Overview The 1920s was a decade filled with indulgence, money, social reforms, government, and new technology. Characterized by “Carpe Diem” A attitude.
Three political movements • Temperance movement The Temperance movement was to discourage people from public intoxication. Over a decade later, the movement pushed for prohibition.
Three political movements • Temperance Movement 18th Amendment ratified in 1919 and went into effect in 1920. The manufacture, sell, and transportation of intoxicating liquors was outlawed.
Three political movements Temperance Movement Volstead Act: outlawed beer, wine, or any malt, vinous liquid over 0.5%. Also outlined jail sentences
Loophole: 18th Amendment didn’t specify that “drinking” alcohol was illegal, just the manufacture, sell, and transportation. Many people bought cases and stockpiled it before the law went into effect in 1920. Some doctors were allowed to prescribe alcohol
Gangsters, like Al Capone, smuggled (bootlegged) rum from the Caribbean and whiskey from Canada. Established secret bars—speakeasies– to allow people to drink and socialize. Many people made their own in homemade stills.
20th Amendment in 1933 repealed the 18th. It was the only time an Amendment has ever been repealed. This allowed Americans to, once again, manufacture, sell, and transport alcohol.
Women’s Rights Movement– the New Woman 19th Amendment went into effect August 1920. Guaranteed that no state could deny the right to vote based on a person’s sex (gender). Basically, gave women the right to vote.
Women now • Smoked in public • Cut their hair short • Wore short dresses/skirts • Wore noticeable makeup • Talked freely about sex • Drank alcohol in public • Threw away corsets and wore loose-fitting clothes
1-4 women held a job outside of the home. • Former male dominated colleges became co-ed. • Women were liberated from traditional roles. • In 1928, Ruth Snyder was the first woman executed for a crime
New Negro Movement Great Migration= By the thousands, Blacks left the South where they were still treated as rural, uneducated peasants. They went to major northern cities where they had a better standard of living and were generally respected.
Harlem Renaissance Artistic period that established African-Americans as esteemed American authors, poets, musicians. Writers: Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Claude McKay, James Weldon Johnson.
Jazz Age:created by African-Americans in New Orleans. Had European and African influences: characterized by freedom from traditional music. Ensemble band, rhythm and improvisation Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Count Basie, etc.
Many popular dances were influenced by African Americans: The Charleston, The Breakaway Dance halls became popular: The Cotton Club, The Savoy were two in Harlem Even dances were less traditional during this era, with many of them having more sexual movement
Science, technology, pop culture 1920 Band Aid Earle Dickinson 1921 First Robot 1922 Insulin by Sir Frederick Grant Banting 1924 spiral notebook 1926 liquid fueled rockets 1927 Pez candy, Technicolor, & Aerosol can—Erik Ratheim 1928 Penicillin discovered—Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming-- and bubble gum 1929 car radio
Mass Media Radio: over 3 million homes had a radio in 1923 for news, bulletins, advertisements, and music 1920: film began having sound and pictures—called “talkies” Magazines popular in 20s: Time, Reader’s Digest, Life, Saturday Evening Post,
American Culture Charles Lindbergh—first man to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean—from New York to Paris, France Scopes Monkey Trial—John Scopes, a science teacher in Tennessee, was arrested and tried for teaching evolution to his students.
Stock Market crash of 1929 ended the decade of prosperity and excess. Aka Black Tuesday Steel production, construction, and car sales declined. Banks failed and people couldn’t pay off creditors. Many people lost their fortunes, and American and world Economies were in trouble. Was the beginning of The Great Depression that encompassed most of the 1930s.
Best known work is The Great Gatsby although he wrote other novels and many short stories. Coined the term—Jazz Age Second cousin of Francis Scott Key who wrote the national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.
Born in Minnesota Wrote stories/articles for his high school newspaper. Flunked out of Princeton Enrolled in Army in 1917; was afraid he’d die before finishing a book.
Was stationed in Montgomery, AL in 1918 Met Zelda Sayre, daughter of a wealthy Alabama Supreme Court Justice. She was a spoiled Southern belle.
Her high school quote was Why should all life be work, when we all can borrow. Let's think only of today, and not worry about tomorrow She drank alcohol, smoked, and spent a lot of time with boys and dated other men while writing to Fitzgerald when he went overseas.
After selling his first novel, This Side of Paradise, Zelda married Fitzgerald. They spent more money than they could afford. She was the Original “it girl.” He was an alcoholic, and she later was diagnosed to be schizophrenic (but most likely was bi-polar). She was Institutionalized several times.
They loved, they drank, they spent money, they both had affairs, and they fought…a lot. They shared Only one child, a daughter.
He died at 44 at his girlfriend’s apartment. She died at 48 in a sanitarium. The Great Gatsby is Fitzgerald’s most popular novel. It follows Jay Gatsby, a nouveau millionaire, and his love for a married woman, Daisy.
It illustrates the Roaring Twenties/Jazz Age’s social change, idealism, and excessive living. It also is a cautionary tale about what happens when we pursue the wrong things/people. It is somewhat autobiographical. It has been made into several movies—the latest just last year with Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby.
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