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To a large extent, the rise of social and political conservativism arises out of what is perceived to be a sense of cultural decadence that was so evident in the 1920s. The overall sense of "the Jazz Age," accompanied by a very liberal sense of morality, excessive drink and sexual activity, and a rise in the idea that individuals did not have to conform to traditional social mores and practices all dominated the time period. Add to this the emergence of movements such as the Harlem Renaissance, something that sought to bring greater voice to a segment of the population that had been silenced by American tradition for so long, and one begins to see a cultural backlash emerge. The rise of Christian fundamentalism as a way to assert back control of that which was seen as lost is evident in this time, most notably demonstrated in the Scopes Monkey Trial. At the same time, it is the 1920s that sees the rise of the Ku Klux Klan as a form of social solidarity predicated on both race and traditional cultural dominance. The notion here is that the rise of conservative elements and even reactionary ones are rooted in the belief that the tenets of what the 1920s represented on a cultural level were ideas that had to be challenged. The conservative rise in the 1920s sought to do just that.
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