• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

1920's America - In what ways was this an age of liberation for women?

Extracts from this document...


1920's America - In what ways was this an age of liberation for women? From the beginning of time, women were thought as child-bearers and carers of the home. They were there to satisfy their husbands, and produce the children needed to carry on the family's name and profession. They didn't need an education or the right to vote, their whole life usually revolved around the home, plus women were thought as too intellectually inadequate and delicate to make any real influential decisions. Modern day women would find such restrictions an insult, however, during these times, convention and the desire to please the men stopped women truly questioning their basic roles, instead they contentedly accepted them. Though during the 1920's in America, women did find themselves with more opportunities then ever before, the question of if it was the age of liberation still remains. The real issue about liberating women from these traditional roles in America began in the 1840's. Two women, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organised a women's convention at Senecca Falls, New York in July 1848, encouraged after the insult of Mott being disallowed a place on the platform of an Anti-Slavery Conference in 1840 purely because she was a woman. ...read more.


They argued that women, as human - beings, had a natural right to vote. It outraged them that the new amendment to the Constitution in 1865 gave all men the right to vote, even immigrant males, whilst women born in the USA were still denied. They said women were different and in some cases better than men, women, for example, were more noble, more spiritual, and truer of heart. After much campaigning, in 1920, the Woman Suffrage Association was successful in achieving equal voting through the passing of the 19th Amendment. This newly acquired political power encouraged feminists to start working towards larger goals, social and economic equality with men, woman's independence, and ethics in society. However, during the 1920's the woman's rights movement died down. This was due, in part, to the achievement of the goal of suffrage, but also because of the general retreat from activism in post-WWI America. Feminists of the time discovered, firstly, that women did not vote as a bloc, there was no such thing as the "women's vote". Secondly the struggle for suffrage no longer united disparate elements of the feminist movement and that thirdly younger women were less interested in reform and more interested in rebelling against social conventions. During the 1920s, because of the previous points, less was achieved, and the women's progress stalled. ...read more.


There was still little job security for women, though there had been an increase over the period of married women entering the workforce, most were forced by war and poverty. Opportunities for advancement, especially in the professions, remained limited, and inequality in pay and conditions customary. It was an age of increased liberation for freewill and forthright action however. Women had become more confident about their abilities, achieving the vote gave them political power and assertion. With enough pressure and support it was possible to accomplish. The newly adopted flapper fashion was also an example of liberation; it gave women a new, radical image, spilling away from tradition. In conclusion, the 1920's provided an age for women of greater freedom to speak out and campaign for their rights. It was also an age of free-expression through resistance to tradition. Nevertheless, success with the campaigning during this period was limited, and the free-expression ineffective at always obtaining the desired reaction. The position of women during this period had no immense development from what had already happened during earlier years. Women still had a long way to go until they would be respected and allowed independence to match the opposite sex. Black women in particular saw very little distinction of treatment during these years from previous ones. Though some achievements were won, they were undersized to what was needed. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Was American Society Intolerant in the 1920's?

    The Russian revolution in 1919 created a world spread fear of Communism and panic gripped America and the though of Communism spreading there. With thousands of immigrants pouring in, the fear was that they would bring socialist ideas with them and Communism would take over.

  2. As the nineteenth century opened, life presented few opportunities for women to experience personal ...

    According to Paul John Eakin in The New England Girl, the vibrant, exciting character, Zenobia, whom Hawthorne creates for this story is a reflection of his friend Margaret Fuller. Eakin states that Zenobia's thoughts and words often parallel Fuller's own work, Women in the Nineteenth Century.

  1. In what ways has feminism and postmodernism criticized criminology?

    status and part time jobs, and, in turn, is used to deny women the right to economic independence".8 Brugel, (1978)9, believes women are a reserve army of labor, when the needs of capitalism require them then they are drawn into workforce and then also easily rejected when there is surplus labor.

  2. Gandhi's Impact on the Liberation of Indian Women.

    Child marriages were considered important in Indian society especially in the Hindu religion, since it was crucial to be married to someone of the same caste and therefore should be arranged at a young age. However, this invariably led to a high number of child widows since the men the young girls were marrying were much older.

  1. Max Weber (1864 - 1920)

    differentiation of the lifeworld, which follows the closed logic of the systemic rationalisation of our communications. There is a transfer of action co-ordination from 'language' over to 'steering media', such as money and power, which by-pass consensus orientated communication with a 'symbolic generalisation of rewards and punishments'.

  2. The ancient civilizations of Central and South America

    The basis of their society was the calpulli, or a group of families that all lived together. This huge family all came from a common ancestor and mostly lived together and in relative isolation from everyone else. They would conduct their affairs very efficiently as well.

  1. In what ways did the lives of women change in the USA in the ...

    Before the flappers came about, women always wore skirts that covered their ankles. If they didn't, they would be considered "scandalous." But the flappers began wearing skirts that were nine inches off the ground, and then even up to their knees!

  2. To what extent is women’s liberation being hindered by disunity amongst feminists?

    They could be associated with anti-imperialist groups and left wing political parties. Liberal Feminists favour reform rather than complete change. They are known for adopt a much more formal strategy in the fight for women's liberation such as lobbying governments and trying to change legislation through influence rather than direct

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work