The 1910s Lifestyles and Social Trends: Overview

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The 1910s Lifestyles and Social Trends: Overview

During the 1910s, new developments in government, big business, and industry began to change daily life in the United States. America was becoming an urban, industrial nation as the younger population increasingly left farms to settle in big cities. As they moved into closer proximity to each other and made increasing amounts of disposable income, people were becoming more fashion and lifestyle conscious.

Lifestyles became more active and fashions became more functional. Clothing that restricted movement and distorted the look of the body became outdated. Meanwhile, the rise of national magazines helped spread an interest in fashions and trends, making a single style accessible to people of varied economic classes. Automobiles began to take on a stylish look. While there were no general changes in the Ford Model T, the era's topselling car, other manufacturers produced cars that catered to more affluent customers. Through technical advances, these cars became more efficient to make and operate. Plus, they no longer resembled old-fashioned carriages.

Buildings, too, sported modern architectural designs. While many skyscrapers, government buildings, and monuments were designed in the style of the Beaux Arts school, which used older European decorative styles, smaller commercial structures and many private homes were designed in a sleek, functional manner to reflect new lifestyle trends.

There also were new jobs available to women outside the home. As women began earning wages, they started to be strong, active consumers. For that reason, manufacturers began producing fashionable clothing and household devices specifically for females. Still, for most of the decade, women did not have the right to vote. Suffragists (those who advocated granting women the right to vote) marched on and even picketed the White House until equal voting rights for women were adopted.

Throughout the decade, several segments of society continued to be outsiders. Most African Americans approached the coming of World War I (1914–18) with courage and patriotism, but they continued to be treated as inferiors by white America. Certain immigrant groups also were isolated and viewed with distrust by the mainstream. As the war in Europe escalated, German Americans were viewed as enemies because the Germans were the enemy in Europe. Many European immigrants actually returned to their homelands before the outbreak of war could cut all ties with loved ones. Immigrants who remained in the United States were urged to assimilate (become absorbed into the American mainstream).

In the realm of religion, a missionary spirit enveloped much of America as religious leaders spread various doctrines of Christianity to people across the country. Also, evangelists such as Billy Sunday preached fiery messages about sin, mortality, and the righteousness of America's participation in the war.

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The 1910s Lifestyles and Social Trends: Overview

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The 1910s Lifestyles and Social Trends: Overview