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Which of the following problems do you consider to have been the most serious facing American Society in the 1920s. a) Organised crime b) Racial and religious intolerance c) The growing division between the rich and the poor

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Introduction

3. Which of the following problems do you consider to have been the most serious facing American Society in the 1920s. a) Organised crime b) Racial and religious intolerance c) The growing division between the rich and the poor Although the 1920s was described as "Roaring" and highly successful, which it was to an extent, the rebellious attitude that the American people gained, turned them towards crime and racial intolerance. Much of the "boom" was only experienced by the higher class Americans, WASPS (white Anglo-Saxon protestants), and the others such as immigrants, blacks and manual workers were forced into an even worse poverty. This led them towards crime, as they had no other way of making money. The WASPs became richer but also more rebellious and arrogant. This arrogance led to racial violence between WASPs and blacks and other ethnic minorities that they felt threatened their American Pride. These problems made the 1920s much more dangerous and much less appealing than it seemed to be, but each problem was fuelled by the new attitudes towards life, of the American People. During the "Roaring Twenties", the Protestants believed that alcohol was the destructor of families, as they saw the man of the family spending all their money on alcohol in bars. The Protestants, having great power and influence in America introduced Prohibition of Alcohol. ...read more.

Middle

By 1920 there were 3 million members of the Ku Klux Klan and it was spreading to the north-eastern cities, e.g. Chicago, Cleveland, New York etc. The KKK were a secret society but very well known. They had special handshakes, language and dresses, to tell them apart from normal people. This problem was not as serious as the Crime but much more serious than Religious intolerance. The KKK formed huge gangs and lynch mobs that set out to attack blacks just because they felt threatened of their presence. The reason was wrong and small, but the result of the KKK was horrific as several thousand blacks were murdered each year and the immigrants would live in fear because of the KKK. The problem was interlinked with the other problems at the time. The Religious problem was linked, as it was the WASPs who were the KKK, and it was also linked to Crime, as the American people had now learnt to crime and violence. The growing divisions between rich and poor also contributed, as the whites living in poverty became angered at the blacks who took their jobs and they wanted revenge. Racial problems, similar to crime, were very serious as it had made America even more corrupted and dangerous. The large KKK meant that even the Government could be controlled by them, which was seen as segregation laws were put down later on, to prohibit blacks to be with whites in public areas. ...read more.

Conclusion

It also shows how frightened some people were of a communist or trade union revolution and what extreme measures they would go to just to keep it like the normal America, like with the KKK. The "Roaring Twenties" in America seemed very appealing to the immigrants that came there. They expected freedom and wanted to escape from the discrimination or problems in their homeland. The truth was that America had plenty of problems. The problems that were in the society were all linked to Prohibition and Organized crime, which were the most serious in America. Prohibition was the fuel that lit the flame to organized crime. If alcohol wasn't banned, then people would not have any reason to turn to crime or accept it. Organized crime created fear amongst the streets, took control of cities and democracy and made crime seem like a minor problem to the Americans that lived to accept it. Organized crime was the most serious problem as it sparked off the others. Racial intolerance would not have been acceptable if the views about law hadn't been changed, and what, for example, Henry Ford and the KKK did would never have been accepted. All the problems were linked with each other, as if people weren't discriminated against or were poor, then they wouldn't need to join crime syndicates. The fears that America gained led to its collapse towards 1930, where they became afraid of falling stock prices, which led to the depression. ...read more.

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