Following World War I, Many Americans Became Hyperpatriotic
1540 Words7 Pages
Following World War I, many Americans became hyperpatriotic and lived their lives much like previous generations. However, younger generations, especially the very one that fought in World War I, began to express themselves in new ways, and placed value in material wealth, and with their life choices constantly challenged by traditionalists, they believed that freedom was achieved through individual action. The new society was a consumer society, with very little regulation on businesses and where the individual American worker had very little power. modern culture was intertwined with a new modern business culture, one where society got modern things, by working hard as an individual, but overproduction and under consumption forced the…show more content… Traditionalists feelings toward nontraditional ways of thinking led to racism and then to violence. The war, sold as the hope for a traditionalists’ future, did the opposite and turned idealism into realism, and transformed kindness into bitterness. The resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, an outgrowth of the hyper-patriotism of World War I, illustrates the traditionalist ideals that America was for white Protestants and they were intolerant to anyone that “did not fit in.” The traditionalists lived their lives much like the generation before them and they were fought to maintain the old ways, but World War I brought more than hyper-patriotism; it introduced an increasing level of modernity.
With America’s involvement in World War I, which exposed an entire generation of Americans to a new level of hate and a complete disrespect to human life, forcing a new generation to question the world around them and the conformity with which they lived their individual lives. Unemployment was down, workers’ wage increased and even farmers made a lot of money; thus, giving many families purchasing power, which led to the ability to define one’s self with material possessions. Families bought cars, radios filled the air with music and advertising, movies became a new and exciting pastime, and records were bought by the millions. The modernity of the 1920s focused around the embrace of the individual liberation and the ability to express one’s self