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The Roaring 20’s. By Liz Leathers. Timeline. Timeline. Timeline. Popular Phrases. How far would a dollar go in the 1920’s. Coolidge. "It is more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.". 30 th president Became president when Harding died in 1923.

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the roaring 20 s

The Roaring 20’s

By Liz Leathers


"It is more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones."

  • 30th president
  • Became president when Harding died in 1923.
  • Elected President in 1924.
  • Chose to not reelect in 1928.
    • Told the press by only saying “I do not choose to run”.

Nicknamed: "Silent Cal"

Once, when asked why he said so little in public, he replied, "I never felt sorry about something I didn't say."

coolidge continued
Coolidge Continued
  • The country was prosperous, and people associated the good times with Coolidge. During the profligate Jazz Age of the 1920s, he championed the traditional values of diligence and thrift. He reduced taxes and managed to reduce the $20 billion national debt by a billion dollars a year, but he failed to control the speculation in business that would lead to the great stock market crash only months after he left office.
hoover before 1929
Hoover before 1929
  • Hoover was loved my the public.
    • Most of the public agreed that Hoover was the perfect man for the Presidency.
    • He was an engineer, a businessman, a “nonpolitician”, a humanitarian.
  • He was the symbol of the “new” that people loved in the twenties, but he also embodied the old ways.
    • Modern and traditional themes.

Similar to Henry Ford, Hoover embodied the American Dream.

“The exaggerated idea the people have conceived of me. They have convictions that I am a sort of superman, that no problem is beyond my capacity, if some unprecedented calamity should come upon the nation… I would be sacrificed to the unreasoning disappointment of a people who expected too much.”–Herbert Hoover

the switch from liked to hated
The switch from liked to hated
  • Example of a
  • Poor leader
  • Weak president
  • Awful politician
  • Hoover was orphaned and very poor at the age of 9, he was a self-made millionaire thirty years later. This was a desirable for his image in the twenties but when the dream became a nightmare, no one wanted to be reminded of it.

“people were starving because of Herbert hoover” “My mother was out of work because of Herbert hoover” “men were killing themselves because of Herbert hoover and their fatherless children were being packed away to orphanages… because of Herbert hoover.”

hoover continued
Hoover continued
  • Implying and saying that he was a man who would provide relief for the banks but people, a president who would feed foreigners but would let his own people starve. Useful reminders that the republican party was the party with little compassion.
the new woman
The “New Woman”
  • Working women became consumers of popular products and fashions.
  • Women who would never tolerate the strong smells and stains of chewing tobacco or cigars began to smoke the new, and relatively clean, mild cigarettes. Cigarettes were advertised to women as a sign of modern sophistication, and the 1920s “flapper” is usually pictured with a cigarette in her hand.
  • Millions of women worked in white-collar jobs (as stenographers, for example) and could afford to participate in the burgeoning consumer economy.
the new woman1
The “New Woman”
  • The increased availability of birth-control devices such as the diaphragm made it possible for women to have fewer children. And new machines and technologies like the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner eliminated some of the drudgery of household work.
  • The most far-reaching change was political. Many women believed that it was their right and duty to take a serious part in politics. They recognized, too, that political decisions affected their daily lives.
the 19 th amendment
The 19th Amendment
  • Ratified in 1920
  • Allowed women to vote.
the outcomes of the 19 th amendment
The outcomes of the 19th amendment
  • Some women didn’t want the vote.
  • A widespread attitude was that women’s roles and men’s roles did not overlap.
  • This idea of “separate spheres” held that women should concern themselves with home, children, and religion, while men took care of business and politics.
  • North Carolina opponents of woman suffrage, or voting, claimed that “women are not the equal of men mentally” and being able to vote “would take them out of their proper sphere of life.”
league of woman voters
League of woman voters
  • The League of Women Voters (LWV) was founded in 1919
  • It was formed by a group of women who wanted all voters, male and female, to understand issues sufficiently well to vote wisely.
  • Flapper: a young woman with bobbed hair and short skirts who drank, smoked and said what might be termed “unladylike” things, in addition to being more sexually “free” than previous generations.
  • College girls, unmarried girls living at home, and independent office workers most frequently presented themselves as flappers.
  • This look, called "garconne" ("little boy"), was instigated by Coco Chanel. To look more like a boy, women tightly wound their chest with strips of cloth in order to flatten it. The waists of flapper clothes were dropped to the hipline. She wore stockings - made of rayon ("artificial silk") starting in 1923 - which the flapper often wore rolled over a garter belt.
  • It is said that girls "parked" their corsets when they were to go dancing.7 The new, energetic dances of the Jazz Age, required women to be able to move freely, something the "ironsides" didn't allow. Replacing the pantaloons and corsets were underwear called "step-ins."
males in the 1920 s
Males in the 1920’s

