Was and this was further exagerrated by the
Was America really a free society in the 1920’s?
Freedom covers many aspects of life : human rights, religious freedom, economic freedom, freedom of expression and political freedom. In America in the 1920’s there was an illusion of freedom – but some people were more free than others and this depended on race, social class and political belief.
There was a big divide between rich and poor and this was further exagerrated by the divide between the urban and rural populations.
The smaller farmers suffered from low income. The government did nothing to help, as it was Republican and believed in not interfering with American peoples lives. This ties in with the idea of economic freedom – the rural poor were not free because they could not affordto buy what they wanted. They barely had the money to survive, let alone the opportunity to earn the extra money to buy the things that they needed.
The mining story was much the same. As the demand for coal dropped, the wages were lowered and the hours for miners were longer. A non-union policy was set up in many mines, which prevented any worker from joining a trade union. This meant that they could pay lower wages and charge less for coal and get a bigger percentage of the market, (65 percent in 1926.) So the freedom to join a trade unionwas taken away.
As a citizen of the United States of America, you had the right to vote, that is if you were classed as a citizen. Citizenship excluded blacks and Indians in most states, and even communists in one. This exclusion was more prominent in the Deep South where racism was still a bitter fact of every day life. The Jim Crow laws prevented black people from voting, getting a good education and even riding on buses in the seat they wanted to sit in. (Despite this fact, many black people rose to the top and got good jobs such as lawyers). The majority of blacks though, were employed in low paid, dirty jobs, such as bin men and toilet cl…