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The “New Era” & The Lost Generation. John Ermer U.S. History Honors Miami Beach Senior High LACC.1112.RH.1.9, SS.912.A.5.1-10, SS.912.A.1-7, SS.912.G.1-3, SS.912.G.4-3. New Culture.

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the new era the lost generation

The “New Era” & The Lost Generation

John Ermer

U.S. History Honors

Miami Beach Senior High

LACC.1112.RH.1.9, SS.912.A.5.1-10, SS.912.A.1-7,

SS.912.G.1-3, SS.912.G.4-3

new culture
New Culture
  • Faster communication and travel together with rise of consumer culture allow Americans to experience life in increasingly similar ways
  • New values reflect prosperity and complexity of modernity
  • Increasing diversity of American population, culture
  • Economic success allows Americans to buy for pleasure, not just need
    • Refrigerators, washing machines, electric irons, vacuum cleaners
    • Wrist watches, cigarettes, cosmetics, mass produced fashion/clothing
  • Automobile changes life for urban and rural population
    • City-dwellers escape congested cities for weekend getaways
      • Businesses include paid vacations to restore vigor/energy of workers
    • Isolation of rural life lessened by ease and decreased time of travel
    • Young people develop social life away from family—youth culture
  • Rise of advertising industry causes rise in consumerism
    • Use techniques of wartime propaganda to improve advertising
    • Identify products with particular lifestyles, investing glamour and prestige
      • “Buy this product and your life will improve”
    • Bruce Barton’s The Man Nobody Knows, paints Jesus as super-salesman
  • New forms of communication aid advertising, expand consumerism
    • Newspaper chains and wire services
    • New magazines
      • Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest, and Time
  • Movies increase in popularity and influence, “talkies” debut in 1927
    • Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer is first talkie to create nation-wide excitement
  • Fatty Arbuckle scandal produces calls to “clean up” Hollywood
    • Motion Picture Association created, Will Hays becomes head of MPA
      • Hays reviews films for appropriateness, pushes sanctimonious conformity
  • Radio is newest form of communication, available at home
    • 1920: Pittsburg’s KDKA becomes first commercial radio station
    • 1927: National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
    • Radio was more diverse than film, sometimes controversial, but self regulated
1920 s womanhood
1920s Womanhood
  • Women of the 20s are from multi-generational lines of educated women
  • Professional opportunities remain limited to “feminine work”
    • Most married women did not work outside the home
  • Behaviorists redefine motherhood as a communal endeavor
    • Mother’s now less likely to allow children to interfere in married life
    • Companionate Marriages: women play larger role in husbands’ social lives
  • Increase in birth control devises/methods, Margaret Sanger
flappers politics
Flappers & Politics
  • Rejection of Victorian ideals of womanly “respectability”
    • Women smoke, drink, dance, wear seductive clothes/make-up, and “party”
  • New models of womanly independence known as “flappers”
    • Characterized by certain modes of dress, speech, behavior
  • National Woman’s Party fights for Equal Rights Amendment
    • Sheppard-Towner Act provides federal funds for prenatal and child health
      • Terminated in 1929 over concerns of American Medical Association
education youth
Education & Youth
  • Emphasis on expertise and training raises public school enrollment
    • College enrollment increases threefold, include modern technical skills
    • Idea of adolescence as distinct period of development as result of longer periods of training and education and Freudian psychology
  • College becomes place for adolescents to participate in organized clubs and athletics as well as develop own social patterns and hobbies
    • Primary association with peer groups rather than families
the lost generation
The Lost generation
  • Many youths see WWI as a useless conflict, disenchanted
    • Rejection of consumerism and U.S. itself
    • Artists and intellectuals reject “business as usual” of 1920s
      • Ernest Hemingway’s A Farwell to Arms
      • F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
  • Lost Generation writers criticize many American values, including: religion, democracy, material success, the medical profession, Republican politics, the modern city, the small town
the harlem renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance
  • African-American neighborhood of Harlem in NYC becomes symbol of flourishing African-American cultural nationwide
  • African-American music gains a white audience
  • African-American writers show pride in their racial heritage
    • Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, CounteeCullen

“I am a Negro—and beautiful”~ Langston Hughes