A rakish young man who drove a fast car, parted his hair down the middle, and slicked it back with pomade

the not so glamorous
The not so glamorous
  • In reality, most young women in the 1920s did none of these things (though many did adopt a fashionable flapper wardrobe), but even those women who were not flappers gained some unprecedented freedoms.
  • Most industrial laborers worked at least a ten-hour day, yet earned 20 to 40 percent less than the minimum wage necessary for a decent life.
  • Health and safety conditions in the workplace were poor and workers had limited recourse
the not so glamorous1
The not so glamorous
  • The company could increase prices at the local grocery store and give laborers easy credit, keeping workers in debt and stuck working at the same low-paying job. The crowded, dirty tenements in these towns led to high disease and death rates.

“when prohibition came… among those who could afford it, there was more drinking then ever before” the beautiful and damned

  • High hope for prohibition
    • thought it would combat every vice: crime gambling prostitution and government corruption.
  • Ford Thought prohibition would create a more reliable workforce
  • It appeared to work at first.

Volstead Act:

outlawed the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcoholic beverages, however it did not outlaw the actual drinking of alcohol. Enforcement fell to justice department.


Bootleggers paid of cops sheriffs and judges. In Cincinnati nearly the entire police force was on the payroll of bootlegger George Remus.

  • Bootleggers began to get organized.
  • Booze came from Canada, Caribbean sea an Europe.
  • In new York: mobsters such as lucky Luciano, Dutch Schultz and Meyer Lansky controlled liquor trade. Chicago: Al Capone was the kingpin.
  • Sold booze to speakeasies or often ran their own.

In Chicago nearly 800 gangsters died in shootouts with other gangsters during the 13 years of prohibition.

Some people set up fake churches and synagogues to get supplies of sacramental wine.

Bathtub gin: a mixture of ethanol, glycerin, juniper berry juice, and water

New York had about 5000 speakeasies in 1922 and 30,000 in 1927.

  • Rumrunners:
  • In speedboats smuggling booze across the Detroit river from Canada and other ships anchored off US waters. Once booze were in the US, bootleggers needed a network of clandestine warehouses garages, trucks and armed men.
primary source
Primary Source

