Development Of Entertainment 1890-1920
The 1890-1920 timeframe
- This time period was known as the ‘progressive era’ in the USA, due to the extensive political, economic, social and moral reform that defined the period. Activists aimed to introduce direct democracy into their political system and remove corruption from every government arena. Women suffrage, an increase in the rights of black communities and modernization in every sphere of society were just a few of the changes that took place during this time.
- The progressive movement has its origins in the local level of society though it eventually extended to affect the state. It also gained support from the middle classes, with its promise of extensive reform in their country. Women and the black communities both aimed to gain higher education, better healthcare and an overall increase in the rights awarded to them by society.
- The term entertainment defines activities which hold an audience’s attention, filling them with pleasure. While entertainment is largely associated with amusement it can be used for serious purposes as well.
- The types of activities have developed over the years, with the performances being largely affected by the situation and societal concerns of the time. Satire is a form of entertainment that aims to do both; amuse the audience while spreading awareness of an issue that is prominent in society.
- The advancement of technology in the progressive era heralded an increase in entertainment opportunities. The introduction of motion pictures, and silent movies, provided the entertainment industry with an outlet to comment on all prominent social and political issues of the time. They were able to influence societal views on a variety of issues such as; women’s suffrage, immigration, political corruption and child labor adopting a range of tones to spread awareness and gain support for their viewpoint.
- The changes taking place in society at the time also affected the entertainment industry. Women were allowed an increased role in society, and the movies adopted a range of techniques to comment on the growing views of women’s femininity. The time period also included the World War I. During this time entertainment played a large role, boosting morale in a time of hardship. People were able to gather together to watch the news, rather than read about it at home. The progressive era was a very important time in American history. It led to a large reform in their society and entertainment played a large role in this change.