What Formed Our Society

What Formed Our Society

Mack LeBlanc, Staff Writer

If you say that you don’t need history class, we’re going to have an issue. Our society is something amazing. What the middle-aged man at the front of the class is droning about is important for you to understand so you can know how the world works.

Yet, what’s important to you is the now, right?

Well, let’s look over how we ended up here. Let’s rewind to the 1920s. you’ll know this as the Gatsby era (no Gatsby wasn’t a real dude), the Al Capone years, and the Roaring 20s.

People nowadays have a love for fun, especially when everything around us is falling apart. If something bad happens, your first reaction after stabilizing the situation is to go get your mind off of it with some friends, right? That’s precisely what the twenties were all about.

The first World War had just ended and we were quick, despite limited resources and an approaching depression, to go to the nearest illegal speakeasy (club) and live up the young night. During the time, prohibition was in effect, but America’s new rebellious and care free attitude meant that it was hardly followed.  

Women’s suffrage was a big part of the twenties as well. Women were allowed to vote and became more free. Flappers represented the ultimate free woman at the time, with bobbed hair and an emphasis on a boyish silhouette, as well as sporting short hemlines. Something interesting about the twenties is that all of what I just said is very unique to America. Toward the latter half of the twenties, the rest of the world was getting fired up for the next World War, a war that we joined approximately twenty years late.

Speaking of the war, let’s fast forward through the Great Depression, which was a time when America was riddled with drought, inflation, and poverty, and jump into when we joined WWII, in 1941.

After the attack of Pearl Harbor, our society took on a more serious and outward-looking note. We still had a style of isolationism and patriotism. The war didn’t have as much impact on us as it did on the other longer-fighting countries. Most of the impact hit the individuals that were brave enough to serve rather than the country as a whole.

After the war we wanted to have a big return to family values, which sounds nice and dandy, but soon became toxic. Women were claimed as housewives and home keepers. Any sort of provocative behavior would have you shunned, and marriage was everything. The nuclear family was an ideal as much as it was a necessity of survival for women of this era. On the flip side during this period, we began making more machines meant to simplify everyday life, like dishwashers and laundry units. Society was progressing, and also holding itself back.

The sixties is where all hell broke loose. Social justice was a focus. The civil rights movement had its effect and segregation began to end. Women started to oppose the picture perfect home keeper ideal. The Stonewall riots took place. Minorities were speaking up and everything became more loose. Hemlines were shortened, colors were loud, music was evolving, and this is even when men’s magazines became popular.

During the seventies society really began to evolve. With the ongoing Vietnam war planting roots in America, civilians began to protest for peace. This popularized hippie culture. The bell bottoms and tie-dye were a true staple. The feminist movement began here as well. Society was in an uproar of protests and calls to action demanded by a heated political climate.

Finally we approach the beloved eighties. This is where our generation starts. Many of our parents were born or grew up during this time. We kept rising past confines of our old ideals and progressing, leading us into the nineties and then the students of Keller High and everyone our age were born.

We were born into a society with its issues, but one that is more free than we’ve ever been, louder than we’ve ever been, and better than we’ve ever been.

That’s how we got here.