As a newly established world power, America was booming economically with their integration and industrialization of the automobile industry and the assembly line as created by Henry Ford. America was ever growing socially in tandem with the economy; they had their independent women known as flappers, black pride growing with the Harlem Renaissance, and incorporation of the arts in the mundane. However, these progressions don’t mask the horrid cultural and religious conflicts dealt by the Americans of this time. Racism and white supremacy in associations such as the revival of the KKK sprouted from the ground.
The Anti-Immigrant Legislation was crafted and the Red Scare swarmed the country in hysteria. Religiously, Darwinism was being ripped from the teachings of school and led to the infamous Scopes Trial. Events such as these engulfed the nation during the 1920s despite the bright colors of pride in the minorities and the innovations of the economy.
The Ku Klux Klan had been one of the most radical and racist of the groups in the nation’s history and are infamous for being one of the primal sources of the cultural conflicts faced during the 20s.
Due to the Great Migration of African Americans to the North, many white supremacists felt their occupations and social class be threatened by their citizenship and presence. In order to salvage their hierarchy, they paraded their lynches and mobs across the nation – much to the fear of many. However, this was not the only cultural fear that possessed the country’s people.
The Red Scare followed after the Bolshevik Revolution and Americans were terrified at the potential for rising communism in America. Propaganda relating to anti-communism burst everywhere and xenophobia possessed most actions of the people at the time. With the mass hysteria, racism and anti-communism was more fueled than ever before and brought the nation to a downfall.
In tandem with all the public acts of intolerance of these “non-Americans” and communists, Anti-Immigration Laws were enacted in the hopes to preserve the purity of the “American” or “white” race. Numerous immigrants were viewed to be distrusting and malicious and exiled from society. These laws led to many immigrants being segregated without familial aid or any sort of extensions from other citizens. With the mass hysteria, racism and anti-communism was more fueled than ever before and brought the nation to a downfall.
In relation to the xenophobia and racism, religious beliefs began to be frowned upon by the country. With Christianity spreading to mask up the potential of communism and to assert dominance as a religion, many Christians went about their spread of religion rather intensely. For instance, in the Scopes “Monkey Trial” of 1925, John Scopes had been convicted of violating the law that specified to go against the teachings of Charles Darwin and leave the discourse of evolution out of the classroom setting. To Christians, Darwinism was a farce and went against their religion and would do anything to purge it from the teachings. While the event was settled with schools still being allowed to teach this particular subject, there was a great divide with both religion and science.
Of the 20s, cultural and religious issues swarmed the nation. The racism and uproar of the KKK, the hysteria from the Red Scare, the blatant discrimination brought on with theAnti-Immigration acts, and the intense methods of Christianity all sent the country spiraling downhill. While in modern day these issues aren’t as blown out of proportion, many instances of similar foundations are still found – such as the discrimination toward Chinese during this event of the hysteria regarding COVID-19. Nevertheless, from the mistakes of America, it shows that one mustn’t neglect the injustice onslaught during the 20s and further improve America from its narrow-minded roots.