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Year 9 - Vis Com: Between Wars (1920-1939)


F. Scott Fitzgerald called it a time when "the parties were bigger, the pace was faster, the buildings were higher, the morals looser."

Historical Context

After the Great War and the Spanish Flu people hoped that the world could return to normal. There were noticably fewer young men around due to the high casualties of war, and the casualties were visible in society (disability and PTSD was visible in  the community). Nevertheless people tried to return to life as it had been. In Europe the Peace Treaty (Versaille Peace Treaty) which put huge responsibiliteis for paying war reparations on Germany meant that Germany experienced greater impact than most other countries.

But things did not go well for everyone and as the Twenties progressed there was a rise of political extremes and a fall in economic fortunes.

  • Political extremism - Rise of Fascism, the rise of the New Guard in Australia
  • Economic Crash - The Great Depression, the Susso

When the Great Depression hit unemployment was paid not as money but as rations and sometinmes only if you worked on Government Projects. It was very demoralising for many after surviving the war.

See below for some deeper reading on the rise and fall of political and economic fortunes during the 1920s and early 1930s.

Books in Year 9 Library

Cultural/Social Context

This period had two distinct periods. Initially there was a freedom within the post war society. The Roaring Twenties (also known as the Jazz Age) was a period of excess, youth and unbridled expenditure. The movement in art from conservative to decadent is very defined.


  • Clothing: Ladies clothing - Floor length hems rose  and ankles were exposed
  • Art movement - Art Deco, Cubism
  • Economic Growth - Roaring Twenties

This is followed by the Great Depression and a time of austerity. Unemployment was high and almost all areas of society were affected by this tragedy which was only relieved by World War II.

Image Credit ; [[File:Valery Mishin NonstopJAZZ.jpg|Valery_Mishin_NonstopJAZZ]] CC SA

Booksin the other De La Salle LIbraries