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The 1920s


Title: Old World, New Worlds Author: Department of Technology Last modified by: jjakab Created Date: 5/28/2000 7:36:34 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The 1920s

The 1920s
  • Chapters 12/13

Republican Administrations
  • Warren G. Harding (1920)
  • Return to normalcy
  • Ohio Gang
  • Teapot Dome Scandal
  • involved the leasing of government-owned oil
    deposits to private companies
  • Dies in 1923 from food poisoning
  • Death spared him from public disgrace (corruption
  • Calvin Coolidge
  • Congress should lead the direction of the country
  • Friend of business / Reelected in 1924
  • Herbert Hoover wins in 1928

Social Changes in 1920s
  • The decade of the 1920s was one of prosperity and
    optimism for some Americans, doubt and despair
    for some Americans, and frivolity and loosening
    of morals for others.
  • Youth Culture
  • Majority of teenagers in high school for the
    first time
  • Teenagers start to work less, spend more time
    with peers, college enrollment increases
  • Known as the Roaring Twenties the Jazz Age
    a revolution in manners and morals

The New Morality the flapper
  • Revolution in the way women live, dress, and act.
    (Against Victorian morality)
  • Ex. Smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, profanity,
    heavy makeup, short skirts, driving cars,
    sexually active, sensuous dancing (Charleston),
    rebel against restraint.

Entertainment Radio Movies
  • Impact rises greatly
  • Radio becomes commercial (National radio
    networks ABC, CBS, etc.)
  • Birth of a Nation (1915) 3 ½ hours, silent,
    different camera angles
  • Movies are in full gear by 1920s (sound in 1927)
  • Weekly movie attendance 100 million / 120 million
    lived in U.S.

  • Becomes focal point of America
  • The Booming Construction Economy
  • Mass Culture (national culture)
  • Nationally circulated magazines, chain stores,
    syndicated news features, motion pictures, brand
    names, and radio programs.
  • City culture shaped by Prohibition (1920)
  • speakeasys, bootlegging, broad disrespect for the
    law (Al Capone)

The Empire State Building
The Roaring Economy
  • Revolution in Production
  • Manufacturing rose 64 percent
  • The sale of electricity doubled
  • Consumption of fuel oil doubled
  • Between 1922 and 1927 the economy grew by 7
    percent a year the largest peacetime rate ever.
  • Welfare capitalism
  • Improved working conditions, increased pay,
    softball leagues, cafeterias, etc.

The Roaring Economy
  • Technology and Consumer Spending
  • Steam turbines and shovels, electric motors, belt
    and bucket conveyors, and countless other new
    machines became commonplace at work sites.
  • Machines replaced 200,000 workers each year
    however, demand for consumer goods kept the labor
    force growing.

The Roaring Economy Spend! Spend!
  • More consumer products appeared on store shelves
  • Cigarette lighters, wristwatches, radios, film.
  • Improvements in productivity helped keep prices
  • Goods once available only to the wealthy were now
    made accessible to the general public
  • washing machines, refrigerators, electric ranges,
    vacuum cleaners, cameras.
  • The purchasing power of wage earners jumped by 20

The Roaring Economy A Growing Consumer Culture
  • Average Americans went on a buying spree
  • Consumption ethic replaces Protestant work ethic
  • Impulse buying was seen as a positive
  • Easy Consumer credit
  • By the late 1920s, Americans achieve highest
    standard of living in the world

The Roaring Economy Warning Signs
  • For all the prosperity, a dangerous imbalance in
    the economy developed.
  • Most Americans were putting very little of their
    savings into the bank.
  • Personal debt was rising two and a half times
    faster than personal income.
  • Business profits double/ workers wages rise 30

The Roaring Economy
  • The Booming Construction Industry
  • Residential construction doubled as people moved
    from cities to suburbs.
  • Road construction made suburban life possible and
    pumped millions of dollars in the economy.
  • States began implementing taxes on gasoline.
  • Construction stimulated other businesses
  • Steel, concrete, lumber, home mortgages, and

The Automobile
  • Provided market for steel, glass, rubber,
    textiles, oil
  • Automakers change styles
  • Roadside economy (gas stations, motels)
  • Break in rural isolation
  • Helps aid this new freedom of youths
  • Revolutionizes dating / premarital sex increases
  • Henry Ford
  • democratize the automobile by making it
  • 1903 Ford Motor Company founded
  • 1916 1 million cars
  • 1920 8 million cars
  • 1925 Model T (290)
  • 1929 23 million cars (1 in 5 Americans)

