1920s: Clash of the Traditionalists and Modernists

Topics: 20th century, Scopes Trial, Assembly line Pages: 4 (1301 words) Published: December 5, 2013

Midterm Paper
The 1920s was a period of transition between the nineteenth century traditional ways and the twentieth century modern ways. The ongoing struggle lied between traditionalist and modernist who had separate opinions of where the country should be going and what was acceptable. Traditional values manifested in the idea of isolationism of America, individualism of it’s people, Jeffersonianism, providence, and a homosocial realm of leisure. The modern values manifested in the idea of internationalism, collectivism, industrialization, science and technology, and a heterosocial realm of leisure. The two opposing sides would both have strengths and weaknesses throughout the decade as well as leaders who tried to balance the power between both modernization and the traditional ways the American’s were so accustomed too.

With the Ford motor company peaking in 1920, the automobile quickly became an affordable mode of transportation. With the invention of the moving assembly line, automobiles were rolling off the plant faster than ever, which also reduced the cost of popular models such as the model T. Modernist seen this as a very efficient technological advancement while traditionalist began to look past the efficiency and into the negative effects of such an invention. They argued that automobiles polluted the air, caused fatalities through traffic accidents, as well as gave young men and women a means of escaping parental supervision, which was very controversial during this time. In any way, other motor companies such as GM also began producing automobiles and even offering loans so a family was better able to purchase their product. Automobiles became an extremely popular, faster, and more luxurious mode of transportation.

The movie industry became very popular in the 1920s as well, beginning in New York City. Movie theaters began springing up in all states, with five major studios during the early twentieth century. Each studio had their own...
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