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They Dared to DreamFlorida Women Who Shaped History$
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Doris Weatherford

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813060606

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813060606.001.0001

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Up and Then Down, 1921–1940

Up and Then Down, 1921–1940

(p.229) 7 Up and Then Down, 1921–1940
They Dared to Dream

Doris Weatherford

University Press of Florida

This chapter describes American women of the 1920s. The 1920s marked not only a great economic transformation but also the greatest social change of all time for women all around the globe. Following World War I and the example of Europeans, American women shortened their skirts, cut their hair, smoked cigarettes, and drank in speakeasies—during a time when alcohol was prohibited but narcotics were legalized. They drove cars, read Freudian psychology, danced sexily to new jazz, and imitated fashion and behavior from new movies. The “flapper” of the 1920s was liberated beyond any woman before in human history. Understandably, there was great generational conflict, and in the midst of all this hurried yet profound change, exercising the vote that older women had worked so hard to obtain in the previous decade seemed almost minor and political feminism appeared almost passé.

Keywords:   economic transformation, social change, American women, new jazz, flapper, liberated women, generational conflict, woman suffrage, political feminism

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