Prohibition and its Moral and Ethnic effects on Rural and Urban America.
Was Rural America successful in imposing its codes of morality and ethics on Urban America during Prohibition?.
During the early 1900's America was in the grip of a strict set of morals and values that dated back to Queen Victoria. This code was called the Victorian Standard, and it was clearly followed and held in high esteem by most people. In fact it was seen as the American way. However, the people of the 1920's would witness its demise. People began to drink more, gamble, women's dresses became shorter and their actions were sometimes more dishonorable, jazz houses and speakeasies sprang up, and the list goes on. It was a decade of great change.
The 1920's was a time of major social change in the United States. The social changes during this period are reflected in the laws and regulations that were implemented. One of the most prominent examples of this was prohibition. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution, or the Volstead act as it is also known, was implemented to eliminate the sale, manufacturing and consumption of alcohol in the United States. In doing this, the advocates of prohibition hoped to also eliminate the social problems associated with alcohol. It was an attempt to promote Protestant middle-class culture as a means of imposing order on a disorderly world. However, this goal of keeping social order through not consuming alcohol, was not reached during the years of prohibition, or even the years following it. Actually, social problems were even greater then before prohibition.
There were many cultural changes which had great effects on the nation. The 1920s, in complete contrast to the Victorian era, "roared," as bathtub gin flowed and more and more Americans moved to urban areas. But the decade also saw limited prosperity for many, especially farmers, and the unrest and discord between the values of small town America and the rapid pace of science and technology.