Chicago 1920

Topics: Prohibition in the United States, Woman, Temperance movement Pages: 31 (6633 words) Published: September 19, 2013
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An Overview of the 1920's

The 1920's has a lot more than just gangsters and Prohibition going on so here is some food for thought that I would use when thinking about concepts for characters in the game. Although organized crime enjoys a lot of power at this time...social conditions have also changed since the 1890's and the nation is on the cusp of the modern 20th century.

Prohibition - The society of the 1920's is at odds with itself. There are those of older generations and the middle class who still cling to the Puritan ethics that accompanied our Founding Fathers. This segment of society wallows in propriety of the later 19th Century and the first decade of the 20th. Religious groups made up mostly of women searching to assert themselves politically formed a crusade against immoral practices including the consumption of liquor. The Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Anti Saloon League

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were founded in the early 1800's in response to the growing lawlessness in and around saloons. By later half of the 19th Century in response to the excessive immorality shown by saloon keepers in the Mid-West in which is now known as the Bible Belt, their long moral crusade known as the temperance movement gained it's first victory. They spread like locusts within the governments of the nation and pushed their agendas forward as state after state passed prohibition laws. In 1919 the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified and it became illegal to distribute and manufacture distilled spirits in the United States. This segment of society wallows in propriety of the later 19th Century and the first decade of the 20th. Religious groups made up mostly of women searching to assert themselves politically formed a crusade against immoral practices including the consumption of liquor. The Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Anti Saloon League were founded in the early 1800's in response to the growing lawlessness in and around saloons. By later half of the 19th Century in response to the excessive immorality shown by saloon keepers in the Mid-West in which is now known as the Bible Belt, their long moral crusade known as the temperance movement gained it's first victory. They spread like locusts within the governments of the nation and pushed their agendas forward as state after state passed prohibition laws. In 1919 the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified and it became illegal to distribute and manufacture distilled spirits in the United States.

Racism - The temperance movement achieved much of its success through propaganda tactics thrown at middle classes deepest fears. As socialism and communism achieved their greatest victories to date in the last two elections, many felt that it was due to the large influx of immigrants from European nations. Prohibition played on the fears of the white Anglo-Saxon American by linking immigrants to many social issues including the consumption of alcohol as European cultures had a tendency to imbibe. In this environment, discrimination was the norm. African Americans were still saddled with segregation laws that were common in both the North and South. Chicago was not an acception. Tensions among working class whites and black were high as each competed for jobs.

Women - In response to the victories women's temperance groups received with the ratification of the Prohibition Amendment, women were finally considered a real political force in the nation and the right to vote was given with the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920. However, while American women are for the first time asserting themselves, ideals of the time still dictate what roles women are to fill in society and in the home. Women are paid less than men and have fewer opportunities available to them than in our modern times. Properly brought up young ladies...
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