More migrants lived in the metropolitan areas as opposed to the suburbs or rural areas. Citizens wanted to be part of the new style living. Fashion became exciting. Men combed their hair slicked back and wore bowler hats with a suit and a long coat. Women wore skirts that showed more leg and red lipstick on their lips as opposed to women before the 1920s. Women wore brightly colored dresses and hats. Some women were known as “flappers.” Flappers had a bobbed hairstyle, wore short dresses and skirts, went to bars, drank, smoked, and were more sexual than other women, but not all women (Eig 63). Other women stayed home, took care of their family, and went to church. During the 1920s, a major change for women came about in the form of the 19th Amendment, which gave them the right to vote. Women started speaking out more than they did before. One of their first acts was voicing their dislike of alcohol. Some women started speaking out against it because they felt that alcohol made their husbands violent and was killing the men. This brought about prohibition.
Prohibition took place on January 16, 1920 and ended on December 5, 1933. On January 16, 1919, the 18th Amendment was approved; banning the manufactured, sale, and transportation of alcohol (Okrent 119). On October 28, 1919, the Volstead Act was passed (Burns and Novick). This act let the United States Government to put into effect the 18th Amendment. On January 16, 1920, using the Volstead Act, many taverns, bars and saloons in the United States closed. By approving the 18th Amendment, the intention was to limit violence and law breakers caused by the consumption of alcohol, but instead an increase in violence and more people breaking the laws was the result. This led to the rise of speakeasies, which were the place to be, if a person wanted to hear live music, dance, and maybe have a drink, which was against the law. Prohibition helped create well-known gangsters like Al Capone who would make millions of dollars from selling alcohol in America. Officers and government officials were being manipulated by these gangsters (Eig 24, 25). A lot of crime was being committed during this time. As stated earlier, the 1920s brought about many changes, and with change, chaos. While known as the Roaring Twenties, the Prohibition era brought about many changes to the United States, but not all of them were good.
The women in the late 1800s and the early 1900 had a big effect on the prohibition era. In 1874, Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard was one of the ladies that founded WCTU. (Women’s Christian Temperance Union)
“At age forty she took control of the organization, and for the rest of her eventful life she was field general, propagandist, chief theoretician, and nearly a deity to a 250,000-mambers army undoubtedly, the nation’s most effective political action…