Essay about Dbq 17: a National Clash of Cultures in the 1920’s

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DBQ 17: A National Clash of Cultures in the 1920’s

With the arrival of the 1920’s, new battles fought between traditionalist rural society and modernist urban civilization arose in the postwar United States. These urban-rural culture wars of this time period represent the everlasting conflict between conservatives and liberals. The 1920 census demonstrated to traditionalists that their views were under attack by the modernists who gradually came to outnumber them. Traditionalists were disturbed that they were losing a battle against immigrants who didn’t understand or appreciate “old American values” and against their own children, a new generation of rebellious youth who brought about sexual revolution, materialism, and skepticism.
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He claims it is a weakness because “it lays [them] open to the charge of being ‘hicks’” (document1) by opponents to American Traditionalism like H. L. Mencken. Mencken was noted for his satirical description of these plain people that Evans belonged to. The xenophobia that befell these plain people was given justification with the first postwar Red Scare, or fear of Communism and its believers, and the conviction of Sacco and Vanzetti to execution. A letter written to the national Crime and Law Enforcement Commission validates this claim by declaring that “much the greater part of the vicious forms of crime are committed by recent immigrants” (document 3). These immigrants are seen as a displeasing danger to children, as one mother wrote, “I am alone trying to rear [my son] an honorable American but how can I when this foreigner… is allowed to ruin my boy” (document 5). Concern over the new generation also helped to spark the urban-rural culture wars, as this younger age group was influenced by industrial growth and progressivism. Rebellion was so commonly associated with this new crowd that they became known as the Lost Youth. Prohibition couldn’t do anything to stop these revolutionaries from the consumption of illegal alcoholic substances. Several conservatives blamed them for the loss of traditional moral values and for the growth of corrupt

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