Americans experimented with many new customs and social traditions during the nineteen twenties. There were new dances, new kinds of clothes and some of the most imaginative art and writing ever produced in the United States.
But in most ways, the nineteen twenties were a conservative time in American life. Voters elected three conservative Republican presidents: Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. And they supported many conservative social and political policies.
One such policy concerned immigration. Most Americans in the nineteen twenties had at least some ties through blood or marriage to the first Americans who came from Britain. Many people with these kinds of historic ties considered themselves to be real Americans, true Americans.
Americans traditionally had welcomed newcomers from such western European countries as Britain, France, or Germany. But most of the people arriving in New York City and other harbors in the nineteen twenties were from the central, eastern and southern areas of Europe.
Some Americans became afraid of these millions of people arriving at their shores. They worried that the immigrant newcomers might steal their jobs. Or they feared the political beliefs of the immigrants.