  • 1915 - 1.3 billion spent on advertising
  • 1925 - 3.4 billion
  • 1920s Advertisers pushed lifestyle rather than
  • New themes in advertising
  • Diversity new models, new look,
  • Association new product new lifestyle
  • Social fear want to fit in consuming things
    is good and will improve your life

Tension and Response
  • Tension old rural culture (work ethic) vs. new
    city culture (consumer culture
  • Responses
  • Acceptance (young people and city dwellers)
  • Opposition
  • Division (most Americans)
  • Torn between new lifestyle and traditional values
  • This issue will be put on shelf during 1930s
    (trying to eat), 1940s (trying to fight WWII),
    but Americans come back to this issue in late

Defenders of the Faith
  • Fundamentalists
  • Things are getting out of control want to get
    back to basics/ basic values Bible is without
    error against evolution
  • 1925 John Scopes Trial in Dayton Tenn.
  • DefenseClarence Darrow
  • Prosecutor --- William Jennings Bryan
  • Radio carries trial
  • People lose faith in Fundamentalism even though
    they win

Nativism and Immigration Restriction
  • Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti
  • Two Italian aliens and admitted anarchists
  • 1921, sentenced to death for a shoe company
    robbery and murder in Mass. Executed in 1927
  • World reaction A symbol of American bigotry and
  • National Origins Act (1921 1924)
  • East Asian immigration stopped
  • Limit on immigrants 350,000 per year / 150,000
  • Quota of 3 percent of each nationality already in
    the U.S. as of 1910. Later pushed back to 1890.
    Bias toward old immigrants
  • Coolidge--- America must be kept American

Nativism and Immigration Restriction
  • Ku Klux Klan resurfaces to preserve old order
  • 1915 at Stone Mountain, Georgia
  • Devoted to 100 Americanism
  • Targets blacks, Roman Catholics, Jews, and
  • Membership
  • restricted to native born, white, gentile
    (Protestant) Americans.
  • 3 million members by the 1920s
  • Not confined to the South
  • Headquarters became Indianapolis, Indiana by the

The Noble Experiment
  • Eighteenth Amendment (1920)
  • Outlawed the sale of liquor.
  • Consumption was reduced by half.
  • Enforcement was underfunded and understaffed.
  • Speakeasys (city) and moonshine (rural stills).
  • Consequences of Prohibition
  • Reversed the prewar trend toward beer and wine.
  • Helped to line the pockets of gangsters like Al
  • Cities erupted in a mayhem of violence.
  • Repealed by the 21st Amendment (1933)

The Election of 1928
  • Hoover elected over Al Smith (Dem.)
  • A vindication of Republican prosperity.

The Great Bull Market
  • The idea grew that American business had entered
    a New Era of permanent growth.
  • Led to get-rich-quick schemes.
  • Florida real-estate boom
  • Federal Reserve lowers interest rates people
    begin borrowing money to put in stock market
  • 1925 27 billion in stock market
  • 1929 80 billion in stock market (speculative
  • Market continues to rise despite economic
    warnings (excessive confidence and greed)

The Great Crash
  • Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the stock market index
    dropped almost 13 percent.
  • From 1929 to 1932, Americans personal incomes
    declined by more than half.
  • The crash had revealed the economys structural
    problems. (symptom of larger problem)

(No Transcript)
The Causes of the Great Depression
  • Overexpansion and decline in mass purchasing
  • Business had done too well
  • Consumer debt and the uneven distribution of
  • Wages did not rise fast enough to consume
  • Banking system (banks crashU.S. loses savings)
  • Funds used for speculative investments
  • Low money supply because of gold standard

The Causes of the Great Depression
  • Corporate Structure and public policy
  • No government agency monitored the stock
  • Tax cuts meant that businesses did not have to
    borrow money
  • Sick Industries
  • Decline of farm prosperity
  • Textiles, coal mining, lumbering, and railroads
  • Economic Ignorance
  • High Tariffs in U.S. hurt Europe / Europeans
    could not buy U.S. goods
  • Everyone ought to be rich

Significant Events
? 1903 First feature length film released
? 1914 Henry Ford introduces moving assembly
? 1916 Marcus Garvey brings Universal Negro
Improvement Association to America
? 1919 Eighteenth Amendment outlawing alcohol
use ratified
? 1920 First commercial radio broadcast
? 1921 Congress enacts quotas on immigration
? 1923 Time magazine founded
? 1925 John T. Scopes convicted of teaching
evolution in Tennessee
? 1929 Stock market crashes