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in the Roaring Twenties


... U.S. had more than 377 buildings with 20 or more floors 1920 ... The Great Gatsby (1925 ... in the Roaring Twenties Urban Growth Urban ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: in the Roaring Twenties

in the Roaring Twenties
  • 1919-1929

Urban Growth
  • Urban growth drove up land values and reshaped
    the skyline of Americas cities forced
    architects to build up
  • Launched first great era of skyscrapers
  • By 1929, U.S. had more than 377 buildings with 20
    or more floors
  • 1920 Census more Americans lived in cities than
    rural areas for first time
  • 3.2 million immigrants poured into the country
    and cities between 1919 and 1921

Urban Growth
  • Racial composition of cities also changed
  • 1910 75 of African Americans lived on farms and
    90 lived in the South
  • Great Migration during World War I
  • 1.5 million moved to cities during 1920s to
    escape sharecropping and debt peonage
  • Most settled in New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland
    (307), Detroit (611), and Chicago (148)

Urban Growth
Urban Growth
  • Competition for housing became a major source of
    friction cities passed municipal residential
    segregation ordinances, white realtors refused to
    show houses in white areas to African Americans,
    and neighborhood improvement associations
  • Supreme Court ruled municipal resident
    segregation ordinances were unconstitutional in
  • Whites resorted to the restrictive covenant
    struck down by Supreme Court in 1948
  • Zoning laws offered a more subtle way of
    segregating cities segregated on the basis of

Urban Growth
  • Black metropolises or cities within cities
    began to emerge in American cities Harlem, NYC
  • Racial prejudice made it impossible for African
    Americans to escape these new ghettoes
  • Many white middle-class, white-collar workers
    began moving to the suburbs made possible by
    streetcars and the automobile
  • City congestion remained a serious problem
  • Federal Highway Act of 1916
  • Traffic signals, traffic circles, divided dual
    highways, cloverleaf interchanges all introduced
    during 1920s

Consumer Economy
Consumer Economy
  • Henry Ford
  • Introduced automated assembly line to cars in
    1913 cut production time from 12.5 hours to 1.5
    hours per car
  • He also cut prices six times between 1921 and
    1925 a new Model T only cost 290 in 1925
  • To increase productivity, he introduced a minimum
    daily wage of 5 and shortened the workday to 8
    hours in 1914
  • In 1926, he shortened the workweek to 5 days
  • Logic of mass production expanded production
    allows manufacturers to reduce costs and
    therefore increase the number of products sold,
    and higher wages allow workers to buy more

Consumer Economy
Consumer Economy
  • Alfred Sloan, president of General Motors
  • The primary object of the corporation was to
    make money, not just make cars.
  • Was convinced Americans were willing to pay extra
    for luxury and prestige
  • Advertised cars as symbols of wealth and status
    introduced yearly model change in 1927
  • Developed a series of divisions that were
    differienteated by status, price, and level of
    luxury Chevrolet to Buick to Cadillac
  • Set up nations first national consumer credit
    agency, 1919
  • Revealed the importance of merchandising in a
    modern consumer economy

Consumer Economy
  • Cars were the symbol of the new consumer society
  • 1919, 6.7 million cars on American roads
  • 1929, 27 million cars on American roads
  • 60 purchased cars on credit with interest rates
    of 30 or more
  • Cars revolutionized American way of life
  • Promoted family togetherness?
  • Created conflict between parents and teenagers?
  • portable bedrooms?

