Society and Culture change, 1917-1980


Position of women change 1917-1980

Impact of ww1

  • before ww1 women struggling to get the vote
  • war gave chance for women to work
  • once the war ended most women fired to open job to returning men
  • congress passed 19th amendment 1920 giving women the vote under the same rules of men
  • 1920 the league of women's voters was set up 
  • many poor women didn't vote
  • few black women voted especially in the south
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Position of women change 1917-1980

The roaring 20's

  • after the war ended people thought things would return to 'normal with women going back to their traditional roles as wives
  • most married women who worked were obliged to work at home for low wages
  • some jobs such as teaching barred from women and employers made a rule not to employ women
  • White women most open to change
  • changing industry opened more office jobs such as working in a typing pool which became accepted as women work
  • between 1910 and 1940 nom of women working went up from 7,640,000 (8.3% of the population) to 13,007,000 (9.8 % of the population)
  • women 'last hired, first fired'
  • flapper were women who worked, cut their hair short and wore nontraditional clothing like short skirts/dresses silk stockings etc...
  • flappers would also smoke, drink and acted like young men.
  • opinions on flappers varied some were shocked, this was mainly the traditional older people in society, whereas the younger generation looked up to them.
  • speakeasies were seen as a place where no lady should go alone
  • Once married many women took a more traditional role and flappers were only a small percentage
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position of women change 1917-1980

Impact of the New deal

  • new deals aid for families with dependent children provided some benefits for the poorest families but as a rule, men came first
  • 1933 civilian conservation corps provided 2.5 million young men with a job replanting forests and digging reservoirs whilst living in army-run camps
  • similar job for women set up in 1933 camp Tera funded by mainly private donations
  • 1936b only 36 camps taking 5,000 women a year and only took women on for 2-3 months and provided no work or wages.
  • black women benefited little from the new deal 
  • ever dollar a white man earned a white woman earned 61 cents and 23 cents for black women
  • Fannie Pecks set up housewives leagues in Detroit and encouraged white women to shop at black run stores they spread to other towns but only helped on a local level
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position of women change 1917-1980

Impact of ww2

  • Rosie the Riveter iconic poster telling women 'we can do it' encourage women to join war work
  • 1940 selective training and service prepared to draft men into the army and train women to replace men's jobs
  • 1941 Lanham act childcare provision was extended in 1944 were 130,000 children were in day care
  • percentage of married women working rose from 15- 23%
  • the women's land army of America reformed to provide farm workers. held workshops and meetings and had their own publication
  • worker shortages meant black women could train for professions they previously couldnt have like the number of black women training to be a nurse rose from 1,108 in 1939 to 2,600 in 1945
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Position of women change 1917-1980

Post-war changes

  • many women not reemployed by factories that had turned from ammunition to electrical goods
  • GI bills guaranteed education to return soldiers
  • funded day care ended in 1946
  • after dip immediately after the end of war women employment rose again
  • women had a wider variety of jobs as  restricted jobs had been suspended during the war and many restrictions were not reinstated
  • workforce rose from 10.1 in 1940 to 22.2 in 1950
  • 1936 82% thought women shouldn't work, 1942 13%
  • the attitude of husband changed of women working
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position of women change 1917-1980

changes Suburban living made 1941- 1960

  • suburbs sprung up post-war and were within commuting distance of cities 
  • socially segregated, black and white suburbs, integrated suburbs were rare
  • black Americans trying to live in white suburbs found it difficult to find someone to buy from
  • 1960 19 million people lived in suburbs more than in 1950 they had cinemas schools and leisure facilities
  • advertising made people aspire to live there
  • inner cities became locked in a 'downward spiral'
  • the first large shopping mall was built in 1954 in  the Detroit suburbs
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position of women change 1917-1980

Impact of the Women's Liberation movement 1961-80

  • president Kennedy influenced by Eleanor Roosevelt set up a commission of enquiry on the status of women
  • 1963 published its results praising the equal pay act
  • 1963 report stated from infancy girls were not encouraged to think about careers 
  • 1958 education act said schools should have counsellors to work with students, only 12,000 counsellors for all state schools in USA1964 civil rights act included sexual equality
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Position of women change 1917-1980