  • There are multiple theories to the lead up to the Great Depression, there is however not one single exact reason for the Great Depression.
  • Common: based more on impressionistic evidence than hard data. They assume their conclusions and then explain the depression on the basis of their assumptions.
  • Initial reaction: sit and wait with folded hands
monetarist argument
Monetarist Argument
  • Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz : prosperity is dependent upon the size of the money supply
  • contended that the Great Depression was triggered by a “mild decline in the money stock from 1929 to 1930. The collapse they say broadened and deepened when “a wave of bank failures beginning in the 30’s” further contracted the money supply.
  • The problem was not the lack of confidence inhibited business men from borrowing, but that insufficient money was available.
  • It was not that the horse would not drink but that there wasn’t enough watering holes to which he could be led.
series of historical accidents
Series of Historical Accidents
  • Paul Samuelson: found the origins of the great depression in a “series of historical accidents”
  • The great depression was the consequence of the unfortunate coincidence of several different types of economic cycles reaching their low points simultaneously.
  • These cycles include the fifty year “super” business wave detected in the 1920’s by Russian economist NikalaiKondratiev, as well as a “normal” nine year business cycle and a short range inventory cycle.
  • All this may be statistically correct, but it is hardly satisfying to the historical appetite. If there were accidents we need to explore them carefully; if there is anything to the idea of economic cycles, we must nonetheless examine the particulars of what happened in 1929 and subsequent years.
says law
Says law
  • Say’s law states that the production of goods creates its own demand.
  • This view suggests that the key to economic growth is not increasing demand, but increasing production
  • Say argued it was irrational to hoard money because ‘he is most anxious to sell it immediately, lest its value should diminish in his hands‘ i.e. inflation may reduce the value of cash.
  • This theory assumes that markets clear and that businessmen produce goods that are demanded by the market.
implications of say s law
Implications of Say’s Law
  • •The economy should always be close to full employment. There shouldn’t be demand deficient unemployment.
  • •According to classical economists, any unemployment must be due to wages being artificially kept above the equilibrium level or structural factors, such as, lack of skills in specific industries.
  • •To increase output, we should concentrate on increasing production rather than demand.
flaw to say s law
Flaw to Say’s Law
  • 1.The mass unemployment and prolonged recession of the 1930s, suggested that production does not equal demand. In a recession, there can be insufficient aggregate demand for goods produced.
  • 2.Prices and wages are not flexible. e.g. workers may resist nominal wage cuts
  • 3.Excess savings. There are examples where there is an increase in savings, and businessman and consumers hoard cash. See: (Paradox of thrift) Say himself criticised Ricardo for neglecting the possibility of hoarding if there are insufficient investment opportunities.
  • 4.Liquidity Trap. In a liquidity trap the demand to hold cash is greater than the demand to spend. Banks increase their reserves and the saving rate increases, this leads to a fall in aggregate demand.
  • 5.Confidence. In certain circumstances, people may not have the confidence to spend and invest. They may become risk averse and hoard cash in unproductive savings.
  • 6.It may be very rational to ‘hoard’ money – especially in a period of deflation or anxiety.
henry ford
Henry Ford
  • he was responsible for transforming the automobile from an invention of unknown utility into an innovation that profoundly shaped the 20th century and continues to affect our lives today.
  • In 1903, he established the Ford Motor Company, and five years later the company rolled out the first Model T. In order to meet overwhelming demand for the revolutionary vehicle, Ford introduced revolutionary new mass-production methods, including large production plants, the use of standardized, interchangeable parts and, in 1913, the world's first moving assembly line for cars. Enormously influential in the industrial world.
  • eight-hour day for his workers to $5 (up from $2.34 for nine hours), setting a standard for the industry.
john d rockefeller jr
John D. Rockefeller Jr.
  • John D. Rockefeller Jr. was the only son and principal heir of John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil.
  • Between 1916 and 1922, Junior received gifts of approximately $450 million. By 1920, his net worth hovered around $500 million. This gave him independence in his charitable giving.
  • In all, it is estimated that Junior gave about $45 million to various conservation efforts, leading one expert to call him “the most generous philanthropist in the history of conservation.”
  • Junior also used his philanthropy to promote the cause of international harmony. He gave a library to the League of Nations, and later contributed the Manhattan real estate that allowed the United Nations building to be constructed there rather than abroad. He was a founder and major contributor to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Blackwell, Amy Hackney. "League of Women Voters: Korean War." World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.

Library of Congress. "Calvin Coolidge." Image. Library of Congress. World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.

Lindop, Edmund, and Margaret Goldstein. America in the 1920s. Minneapolis, United States: Twenty First Century Books, 2010. Print.

McElvaine, Robert S. The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941. New York, N.Y.: Times Books, 1984. Print.

O'Brien, Steven G. "Calvin Coolidge." World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.

"Say's Law | Economics Help." Economics Help. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2014. <>.

"59 Quick Slang Phrases From The 1920s We Should Start Using Again." Thought Catalog. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2014. < lang/2013/09/59-quick-slang-phrases-from-the-1920s-we-should-start-using- again/>.