How Far Did the Lives of Women Change in 1920s America? Essay

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In 1920s America, everything was changing. Wages were increasing, as were the cities and cars were becoming cheaper. People’s lives were becoming easier, as Source 4 says, ‘New consumer goods became available in the 1920s which had a significant effect on people’s daily life’. The housewife saw her ‘labor lightened and shortened’ and the farmer had ‘plenty of time on his hands in which to do other things than run his farm’. On the whole, people embraced this new found freedom from working, and they spent the extra money they were getting from their increased wages on leisure activities and entertainment, something people didn’t have the chance to do beforehand. Women also had more opportunities than ever before, but how far did their lives actually change during this time? Some may argue that their lives changed dramatically. It was now acceptable for young women to be without a chaperone and the greater availability of cars, which was created by Henry Ford because of his production line, meant women had more freedom. Women also had more money and were more likely to look after their own finances. Source 3 which is an article from the ‘New American review magazine’ in April 1929 says, ‘one thing women had to have to take part in the (stock) market was of course money to invest. And that, in these expanding years, she has certainly got as never before.’ This shows that women’s lives were changing as ‘she has certainly got as never before’, they had more power and wealth than before which in turns offers them greater opportunities. This Source in my eyes is reliable as it was written at the time by an American, however, it doesn’t give you all the facts to judge how far women’s lives changed, for example, it says, ‘in the last ten years the number of women speculators has increased from 2% to 35% of the huge army that daily gambles on the stock market’. Although it

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