In the 1910s long-term shifts in some of the basic patterns of everyday life in America not only continued but in many cases intensified, ushering in a time of numerous changes in personal behavior and social relations. Dramatic transformations in the ethnic makeup of the country, in race relations, in gender relations, and in the relationship between local and national authorities all raised sharp questions about the forces that governed the increasing complexity of American life. During this ferment some people tried to reestablish the traditional social bonds that had seemed to prevail in past decades; others asserted the need to control individual behavior through new laws; still others mourned the loss of supposedly simpler times. In 1917 America's entry into World War I shook American society in many ways and fostered the unintended effect of a volatility and fluidity in social relations, pitching social tensions into violent conflict by the end of the decade.
Who Is an American?
Wholesale changes in the ethnic makeup of the nation's population encouraged many people, perplexed by the shifting social currents around them, to redefine the meaning of being American. The 1910s were the last decade of the "New Immigration" from eastern and southern Europe, the historic population trend that, having started in the...
(The entire section is 1558 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of 1910's Lifestyles and Social Trends Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!