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The Roaring 20s

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  1. Life and American Culture in the 1920s The Roaring 20s

  2. A. The Roaring 20s • Best word to describe the 1920s • Euphoria • is generally considered to be an exaggerated state • Not based in reality or anything tangible • Feeling that things are great and only going to get better • Not based in any proof or evidence

  3. B. Difficult Post War Adjustment • Winners: • American Businessmen • Made $ during the war • US Prestige • Great pride • Women and Minorities • Briefly • Jobs in factories • Great Migration for a better life • Urban Areas • Majority of people in US (51%) now live in cities • Chicago – 3 million • New York – 5 million

  4. Losers: • Wilson and the Democratic Party • Republicans in office during 1920s • Turned to isolationism/return to laissez-faire/low taxes/tariff high • Harding – Collidge – Hoover • Progressive Movement • “The Business of America is Business” • No hope for continue gov regulation • American involvement in world affairs • Return to isolationism • Immigrants • Nativismis on the rise due to labor strikes and red scare • Sacco and Vansetti • Found guilty of robbery and murder • Emergency Quote Act of 1921 • Limit immigration from Europe • KKK is on the rise

  5. Losers Continue: • Communists and Socialist • The Red Scare • Fear of Communist taken over America • The Palmer Raids • J Edgar Hoover hunts down suspected Communist, socialist, and anarchists • Trampled civil rights • Foreign-born were deported without trails • Union activity/Labor Movement • Seen as communist • Three big strikes • Boston Police Strike • Steel Mill Strike • The Coal Miners Strike • Proof that US was on brink of Communist Revolution

  6. C. Changing Way of Life • Rural verse Urban • More people living in cities than in rural areas • To drink or not to drink • Passing of the 18th amendment • Era of Prohibition • Manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol were prohibited • Drank at Speakeasies • Gave rise to bootlegging/bootlegger • Hard to enforce • Insufficient funds • Law enforcement officials took bribes • Only banned alcoholic beverages made in US

  7. Science verse Religion • Fundamentalism • Did not like changes in morals and manners found in the 1920s • Skeptical of scientific knowledge • All knowledge can be found in bible • Battle ground Scopes “Monkey” Trails • John T. Scope put on trial for teaching evolution • Clarence Darrow vs. William Jennings Bryan

  8. Mature vs Young Women • Flapper • Image of rebellious youth • Bright waistline dresses above the knees, bobbed hair, smoke, drank, wore make up and talked openly about….

  9. Changing role for women • At Home • Ready made clothing and canned foods • Greater equality in the marriage • Having less children • More free - could focus on hobbies • Divorce was considered less shameful • In the work place • “Women’s professions” • Handful did work that was once reserved for men • Earned less • Made up less than half of work force • Today 47%

  10. D. Heroes in the 1920 • In 1929, Americans spent $4.5 billion on entertainment (includes sports). • Sport heroes • Babe Ruth • Gertude Ederle • Andrew “Rube” Foster • Helen Wills

  11. Lindbergh Flight • most beloved hero of the time was a small-town pilot named Charles Lindbergh • Lindbergh made the first nonstop solo trans-Atlantic flight • He took off from NYC in theSpirit of St. Louisand arrived in Paris 33 hours later to a hero’s welcome • Represented idea America could achieve anything

  12. E. Mass Culture is Created Through…….

  13. 1. Newspapers and Magazines • As literacy increased, newspaper circulation rose and mass-circulation magazines flourished • By the end of the 1920s, ten American magazines -- including Reader’s Digest and Time – boasted circulations of over 2 million

  14. 2. Radio • radio was the most powerful communications • News was delivered faster and to a larger audience • Americans could hear the voice of the president or listen to the World Series live

  15. 3. Movies • Even before sound, movies offered a means of escape through romance and comedy • First sound movies: Jazz Singer(1927) • First animated with sound: Steamboat Willie(1928) • By 1930millions ofAmericans went to the movies each week Walt Disney's animated Steamboat Willie marked the debut of Mickey Mouse. It was a seven minute long black and white cartoon.

  16. F. Writers of the 1920s • The 1920s was one of the greatest literary eras in American history • Sinclair Lewis, the first American to win the Nobel Prize in literature, wrote the novel, Babbitt • In Babbitt the main character ridicules American conformity and materialism

  17. Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald coined the phrase “Jazz Age” to describe the 1920s • Fitzgerald wroteParadise Lost and The Great Gatsby • The Great Gatsby reflected the emptiness of New York elite society

  18. Ernest Hemingway, wounded in World War I, became one of the best-known authors of the era • In his novels,The Sun Also Risesand AFarewell to Arms, he criticized the glorification of war • His simple, hard little sentences of writing set the literary standard Hemingway - 1929

  19. G. The Lost Generation • Many writers of the 1920s were critical of American Culture • Pessimism and rejection of American values • called “The Lost Generation”

  20. H. The Harlem Renaissance • Between 1910 and 1920, the Great Migration saw hundreds of thousands of African Americans move north to big cities • By 1920 over 5 million of the nation’s 12 million blacks (over 40%) lived in cities Migration of the Negro by Jacob Lawrence

  21. Harlem, New York • Harlem, NY became the largest black urban community • In the 1920s it was home to a literary and artistic revival known as the Harlem Renaissance A famous night club in Harlem, New York City that operated during Prohibition that included jazz music

  22. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance • The Harlem Renaissance was primarily a literary movement • Led by well-educated blacks with a new sense of pride in the African-American experience • Claude McKay’s poems expressed the pain of life in the ghetto Mckay

  23. Langston Hughes • Missiouri-born Langston Hughes was the movement’s best known poet • Many of his poems described the difficult lives of working-classblacks

  24. Louis Armstrong • Jazz was born in the early 20thcentury • In 1922, a young trumpet player named Louis Armstrong joined the Creole Jazz Band • Later he joined Fletcher Henderson’s band in NYC • Armstrong is considered the most important and influential musician in the history of jazz

  25. Edward “Duke” Ellington • In the late 1920s, Duke Ellington, a jazz pianist and composer, led his ten-piece orchestra at the famous Cotton Club • Ellington won renown as one of America’s greatest composers

  26. Bessie Smith • Bessie Smith, blues singer, was perhaps the most outstanding vocalist of the decade • She achieved enormous popularity and by 1927 she became the highest- paid black artist in the world