Consumer Economy
  • Automobiles also transformed American landscape
  • Roads and highways doubled during 1920s
  • Increased government spending 2 billion/year
  • Increased pollution 30,000 annual traffic deaths
  • Automobile industry stimulated national economy
  • By 1929 produced 12.7 percent of manufacturing
    output and employed 1 of every 12 workers
  • Stimulated growth of steel, glass, rubber
    industries and gasoline stations, motor lodges,
    campgrounds, and hotdog stands

Consumer Economy
  • Other emblems of the consumer economy included
    the telephone and electricity electrical
    appliances became more common in American homes
    (refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum
    cleaners, toasters, etc.)
  • Labor-saving appliances increased standards of
    cleanliness and imposed new pressures on
  • Ready-to-wear clothing was another important
    innovation in the consumer economy standard
    sizes defined by government in World War I

Consumer Economy
Consumer Economy
  • Eating habits also underwent a shift from
    starches (bread and potatoes) to more fruit and
  • More processed foods canning and freezing
    innovations during World War I saved homemakers
    enormous amounts of time
  • To stimulate sales and increase profits,
    businesses expanded advertising, offered
    installment credit, and created the nations
    first regional and national chains

Consumer Economy
Consumer Economy
  • Advertising agencies hired psychologists
  • Built up name-brand identification
  • Created memorable slogans
  • Manipulated endorsements by doctors or
  • Appealed to consumers desire for prestige and
  • By 1929, American companies were spending 3
    billion a year on advertising
  • Uneeda Biscuits, first million-dollar advertising

Consumer Economy
Consumer Economy
  • Use of installment credit soared during 1920s
  • Banks offered home mortgages for first time
  • 60 of all furniture and 75 of all radios were
    purchased on credit
  • New consumer society emphasized spending and
    borrowing over thrift and saving
  • Nations families spent a declining proportion of
    income on necessities, more on appliances,
  • Older industries (textiles, railroads, steel)
    declined and newer industries (appliances,
    automobiles, aviation, chemicals, entertainment,
    and processed foods) surged ahead

Consumer Economy
  • During the 1920s, chain-store movement
    revolutionized retailing Woolworths
  • Interlocking networks of banks and utility
    companies played a critical role in promoting
    financial speculation of the 1920s

  • Radio was most significant appliance to enter
    American homes in the 1920s Sales went from 60
    million (1922) to 426 million (1929)
  • 1919, first commercial radio station 500 by 1925
    news, musical variety shows, advertisements,
    soap operas, and comedies
  • Blunted regional differences and imposed similar
    tastes and lifestyles

  • Radio made Charles Lindbergh an instant hero when
    he became the first person to fly solo across the
    Atlantic in 1927
  • Amos n Andy debuted in 1926 spread racial
    stereotypes Italian gangster and tightfisted Jew

  • Phonograph sales surged from 190,000 in 1923 to 5
    million in 1929 replaced piano in many homes
  • Fueled by popularity of jazz, blues, and
    hillbilly music
  • Fiddlin John Carson broke hillbilly music
    into popular culture in 1923
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald called the 1920s, the Jazz

Jazz Age
  • Single most significant instrument of mass
    entertainment was the movies
  • Movie attendance grew from 50 million patrons a
    week in 1920 to 90 million a week in 1920
    Americans spent 83 cents of every entertainment
    dollar at the movies and 75 of the population
    went to a movie theater each week
  • By the 1920s, the film industry had relocated to
    Hollywood ideal climate and cheap labor

  • Hollywood released 700 movies each year and
    dominated worldwide film production
  • A small group of companies controlled the film
    industry Paramount, 20th-Century Fox, and MGM
    kept actors, directors, and screenwriters under
  • Movies in the 1920s introduced the sex appeal
    Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino
  • Hollywood also reinforced stereotypes

Spectator Sports
Low-Brow Middle-Brow Culture
  • Mah Jong and crossword puzzles
  • Golf, tennis, and bowling
  • Dance crazes fox trot, Charleston, jitterbug
  • Egyptian fad in 1922
  • Pole-sitting
  • Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
  • Confession magazines
  • Time, Readers Digest, New Yorker, Vanity Fair
  • Book-of-the-Month Club

Avant Garde
  • Playwright Eugene ONeill
  • Writers William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, F.
    Scott Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe published
    their first novels
  • Poets Hart Crane, e.e. cummings, Countee Cullen,
    Langston Hughes, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and
    Wallace Stevens
  • Artists Charles Demuth, Georgia OKeeffe, and
    Joseph Stella pioneered nonrepresentational and
    expressionist art forms

