Progressive vs. Conservative: 1920s Battle for Modern American Culture - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  569 Words
Date:  2023-02-20


In the 1920s, the Progressive Forces led to modern American Culture, the period which is perceived as the period of radical change. The Progressive Forces had a fierce battle with the Conservative Forces to gain a more liberalized free society. The war was between the urban areas which were less strict to the moral values and traditional rural areas which were fighting to preserve the traditional Protestants values within the society. The people living in the urban regions wanted to adopt a new way of living to exercise the freedom of self-expression. Due to the increased immigration from Europe, the majority of the Americans were tempted to disregard their own traditional culture and adopt the new lifestyles from the immigrants. In this case, some Americans ended ignoring their strict moral culture and adopted the modern secular American culture whereby women started wearing short skirts, having Charleston dances, and taking alcohol, unlike the traditional way. Besides, due to Charles Darwin's evolution theory, a battle emerged between the traditionalists and the modernists. Some people believed and adopted the evolution belief hence leaving the traditional understanding of Devine God's creation.

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Why forces were strong in the 1920s?

The forces of nativism, religious fundamentalism, and prohibition were strong because they involved a tense battle between influential divided groups, (traditionalists and modernists), who vigorously defended their beliefs. For instance, during the prohibition in the 1920s, the Americans were divided on their opinions where some wanted beverage alcohol to be regarded as illegal and be banned while others were not against it. In this case, the prohibition leaders looked forward on eliminating supplies of beverage alcohol while on the other end; they failed to persuade the government officials to support their campaign successfully. On the case of religious fundamentalism, there was stiff urban-rural conflict over evolution issue and the biblical belief. Due to the rural-urban battle over man's origin, Fundamentalist Protestants targeted the evolution theory as one of the evils which the urban society holds. To fight the evolution theory, Tennessee's Butler Act was developed against any teaching that does not support the biblical Divine creation of man. However, there rose stiff debate from the evolution theory believers after which they won the case, and the evolution theory was accepted to be taught in schools.

Could not the events be construed as a cultural civil war?

The battle events which occurred in the 1920s could be construed as a cultural civil war. During the era of the 1920s, the urban ethnics battled with the Ku Klux Klan, and through its resurgence, race division was witnessed while on the other end, religious modernists fought religious fundamentals. The events could, therefore, be construed as a cultural civil war because it involved divided cultural groups which were the modernists and the traditionalists. For instance, rural Americans viewed the prohibition event as a way of imposing their social chores on city folk. According to rural Americans, the people who lived in the cities were extravagant, sinful, and had abandoned the moral values. On the other end, the city people believed that those who live in rural areas had been left behind, and their culture was outdated and not valid in the modern world. Each group, whether modernists or traditionalists, viewed its way of living as better than the other hence it brought a cultural conflict and thus the 1920s events could be construed as a cultural civil war.

Cite this page

Progressive vs. Conservative: 1920s Battle for Modern American Culture - Essay Sample. (2023, Feb 20). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism