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Changing Ways of Life

Changing Ways of Life

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Changing Ways of Life

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  1. Changing Ways of Life

  2. The New Urban Scene • American life was moving more and more into the cities • Urban life much different from rural life • Much more competition, faster pace of life • City dwellers tolerated drinking, gambling, casual dating – considered shocking and sinful in small towns

  3. Prohibition • 18th Amendment, followed by the Volstead Act (January, 1920), made alcohol illegal in the United States • Purpose was to do away with the evils of drinking (crime, wife and child abuse, accidents, social problems), but it had many unintended effects • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiYqFXmVAFg&feature=related

  4. Problems with Prohibition • Many immigrant groups did not consider drinking a sin • Federal government did not adequately fund prohibition – not enough enforcement agents • Canada, Mexico, Caribbean – no prohibition, easy to get alcohol into United States

  5. Speakeasies and Bootlegging • Drinkers went underground to get alcohol • Speakeasies hidden saloons where one spoke quietly to avoid detection and used a special card or password to get in • Speakeasies could be found in penthouses, cellars, office buildings, tenements, hardware stores • People bought liquor from bootleggers who smuggled it in from Canada or other countries by carrying it in the legs of boots

  6. Organized Crime • Prohibition generated disrespect for the law and people began to find ways around the law • Prohibition became a huge source of income for gangsters and organized crime • Al Capone – operated a bootlegging empire in Chicago that brought in almost $60 million a year • By the mid-1920s, most Americans believed Prohibition did more harm than good

  7. Science and Religion Clash • Protestant fundamentalists rejected Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and did not want it to be taught in schools • In March 1925, Tennessee passed the first law that made it a crime to teach evolution • The Scopes Trial • Teacher John T. Scopes with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law and was arrested and put on trial • Scopes was found guilty and fined $100, later verdict was changed but law against evolution remained