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The New Era. 1919-1929. The Roaring Twenties. Mass production The 1920s witnessed the mass production of a new generation of affordable consumer products Labor-saving devices such as refrigerators, washing machines, electric irons, and vacuum cleaners Created more time for leisure

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The New Era


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the new era

The New Era

1919-1929

the roaring twenties
The Roaring Twenties
  • Mass production
    • The 1920s witnessed the mass production of a new generation of affordable consumer products
      • Labor-saving devices such as refrigerators, washing machines, electric irons, and vacuum cleaners
      • Created more time for leisure
    • The mass production of automobiles had the greatest impact upon American society
      • When they first appeared in the late 1890s they seemed to be a luxury toy for the rich
      • However, a gifted self-taught engineer named Henry Ford audaciously vowed “to democratize the automobile. When I’m through,” Ford predicted, “everybody will be able to afford one.”
the roaring twenties1
The Roaring Twenties
  • Mass production
    • Ford applied the assembly line to car production
    • In the 1st automobile factories cars were built from the ground up
    • In contrast, on Ford’s new assembly line the car moved from one worker to the next
    • Each worker performed the same operation on each passing car
    • The assembly line reduced the time it took to build a car from 12.5 hrs to 1.5 hrs of work
    • By 1925 Ford produced a new car every 10 sec.
    • The price for a Model T fell from $850 in 1908 to $290 in 1924
the roaring twenties2
The Roaring Twenties
  • Mass Production
    • Far-reaching consequences for American economic and cultural life
    • Surging car sales stimulated the growth of companies that produced steel, rubber tires, glass, and gasoline
    • Spurred by the Federal Highway Act of 1916 a network of new roads crisscrossed the nation
    • Within just a few years the automobile transformed America from a land of isolated farms and small towns into a mobile nation on wheels
the roaring twenties3
The Roaring Twenties
  • Mass consumption
    • A growing advertising industry
      • Ads glorified consumption and celebrated the possession of material objects
      • By 1929, advertising accounted for 3% of the nation’s GNP
    • Companies used ads to promote a new array of purchasing techniques
      • Instead of waiting until they could afford a product, consumers could now use installment plans to “buy now and pay later”
      • As a result, the old values of thrift and saving gave way to a new culture that emphasized spending and consumption
the roaring twenties4
The Roaring Twenties
  • Mass culture
    • Radio and motion pictures publicized the new lifestyle of urban America and promoted the rise of homogenized mass culture
    • On Nov. 2, 1920 a radio station announced that Warren Harding won a landslide presidential victory
      • The broadcast signaled the birth of a new industry
      • 7 years later, millions listened to accounts of Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic
      • Families could now gather around their sets and listen to the same programs, laugh at the same jokes, sing the same songs, and of course hear the same ads
the roaring twenties5
The Roaring Twenties
  • Mass culture
    • Silent films first appeared in the early 1900s
    • First modern motion picture was D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation in 1915
    • Soon feature-length films turned Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, and Rudolph Valentino into celebrities
    • The first “talkie” was The Jazz Singer in 1927
    • Silent films quickly vanished and by 1930 motion pictures became the nation’s most popular form of entertainment
postwar disillusionment and rebellion
Postwar Disillusionment and Rebellion
  • A new mood
    • The immense human suffering and economic destruction caused by WWI dealt a shattering blow to the comforting belief that progress was inevitable
    • New inventions and greater leisure time made a new kind of individual freedom possible
    • A rebellious generation of young adults challenged traditional values while a critical group of writers questioned the conformity and materialism they saw in American society
postwar disillusionment and rebellion1
Postwar Disillusionment and Rebellion
  • The new woman
    • A growing number of young, well-educated women began choosing a different lifestyle
    • Influenced by feminists, women wanted greater freedom in their lives
    • They argued that wives should be equal partners with their husbands and supported Margaret Sanger’s campaign for birth control
    • An advance group of college-educated women sought new careers in medicine, law, and science
postwar disillusionment and rebellion2
Postwar Disillusionment and Rebellion
  • The new woman
    • Flappers provided the most visible and shocking model
    • Flappers challenged conventional norms of feminine appearance by wearing short skirts, heavy make-up, and close-cut bobbed hair
    • They further jolted the traditional guardians of morality by enjoying carefree dances such as the Charleston, listening to the lively, loose beat of jazz, and attending parties that featured drinking and smoking
postwar disillusionment and rebellion3
Postwar Disillusionment and Rebellion
  • The Lost Generation of Writers
    • Writers who were disillusioned with American society
    • Best-known: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis
    • Lewis ridiculed middle-class conformity and materialism in Main Street, Babbitt, and other novels
      • George F. Babbitt was a gung-ho real-estate broker who lived in the fictional Midwestern city of Zenith
      • Babbitt represents most of what appalled Lewis about America
