Social Changes Review for AP World History (page 2)

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Mar 4, 2011


In the 1920s, Japan also experienced a rise in mass consumerism. The film industry became popular, and secondary education reached greater numbers of students. After World War II, the new U.S.-influenced government in Japan provided for woman suffrage and abolished Shintoism as the state religion. The Japanese preserved their traditional respect for their elders by creating a social security system for the elderly. After the end of the U.S. occupation, the Japanese government began asserting more control over the lives of its citizens, including controlling the content of student textbooks. Traditions such as the tea ceremony and Kabuki and No theater continued.

Japanese work schedules allowed for less leisure time than in Western societies. One leisure activity that became extremely popular was baseball, introduced to Japan during the U.S. occupation. Women continued to occupy traditional homemaking and childrearing roles.


China's May Fourth Movement (1919) honored the role that women had played in the Chinese revolution by increasing women's rights. Footbinding was outlawed, and women were given wider educational and career opportunities. Although the Guomindang attempted to return Chinese women to their more traditional roles, Chinese communists gave them a number of roles in their revolution. Women were allowed to bear arms in the military. Since the institution of Mao's government in 1949, Chinese women have been expected to work outside the home while maintaining their traditional responsibilities in the home as well.

Latin America

After the Mexican Revolution, Mexican artists such as Diego Rivera painted murals on public buildings. The murals depicted scenes from the revolutions and hopes for social progress in the future. Latin American folk culture includes strong elements of the native Indian and African cultures. Although the region remains largely Roman Catholic, the latter decades of the twentieth century and the beginnings of the twenty-first century saw significant increases in the popularity of evangelical Protestant denominations throughout Latin America.

Throughout the twentieth century, Latin American women tended to retain their traditional roles. Women were not allowed to vote until 1929, when Ecuador became the first Latin American nation to allow woman suffrage. By the latter part of the twentieth century, Latin American women controlled small businesses and were sometimes active in politics, including membership in legislatures.


Woman suffrage was written into the constitutions of new nations. The participation of women in African independence movements was rewarded, resulting in some opportunities for women to hold political office. Many of the new nations also granted women increased opportunities for education and employment. Early marriage, however, often continued to confine women to traditional roles. Government imposition of shariah law in regions of Nigeria and other Muslim-dominated African nations threatened not only the independence but also the security of women.

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