Wolves in Wolf's Clothing
The beginning of the 20th century marks a new era of humanity, one capable of mass-producing culture in all forms: from songs, to cars, to less than legal merchandise. As a young country trying to form an national pride and identity, America works its way into the hearts of its people. The 1920’s are a rich time for the nation that made profit, not sacrifices, in the first world war. With snazzy new automobiles pumping out from the assembly line, and new technology available to spread music and ideas, a certain brightness is attributed to this blooming era. Innovation, fashion, and presentation are highlighted as new reasons to make a living. The people’s hopes are high.
Drawn to the bustling life of employment and technology, a great influx of immigration came to the state of Michigan at the start of the century. Powered by the automobile industry, the economy is flourishing: encouraging new faces and new dreams to emerge from the sidelines. Many rural workers have started to move into the city to share in this, but an increasingly large percentage of those residing in Michigan cities have come from either overseas or the southern states; hundreds of oppressed citizens are seeking refuge in a freer land, where one could shed poverty and despair in favour of hard work and well-earned payment. In some sense, this became a self-fulfilling prophesy: they support and create local businesses and bring further prosperity to the growing state.
Michigan has done well to import workers and export fame and prestige. With swelling national pride, advertisement for luxurious cars and a better life tempt both dreamers and those who have nothing to lose.
Effort is put towards supporting these immigrants, including foreign-language newspapers sold out of book stores, welcoming and integrating the newcomers before putting them to work. Many of these programs are run by previous immigrants who hope to keep their shared background a part of their culture.
While many different ethnicity’s are represented in Michigan, most stay within their own communities, living in pockets and neighbourhoods of their heritage and shared past. Still, they each contribute to the public by working in factories and local shops, as well as spending their income on the new luxuries of life, buying everything from automobiles and movie tickets.
Not all immigrants can find success off of the streets, though, and many who came to a new land for easy profit don’t want to labour in a factory all day for their pay. Luckily for them, other luxuries, just as valuable, are spreading throughout the land and into the hearts of its citizens. With an increase in employment, the average person feels entitled to more pleasantries of life— bringing resentment and competition along with it.