1. Discuss the changing role of American women in the first decade of the 20th century. Include in your discussion the changing perceptions of marriage, the impact of birth control, migration to the city, and technology, on the daily life of women. 2. Discuss how the American family changed in the first decade of the 20th century. 3. A major early twentieth century trend in the United States was the movement to the cities from the farm. How did this move affect American children and teenagers? 4. Explain the role the saloon played in the daily life of men prior to World War I. 5. Who were the Progressives?
6. What does the popularity of Kipling’s poem “White Man’s Burden” and Msgr. O’D onnell’s letter to Archbishop John Ireland tell you about American attitudes toward foreign policy in the early 20th century? 7. Discuss Theodore Roosevelt’s major accomplishments. Why do you think Roosevelt remains on many historian’s top five list. Would you include him in yours? Why? Why not? 8. Discuss Wilson’s Mexican policy. How does his attitude toward Mexico anticipate his actions in World War I? 9. Discuss the major events that drew America into World War I. Do you think the United States should have or could have avoided this conflict ? Why? Why not? 10. Discuss U.S. domestic policy during the war some historians think that the Progressive movement died with the war,others say it marked Progressivism’ s premier moment. What do you think? Why?
1. The role of American women in the first decade of the 20th century changed dramatically as families migrated from the rural to the urban centers of the nation. Primarily, women encountered more labor. Though many worked in factories along with men, the majority pursued jobs as secretaries and even certain bureaucracy jobs. This was possible since many business owners along with many state agencies discovered that women had a more organizational approach than most men. They acquired a new sense of individuality and independence as the family unit became less patriarchal than in the countryside. They started a sexual revolution where women appearance became more boyish and desexualized. The idealized women changed as well as the clothes. Less fabric was used in the creation of women’s attire. Sex also became an important aspect of her emotional expression. Instead of considering sex a “marital duty”; marriage became sexual. Technology also had a great repercussion in the household. Known as the Kitchen Revolution, electrical appliances facilitated women’s domestic chores as well as gave them more leisure time. Regarding natality, birth control information became prevalent and natality decreased within the middle class. The old fashioned rural notion that families needed to have as many children as possible changed with the migration to the big cities. Not only having more children represented more expenses, but also spatial arrangements since urban centers were densely populated. Many of them were educated in many fields academically though most (if not all) prestigious colleges were still for males only. 2. As far as the family is concerned, the number of children per family decayed considerably. The Progressive movement supported changes in social policy that created more nuclear families. They promoted better housing so that families could have a comfortable environment. Wages for men rose, thus being able to provide more amenities to the household. Also, Mandatory education laws were implanted for the youngsters. The innovative idea of social workers was also introduced during this Era by the progressives. These social workers intervened when the family nucleus was being threatened by alcoholism, abuse, or abandonment. 3. As with women, the industrial revolution caused children to enjoy electrical toys that were not possible to find previously. Many of these...
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