In 1920, the
The beginning of the Roaring 20s featured new rights for women, including the right to vote, daring flapper outfits and cigarette smoking. It also included Prohibition, which lead to the rise of
The one thing that hasn't changed in the last 100 years -- and for that matter since the first humans walked the Earth -- is human nature. One can change styles of clothing and hair, change modes of transportation, even change politicians, but human nature never changes. Greed, lust and the quest for power are embedded in each of us in every generation.
The impact of the Industrial Revolution found more people living in big cities than on farms for the first time beginning in 1920. That year also launched what we today call the "consumer society." America's total wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929.
As the website history.com notes: People from coast to coast bought the same goods (thanks to nationwide advertising and the spread of chain stores), listened to the same music, did the same dances and even used the same slang. Many Americans were uncomfortable with this urban, sometimes racy mass culture, and for many people in the
Isn't it the same today? Have we learned nothing? The tension between people with opposing political and social views and religious beliefs has increased these last 100 years because of contemporary social media and the 24/7 news cycle in which revolution sells better than resolution.
Cars, washing machines, new forms of birth control and other creations gave especially women new freedoms. Radio united the nation and phonograph records, which sold 100 million in 1927 alone, created a common culture, even if some older people didn't like the "modern" music.
What will America be like in 2120? In 1920 no one could have foreseen a Great Depression, or a second World War, much less the prosperity and cultural changes that would come, or the threat of nuclear annihilation.
The saying that "the more things change, the more they remain the same" has never seemed more accurate and providential.
Happy new decade!
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