Tension in the 1920’s

There were a multitude of changes occurring in post-bellum United States. The next decade, starting in 1920, was one of improvement and growth. New technology was springing up and life was profitable during the post war economy boom. However not everyone could be pleased with this shift into modern practices. The 1920s was a period of tension between the push for modernity and the struggle to maintain traditional values. This tension was present particularly in the economic, social, and political realms.

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The tension between old and new was relevant in the social lives of Americans mainly due to the backlash from Nativists and the Ku Klux Klan (which had reemerged stronger than ever, and was unrestricted by a government who believed in little to no federal involvement) towards immigrants. Immigrant restriction acts which were passed in the 1890’s-1920, and in 1921, an emergency immigration act was passed which established a quota system that decimated the amount of immigrants granted access to the States. America had never before experienced immigration like this, over 25million people in the course of thirty years. Nativists were tremendously against this wave of foreigners, and got most of American pumped up right along side them. Before the war, the KKK was focused on African Americans and limiting their voting power through bullying them away from the polls. During the 1920’s, the KKK had a resurgence and now believed that any person not if white Anglo-Saxon descent was below them, The KKK harbored

Alexandra Watson much hatred and was allowed to “march on Washington”, riling everybody up and
increasing the social angst and tension.

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