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Changing Values in the 1920's

Traditional vs. Modern Views
by

Patrick Floyd

on 3 December 2012

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Transcript of Changing Values in the 1920's

Introduction:
The 1920s were a time of conflict between old ways and new ways, between traditional and modern. Some people embraced these changes, others fought against them. The intolerance that we have already looked at is part of these changes. Ultimately, America will embrace the new and the modern.
Changing Values in the 1920s I. The Role of Women Prohibition How does the role of women change in the 1920s? The Trial:

A. Takes place in 1925 in Tennessee
B. Is called the “Trial of the Century”.
C. Most people feel that what is really on trial is traditionalism vs. modernism:
C. More women are in the workforce
D. More women attend college
E. Women have more independence (especially because of the automobile)
F. Significant fashion changes in the 1920s:
1.Short skirts or dresses (mid-calf or a bit higher)
2.Exposed arms
3.“Bobbed” or cut their hair short
4.Openly wore make up
5.Often very dramatic and stylish
6. Flappers– young stylish women who wore their hair and skirts short. They get the name flapper because they didn’t buckle their boots and allowed them to “flap” around their ankles.

A. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution outlawed all alcohol in the United States

B. The motivation behind the 18th Amendment and Prohibiting alcohol is that Progressives believed that many problems could be solved such as:
Violence
Poverty
Unemployment

C. The Volstead Act set the starting date for nationwide prohibition for January 17, 1920 and allowed the 18th Amendment to be enforced by federal agents.
Background:
A. Charles Darwin created the theory of evolution. This theory says that through millions of years, humans had evolved from lower life forms. This countered the Biblical idea of Creationism – that God created humans.

B. The state of Tennessee and many other states at the time passed laws saying that any teacher who deliberately taught the theory of evolution would be arrested.

C. John Scopes, a science teacher in Tennessee intentionally teaches evolution and is arrested.
Why did the role of women change in the 1920s?
A. The 19th Amendment - women get the right to vote
B. As a result of World War I, women had entered the workforce

Traditional
Women have certain roles in society like that of wife and mother
Alcohol should be banned to improve society
The Bible is the source of information about topics such as evolution
Modern
Women have more opportunities and dress to reflect the new times
Alcohol should be allowed
Science is the source of information
D. Instead, new problems were created:
Bootlegging – smuggling alcohol
Speakeasies – secret bars that sold alcohol
Creation of moonshine – when people make their own alcohol which caused death and blindness
Rise of organized crime as various people tried to control the flow of alcohol
Example: Al Capone – one of the most successful and violent gangsters of the era
E. In 1933, the 18th Amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment. The 21st Amendment allows alcohol in the United States once again. The government did not have enough resources to enforce Prohibition and address the needs of people during the Great Depression.

F. Even today there are dry counties – counties that do not allow for the sale of alcohol. Counties that do allow alcohol are called “wet” counties.

The Scopes Trial or the Monkey Trial Illustrates the debate between traditional ways and scientific ways and evolution and creationism.
The trial
Lawyer
Point of view
Essence of theory
Creationism
State of Tennessee
William Jennings Bryan
Traditional
Man created by God, religion should be included in public schools
Evolution
John Scopes
Clarence Darrow
Modern, new, scientific
Man evolved, and religion has no place in public schools
D. Scopes is found guilty and fined $100.00 (He did break the law). However, there is a sense after the Scopes trial that the United States has become less traditional and more modern.

E. The issue of creationism v. evolutionism is still debated today. [One of the things in the news in Texas two years ago was: What should be taught about evolution in biology classes?]

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