North Carolina in the Early 20th Century (1900–1929)

The first decades of the twentieth century brought many changes to North Carolina. The growth of long-distance transportation and communication, national reform movements, and the First World War linked the state ever more closely to the rest of the nation and the rest of the world. Changing times brought new ideas, new roles for women, new business opportunities, new music and new literature. But many in North Carolina didn’t benefit from these changes, and many stood squarely against them.

Designed for secondary students, part eight of our web-based resource combines primary sources with articles from a variety of perspectives, maps, photographs, and multimedia to tell the many stories of North Carolina in the early twentieth century:

  • innovations in transportation and communications and their impact on society
  • the reform movements of the Progressive Era
  • the experiences of North Carolinians in World War I
  • the struggle for women’s suffrage
  • the segregation of the Jim Crow era, the Great Migration, and the successes of African Americans in North Carolina
  • the cultural changes of the 1920s — and resistance to them
  • child labor, changes in industry, and growing labor unrest
  • the Loray Mill strike in Gastonia

Chapter Contents