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The Roaring 20's

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  • March 7, 2004
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The Roaring 20's

"With or without the Royals, we are not Americans. Nor are we British. Or French. Or Void. We are something else. And the sooner we define this, the better."

The words of Will Ferguson shadow challenged echoes from the past, right back to when Canada first neglected Britain as her puppet master. Following her outstanding feats during the war, Canada was highly revered and well respected. But now the test was not of military might, nor patriotism, but how Canada would successfully continue in her pursuit of a new identity.

The decade following the war was one known as the "roaring 20's", and for good reason. With the new invention of Henry Ford's automobile came a strong demand for oil, pulp and paper, as well as other electric appliances like vacuum cleaners, refrigerators and washing machines. These modern day conveniences allowed women to spend more time doing other things, and eventually lead to helping women get out of the home. It was towards the end of the decade that Alberta's "Famous Five" appealed to the supreme court regarding the word "persons" in the constitution. This eventually led to the victorious decision that women were persons qualified for senate. The 20's saw many great turn arounds for women, as the boldness of women like Emily Murphy and Nellie McClung encouraged increasing women in the workplace. Non-conformist women known as flappers dressed in revealing clothes, sporting short hair cuts, similar to a mans, could often be found down at the local speakeasy smoking cigarettes, swearing or doing the Charleston into the night.

Mildly put, entertainment during the 20's was very successful. So much that it was known as "The Wonderful Age of Nonsense." People who returned from the cruel war needed a break. And they were determined to live for the moment and have a great time. The humorous writing of Stephen Lecoak also brought relief to those still grieving their pain, and light-hearted jazz as well as the bunny hop...