Roaring Twenties and the Flappers

The Roaring Twenties are recalled as the crazy age of social revolutions of sexes and behaviors. The social revolutionists from that era, especially the flappers (the young, sexually liberated women), were ultimately violating the religious and social taboos that were once strictly enforced. It was probably beyond the imagination of most Americans before the 1900s.

A video depicting our grannies, the women of Roaring Twenties, is located at the bottom of the post. The video, which has footage taken from the 1920s, illustrates the gregarious and luxurious life-styles of the brave women of the age of breaking former social taboos.

*It is worthwhile to note that Foner has described the reaction from Europe as positively amazed and envious. The actual wording is reproduced here: “Observers from Europe, where class divisions were starkly visible in work, politics, and social relations, marveled at the uniformity of American Life.”

I understand that Foner do not wish to go more depth for this topic, but I find his claim to be single-opinionated and without enough supporting evidences. Certainly, some Europeans probably had admired the liberal lifestyles of Americans; however, it’s hard to imagine that conservatives and religious Europeans would give recognition to the flappers. Foner’s claim probably had not given us a very accurate image, or is not well-supported enough to convince certain readers.


Support Crime! Support the 18th Amendment!

One important change that occurred during World War I (The Great War) was the 18th Amendment, or better known as prohibition. As one reads Foner’s recollection of the Prohibition, you notice that Foner mentions the reasoning and support behind the 18th amendment. Even though he seems to mention every reason sarcastically, he doesn’t mention the outcome of prohibition in regard to ethical fathers/husbands, calm workers, etc. And he most certainly doesn’t mention the development of bootleggers and speakeasies that lead to the huge expansion of crime. On another note, neither did Foner mention, nor was I privy to the knowledge that during the prohibition many officers were trigger happy and caused the lives of hundreds upon hundreds of innocents as depicted by the picture below.


The Short-lived Amendment: Prohibition

Lips that Touch Liquor Shall not Touch Ours

Prohibition is one of the drastic changes that happened during the course of World War I. Looking through the course of American history, it is perhaps unbelievable that alcohol, one of the foundations of pleasure for many citizens, would be banned. On top of that, the banned was even written in an amendment, which is ridiculously difficult to be passed. Although Eric Foner only spent a little more than half page on the topic, he was able to inform us about many details of the topic. In three paragraphs, he had informed me things that I didn’t know, such as 1) how the Anti-German attitude generated hatred toward German breweries, 2) labor reformers wanted prohibition to have a more disciplined work force, and 3) the Baptists and Methodist were opposing drinking in a political way. Foner may not have given us a full picture of prohibition, but he did well to inform us by squeezing in as much information as possible in three paragraphs.