Betty Friedan

  • a psychologist and journalist published book called the 'feminine mystique' about constraints on suburban life and problems of white, educated, married women
  • the book got women thinking of their rights
  • This spurred women of white and middle class to gather and work more actively for women's rights 
  • NOW was the National Organisation for Women set up in 1966 with Friedan being a founding member
  • Now wanted better enforcement of the equal pay act and civil rights act.
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position of women change 1917-1980

Young Radical

  • second strand to the womens liberation movement, members under 30 white and college educated
  • many had worked with civil rights group SNCC and SDS
  • set up local radical groups to push for women's liberation and equality
  • both strands of the movement wanted the same things: the right to have equal pay, opportunity, to decide about their own bodies eg. married/not, conception/not
  • a national coalition of American nuns participated in a strike for women's rights in 1970
  • Now membership rose from 1,000 in 1967 to 40,000 in 1974
  • radical groups drew the most media attention and men could belittle the smaller radical groups easier than bigger ones such as NOW
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Position of women change 1917-1980


  • conservatives rejected the women's liberation movement stating it as 'unamerican'
  • 1960's liberalism made women's liberation lose support
  • some didn't mind the call for equals but disagreed with contraception and abortion
  • Phyllis Schlafly set up a group called 'stop ERA' to campaign against it in 1972
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position of women change 1917-1980

Gains and Limitations to advancement


  • equal pay act + civil rights act
  • a few states  allowed abortions for specific circumstances
  • abortion federally legalised 1973 by the supreme court ruling
  • contraception allowed to non-married women ruled by the supreme court after Eisenstadt v Baird case 192


  • 1972 equal rights act passed, 1982 15 states still refusing to ratify the ERA
  • The USA didn't sign up to the 1979 united nations policy of introducing non-discrimination against women in all aspects of life
  • Women's liberation movement disintegrated due to conservative opposition it faced
  • Movement didn't represent all women and only represented middle class white women
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How Much Was Society Affected ByImmigration, 1917-

How far did earlier immigration affect reactions to immigrants in early 1920's

  • open door policy to immigration before ww1
  • an average of 170,000 immigrants a year would enter the US after breaking from British rules
  • 1882 650,000 immigrants entered the US 1902 it was 1.2 million
  • Black Americans headed for northern cities
  • Dillingham commission investigated  the impact of immigration on the US 1907-1911
  • distinguished between old immigrants from Ireland and Germany who adapted to the new culture and society
  • finding used to justify the immigration act in the 1920's including the emergency quota act 1921 which set limits on a number of immigrants
  • post-war isolationism a factor causing the immigration acts of 1920's Red scare of 1919-1920 another factor
  • gov tried to control rising hysteria by deporting thousands and introducing immigration laws
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How Much Was Society Affected ByImmigration, 1917-

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How Much Was Society Affected ByImmigration, 1917-

What was the effect of immigration in the 1920's

  • each new wave of immigration came a wave of hostility from more established communities
  • new immigrants created competition for jobs, housing, facilities of all kinds
  • 1910 1.2% of US pop was Black 1920 4.1% were black
  • 1920's legislation focused on immigration from Europe and Asian quota system didn't apply to south Americ

Immigration Legislation of the 1920's

  • 1917 immigration act lists number of undesirable immigrants like homosexuals, insane and criminals and imposed literacy test for all over 16
  • 1921 emergency quota act restricts yearly number of immigrants from any country to 3% of the total number of people living in the USA in 1910
  • 1924 Jhonson-reed immigration act changed quota act to 2% of the people in the country of origin in the 1890 concensus
  • 1929 National origins formula confirms the 150,000 limit and bans Asian immigrants altogether
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How Much Was Society Affected ByImmigration, 1917-

what impact did immigrants have on Urban Life 1919-1941

  • Most immigrants landed at Ellis island in NewYork immigrants significant factor in industry growth in most towns and cities
  • The USA called melting pot due to its various different immigrant nationalities living there
  • urban areas broke down into segregated section based on ethnic groups
  • towns and cities had nicknames like 'little Italy' theses areas kept the Italian language and intense catholic religion. There were also 'Chinatowns' etc.
  • Detroit ford motor factory had large immigrant workforce, mass production lead to greater production and most of its workers were from eastern Europe
  • children born in the USA of immigrants parents were adding to the pop without being labelled as 'foreign born'
  • immigrants got the worst jobs, lowest wages and worst living conditions
  • immigrants had an effect on politics on a local, state and federal level
  • during the depression, they voted mostly for Roosevelt
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How Much Was Society Affected By Immigration, 1917