Avant Garde
The Figure 5 in Gold (1928) Charles Demuth
Avant Garde
My Egypt (1927) Charles Demuth
Avant Garde
Brooklyn Bridge (1919-20) Joseph Stella
Avant Garde
Radiator Building at Night, New York
(1927) Georgia OKeeffe
Avant Garde
  • The 1920s marked Americas entry into the world
    of serious music
  • 50 symphony orchestras founded
  • Julliard, Eastman, and Curtis music
    conservatories founded
  • Aaron Copeland and Charles Ives
  • George Gershwin

Avant Garde
  • World War I left many American intellectuals and
    artists disillusioned and alienated saw the war
    as a senseless mistake
  • T.S. Eliot called the United States a wasteland
  • Sinclair Lewis critized American middle class in
    Main Street (1920) and Babbit (1922)
  • Won Nobel Prize for Literature
  • H. L. Mencken

Lost Generation
  • Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott
  • Existentialism maintains that life has no
    transcendent purpose and that each individual
    must salvage personal meaning from the void
  • The Sun Also Rises (1926)
  • A Farewell to Arms (1929)
  • The Great Gatsby (1925)
  • so we beat on, boats against the current, borne
    back ceaselessly into the past.

The Sex Debate
  • If all girls at the Yale prom were laid end to
  • I wouldnt be surprised.
    Dorothy Parker
  • Practically every newspaper featured articles on
    prostitution, venereal disease, sex education,
    birth control, and the rising divorce rate.
  • City life nurtured new sexual attitudes end of
    courtships, rise of dating
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Increase in premarital sex after 1900 especially
    generation that reached maturity in 1920s
  • Margaret Sanger vs. Comstock Law (1873)

Margaret Sanger
  • Bobbed her hair
  • Painted her lips
  • Raised her hemline
  • Danced the Charleston
  • Smoked and drank alcohol publicly
  • Openly talked about sex
  • Dated without chaperones
  • Wore high heels and felt hats
  • In reality, womens sexual experiences were
    typically limited to one or two partners, one of
    whom she married. This narrowed the gap between
    men and women and moved society towards a single
    standard of morality.

The Clash of Cultures
  • The 1920s was a decade of intense cultural
    conflict, the Protestant culture of rural America
    was being undermined by the secular values of an
    urban society
  • Country vs. City
  • Native vs. Immigrant
  • Protestant vs. Catholic and Jew
  • Fundamentalist vs. Liberal and Science
  • Conservative vs. Progressive
  • Wet vs. Dry
  • The chief battlegrounds in this culture war
    were gender, immigration, prohibition, and
    evolution in public schools.

The New Woman
  • After Nineteenth Amendment, male politicians
    passed laws guaranteeing womens rights to serve
    on juries and hold public office
  • Set up a national system of womens and infants
    health care clinics

The New Woman
  • Womens movement divided in the 1920s over the
    Equal Rights Amendment
  • Pitted professional women against working-class
  • Womens movement also faced opposition from
    federal government Spider Web chart
  • Adkins v. Childrens Hospital (1923)
  • Women did not win new opportunities in the
    workplace confined to traditional female jobs
    and professionals consistently received less pay
    than their male counterparts

  • Initial compliance had more to do with supply and
    demand than respect for the law private
    enterprise filled the void
  • Smugglers, bootleggers, and moonshiners
  • Neither federal nor state authorities had enough
    funds to enforce prohibition
  • Lax enforcement and huge profits enticed
    organized crime to enter bootlegging by late
    1920s, liquor sales generated 2 billion annually
    Al Capone

  • In large cities, people openly defied the law 17
    convictions of 7,000 arrests in New York City
    President Harding
  • In 1923, New York became the first state to
    repeal its enforcement law by 1930 six more
    states had followed suit
  • Congress repealed Prohibition in 1933 with the
    21st Amendment
  • National Anti-Cigarette League, 1903 by 1923, 14
    states had outlawed cigarettes

