Individualism And Individuality In The 1920s

Improved Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    It was also a common trend in the 1920’s to refer to a couple by the male’s name, thus proving women to be unequal to men. This portrayal of women was not entirely the fault of Fitzgerald – this is the world he grew up in. During the 1920’s gender roles kept women suppressed, despite the transformations the world has already made. In America women did gain the right to vote in 1920, but there was still an explicable need for feminism as there is today. The Great Gatsby portrays women as subordinate possessions to…

    • 1102 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    After the Civil War, women wanted to vote, especially after the 15th amendment passed. This amendment to the Constitution was that black men now had the right to vote. Many women thought that would be their “prize” for keeping everything running while men were away. The Republican Party, who passed the amendment let the woman down. It made women feel worse too, because it was the first time the Constitution put in the word “men” instead of “citizens.” Women over the years kept fighting and protesting for the right to vote, and eventually the right came, but over fifty years from when the suffrage movement started.…

    • 1162 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Women of all races want to be equal with their soulmate or co-workers. They do not want to be belittle because they are not strong enough or faster to enough to do the task. Suffragettes tactics truly helped the women’s suffrage in the early 20th century. Woman suffrage started around the early 20th century. Where women were just like we are sick of being treated like these Negros, who actually received the basic rights of the white man or Caucasians around the year 1950 or 1960.…

    • 529 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Jim Crow was a popular show performed by a white actor who made fun of African Americans. The frace “Jim Crow Law” came to be used to describe segregation in the south. Signs told African Americans where they could and could not go, the signs separated things such a restraunts, bathrooms, and water fountains. (Racism in the 1920s & 1930s, 2001) Another form of racism in the 20’s known for race riots, during the summer of 1919 there were a total of twenty-six riots. In chicago there were thirty- eight african americans killed and five hundred injured.…

    • 1364 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hate Crimes In America

    • 1101 Words
    • 5 Pages

    One of the most memorable racial hate crimes that occurred in America was lynching. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary lynching is defined as “to be put to death (as by hanging by mob action without legal sanction. In an East Texas Historical Journal by Brandon Jett he states that from 1890 to 1920 lynching was the most prevalent example of racial hate crime. A total of at least 2,522 African Americans died at the hands of these lynch mobs. However, during the Jim Crow era lynching still remained a threat to African Americans, then after 1920 lynching diminished.…

    • 1101 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Racism and police brutality is wrong to do to anyone, but who are mostly affected are African-Americans in negative ways. They are mistreated by Caucasian citizens and by police officersss which is wrong, but where did all this racism toward African-Americans come from? It was from the south losing the civil war to the north that lead into the creation of the Ku Klux Klan, which were mostly officers that destroyed houses, schools and the lynching of African-American families. Then 116 years later in the future after the Ku Klux Klan there was still racism, but it was in the streets of South Central Los Angeles, where a man named ice cube created the group N.W.A. This gangster rap group gave African-Americans a message through their lyrics.…

    • 1012 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Theme Of Racism In Ragtime

    • 1038 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Doctorow develops the theme of racism in Ragtime because of Coalhouse 's situation, the way society views the situation, and the way the situation alludes to an American belief. Racism is developed through the events surrounding Coalhouse because the vandalizing of his car was the result of him being an African American. Coalhouse is a very successful musician who is well off; however, in the eyes of the white society, he is still inferior and denied the justice he deserves. This view of African Americans actually existed in American History, as seen in the Ku Klux Klan. During the same time as the novel, KKK harassed innocent African Americans because of a white superiority complex.…

    • 1038 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Period Of Reconstruction

    • 956 Words
    • 4 Pages

    While in the period of reconstruction, laws were ruling in favor of the black people and that caused the white people to become angry. Violent redemption made the atmosphere more ruthless and negative between the African- Americans and Caucasian-Americans. On July 4, 1876, the Hamburg Massacre occurred because two white men got into a heated argument with the black militia and days later the white rifle club members attacked them. One white man killed, 29 black men were taken to prison, and the other 11 fled the scene. Five of the black men who were leaders were killed instantly and the white rifle club members terrorized the small black town.…

    • 956 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The KKK is one of the biggest hate groups to emerge after the ending of slavery, and they do not only hate African Americans, but also immigrants Jews, and anything else that does not go along with their standards. According to a Southern Poverty Law, in 1865, when the KKK was formed, during the Civil War, the Klan quickly shaped into a group that intimidate black people and puts together any white people that would help them, so the African Americans wouldn 't enjoy their rights and the ending of slavery. They often rode around in all white robes and on horses creating violence among the black community including raping black women and lynching black males. The Black Lives Matter Movement goes against racial prejudice. Black Lives Matter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin was unfortunately murdered because of the color of his skin, and his murderer got off free with no jail…

    • 1041 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    One part of this documentary that I found extremely surprising is the extent to which this racial hate went on even to the point of mobs attacking a colored orphan asylum with kids under the age of 12. It makes me sick to picture innocent young kids running afraid of these mobs that wanted to hurt them just for the color of their skin. Disorder was found everywhere in the New York city there was riots, people being hanged, burned, lynched, beaten, stoned, and tortured. I find it startling how history usually shows the north as a heaven for free blacks however they were basically living similar or worse conditions than when they were under slavery. Nevertheless, after a week of disorder control finally came when federal troops arrived to New York to restore order.…

    • 1310 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays