aim

The principal aim of this course is to provide an introduction to American history of the 1920s. Popularly remembered as the Prohibition years, students will engage with a range of themes, topics and important developments that characterized the era.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain how Prohibition (the eighteenth amendment of the US constitution) was introduced across the United States in the 1920s
  • Discuss the major social effects of Prohibition in 1920s America
  • Discuss the major cultural effects of Prohibition in 1920s America
  • Explain the major social, cultural and economic events of the 1920s in the context of twentieth-century American history

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Prior knowledge of the subject isn't necessary, although it may helpful to to familiarise yourself with aspects of American history in the twentieth-century. Don't forget that access to Canvas, WEA's digital learning platform, is essential as it provides supporting material to the course.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

From Boom to Bust: American Society 1920-1933

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This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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