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The Roaring 20's

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American culture in the 1920's is characterized by its extreme changes and clashes. It was perhaps during this decade that there were the greatest differences in views than ever before encompassed by one major controversy, modern verses tradition. Old and new seem to collide in every aspect throughout this decade including social, economic, and even religious areas. F. Scott Fitgerald is one of the authors who clearly represent the clash between progressive and conservative. Conditions during World War I introduced new freedom to women and African Americans in the 1920's, stimulating rapid advancement which met adamant conservative attempts to re-establish traditionalist ideals.

The women during the 1920's were at the front of a social revolution that would change the roles of all people in America. World War I had created a thriving economy for Americans and women had taken over many jobs when there was a demand for workers and the men were at war. The roles of women requiring them to be at home with the children began to change as well as more and more women began to take positions in the working world. Also, the birth rate in the United States dropped significantly. And social and technological changes introduced a different lifestyle with store ready-made clothing and food and children spending most of their day at schools. However, not all welcomed this change in the role of women. Men especially felt the blow on their pride as being the breadwinner for the family. This caused the double standard to be introduced. The Double Standard is a set of principles granting greater sexual freedom to men than women requiring women to observe stricter standard of behavior than men. Even as middle class women and men began to view marriage as an equal partnership it was still understood that childrearing and housework were a women's job. And there were still some women who only worked because their families needed the income but still thought that a women's place was to be a housewives. Such as Daisy Buchanan from the Great Gatsby, who is the perfect model of the Victorian woman. She is comes from a family with money and believes in the traditional role of women in a family. And she disapproves of Gatsby's parities and the women who frequent them. In her mind women should be submissive to men. Also, conservative women's groups believed that they should have the right to vote but should not have all the social freedoms that the young ladies of the new generations seemed to be fond of. The new freedoms that were given to women were also passed on to African Americans who also received job opportunities with the War.

African Americans were presented with new opportunities in the northern cities. This period when many African Americans moved to the cities is known as the Great Migration. There were diverse groups of African Americans who lived relatively close to one another in and greater numbers than ever



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