Were the 1920s a period of cultural as well as political conservatism?

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Were the 1920s a period of cultural as well as political conservatism? The US enjoyed much prosperity after World War I and throughout the 1920s until the great depression of 1929. The decade was marked by conservatism on both the political and cultural level.


The decade was seen as a decade of serious cultural conflict.
It can be shown that there was liberal ideology that also played a part in this historical era.
On the 18th August 1920 Tennessee became the last state that was required to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment thus giving women the right to vote. A new woman was born and it became more acceptable socially for women to smoke and drink openly in public. It was fashionable for women to cut their hair short, wear makeup which had always been deemed to mean a woman was loose and take risks. These women were known as flappers and jazz was the music that they danced to, a sound that the older generation considered to be wild. In the May edition of the Atlantic Monthly it was written

"Flappers trot like foxes, limp like lame ducks, one-step like cripples, and all to the barbaric yawp of strange instruments which transform the whole scene into a moving-picture of a fancy ball in bedlam." 1

'They found themselves expected to settle down into the humdrum routine of American life as if nothing had happened, to accept the moral dicta of elders who seemed to them still to be living in a Pollyanna land of rosy ideals which the war had killed for them. They couldn't do it, and they very disrespectfully said so.'2

The liberation of the flappers was a stark contrast to the conservative cultural nature of the times. ...
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