What impact did the ww2 have on immigrants

  • once USA in war americans of italian, german and japanese nationality classed as enemys because of the pearl harbour attack
  • buissness owers of the stated nationalities above had windows broken or customer shopped elsewhere
  • hundreds of thousond 'enemy aliens' volenterred for the US military
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How Much Was Society Affected By Immigration, 1917

Government policy and its consequences

  • after ww2 1952 immigration and nationality act passed which still used quotas but did not allow refugees
  • during the cold war, many refugee laws were put in to allow refugees from communist countries
  • Fidel Castro seized Cuba  200,000 fled to the USA
  • Kennedy against quota system and when he was assassinated he was working on an immigration law that would abolish quotas
  • johnson brought Kennedy's bill to congress and it became law in 1965
  • after the fall of Saigon in 1975, USA took 130,000 Vietnam refugees
  • Mexico had an average of 600,000 illegal immigrants entering the US a year in the 1970's
  • 1980 1 million illegal aliens found, arrested and deported
  • in 1970 there were an estimated 7 million illegal immigrants in the USA
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What Impact Did Popular Culture and News Media Hav

The social impact of cinema

  • movies biggest entertainment media in USA 1917
  • 1927 first 'talkie' shown in cinemas
  • by 1941 nearly 10,500,000 cinema seats one for every 12.5 people
  • movies gave people escapism  and fed people fantasies by developing genres with specific people like Clara Bow who had sex appeal
  • 1925 Clara Bow made 15 movies and Clarke Gable made 8 in 1925
  • Shirley temple was making $5,000 a week in 1930 when the average wage was under $2,000 a year
  • Hays code 1929-30 no crimes in detail so cannot be copied, drug smuggling never showed, white slave trade not shown, family life portrayed as good, lustful activities kept minimal, no swearing, no nudity
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What Impact Did Popular Culture and News Media Hav

The social impact of popular music and radio

  • 1920's traditional music still listened to but in cities, jazz was more popular
  • jazz dances developed like the charleston and black bottom but both sexually suggestive
  • 1929 almost 50% of people had a record player and $75 million worth of records sold in 1929
  • 1935 record sales dropped and radios picked up
  • 1920's and 30's radio sales boomed
  • the first commercial station broadcasted in 1920
  • 1924 600 commercial radio stations
  • radio advertisement was used to keep the radio stations going
  • 1926 first national radio station (NBC) opened with a football game
  • mass production made radios cheaper
  • people felt a part of the mass culture all listening together
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What Impact Did Popular Culture and News Media Hav

The social impact of television from the 1950's

  • Roosevelt the first president on TV
  • after ww2 Gov gave media businesses tax breaks to develop and sell tv sets
  • TV was sponsored and had advertising
  • after the ww2 baby boom advertising targeted to children was used to get children asking their mothers to buy 
  • TV meant they could see politicians in action
  • TV was good for politicians who spoke well like Kennedy but badly for Nixon who was awkward on air and not a good comunicater
  • the public broadcasting act set up 1967 gov funded corporation for the public which set up the public broadcasting service (PBS)
  • PBS channel was focused on educating and entertaining and was a liberal agenda
  • 1967 Sesame street was aired on PBS and taught children about racial tolerance and sharing as well as counting and reading
  • Kennedy v Nixon debates aired 1960
  • M*A*S*H tv show presented issues to do with Vietnam war
  • shows that represented black family life were comedies
  • news programmes got more prime time spots
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What Impact Did Popular Culture and News Media Hav

The influence of broadcast news, 1920-1980

  • a voice sounded more authoritative with news rather than newsprint
  • newspapers could show photos whereas radio could not
  • Roosevelt used radio to talk to the nation in his fireside chats
  • radio helped to settle the wall street crash crisis
  • 1960's live coverage of the Cuban missile crisis
  • the broadcasting company had final say about what was shown
  • Vietnam war first war shown on TV
  • media very important on the presidency
  • jimmy carter saw to not be managing his policy making well media decided carter was incompetent  and seized upon events that underlined this
  • media showed quarters brother to be involved in scandals and looked bad on Carter and also showed carter collapsing during a marathon which ended in carter losing his reelection
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Culture is changing with time now women have equal rights and they are active in studying, job or starting their own business. I'm a small business owner while continuing study took help with coursework help UK to stand steady in every field.



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