Chapter 7 notes
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Chapter 7 Notes. The Twenties 1919-1929. Chapter 7 Notes. Section 1 A Booming Economy. Focus Question: How did the booming economy of the 1920’s lead to changes in American life?. The Automobile Drives Prosperity.

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Chapter 7 Notes

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Chapter 7 notes

Chapter 7 Notes

The Twenties

1919-1929


Chapter 7 notes1

Chapter 7 Notes

Section 1

A Booming Economy


Chapter 7 notes

Focus Question: How did the booming economy of the 1920’s lead to changes in American life?

The Automobile Drives Prosperity

  • Henry Ford introduced a series of methods and ideas that revolutionized production, wages, working conditions, and daily life.


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  • In 1908 Henry Ford introduced the Model T.

  • It was a reliable car that the average American could afford at $850.


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  • He put his cars on moving assembly lines.

  • At each step a worker added something to construct the automobile.


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  • The assembly line allowed Ford to keep dropping the sale price.

  • The Model T price fell to $350 by 1916 and to $290 by 1927.


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  • In 1914 Ford doubled the wages of his workers from $2.35 to $5.00 a day.

  • He reduced the work day from 9 to 8 hours.

  • In 1926 Ford became the first major industrialist to give his workers Saturday and Sunday off.


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  • Ford realized that if workers made more money and had more leisure time, they would become potential customers for his automobiles.


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  • The automotive industry stimulated growth in other industries related to cars like steel, oil, rubber, and road construction.


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  • The automobile prompted a new sense of freedom and prosperity.

  • The automobile led to the development of suburban communities.


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How did Henry Ford increase the production and sale of automobiles?

He put his cars on moving assembly lines and realized that if workers made more money and had more leisure time, they would become potential customers for his automobiles.


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A Bustling Economy

  • Advertising and credit build a consumer culture.

  • Magazine, newspaper, and radio ads focused on the desires and fears of Americans more on what people really needed.

  • Installment buying “Buy now and pay later”


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  • The stock market enjoyed a period of rising prices


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  • Investors ignored financial risks and bought stock on margin.

  • Buying on Margin – A buyer would borrow money from a broker to buy a stock and pay the broker back over a period of months.

  • A buyer only had to pay as little as 10 percent of the stock price up front to a broker.

  • Buyers gambled that they would be able to sell the stock at a profit before the loan came due.


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How did buying on margin allow more people to invest in the stock market?

A buyer only had to pay as little as 10 percent of the stock price up front to a broker.


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Cities, Suburbs, and Country

  • The movement of people was toward the cities.


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  • Improved mass transportation and the widespread use of automobiles caused cities to expand outward.


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  • As the century progressed, suburbs drained people and resources from the cities.

  • Suburbs catered to middle and upper class residents and tended to be more conservative and Republican.

  • Meanwhile, the inner cities at the heart of older urban areas began a slow but steady decline.


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  • Many people living in the country did not participate in the consumer benefits and economic gains of the decade.


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What impact did the development of the suburbs have on American society?

As the century progressed, suburbs drained people and resources from the cities.


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Chapter 7 Notes

Section 2

The Business of Government


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Focus Question: How did domestic and foreign policy change direction under Harding and Coolidge?

The Harding Administration

  • In 1920, Warren G. Harding was elected President on a pledge of a “return to normalcy”.


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  • Andrew Mellon – A wealthy banker who was Secretary of the Treasury.

  • He favored low taxes on individuals and corporations and helped to reduce the federal budget from $18 billion to $3 billion.


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  • Harding was a kind a likable man but not especially intelligent.

  • He trusted his friends to make decisions for him.

  • Unfortunately, his friends were greedy, small minded men who saw government service as a chance to get rich at the expense of the citizens.


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  • The Harding administration was known for scandals and corruption just like the George W. Bush administration.


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  • The Teapot Dome Scandal was the most notorious.

  • Albert Fall transferred oil reserves from control of the Navy to his control as Secretary of Interior. He then leased the properties to private oilmen in return for bribes.


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  • After a Senate investigation, the oil reserves were returned to the government and Fall served a year in jail.

  • President Harding died of a heart attack on August 2, 1923.