  • Charles Darwins theory of evolution caused a
    split in American Protestantism Fundamentalists
    vs. Liberals
  • Rise of Pentecostalism in early 1900s The
    Fundamentals (1910-1915)
  • Religious revivals in West, South
  • Billy Sunday
  • Aimee Semple McPherson

Scopes Trial
Scopes Trial
  • Emergency Quota Act, 1921
  • National Origins Act of 1924
  • Sacco Vanzetti Case, 1921

Ku Klux Klan
  • The KKK experienced a rebirth in the 1920s under
    the leadership of Col. William Joseph Simmons
    100 percent pure Americanism
  • Hired advertising agency to boost membership 5
    million members by 1925
  • Powerful political force influenced governors
    and state legislatures
  • Continued to intimidate African Americans,
    immigrants, Catholics, Jews and others who
    violated moral standards (wife-beaters,
    drunkards, bootleggers, gamblers, etc.)
  • A series of sex scandals and increasing violence
    decreased power of the Klan by late 1920s

Ku Klux Klan
African American Protests
  • After facing discrimination and segregation in
    World War I and race riots in 1919-1920, African
    Americans were more determined to fight
  • National Urban League, 1911 focused on economic
    issues (Washington)
  • NAACP, 1909 focused on civil rights and legal
    action (Du Bois)

African American Protests
  • Supreme Court ruled against grandfather clause
    (1915) and segregation ordinances (1917)
  • NAACP also fought against school segregation in
    North and for federal anti-lynching bill under
    James Weldon Johnson
  • A. Philip Randolph New Negro
  • Marcus Garvey Universal Negro Improvement
    Association, 1917

African American Protests
Harlem Renaissance
Black Belt (1934) by Archibald Motley, Jr.
Harlem Renaissance
  • Increasing interest in African American History
    and Culture W. E. B. Du Bois
  • Fisk University Jubilee Singers
  • American Negro Academy, 1897
  • Negro dolls and all-Negro towns
  • African Americans newspapers and magazines
    appeared in 1910s
  • Association for the Study of Negro Life and
    History Carter Woodson, 1919

Harlem Renaissance
  • Harlem became the center of African American
    cultural expression
  • Poets Countee Cullen, Claude McKay and Langston
  • Novelist Zora Neale Hurston
  • Performer Paul Robeson
  • If we must dieoh let us nobly die . . . dying,
    but fighting back!

Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
Return to Normalcy
  • Americans wanted a partnership between government
    and industry, instead of trustbusting in the
    1920s Republicans offered the conservative
  • Supreme Court, under Chief Justice William Howard
    Taft, outlawed picketing, overturned national
    child labor laws, and abolished minimum wage laws
    for women states were responsible for protecting
    individual citizens
  • Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover proposed to
    eliminate competition and waste in the economy
    through associationism 2000 trade associations
    by 1929

Return to Normalcy
  • Charles Evan Hughes and Andrew Mellon were other
    capable members of Hardings cabinet Ohio Gang

Return to Normalcy
  • Teapot Dome Scandal Secretary of Interior
    Albert B. Fall was convicted of taking bribes
  • Attorney General Harry Daughtry
  • Warren G. Harding died on 2 August 1923

Election of 1924
Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
Twilight of Progressivism
  • Coolidge had no desire to be a strong president
    and believed that government should do everything
    in its power to promote business interests the
    business of America is business
  • The governments tilt toward business signaled a
    retreat from progressivism
  • Robert La Follette (WI) and George Norris (NB)
    tried to keep progressivism alive in Congress
    had better luck at state and local level
  • By 1930, 43 states had passed laws providing
    assistance to women with dependent children and
    34 states had workers compensation laws NY
    Governor Alfred E. Smith

Election of 1928
Alfred E. Smith
Herbert Hoover
Election of 1928