      • He was a superficial person with no ideas of his own and very little awareness of the world outside Zenith
      • Babbitt parroted Rep positions on issues and prized material objects as symbols of his success
intolerance and nativism
Intolerance and Nativism
  • The Red Scare and Palmer Raids
    • In Nov 1917 the Bolsheviks seized power in RU and promptly created a comm dictatorship which alarmed many Americans who feared a similar fate for the U.S.
    • The fear escalated in late April 1918 when the post office intercepted 38 packages containing bombs addressed to prominent citizens
    • Labor strikes and race riots further intensified public anxiety
    • Anyone who appeared foreign was branded “un-American” and therefore a “Red”
    • The Red Scare, or nationwide fear of aliens, forced Attorney General Mitchell Palmer to act
    • Although no more than 1/10th of 1% of adult Americans actually belonged to the domestic comm movement, Palmer launched a massive roundup of foreign- born radicals
intolerance and nativism1
Intolerance and Nativism
  • The Red Scare and Palmer Raids
    • On Jan 2, 1920, agents of the DoJ arrested over 4,000 people in a dozen cities across America
    • The Palmer Raids violated civil liberties by breaking into homes and union offices without arrest warrants
    • Although most of those arrested were released, the DoJ deported about 500 aliens without hearings or trials
    • The Palmer Raids marked the end of the Red Scare
      • Did not mark the end of the postwar drive for “100% Americanism”
      • The defenders of traditional values both resented and resisted the changes sweeping across America
      • 2 famous legal cases and a resurgence of nativism
intolerance and nativism2
Intolerance and Nativism
  • The Sacco and Vanzetti case
    • The most celebrated criminal trial of the 1920s involved two Italian-born anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomo Vanzetti
    • The 2 men were arrested for a payroll robbery and murder but the evidence against Sacco and Vanzetti was inconclusive
    • Many were convinced that the 2 men were victims of prejudice against radicals and recent immigrants
    • After 7 years of litigation, Sacco and Vanzetti died in the electric chair
    • Their execution sparked protests around the world
intolerance and nativism3
Intolerance and Nativism
  • The Scopes trial
    • In Jan 1925 the state of TN passed the Butler Act forbidding the teaching of evolution in public schools
    • Fundamentalist Christians opposed Darwin’s theory of evolution because it challenged a literal interpretation of the Bible
    • John T. Scopes, a TN high school science teacher, accepted the ACLU’s offer to test the constitutionality of the Butler Act
    • Clarence Darrow, a well-known champion of civil liberties agreed to defend Scopes
    • William Jennings Bryan, a 3x Dem presidential candidate and well-known religious fundamentalist, represented the state
intolerance and nativism4
Intolerance and Nativism
  • The Scopes Trial
    • The Scopes Trial on the surface tested the legality of teaching the theory of evolution in TN’s public schools
    • The case illustrated a cultural conflict between fundamentalism (Bryan) and modernism (Darrow)
    • In the end the court found Scopes guilty and fined him $100.00
    • The TN SC overruled the fine on a technicality while upholding the Butler Act
    • Bryan died 5 days after the trial from a heart condition probably aggravated by Darrow’s grueling and sarcastic cross-examination
intolerance and nativism5
Intolerance and Nativism
  • Immigration restriction
    • The Sacco and Vanzetti case highlighted the public’s fear of recent immigrants
    • A new postwar wave of arrivals from S and E Europe sparked a nationwide movement to limit immigration from these regions
    • Congress responded to the nativist push for restrictive measures by passing the National Origins Act of 1924
      • The law limited annual immigration to 2% of a country’s pop in the U.S. at the time of the 1890 census
      • Since the new immigration began in 1890 the quotas favored immigration for N and W Europe while sharply curtailing the flow of newcomers from S and E Europe
intolerance and nativism6
Intolerance and Nativism
  • The rise and fall of the Ku Klux Klan
    • The original KKK terrorized newly freed blacks in the post-CW S before dying out in the 1870s
    • The post-WWI mood of distrust and intolerance fueled a revival
    • The new Klan was hostile toward immigrants, Catholics, Jews, and AA favoring immigration restriction and white supremacy
    • By the mid-1920s membership in the Klan swelled to as many as 4 million people
    • However, passage of the National Origins Act removed the Klan’s most popular issue
    • Divided by recurring leadership quarrels, the Klan once again became a marginal group on the periphery of society
african americans and progressive reform
African Americans and Progressive Reform
  • Widespread racial discrimination
    • By 1900, S states successfully enacted laws which effectively disfranchised most black voters
    • Progressives didn’t care about fighting racial discrimination
    • President Taft reflected the depth of white prejudice when he applauded S laws as necessary to “prevent entirely the possibility of domination by…an ignorant electorate”
    • Booker T. Washington urged blacks to work for econ self-improvement and to avoid political agitation
african americans and progressive reform1
African Americans and Progressive Reform
  • W.E.B. Du Bois
    • W.E.B. Du Bois emerged as the most prominent black critic of Washington
    • In his book The Souls of Black Folk Du Bois repudiated Washington’s accommodationist philosophy and instead called for full political, economic, and social equality for AA
    • Du Bois urged a “talented tenth” of educated blacks to spearhead the fight for equal rights
    • In 1905 Du Bois and a small group of black activists formed the Niagara Movement to oppose Jim Crow laws
