Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Secular RevolutionPower, Interests, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Christian Smith

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520230002

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520230002.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use (for details see www.california.universitypressscholarship.com/page/535/privacy-policy-and-legal-notice).date: 17 January 2019

Power, Ridicule, and the Destruction of Religious Moral Reform Politics in the 1920s

Power, Ridicule, and the Destruction of Religious Moral Reform Politics in the 1920s

(p.216) 5 Power, Ridicule, and the Destruction of Religious Moral Reform Politics in the 1920s
The Secular Revolution

P. C. Kemeny

University of California Press

Changes in American culture throughout the 1920s provided new political opportunities for the emergence and mobilization of an anticensorship coalition of activists that mobilized public sentiment against censorship by ridiculing the society and through judicial action. By the late 1920s, censorship came to be justified because it guaranteed the rights of others. The society's commitment to censorship as a means of moral reform was an expression of the mainline Protestant sense of its custodianship over American society. The Watch and Ward Society conceived of pernicious literature as a social problem and identified itself as one of many late-nineteenth-century voluntary societies that attempted to reform different troubling aspects of American culture. Modernists, young intellectuals, and the civil libertarian movement overthrew the Protestant establishment. Secular activists achieved a decisive victory when they successfully revised the state's obscenity laws in 1930.

Keywords:   American culture, censorship, moral reform, Watch and Ward, civil libertarian

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.