Women's Liberation in the 1920's: Myth or Reality? Essay

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Women's Liberation in the 1920's: Myth or Reality? The decade following World War I proved to be the most explosive decade of the century. America emerged as a world power, the 19th amendment was ratified, and the expansion of capitalism welcomed the emergence of consumerism. The consumer era was established, which generated new spending opportunities for most Americans in the 1920’s. From the latest fashions to the world of politics, ideologies collided to construct a society based on contradicting principles. These powerful ideologies infected men and women of all classes with an inescapable desire for material possessions; however this ideological tug-of war affected women the most. Although legally declared citizens, society’s…show more content…
Due to advances in technology, significant changes in advertising appeared in the 1920’s. In the latter half of the 1900’s ads were illustrated in color for the first time and the layout of most magazines changed. Advertisements, in the 1910 Ladies’ Home Journal, were mostly located in the back of the magazine. Though due to the popularization of name brands, ads moved to the front as competition between products produced more revenue. The new layout and colorful images proved to be a success as readers were provided with lively illustrations that advertised popular names and fashionable trends. Historian Susan Strasses in her study of American mass-market development "found that by the early 1920’s Americans were requesting brand names from their grocers" (Scanlon 31). In addition to the introduction of new advertising techniques, it has been estimated that 94% of the United States, including African Americans, could read. Even so advertisements only marketed towards the white middle class for they were the one’s generating the money; and "between 1910 and 1929, the average purchasing power of Americans rose 40%" (Scanlon 12). Contrary to belief, the independent young woman connected with post-World War I actually emerged in the early 1900’s. By 1930 481,000 women attended college, which is a significant increase compared to the 85,000 women who attended college
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