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The “Roaring” 1920’s. Four Major Themes. Four Images From the 1920’s . A “flapper” dress A hatbox “The Barbeque” Magazine Cover. Four Themes of the 1920’s. Materialism Modernism Disillusionment Fundamentalism. Materialism.

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The “Roaring” 1920’s

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four images from the 1920 s
Four Images From the 1920’s
  • A “flapper” dress
  • A hatbox
  • “The Barbeque”
  • Magazine Cover
four themes of the 1920 s
Four Themes of the 1920’s
  • Materialism
  • Modernism
  • Disillusionment
  • Fundamentalism
  • devotion to material wealth and possessions at the expense of spiritual or intellectual values
  • the latest styles, tastes, attitudes, or practices
  • The revolutionary ideas and styles in art, architecture, and literature that developed in the early 20th century as a reaction to traditional forms
  • disappointment caused by a frustrated ideal or belief
  • a religious or political movement based on a literal interpretation of and strict adherence to doctrine, especially as a return to former principles
1920 s modernism
1920’s Modernism
  • Rise of Advertising
radio and movies
Radio and Movies
  • Between 1923 and 1930, 60 percent of American families purchased radios. 
jazz and dancing
Jazz and Dancing
  • a worse evil than the saloon used to be.
  • Those moaning saxophones and the rest of the instruments with their broken, jerky rhythm make a purely sensual appeal.
  • All of us dancing teachers know this to be a fact. . . .
  • The music written for jazz is the very foundation and essence of salacious dancing. The words also are often very suggestive, thinly veiling immoral ideas.
the jazz age
The Jazz Age
  • Magazines glorified the new lifestyle
louis armstrong
Louis Armstrong
  • 1901-1971
  • St. Louis Blues (1925)
  • Heebie Jeebies (1927)
origins of jazz
Origins of Jazz
  • West African pedigree is evident in its use of “blue notes”, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation, and the “swung note”
  • Ragtime and New Orleans
tin pan alley
Tin Pan Alley
  • New York City-centered music publishers and songwriters
  • Dominated the popular music late 19th and early 20th century.
  • Originally a specific place in New York City, West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue
irving berlin
Irving Berlin
  • Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1911)
1920 s movies
1920’s Movies
  • Nickelodeons
  • Silent Films
    • Charlie Chaplin
the harlem renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance
  • Literary and cultural movement
  • Centered in Harlem, NY
  • Alain Locke: “Father of the Renaissance”
    • Ph.D from Harvard, 1918
    • Taught at Howard University (D.C.)
    • 1925 essay: The New Negro
the new negro
The New Negro

“For the younger generation is vibrant with a new psychology; the new spirit is awake in the masses, and under the very eyes of the professional observers is transforming

what has been a perennial problem into the progressive phases of contemporary Negro life.”

Alain Locke

the new negro22
The New Negro
  • Anthology of fiction, poetry, and essays
  • Divided into two sections
    • Essays, poems and fictions by Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and Claude McKay
    • "The New Negro in a New World", which contained social and political analysis by writers including James Weldon Johnson, E. Franklin Frazier, Kelly Miller, Robert R. Moton, Walter White, and W. E. B. DuBois.
langston hughes
Langston Hughes

I, 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.


I'll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody'll dare

Say to me,

"Eat in the kitchen,"



They'll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

  • End of the “reforming” impulse from Progressivism and WWI
  • Evident in
    • Red Scare of 1919-1920
    • Revival of the KKK
    • Politics
    • Appeal of Materialism
the red scare
The Red Scare
  • Causes

Post-war labor unrest

    • Coal Miners Strike of 1919.
    • Steel Strike of 1919.
    • Boston Police Strike of 1919.
strikes and radicalism
Strikes and Radicalism
  • Strikes had preceded Bolshevik Revolution in Russia
  • Public equates labor unrest with radicalism
boston police strike
Boston Police Strike
  • Fears of Anarchy
  • “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.” – Calvin Coolidge
the red scare29
The Red Scare
  • Causes
    • Series of Terrorists Incidents
    • Mail bombs discovered
      • Mayor of Seattle
      • Ga. Senator Thomas Hardwick
      • John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan
      • Supreme Court Justice Oliver W. Holmes
      • Attorney General Mitchell Palmer
      • Other federal and state officials
the palmer raids
The Palmer Raids
  • Attorney General Mitchell Palmer
    • “The Fighting Quaker”
    • Organizes an “anti-radical” division in the Justice Department
      • Names J. Edgar Hoover to lead it
      • Beginnings of the FBI
the palmer raids32
The Palmer Raids
  • 7th November, 1919
  • 10,000 suspected communists and anarchists were arrested
  • January, 1920: 6,000 more
  • No evidence except membership in radical organizations
  • 500 aliens deported on the “Soviet Ark”
the case against the reds
“The Case Against the Reds”
  • Like a prairie-fire, the blaze of revolution was sweeping over every American institution of law and order a year ago. It was eating its way into the homes of the American workmen, its sharp tongues of revolutionary heat were licking the altars of the churches, leaping into the belfry of the school bell, crawling into the sacred corners of American homes, seeking to replace marriage vows with libertine laws, burning up the foundations of society.
the soviet ark
“The Soviet Ark”
  • U.S.S. Buford
  • Carried deportees to Finland
  • Immigration Restriction
    • 1920 Immigration Act: bars possession of “seditious literature”
    • 1921 Emergency Quota Act: 3% of 1910 total by nationality
    • 1924: Changes quota to 2% and base year to 1890
    • 1927 National Origins Act: 150,000 per year limit w/ % from specific countries (60% GBR, 4% Italy)
the politics of disillusionment
The Politics of Disillusionment
  • The Politics of Disillusionment: Return of the GOP
  • Democrats discredited by WWI, Treaty of Versailles, and liberalism
the politics of disillusionment38
The Politics of Disillusionment
  • Harding’s Campaign: “A Return to Normalcy”
  • Harding as President
    • No qualifications (Wilson said he “could not tell a liar”)
    • Spent most of his time playing cards
    • Hated to hurt people’s feelings by saying “no”
harding scandals
Harding Scandals
  • Cabinet most corrupt in history
    • Veterans Adm.
    • Teapot Dome
    • Attorney General Harry Daugherty
republican policies
Republican Policies
  • Non-enforcement of anti-trust laws:
    • 6000 mergers, 1925-1931
    • Effective monopolies in aluminum, salt, sugar, tropical fruit
    • Oligopolies in oil, steel, glass, cement, copper, tobacco, meatpacking – even bread and milk!
    • Ford, GM and Chrysler: 83% of cars
  • Repeal of excess profits tax