The Roaring Twenties - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Roaring Twenties

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  1. Culmination in technology = boost in growth of America’s economy Radio was invented in the early 20th century by Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi, and the 20s was when many radio stations started to pop up worldwide. These stations broadcasted music, news, weather and stories. Radio grew extremely popular since it provided a new form of entertainment and made it easier to stay up-to-date with the latest news and culture. Although the telephone was invented in the late 19th century, it greatly rose in popularity (like the automobile) in the 20s. Households had landlines that were connected to switchboards, which were operated by people who would plug the caller’s line into that of the number that they requested. The automobile’s boost in popularity in the 1920s was one of the main things that helped America’s economy during this period. Additionally, since automobiles depended on various materials and allowed for more convenient transportation, they benefited several major industries and contributed to the culture of the 20s: The Scopes Trial was the result of the conflict between fundamentalists (people who believed more in religion and traditional values) and modernists (people who leaned in a more scientific way and wanted to blend Protestant religion with modern life). The main source of controversy in this case was Darwinism—teaching about evolution was outlawed in some states, including, and a teacher named John Scopes supported those who violated that law. The trial involved William Jennings Bryan supporting the Fundamentalists and Clarence Darrow on Scopes’ side. Scopes was eventually claimed guilty, yet the trial called a lot of negative attention to Fundamentalists. Due to the flood of new technologies during the 20s, consumerism increased since everybody wanted to get their hands on these fascinating new products. The female flapper culture increased consumerism among women who wanted to glamorize their wardrobes. Canned food was another major area of demand, since it was much more convenient (especially in urban areas) to buy food that was already prepared. Radio, magazines and newspapers served as leading platforms for advertising during the 20s. Advertisements were mainly for consumer products—a huge contrast to before World War I, where most advertisements shined a spotlight on reform or corruption. Switchboard Operator Steel, oil, rubber and glass industries (used to make car parts) Increased mobility = vacations, young people separating from parents Faster transportation=faster construction Aviation was also a craze during the 20s, though at the time airplanes were mainly used for mail delivery. Charles Lindbergh got the world’s attention when he flew the Spirit of St. Louis alone from New York to Paris in 1927. During Prohibition, which started with the 18th amendment in 1919 and ended in 1933, speakeasies provided a way to illegally obtain alcoholic beverages. The alcohol was sold by gangsters, who made large amounts of money off of this, and who would sometimes live in the speakeasies. The rise of magazines allowed people to keep up with business, science, celebrity gossip, current events, etc. The Reader’s Digest magazine, for instance, provided a brief summary of the most important stories from other magazines. Time magazine also made its debut in the 20s, another condensed magazine that put out a new issue weekly. New Technologies of the 20s The Roaring Twenties Mass Consumer Culture Conflicts in the Decade Although the Ku Klux Klan was disbanded after Reconstruction, it formed again in 1915, continuing to terrorize African-Americans as it did after the Civil War. However, the KKK now targeted a wider base of people: anybody considered a minority, and anybody who displayed opposition to the beliefs/values of Protestant, conservative rural whites. Once again, the group had its climax in membership in the mid-20s, and eventually declined again due to image-wrecking scandal and management issues. Changing Role of Women The “flapper” was a new image of redefined women who were modern, daring and independent. Flappers wore untraditional, modern styles of clothing, and did not conform to the expectations of the average woman. Literature and Music of the 1920s Slowly moving away from cult of domesticity Although women’s education was improving, most were still restricted to jobs that were considered more feminine, such as nursing and teaching. The percentage of women’s college attendance was rising, but the image of the flapper aroused fiercer argument that women should be restrained to the home. Increased drinking and smoking The Harlem Renaissance was a revival and major exploration of black culture that took place in the 20s and 30s. During the Harlem Renaissance, jazz and blues music was very popular, even among whites. It was a time of great production for African-American writers, artists and filmmakers as well. It was also an opportunity for many blacks to hold social protests. In 1920, the 19th amendment was passed , finally granting American women the right to vote. This allowed the worlds of women and men to converge more, and influenced the country’s decisions since such large protective, pacifist group of people were enfranchised. This amendment also acted as the catalyst for flapper culture, since women now had more freedom. Before that, the 18th amendment passed in 1919 marked the start of prohibition, which benefited women who were often affected by abuse or other problems caused by alcoholic/drunken husbands. • Popular books of the 20s: • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston • Many books written during this period critiqued some aspect of culture. For example, the books above, respectively, critiqued greed, war and racism. Gave women a greater sense of liberation • Flapper trends included: • Tomboy-like clothing • Shorter skirts • Short haircuts (bobs) • Stockings • Use of makeup • As shown, one significant aspect of a flapper’s wardrobe was a more masculine style of dressing. Duke Ellington, a popular jazz musician Langston Hughes was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance, being a writer of poetry, novels, plays, and other works. He was one of the first to write in the style of “jazz poetry”, which was poetry with jazzy, rhythmic structures and patterns, and has won many awards for his inspirational works. Overall, women in the 1920s worried less about getting married—an effect of their general feeling of independence and freedom. They believed that they did not need to rely on men as much as they did before. • H.L. Mencken was a journalist and writer who was known for expressing his opinions on and critiquing many aspects of American culture. Some of his books included: • The American Language (on how Americans speak English) • In Defense of Women (on women and their relationship with men)