The roaring 20 s
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The Roaring 20’s. An era of prosperity, Republican power, and conflict. As the War Ended . . . . Spanish Influenza Epidemic! Most deadly for 20-40 yr. olds Eventually killed 20-50 million worldwide (by contrast, WWI killed approx. 15 million people). Philadelphia – October 1918.

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The Roaring 20’s

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The Roaring 20’s

An era of prosperity,

Republican power,

and conflict

As the War Ended . . .

  • Spanish Influenza Epidemic!

  • Most deadly for 20-40 yr. olds

  • Eventually killed 20-50 million worldwide (by contrast, WWI killed approx. 15 million people)

Philadelphia – October 1918

Emergency hospital at Camp Funston in Fort Riley, KS (1918)

Over 50 Thousand!

Presidents During 1920s

  • Warren G. Harding

  • Calvin Coolidge

  • Herbert Hoover

Warren G. Harding


Foreign Policy

*isolationism,avoiding political or economic alliances with foreign countries.

The Harding Presidency

Domestic Issues

  • Normalcy - Harding’s campaign promised a return to pre- WWI peacefulness

  • Red Scare - American’s fear of communism and other extreme political ideas

Examples of Issues Related to the Red Scare or Fear of Communism(the style of government that was now running the Soviet Union)


  • When the government owns property and the means of production (farms, businesses, and factories)

  • All citizens SHARE the wealth – no private property or rich and poor.

Palmer Raids

  • Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer

  • Driven by fear of Communism

    • And hopes of one day being president…

  • Held suspectswithout evidence

IWW (“Wobblies”) Headquarters after a Palmer Raid

Sacco and Vanzetti

  • Suspected militant anarchists

  • Convicted of murder

  • Many felt they did not receive a fair trial because of their political ideas and ethnicity.

Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco

More Domestic Issues

  • Nativism- a movement favoring native-born Americans over immigrants.

  • Immigration quota- restrict or ban immigrants from certain countries.

  • Racial tensions . . .


  • Started in 1866 in South

  • Experienced it’s greatest growth and popularity after WWI

  • Three million members mostly in Indiana, Oklahoma, and deep South

Ku Klux Klan, cont.

  • KEY CHANGE! Discriminated by race, nationality, political beliefs, religion, etc.

  • Many members were small-business owners, independent professionals, clerical workers, and farmers.

African Americans on the Move

  • Blacks moved north to take advantage of booming wartime industry (= Great Migration) - Black ghettoes began to form, i.e. Harlem

  • within these ghettoes a distinct Black culture flourished

  • But both blacks and whites wanted cultural interchange restricted

  • Marcus Garvey

  • Advocated racial segregation b/c of Black superiority

  • Garvey believed Blacks should return to Africa

  • Few African Americans returned to Africa . . . Why?

The Harlem Renaissance

  • Harlem also emerged as an overall cultural center for African Americans.

  • A literary awakening took place in Harlem in the 1920s that was known as the Harlem Renaissance.


  • Key people: James Weldon Johnson, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes

  • They celebrated African American culture.

The Jazz Age (2nd name for the 1920s)

  • Jazz, a style of music that grew out of the African American music of the South, became highly popular during the 1920s.


Billie Holiday

Louis Armstrong

Ella Fitzgerald

Harding dies suddenly (and mysteriously) while still in office and Coolidge becomes president.

“Silent Cal”

Calvin Coolidge


Coolidge’s Foreign Policy

  • Continued Isolationism

Domestic Policy

  • Laissez Faire- Hands Off!! Government should not interfere with the growth of business

President Coolidge ‘s Philosophy

  • “The business of America is business.”

  • High Tariffs!!!!!!!! (cost of living goes up, up, up!)

This says it all about Silent Cal!

  • Both his dry Yankee wit and his frugality with words became legendary. His wife, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, recounted that a young woman sitting next to Coolidge at a dinner party confided to him she had bet she could get at least three words of conversation from him. Without looking at her he quietly retorted, "You lose."

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