1.3 Society and culture in change

1.3 - In search of the American Dream

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1.3 Society and culture in change 1917 - 80
WW1 and advantages to women WW1 and disadvantages to women
Gave them chance to work sine men had gone Wages for the same job as men would be much
to war and to fill these spaces, women were lower for women than for men and many were
hired instead fired as soon as war ended to give men jobs
back.
Once war was over, Congress passed the Many poorer women didn't vote at all or were
19th
Amendment to the Constitution to give dominated by husbands who told them who to
women right to vote the same as men 18th vote for, defeating the whole purpose of giving
August 1920 women voting rights as they weren't exercising
Politicians voted in to power by women could their own votes or thoughts.
then address the issue of women's rights Very few black women voted, especially in the
1920 ­ League of Women Votes set up to South where groups like KKK waited at polling
conduct the equivalent of CRM registration stations to stop black Americans entering and
drives to encourage women to vote voting as a whole let alone black women.
Single, educated white women benefitted from
this and felt it was a significant change for
women as a whole.
Roaring Twenties from the economic boom Many people thought things would return to
increased mass production with cheap `normal'
goods and electric appliances Expected and assumed women would return to
Prewar, single women worked and some traditional roles as wives and mothers only
continued and only if family couldn't financially since war was over ­ no need for them to work
manage, married women worked too Women's war work had been an e xception i n
Growing industry created more office jobs like exceptional times and women should now
typists, which generally became acceptable as return home and give men their jobs back
women's jobs Only single, wealthy and mostly white women
Women's Bureau of Labor set up in 1920 to had the most opportunities in employment
improve women's working conditions and Women in the same jobs as men still paid less
campaign for wider employment for women ­ and were in a ` last hired, first fired'
situation
among their achievements, they helped pass like black Americans.
1938 Fair Labor Standards Act to set min and
max pay hours along with 1963 Equal Pay Act
Between 1910 ­ 1940, number of working
women increased by 2.7 million to just over 13
million (9.8% of the population)
Flappers were a group of independent
Flappers slightly shifted public perception of
young women that worked women but still were only a small % of female
Had short hair and wore short dresses. Some population and many adopted a traditional role
smoked and drank in public, even driving their when they left the phase and got married and
own cars from pressure at home and employers.
Behaved like young men and even joined
maledominated sporting events like boxing
without male escorts, shocking many people
Some went to jazz clubs and speakeasies
(places illegally selling alcohol and gambling)
which were seen as places no `lady' would go
to alone.
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Society and culture in change 1917 - 80
Great Depression disadvantages.
Women who were widowed, divorced or deserted had to take any job they could find, if they could
find one at all.
1923 ­ Women's Bureau of Labor report on women workers in meat packing/slaughtering jobs
found that 97% were the only wage earners in the family or were working to boost the husband's
wage, not because they wanted to work.…read more

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Society and culture in change 1917 - 80
Encourage women to shop in blackrun stores $1 for white man 61c for white woman
Organise local help for those in need 23c for black woman
Soon spread to other towns and helped locals
on a small scale
November 31 ­ Temporary Emergency Relief TERA had to act quickly and couldn't send
(TERA): trained social workers and nurses to see all
$234 million in aid helping families who were families
literally starving Volunteers sent instead whose sympathy…read more

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Society and culture in change 1917 - 80
POST WAR
Not all men returned to their old jobs and so Factories changed from war goods to other
women kept theirs ­ many men took advantage foods like electrical appliances and did not
of the GI bills which guaranteed an education to reemploy women after war was over.
returning soldiers instead of returning to their
jobs.…read more

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Society and culture in change 1917 - 80
shops. This lifestyle was similar across all races William and Daisy Myers bought a house in a
and class. 17,300home white suburb and were black.
Typically, the wageearning husband went to When they moved in, 3000 `neighbours'
work and the wife stayed at home to look after surrounded their house and threw stones at
the house and children ­ both parents couldn't their windows and burning crosses on their
work because of expensive childcare. front lawn.…read more

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Society and culture in change 1917 - 80
and their advice was said to be dangerous and
patchy especially with the needs of girls they
counselled.
1964 CRA included sexual and racial equality
but women found that there was a big difference
between passing a low and enforcing it.
Betty Friedan (psychologist and journalist) More radical group of white, middle class,
published The Feminine Mystique in 1963 about educated under 30s white women began a more
problems of white, educated, married women.…read more

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Society and culture in change 1917 - 80
More groups took part in countrywide marches Under ERA, women would lose various tax and
and protests with slogans like `Don't Iron benefit privileges that they got when they didn't
While the Strike Is Hot' all demanding 3 things have to work
­ equal job and education opportunity, free Her campaign was a major reason as to why
childcare and free abortion on demand ERA was still in 1980 not ratified and enforced
Strikes got a lot…read more

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Society and culture in change 1917 - 80
Attitudes to immigrants in 1920s Effects
USA had an `open door' policy to immigration
before, allowing up to around 170,000
immigrants every year before around 1800s
which then rose to up to 1.2 million in 1907
More immigrants (81% in 1907 vs.…read more

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Society and culture in change 1917 - 80
HOW MUCH WAS SOCIETY AFFECTED BY
IMMIGRATION 1917 ­ 80
9…read more

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Society and culture in change 1917 - 80
IMMIGRATION
`Open door policy' before WW1 with only 3 acts restricting the types of immigrants:
o Chinese immigrants in 1882 and those who were disabled
No restrictions on yearly numbers of immigrants or where they were from
Around 170,000 immigrants each year for up to 100 years after it bkiroke away from British rule ­
was a welcoming land of the free
Numbers rose to 1.…read more

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