Were the 1920's an era of social and cultural rebellion?

Essay by Muskateer06High School, 11th grade March 2005

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"The disintegration of American values was reflected in manners and morals that shook American society to the depths." (Leuchtenburg) The 1920's was an era in which the Americans showed their independence through actions; learning not to live the same ways that those preceded them had. The '20s was a cultural and socialistic rebellious attitude, decomposing past American ethics and beliefs.

The most obvious rebellion is shown by the feminine movements during this time. The 1920's led to a new role for American women, in which females desperately tried to rid themselves of Victorian roles they had played in the past. In an effort to become modern and masculine, the "flapper" led to newly recognized rights for females in the male fields. The flappers showed their rebellion by wearing short skirts that in previous years would have been entirely inappropriate dress for women. Rebellion was also shown by the increased number of females working in public offices, obtaining jobs, attending colleges, and having leading roles in professional careers (events that were practically unheard-of fifty years earlier.)

Women professionals increased 50 percent, while married working women increased 30 percent. With the suffrage movement in 1920, women started out the '20s with a passion for independence and political and social rights. Women lived by themselves, proving absolute independence from men. They, who had once been thought of as men's property solely to perform the acts of cleaning and cooking, were revolting against their title of "exclusive possession." Once the rebellion against stay-at-home wives had started, women who still fulfilled that role felt compelled to apologize that they were not out working alongside men in the job world. (Leuchtenburg) Marriage was also a way to rebel; women who were unhappy in marriages felt that they had the right to divorce their husbands; this act...