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What were the causes and effects of the Teapot Dome scandal?

Albert Fall transferred oil reserves from control of the Navy to his control as Secretary of Interior. He then leased the properties to private oilmen in return for bribes. After a Senate investigation, the oil reserves were returned to the government and Fall served a year in jail.


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Coolidge Prosperity

  • Calvin Coolidge was in many ways the opposite of Harding.

  • He was quiet, honest, and frugal.

  • He continued the policies of low taxes, reducing the national debt, and trimming the federal budget.


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  • Beneath the booming national economy there were grave problems.

  • Farmers struggled to keep their lands.

  • Labor unions demanded higher wages and better working conditions.

  • African Americans experienced severe discrimination


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What policies did Calvin Coolidge favor to support economic growth?

He continued the policies of low taxes, reducing the national debt, and trimming the federal budget.


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America’s Role in the World

  • World leaders agreed that they should seek ways to avoid war.

  • The Washington Naval Disarmament Conference raised hopes that nations could solve disagreements without resorting to war.

  • The Kellogg-Briand Pact to “outlaw” war “as an instrument of national policy” was ratified by 62 nations, then quickly ignored.


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  • The Dawes Plan arranged U.S. loans to Germany so that it could pay reparations to England and France so that they could pay back war loans to the United States.


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How did the United States support world peace efforts during the 1920’s?

The Washington Naval Disarmament Conference and the Kellogg-Briand Pact.


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Section 3

Social and Cultural Tensions


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Focus Question: How did Americans differ on major social and cultural issues?

Traditionalism and Modernism Clash

  • The 1920 census revealed, for the first time ever, that more people lived in the cities than the country.


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  • Urban Americans were Modernists who showed an openness toward social change, enjoyed new consumer products, and emphasized science and secular values.


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  • Rural Americans were Traditionalists who were suspicious of social change, missed out on many new consumer products, and emphasized established religious values.


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  • Formal education became more important to urban Americans but no so much for rural Americans.

  • Religious fundamentalism emerged grew especially strong in the rural areas.


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  • Fundamentalists emphasized Protestant teachings, believed that every word in the Bible was literally true, and that the answer to every important moral and scientific question could be found in the Bible.


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  • Fundamentalists and modernists clashed in the Scopes Trial of 1925 also known as the “Monkey Trial”


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  • A 1925 law passed in Tennessee made it illegal to teach Darwin’s theory of evolution in public schools.

  • Teacher John Scopes was arrested when he taught evolution in his classroom.


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  • Clarence Darrow was the lawyer who defended John Scopes and William Jennings Bryan served as an expert for the prosecution.


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  • Modernist supported Darrow and Traditionalists supported Bryan.


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  • Scopes was found guilty and fined $100

  • Each side still believed in the truth of its position and the conflict over evolution still continues today.


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How did the Scopes Trial illustrate the urban-rural split in the 1920’s?

Modernist supported Darrow and Traditionalists supported Bryan.


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Restricting Immigration

  • 1914 Congress passed a law forbidding immigrants who could not read and write in their own language.

  • 1921 Emergency Quota Act

  • 1924 National Origins Act


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  • The quota system did not apply to Mexicans who continued to find work harvesting crops in the southwest.


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How did new laws change U.S. immigration policy in the 1920s?

Congress passed laws restricting immigration from southern and eastern Europe.


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The New Ku Klux Klan

  • 1915 The KKK was reformed in Stone Mountain Georgia to target not just African Americans but also Jews, Catholics, and immigrants.

  • Members of the KKK were afraid of diversity and change and used violence achieve their goals.


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  • At its height, the clan had 4 to 5 million members.


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  • Individuals and organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Jewish Anti-Defamation League opposed the KKK and its values.

  • By the late 1920’s the KKK became less important due mostly to internal corruption.


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How did the goals of the new Ku Klux Klan differ from the old Klan?

They targeted not just African Americans but also Jews, Catholics, and immigrants.


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Prohibition and Crime

  • 1919 the 18th Amendment forbade the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcohol illegal.


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  • The Volstead Act was a law that officially enforced the 18th Amendment.

  • Prohibition did not stop people from drinking alcohol.

  • People made their own alcohol or smuggled it in from other countries.

