The Counter Culture of the 1920's

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The counter culture of the 1920’s has affected the way the American lifestyle is today. Counter culture is a culture that primarily consists of younger people, with values and lifestyles opposing those of the original established culture. (Dictionary.com) A need for change. The 1920’s are also known as the “Jazz Age,” which was coined by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the “Roaring Twenties.” It was a decade of change. (Hakim, 41) The counterculture of the 1920’s resulted from the Age of Jazz, Flappers, and the Harlem Renaissance.

Out of the streets of New Orleans, a new form of music arose. This new type of music was not known as African or European, but simply American. It was jazz. In 1900 jazz first developed, but it wasn’t until the 1920’s when jazz began to spread across the Nation and eventually across the World. (Hakim, 57) The word jazz itself did not originate in New Orleans along with the music. The term first showed up in sports columns in San Francisco. Most people from New Orleans never even heard the word until they left their homes. Eventually, like the music, the word jazz and this new phenomenon had stretched out across the nation. Jazz was and is known to be the most predominant form of music of the 1920’s. The television had not yet been invented, but rhythm and drum beat of Africa, but also contained the instruments and heritage of Europe. People everywhere had their radios to listen and dance to the music. Some listened to the newly found jazz music everyday. (Schoenberg, 10) Some people went to jazz clubs. At the jazz clubs the musicians were primarily black and the audience was mostly white. There were many clubs that were located in Harlem, which was on the north end of Manhattan. Almost all of...

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... was believed by some to have helped create the flapper culture. His most famous piece, The Great Gatsby, was about how rich Americans during the Jazz age were shallow and self-centered. (Wikipedia.com) Once the term Lost Generation became nationally known, many flappers took it up to try and be rebels against American culture and society. The people of the Lost Generation also felt that there was a need for change, so they rebelled against many things they believed to be unjust.

The counter culture of the 1920’s resulted from the Age of Jazz, Flappers, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Lost Generation. Each and every one of these events happened because people felt that there was a need for change. There was a need for counter culture. Over time, many people and groups pursued their dreams of change and made a difference in American society, culture and values.

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