The 1920's was a time of liberation for many women. Perhaps, the change that liberated the most women in the United States was suffrage for women. In the year 1920 women were given the right to vote. This pleased many women who believed that it was their right, and duty to vote for their country's leaders. Another example of a political change that helped to liberate women was the addition of new laws by the government, which made divorce easier for women. Women no longer had to stay at home and deal with bad husbands. This in turn led to divorce not only being more politically acceptable, but also more socially acceptable. These political changes combined with other alterations to the way women led their lives contributed to the new feeling of liberation among women.
Numerous social transformations occurred in the 1920's that are still relevant in today's modern United States. one of the most obvious way in which women's social roles evolved was evident in the clothes they wore. Women began to wear a new type of dress which had a much shorter skirt, and a very slender, boyish look to it. Another revision to the way women presented themselves was that it became popular to cut hair into a very short bobbed hairstyle, which was completely contrary to the long hairstyles traditionally sported by women prior to this time. These fashions are typically associated with the idea of the "Flapper". "Flappers" were a new type of western woman who showcased their dislike for behaviors which were considered acceptable. They did such things as smoke in public, and dance modern dances. Although these fashions are typically associated with the "Flapper" many normal American women, soon adopted these styles and other latest fashions from Paris. These advances in social norms add together to make the roles of women what they are today.
Possibly the biggest economic change in the 1920's pertaining to the roles of women was the vast number of women joining the workforce. The number of working women increased by 25% and women were no longer restricted to working as "mill girls". This was a result of the work done by women during World War I During World War I many women took jobs that had previously belonged to men to keep the country going while the men were away at war. This made women feel useful as citizens, and it provided them with wages that had previously only been earned by men. approximately 1,600,000 women joined the workforce. All of these shifts in the economy can be attributed to the roles of women in the economy today.
Treatment Of Immigrants
Generally, the treatment of immigrants in the 1920's worsened from prior treatment. Several laws were made that caused this mistreatment. The first was the Immigration Act of 1924. It limited the number of immigrants allowed entry to the United States with a National Origins Quota. The National Origins Quota provided visas to 2% of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 National Census, and completely excluded immigrants from Asia. The National Origins Quota set the maximum number of immigrants entering the country at 350,000 and reduced the total number of immigrants in the Unites States to 150,000 a year. In addition to this a literacy test was added. It was the first widely restrictive immigration law. Immigrants over 16 years of age had to pass the test by demonstrating basic reading and comprehension in any language. On top of the literacy test immigrants had to pay a raised tax upon entering the country.
The reason behind all of these mistreatments of immigrants was that Americans were afraid of outsiders. After World War I and before the 1920's the country went through a brief period of anti radical hysteria. There was widespread fear that the United States was on the verge of a revolution, as a result of bombings, communist power in Russia, and the short communist revolt in Hungary. This brief period became known as the Red Scare, and it strengthened the widespread belief among Americans in a connection between foreigners and radicalism. In fact, thousands of suspected radicals were arrested, and if foreign deported.