  • Bootleggers sold illegal alcohol to consumers


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  • Secret bars known as Speakeasies attracted eager customers.


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  • Al Capone, a Chicago gang leader, was the most famous criminal of the prohibition era.

  • Prohibition led to the growth of organized crime in America.

Al Capone


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What were the effects of the 18th Amendment and the Volstead act?

The growth of organized crime in America.


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Chapter 7 Notes

Section 4

A New Mass Culture


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Focus Question: How did the new mass culture reflect technological and social changes?

New Trends in Popular Culture

  • Americans enjoyed more leisure time

  • The average work week fell

  • 1850 – 70hrs

  • 1910 – 55hrs

  • 1930 – 45hrs


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  • Americans rushed to see the new silent motion pictures made in Hollywood California.


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  • Some movie theaters were very fancy


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  • Comedian Charlie Chaplin was the most popular silent film star as was Douglas Fairbanks


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  • Movies tested the limits of socially acceptable behavior.

Rudolph Valentino and VilmaBanky in the Son of the Sheik (1926)


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  • The phonograph and the radio help to produce a standardized culture as people across the country listened to the same songs, learned the same dances, and shared the same popular culture.


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An Age of Heroes

  • The increase in newspaper readership and the rise of radio coverage won national fans for local sports heroes.

  • Athletic heroes insured Americans that people were capable of great feats and lofty dreams.

Jim Thorpe


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  • Babe Ruth was one of the leading sports heroes known as the home run king.


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  • In May of 1927 Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly 33 hours alone non-stop across the Atlantic ocean from New York to Paris.


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  • He became instantly famous and was known as the greatest hero of his time.


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How did the new mass media contribute to the popularity of heroes?

The increase in newspaper readership and the rise of radio coverage won national fans for local sports heroes.


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Women Assume New Roles

  • The New Woman of the 1920’s rejected Victorian morality.

  • The New Woman was more liberated, wore shorter dresses, and assumed the same political and social rights as men.


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  • The symbol of the New Woman was the flapper.


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  • In 1925 Nelly Tayloe Ross of Wyoming and Miriam Ferguson of Texas became the first women elected as their state’s governor.

Nelly Tayloe Ross

Miriam Ferguson


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  • Women tended to live longer, marry later, and have fewer children, freeing their time to pursue other interests.

  • The consumer economy of the 1920’s benefited women.


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What political gains did American women make during the 1920’s?

In 1925 Nelly Tayloe Ross of Wyoming and Miriam Ferguson of Texas became the first women elected as their state’s governor.


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Modernism in Art and Literature

  • The Arts reflect a mood of uncertainty as WWI called the notion of progress into question.

  • This pessimistic, skeptical world view sparked an artistic movement know as modernism.

  • The theories of Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud contributed to modernism.


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  • Freud argued that much of human behavior is driven not by rational thought but by unconscious desires.

  • To live in society, people learn to suppress these desires which can lead to mental illness.


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  • Painters moved away from paintings that represented real life and experimented with abstract styles and themes.

  • Edward Hopper Chop Suey(1929)


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  • Man Ray Larmes (1932)


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  • Joseph Stella By Products Plants (1920)


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  • Georgia O’Keefe Red Canna(1923)


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  • Writers of the 1920’s were often referred to as the “Lost Generation” because they had lost faith in traditional institutions.

  • They wrestled with the meaning of WWI and if life itself.

  • Some of the most distinguished American authors emerged in this period such as:

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway, Edith Wharton, Sinclair Lewis, William Faulkner, Gertrude Stein, Eugene O’Neill, and T.S. Eliot


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  • F. Scott Fitzgerald explored the reality of the American dream wealth, success, and emotional fulfillment.

  • The Great Gatsby (1925) was his most accomplished novel.


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  • Ernest Hemmingway felt betrayed by the American dream and even literary language itself.

  • He developed a style that was stripped of vague adjectives and adverbs that was concrete and powerful.


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  • A Farewell to Arms (1929) was his most accomplished novel.


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What impact did World War I have on postwar American literature?

They had lost faith in traditional Institutions and wrestled with the meaning of WWI and of life itself which resulted in literary masterpieces.


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