Life in the Roaring Twenties

Start Free Trial

 Discuss the cultural conflicts of immigration and prohibition during the 1920s. How does this relate to some of today’s cultural challenges?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The two conflicts were closely linked. Nativists regarded immigrants as bringing all kinds of alien cultural practices with them into America of which they strongly disapproved. One of them was the consumption of alcohol. Most Americans drank alcohol, of course, but a large number of them still paid lip service to the idea that there was something inherently wicked about it. They felt that, at the very least, drinking should be discouraged, if not prohibited outright.

In any case, the mass immigration of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries into the United States made growing numbers of Americans uneasy, so much so that they sought to find security in notions of so-called 100% pure Americanism, which revolved around white nationalism and Protestantism. In due course, prohibition was added to the mix, marking a clear cultural boundary between the citizens of white Protestant America and the immigrant newcomers.

Though prohibition has long since been repealed, the white...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 557 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Already a member? Log in here.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on