Individualism And Individuality In The 1920s

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The 1920’s were a time when American culture exploded and ultimately transformed America from a young country to a world power. The American values of individualism and democracy were neither completely enhanced or diminished by modernity because while many strides were made to improve these qualities, the pre-World War I sentiment of reform was destroyed. All of the destruction caused by World War I scared the American people enough to halt the era of reformation and actually did diminish democracy and individuality from a standpoint of who and what was heard and supported. Despite this, the emergence of consumer culture definitely enhanced individuality by catering to the individual’s needs and wants. Finally, democracy was improved, but …show more content…
For example, progress was certainly made for women in America. Women won the vote in 1920, but the struggle to even get this basic necessity ratified is appalling. Interestingly, the biggest opposition to women’s suffrage came from other American women. “...suffrage must disrupt the family because of its emphasis upon women’s individuality,” (Degler, 53) was such a common and drilled in belief that women let it restrict their freedom for far too long. Furthermore, even after women gained the vote, they were still viewed as subordinate to men. In the 1920’s novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald writes, “She’s a nice girl...They oughtn’t to let her run around the country this way,” (Fitzgerald, 18) about Jordan, a female character who supports herself by professionally golfing. This evinces an obvious negative attitude towards independent women. Another blatant disregard of equality was the treatment of African Americans and other immigrants in the 1920’s. Racism towards African Americans was common throughout the United States in the twenties. In 1920 on the side of Interstate 35 in Duluth, Minnesota, three black men were lynched for a crime they did not commit. This is significant not only because it illustrates the hate that was still sustained by the African American population over fifty years after the Civil War, but also because it shows the geographical range at which this hate was rampant. While racism is most commonly attributed to the Southern United States, it reached as far North as Minnesota which obviously hinders democracy throughout the country. Another example of diminished democracy in the form of intense discrimination is the resurgence of the KKK in Georgia. The second KKK, notorious for their violent anti black, catholic, and immigrant actions, spread as far West as California and as

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