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Disillusion, Defiance, & Discontent. Modernism 1914-1946. Story of the times . America was hailed a world power, albeit we were losing our youthful innocence & brash innocence. Within a world of wars, America was becoming disenchanted with that which came before. Time of Invention & conflict.

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Story of the times

  • America was hailed a world power, albeit we were losing our youthful innocence & brash innocence.

  • Within a world of wars, America was becoming disenchanted with that which came before.


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Time of Invention & conflict

  • Continued industrialization

  • Continued inventions & technology

  • Social problems

  • Union difficulties

  • World War I broke out, and President Woodrow Wilson put home troubles on the back burner.


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War in Europe

  • Bloodiest & most tragic conflicts ever

  • The machine gun changed the way war was fought

  • Almost an entire generation of European men fought & died in this war


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War in Europe

  • President Wilson wanted to remain neutral, but that proved impossible

  • In 1915, a German submarine sank the Lusitanian, a British merchant fleet

  • 128 Americans were on board

  • America sided with the Allies, and two years later joined the Allied cause


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Authors in war

  • American entered the war carefree, but they would soon realize it was not so

  • American authors, E.E. Cummings, Ernest Hemingway, & John Dos Passos all served in some capacity


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Prosperity & Depression

  • The end of WWI in 1918 brought little peace to America since prohibition began a year later

  • The sale of liquor became illegal

  • This led to increased bootlegging, widespread law breaking, underground bars, & war fare between mob families


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1920s (we will get more into this era later)

  • Through the 20s the nation was on a binge

  • The economy boomed

  • Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, which detailed the decadence of the time

  • In 1929 the Stock Market crashed marking the beginning of the Great Depression


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The New Deal

  • By 1932 12 million Americans were out of work

  • Unemployment increased, & the food lines became longer

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt beat Herbert Hoover for the presidency

  • Roosevelt created the New Deal, a package of economic reform to turn around the economic state of America


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World War II

  • Twenty years after the Treaty of Versailles, German invaded Poland

  • As with WWI, America wanted to stay out of the war

  • When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, we could no longer ignore the war going on around us


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An atomic end

  • The allies –including the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, & France- defeated Germany, Japan, & Italy

  • A major event leading to the end of WWII was the invention of the Atomic Bomb, which American dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki in 1948


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Birth of Modernism

  • Devastation of WWI left many Authors disenchanted

  • They no longer trusted the ideals & values of America

  • This new group of writers were called Modernists

  • They attempted to capture the new modern way of life of America in their writing


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Expatriates

  • Postwar disenchantment led a number of American writers to move to Europe

  • Many of these writers created a community in Paris

  • Most notably, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound & F. Scott Fitzgerald


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