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“The Roaring 20s”

“The Roaring 20s”

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“The Roaring 20s”

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  1. “The Roaring 20s”

  2. New Ideas • After WWI, America would become the world’s leading economic power. • But the 1920s would be a time of great change in America. People began to question long-held beliefs about the world.

  3. New Ideas • A religious revival at the beginning of the 20th century led to a growth in religious fundamentalism. • Religious fundamentalists believe that the Bible is literally true and, because it is from God, cannot contain errors. • Fundamentalists read the Bible literally, and used it to hypothesize that the world is around 6,000 years old. • The ideas of Charles Darwin and others challenged this view. Scientists had theorized that the world was actually around 4 or 5 billion years old. • Furthermore, some people looked at the devastation of WWI and questioned the existence of God.

  4. Scopes Trial • The debate between scientific theory and religious fundamentalism gained national attention in the “Monkey Trial” of 1925. • A teacher named John Scopes was arrested for violating a Tennessee law that forbade teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution, instead of the Bible’s account of creation. • Fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan volunteered to prosecute John Scopes. • Clarence Darrow was the lawyer defending Scopes. He was a lawyer for Eugene Debs during WWI. • The trial reached a climax when William Jennings Bryan took the stand himself to testify.

  5. Scopes Trial • Through his questioning, Darrow was able to get Bryan to say that he does not interpret everything in the Bible literally. (clip) • Scopes was ultimately found guilty and fined $100 after the jury deliberated for 9 minutes. • The law against teaching evolution remained in effect.

  6. New Technology • Henry Ford was able to make cars cheap enough for regular people to buy through “mass production” using the assembly line. • He also wanted to his workers to be able to buy his cars, so he paid them an unheard of $5 per day. • By the 1920s, a Model T car cost about $260. • The car changed America. People could live in a different area than they worked. • The car and public transportation systems led to the development of some of the first suburbs in America. • It was also much easier to go on dates with the use of a car.


  8. Consumer Goods and Mass Media • The assembly line meant that people could afford things that they could not before. • Radios and refrigerators became more common in homes. • Sewing machines, vacuum cleaners, and washing machines greatly reduced the amount of time people had to do chores at home. • This led to more leisure time and a bustling nightlife, when people would venture out into the city after dark. • Mass media also formed during the 1920s. Mass media came in the form of radios, newspapers, and magazines.

  9. Consumer Goods and Mass Media • Because of the radio, people around the country enjoyed the same shows and hearing the same news reports. • The movie industry also boomed. The first movies were actually silent pictures, and then moved to movies with sound called “talkies.” • “The Jazz Singer” was one of the first very popular talkies.

  10. Women in the 1920s • By 1920, half of the American population lived in large cities. Large cities had very different, less traditional cultures. • The movement of people to the cities changed the role of women during the 20s. • During WWI, women had taken new jobs that men had to leave to go and fight. When the men returned, they took their jobs back. • Suffrage means the right to vote. Women had been fighting for suffrage since the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. • Finally, women got the right to vote when the 19th Amendment was passed.

  11. Women in the 1920s • Many people were worried about the decline of morals during the 20s. They were especially worried about the decline of women’s morals. • Women began to change their dress and behavior. They started wearing shorter hairstyles and skirts. • They began going out on dates instead of having men come to their homes with their parents or a chaperone supervising. • These new women were called “flappers.” • Some of the behavior that people found unacceptable: premarital sex, using birth control, listening to jazz music, drinking, smoking, etc.

  12. Blacks in the 1920s • From about 1910 to 1930, blacks in the south began moving to cities in the Midwest and North. • Jim Crow laws, violence, and lynching were “push” factors for blacks – meaning they were reasons why blacks LEFT the south. • Meanwhile, cultural change and jobs were “pull” factors for blacks – meaning reasons they CAME to the north. • This was called “The Great Migration.” • A black middle class developed in the cities as blacks were able to hold steady jobs.

  13. 1900

  14. Blacks in the 1920s • As the black middle class grew, blacks began taking pride in their history and culture. • A movement of writers, artists, and musicians in New York City during the 1920s drew attention to black culture. • This movement was called the Harlem Renaissance. • Two of the major writers of this movement were James Weldon Johnson and Langston Hughes. • This movement helped draw attention to the fact that blacks were still second class citizens.

  15. The Red Scare • When the Russian Revolution took place during WWI, many Americans were happy about it. The czar was replaced by a Republic. • But, when communism was instituted in Russia, many people in America were in fear. • Communism is when the government owns all property and tries to create a society in which there are no classes, meaning everyone has the same amount of property. • Many in the U.S. were scared that a communist revolution would occur here. • This led to a period known as “The Red Scare.”

  16. The Red Scare • The United States Attorney General, A. Mitchell Palmer, took advantage of the Red Scare. • He authorized the Palmer Raids. Police arrested jailed 4,000 people who were believed to be Communists. Many of them were actually just immigrants who were innocent. • More than 500 people were deported back to their home countries. • Palmer predicted that there would be attacks in the U.S. by anarchists and Communists. This never happened, and people stopped taking him seriously.

  17. Anti-Immigration • During the 1920s, xenophobia was widespread. Xenophobia is hatred of outsiders or immigrants. • Many who believed in Social Darwinism thought that the U.S. should not allow so many immigrants to freely enter. • So, during the 1920s, immigration quotas were passed. Quotas are limitations on the amount of immigrants who could enter the country from certain areas. • For most countries, the quota was set at 2% of the amount of people in that country. • Example: only 2% of Italians could come to the U.S. each year. • The quotas were aimed at preventing immigration from three areas: Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, and Asia.

  18. The (2nd) Ku Klux Klan • During the 1920s, the KKK made a resurgence. • In order to attract new members, the KKK started targeting other groups besides blacks. • They targeted Jews, Catholics, and immigrants. The Red Scare helped to fuel the growth of the KKK. • During the 1920s, the KKK grew to become a national organization. People in small towns and cities across America joined the KKK, even in the Midwest and North. • The KKK saw themselves as helping to improve and shape the morals of society. • They targeted bootleggers and gamblers, burning crosses in their yards and beating or lynching them in public.

  19. The (2nd) Ku Klux Klan • The KKK during the 1920s was different than the one after the Civil War. During the 1920s, the KKK was more organized and targeted more groups. • Also, in 1915, the movie “Birth of a Nation” intensified racism against blacks. It was a recruiting tool for the KKK. • The movie portrayed blacks as being sexually aggressive towards white women.

  20. Gainesville, FL

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  22. Prohibition • Since the 1830s, many groups supported temperance, which means the reduction of the use of alcohol. • Most of the supporters of the temperance movement were women. • During WWI, the support for prohibiting alcohol grew stronger. • This was due to the fact that there were grain shortages because of the war. Also, there was anti-German sentiment – and German immigrants were some of the biggest grain farmers. • Finally, during WWI, the 18th Amendment was passed. • The 18th Amendment made selling alcohol illegal.

  23. Prohibition • It did not, however, make the consumption of alcohol illegal. • Soon, illegal sources of alcohol were being established all over the country. • These secret bars were called “speakeasies.” • Bootlegging became a huge business. Gangs took control of the selling alcohol. • The government did not have the power to stop these gangs from selling alcohol. • It was impossible to enforce the Prohibition law. So, in 1933, the 21st Amendment was passed. This amendment ended Prohibition and made alcohol legal again.

  24. The Great Depression