african americans and progressive reform2
African Americans and Progressive Reform
  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1909
    • The Niagara Movement failed to generate financial and public support
    • Du Bois recognized that biracial cooperation was essential to achieving racial progress
    • In 1908 over 50 blacks were killed or injured in a bloody race riot in Springfield, Il.
      • The riot in Lincoln’s hometown shocked white Progressives
      • The following year Du Bois and a number of prominent white and black reformers founded the NAACP
african americans and progressive reform3
African Americans and Progressive Reform
  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1909
    • The NAACP was committed to a strategy of using lawsuits in the fed courts as its chief weapon against segregation
    • The organization achieved a noteworthy success in 1915 when the SC struck down a grandfather clause in an OK law denying the vote to any citizen whose ancestors had not been enfranchised in 1860
    • While NAACP lawyers filed lawsuits against Jim Crow segregation, Du Bois wrote articles for an NAACP journal called The Crisis
    • Du Bois criticized racist films such as The Birth of a Nation while calling for equal rights and black pride
african americans in the 1920s
African Americans in the 1920s
  • The Great Migration continues
    • The GM of AA from the rural S to industrial cities in the N and Midwest began during WWI
    • 1910-1920, 400,000 AA left the S attracted by the promise of jobs and the possibility of escaping Jim Crow segregation over
    • The GM continued during the 1920s
    • By 1930, another 600,000 blacks moved to cities in the N
african americans in the 1920s1
African Americans in the 1920s
  • The Harlem Renaissance
    • Harlem soon emerged as a vibrant center of AA culture
    • During the 1920s a new generation of black writers and artists created an outpouring of literary and artistic works known as the HR
    • Core group of HR writers: Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, James Weldon Johnson, and Zora Neale Hurston
    • Taken together their poems, novels, and essays comprised a distinctive AA literature
african americans in the 1920s2
African Americans in the 1920s
  • Marcus Garvey
    • Emerged as one of the earliest and most influential black-nationalist leaders in the 20th century
    • Garvey organized the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) to increase racial pride and promote black nationalism
    • Unlike Du Bois, Garvey championed black separatism
    • Garvey’s meteoric rise captured the imagination of black people in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Africa
    • Garvey’s fame and influence did not last long
      • In 1919 he founded a steamship company, the Black Star Line, to promote trade between NY, Africa, and the West Indies
      • The steamship line collapsed in 1921 costing investors over $750,000
      • Irregularities in fund-raising led to Garvey’s arrest and conviction for mail fraud
      • President Coolidge commuted Garvey’s sentence and he was deported to his native Jamaica
the republican ascendancy
The Republican Ascendancy
  • Harding and the “return to normalcy”
    • In 1920 voters overwhelmingly elected Warren Harding President
    • Harding was a small-town Ohio politician who rose through the Rep ranks to become a U.S. Senator
    • Voters forgave Harding for never giving an important speech or for never proposing an important law
    • Instead, he was a handsome man who looked “presidential” and promised the country a “return to normalcy”
    • The public welcomed an end to Wilson’s idealistic crusades and a return to simpler times
the republican ascendancy1
The Republican Ascendancy
  • Harding and the “return to normalcy”
    • Harding’s econ policies reconfirmed the partnership between business and gov’t
    • His Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon reduced the tax rates for the wealthy, raised tariffs, and ignored antitrust regulations
    • Although Harding was personally honest, his relaxed leadership enabled dishonest appointees to profit from corrupt activities
      • For example, Albert Fall, Secretary of the Interior, illegally leased the Teapot Dome oil reserves in WY to Harry Sinclair of the Mammoth Oil Co.
      • In return, Sinclair “lent” Fall nearly $300,000 in cash
      • Visibly troubled by this and other scandals rocking his admin, Harding suffered a sudden heart attack and died on August 2, 1923
the republican ascendancy2
The Republican Ascendancy
  • “Silent Cal”
    • VP Calvin Coolidge succeeded Harding
    • The new President was a former gov of MA who became a national figure by suppressing a Boston police strike in 1919
    • As VP, Coolidge was untouched by the scandals that tarnished the Harding admin
    • A man of few words, Coolidge deserved his popular nickname “Silent Cal”
    • Coolidge moved quickly to remove everyone involved in the Teapot Dome scandal
      • After winning the 1924 election Coolidge asserted that, “The business of America is business”
      • He retained Mellon as Secretary of Treasury and supported his conservative econ policies
    • The popular Coolidge could have easily won the Rep nom for a 2nd full term but he chose not to run
the republican ascendancy3
The Republican Ascendancy
  • Herbert Hoover
    • The Reps turned to Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover to be their party’s nominee in the 1928 pres election
    • Hoover was widely respected as a generous humanitarian and a skilled administrator
    • Hoover decisively defeated the Dem candidate Al Smith of NY
    • Hoover’s landslide victory seemed to confirm the public’s endorsement of the Rep New Era of peace and prosperity
    • Hoover confidently predicted, “We in America are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land”
prompt 4
Prompt #4
  • How are the remnants of World War I seen in the 1920s?