The American Family Life
Towards the end of the century, the divorce rate was the highest, the educated women had fewer children, and the immigrant children flooded schools (Coontz). More so, the rate of sexually transmitted diseases among men was high and streets in the neighborhood had increased amount of cocaine vials. This made people think that life was better at the start of century than in 1999. The contrary is however, true. Life was worse at the start. For instance, at the start of the century, children would be exploited because they would work in mines, sweatshops, and mills. More so, most employees would work for more than 10 hours in a day. Indeed, most times, the workers would work for six days in a week. This meant that they would have limited time for the family. It is also worth noting that the rate of riots was more at the start of the century. Disgustingly, women were not supposed to vote. Accordingly, their pay was miniscule. As a result, a majority of women resulted to prostitution. Coontz notes that in 1900 the rate at which children died was high compared to the rate of deaths towards the end of the century. The rate of neglect and abuse by parents was also widespread and the men who divorced their wives did not proffer any support to the family. Most significantly, only about 6% of the kids finished high school (Coontz). About 88% of the children completed school towards the end of the Century (Coontz). Therefore, the aforementioned factors show that life at the start of the century was not better than 1999
The society that lived in the 1950s seemed to be very prestigious compared to 1999. In 1950s, the rate of divorce seemed to have fallen significantly. More so, the rate at which women got married to men increased in 1950s (Coontz). This led to an increase in production. The marriage relationship and high birth rates led to the growth of extended families in America. The rate at which the immigrants were giving birth in the USA fell drastically, and the nostalgia of the 1950s became understandable. Life experiences changed and became more efficient compared to the hardship that prevailed during the world economic depression and world war two (Coontz). Furthermore, the GI Bill made all generation of middle age fathers, college education, and subsidized mortgage on a new house certain. Through this, it enabled many young men to start up families and live with them in the houses they acquired without using a single cent from their accounts. Such instances made people feel good. As a result, a majority of people would want to go back to those years.
I do not think our society would return to the lives of 1950s. Back in 1950s, life was very hard. Discrimination was also high. Moreover, families were acquired via coercion and censorship. This created an unwanted environment for living (Coontz). Additionally, the government was very harsh to individuals who had unconventional beliefs, arbitrary firing them from their workstations and investigations.
As a nation, we will not be better off if we return to 1950’s. Time has moved since then. In this modern time, it is common to see unmarried single individuals compared to 1950’s where they were hiding. Even with nostalgia about the 1950’s life, there were still problems that occurred (Coontz).
Coontz, Stephanie. “The American Family – Author Stephanie Coontz.” Welcome! – Author Stephanie Coontz. N.p., 1999. Web. 16 May 2017. <http://www.stephaniecoontz.com/articles/article10.htm>.