The above statement tells us that the USA in the 1920s was a mixture of different things, by using the word medley. Pre 1920 jazz was mainly listened to and enjoyed by the black community, but this dramatically changed after 1920. Fundamentalism is where a person believes in the literal truth of the holy bible and how god created life on earth. In society there were many factions who were complacent and indignant. Jazz music was now ever becoming a white person’s music. Young white folk liked jazz as it was radical sexy and explicit.
Jazz was popular with young whites because it was promoted by radios, records, magazines and towards the late 1920s in the cinema. With jazz came new dances such as the Charleston, which was created in a casino in Charleston, South Carolina. This was one of the most famous dances of the 1920s; also it is a famous dance of that decade. Jazz music had handfuls of stars in the 1920s such as Louis Armstrong who took the age of jazz to a new frontier by becoming the first ever jazz-soloist. Jazz music came from black African Americans.
Jazz in its early days was not sexual or radical to a black person. Jazz music was played in small marching bands. The first place to put jazz music on the map was New Orleans, Louisiana. Near to the end of the 1920s jazz music was used as the backbone for the first ever-talking movie, it was called ‘the jazz singer’. A fundamentalist is a person who believes in the literal truth of the bible. Fundamentalism spread all across the USA in the 1920s. This was a period where fundamentalism was at its strongest point.
The place it was strongest in was mainly rural areas but it was also very strong in California at this time. One of the biggest issues fundamentalism dealt with at this time was the famous ‘Scopes trial. This was where a man named Johnny Scopes was put on trial for teaching children, in a school in Tennessee, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. This caused uproar as he said that the human race grew from primates into the creatures they are today. As many people in Tennessee were fundamentalists they did not like this as they believed that God created life on earth on the 6th day of creation.
Mr Scopes was put on trial for his teachings and was fined $100, and after that he knew that the law was real and you would get fined for talking about Darwin’s Theory. In American society there were many complacent people. Complacently is where a person is happy/ satisfied with the way life is going and is not concerned about the well being of poor people in society. Many groups were complacent in American society in the 1920s. A good example of complacency in a group is the government in Herbert Hoover’s time in office as he suffered an economical depression.
He could do little to help and he was not concered with the way that Americans went about with their daily lives. The KKK were very complacent as they were happy with the way their lives were going but had little concern for the Blacks (the poor in the general population). Other people like Al Capone and many of the stock brokers were complacent as their main aim was to make money for themselves and not worry if they lost other peoples money or killed people to get rich. In America in the 1920s there were many indignant people. Indignation means you do not like the way your life is going and you are offended and dissatisfied with things..
The KKK, Johnny Scopes, flappers and Blacks were all dissatisfied with the way life was going in the 1920s. The KKK were very indignant and they took it out on people who were not White Anglo Saxon Protestant (wasp), and the Black community. The Blacks were bullied, discriminated and the source of verbal and physical abuse. Blacks were treated like they were second class citizens. Flappers were indignant because they wanted to carry on with the high life whilst the men were sent of to fight in World War One. They wanted to keep their jobs and go out without no restrictions and be able to do what they want to.
Flappers wanted to do more things like the men. For example smoking, go to dances unchaperoned, riding motor bikes and wearing more comfortable clothes. Jazz and Fundamentalists are complete opposites. Fundamentalists did not like jazz because the young Americans enjoyed it and began to break more rules and do things that would be frowned upon by the older generations. The jazz music promoted more females to smoke and wear comfortable clothes. So in my own opinion America is an odd medley of jazz, fundamentalism, complacacy and indignation.