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Movies and cultural influences - Essay Example

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The later half of the nineteenth century gave birth to an industrial and technological revolution, which changed the face of the American society. Tremendous changes occurred in the lifestyles of the people, as the transportation and communication facilities came within the reach of the common man…
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Download file to see previous pages With the sudden urbanization on a large scale, the ordinary factory workers in the city became psychologically isolated, though they were in the midst of a huge mass of urban population. This situation was further aggravated by the arrival and assimilation of a large number of immigrants, most of whom were not English speaking, and from a different cultural background. With time and money at their disposal due to the rising affluence, the urban workers needed to find avenues for entertainment. They still could not afford to attend entertainment shows such as music performances, theater plays etc.
The invention of the moving picture towards the end of the nineteenth century, suited this demand perfectly. This amazing novelty captured the imagination of the common man. This medium had several advantages over other forms of entertainment. It was cheap. It could be copied, transported, and staged simultaneously at several places. Initial silent movies had no language barrier, and hence had a universal appeal. The earlier movie producers, mostly jews, Italian or greek immigrants who could not get in the mainstream industrial workforce, but were nonetheless hungry for success, utilized these advantages to attract a huge audiences and make maximum profits. Nickelodeon theaters, with shabby seating arrangements inside, and crude and gaudy posters outside, sprang up throughout the cities and even countryside. Some owners included vulgar and objectionable content in their movie shows. The dark environment inside the theatre was also found to foster unsocial and immoral activities. Cultural traditionalists saw, in this movement, a potential to corrupt the minds of the young generation and a threat to the moral society. This commercial amusement activity was directly in contrast to playgrounds, libraries, school recreation centers, church sponsored recreation, which were considered to be the conserving moral agencies of a respectable society. Large scale criticism of the uncontrolled commercialism, as regards to movies, ultimately led to stricter theater regulations and even a temporary closure of all the movie houses in New York in 1908.Susequently, the movie men fought and won legal battles with the administration against this action, but with a clear message, that some form of regulation was needed. The first comprehensive law in the United States, regulating movie theaters was enacted in 1913, banning objectionable content such as vaudeville acts, enforcing the provision of better amenities inside the theaters etc.
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The success of the industrial revolution, which started around the middle of the nineteenth century, was a collective result of several factors acting simultaneously in a complementary manner. The practical application of technological innovations, like telephony and telegraphy, effective use of electricity development of transport systems, and development of mechanized assembly lines greatly helped the economic growth of the American society as a whole. This further fueled the demand, not only for technology based products by the industries, but also for consumer based products and services by the masses. The
Cycle of demand and growth prompted the manufacturers towards large scale production of goods. At the same time, these manufacturers had to compete with each other for maximizing their market share in the fully ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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