A perfect storm of factors — cultural, political, and social — combined over the course of a few short years in order to give rise to the flappers. First, both the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic and World War I had just ravaged the world and killed a combined total of nearly 100 million people. The world thus remembered that time was fleeting and life should be lived to the fullest. Meanwhile, some of the earliest forms of feminism began to take shape in early 1920s America. The 19th Amendment [was] passed in August 1920, giving women the right to vote. Then the first proposal of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923 inspired a power in women that was not present before. Women also benefited from the growing popularity of the automobile, which allowed them even more independence. At the same time, birth control became more widely available — thanks to the efforts of people like Margaret Sanger. The American workforce also saw an influx of women as countless numbers of men were called upon to fight during World War I. Women picked up the jobs they left behind, earning good incomes. And when the men returned from the war, many women weren't so keen on giving up their newfound income and independence. The places where women could exercise their independence and spend their income were the speakeasies made possible by the beginning of Prohibition in 1920. These illegal bars became the playgrounds of the flappers and the place where their lifestyles and fashions would become famous.
“33 Photos of Flappers That Show The Jazz Age It Girls In
Action”, Allthatsinteresting.com, 2019.
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There is a new exhibition entitled “Social revolution in the 1920s: between private and public” in the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Select a picture that illustrates an aspect of this era and prepare the audio guide for it.
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