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US History II. SOL USII.5 Changes in the Early Twentieth Century. Technology.

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US History II

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US History II


Changes in the Early Twentieth Century


  • Technology extended progress into all areas of American life, including neglected rural areas.

Results of improved transportation brought by affordable automobiles

  • Greater mobility

  • Creation of jobs

  • Growth of transportation-related industries (road construction, oil, steel, automobile)

  • Movement to suburban areas

Invention of the Airplane

  • The Wright Brothers: First flight in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

Use of the Assembly Line

  • Henry Ford: manufactured the first mass produced Model T in 1908

Communication Changes

  • Increased availability of telephones

Communication Changes

  • Development of the radio (role of Guglielmo Marconi) and broadcast industry (role of David Sarnoff)

David Sarnoff and Guglielmo Marconi

Communication Changes

  • Development of the movies

Ways electrification changed American life

  • Labor-saving products (i.e., washing machines, electric stoves, water pumps)

Ways electrification changed American life

  • Electric lighting

First electric traffic light

Ways electrification changed American life

Marconi’s radio tower

  • Entertainment (i.e., radio)


Ways electrification changed American life

  • Improved communications

Twentieth Century Reforms

  • Reforms in the early twentieth century could not legislate how people behaved.

  • Economic conditions and violence led to the migration of people.

Results of Prohibition

  • Speakeasies were created as places for people to drink alcoholic beverages.

The Stork Club (a famous speakeasy in New York)

Results of Prohibition

  • Bootleggers smuggled illegal alcohol and promoted organized crime.

Alcohol seized by officers in a bootlegging raid in Camden, New Jersey in 1920.

Why did the United States create Prohibition laws?

  • Part of post WWI isolationist feelings and negativity toward immigrants and associated habits

  • Temperance Movement of 1840’s and Progressive Era

  • Fundamentalist religious and moral concerns

Great Migration North

  • Jobs for African Americans in the South were scarce and low paying.

  • African Americans faced discrimination and violence in the South.

Great Migration North

  • African Americans moved to northern cities in search of better job opportunities.

  • African Americans also faced discrimination and violence in the North.

Demonstrating their political power, Klansmen triumphantly parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., on September 13, 1926, in full regalia. (Courtesy of Library of Congress)

Cultural Changes

  • The 1920’s and 1930’s were important decades for American art, literature, and music.

  • The leaders of the Harlem Renaissance drew upon the heritage of black culture to establish themselves as powerful forces of cultural change.

Cultural climate of the 1920’s and 1930’s: Art

  • Georgia O’Keeffe, an artist known for urban scenes and, later, paintings of the Southwest

Black and Purple Petunias, 1925

Black Mesa Landscape-New Mexico, 1930

Cultural climate of the 1920’s and 1930’s: Literature

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: a novelist who wrote about the Jazz Age of the 1920’s (The Great Gatsby)

  • John Steinbeck: a novelist who portrayed the strength of poor migrant workers during the 1930’s (The Grapes of Wrath)

Cultural climate of the 1920’s and 1930’s: Music

  • Aaron Copeland and George Gershwin: composers who wrote uniquely American music.

Harlem Renaissance

  • African American artists, writers, and musicians based in Harlem revealed the freshness and variety of African American culture.

Harlem Renaissance: Art

  • Jacob Lawrence: painter who chronicled the experiences of the Great Migration North through art.

The Migration of the Negro No.1

Harlem Renaissance: Literature

  • Langston Hughes: poet who combined the experiences of African and American cultural roots.

I, Too, Sing AmericaI, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes, But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong.

Tomorrow, I'll be at the table When company comes. Nobody'll dare Say to me, "Eat in the kitchen," Then.

Besides, They'll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

Dreams Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.

Harlem Renaissance: Music

  • Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong: jazz composers.

Harlem Renaissance: Music

  • Bessie Smith: blues singer

Harlem Renaissance

  • The popularity of these artists spread to the rest of society.

The Cotton Club was a famous club in

New York where many Harlem Renaissance

artists played. African Americans could

perform at the Cotton Club, but they were

denied admission to dine or enjoy the


The Great Depression

  • The optimism of the 1920’s concealed problems in the American economic system and attitudes about the role of government in controlling the economy.

  • The Great Depression had a widespread and severe impact on American life.

  • What is a depression?

  • (stage of the economic cycle characterized by low economic activity and rising unemployment)

Causes of the Great Depression

  • People over speculated on stocks, using borrowed money they could not repay when stock prices crashed.

A street scene on October 24, 1929, the day the

stock market crashed.

Causes of the Great Depression

  • The Federal Reserve failed to prevent the collapse of the banking system.

  • What is the Federal Reserve System?

  • It was created by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913; it had 12 Federal Reserve Districts which were supervised by the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. It was not controlled by the federal government. All national banks belonged and state banks that met requirements could join.

Causes of the Great Depression

  • High tariffs strangled international trade.

Impact on Americans

  • A large number of banks and businesses failed.

  • One-fourth of workers were jobless.

Impact on Americans

  • Large numbers of people were hungry and homeless.

  • Farmers’ incomes fell to low levels.

The New Deal

  • The New Deal was the name for President Franklin Roosevelt’s program to deal with the Great Depression. It provided relief to help Americans, recovery to help the economy, and reform to prevent another depression.

  • The New Deal used government programs to help the nation recover from the Depression.

What is the artist of this

political cartoon trying to


Major features of the New Deal

  • Social Security

  • Federal work programs

Major features of the New Deal

  • Environmental improvement programs

  • Farm assistance programs

  • Increased rights for labor

What were some of the acts/programs put into effect by the New Deal?

  • Federal Emergency Relief Administration

  • Tennessee Valley Authority

  • Rural Electrification Administration

  • Agricultural Adjustment Act

  • Civil Works Authority

  • Civilian Conservation Corps

  • Works Progress Administration

What were some of the acts/programs put into effect by the New Deal?

  • Commodity Credit Corporation

  • National Industrial Recovery Act

  • Wagner Labor Relations Act

  • Congress of Industrial Organizations

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