Roaring 20s

Roaring 20s
Postwar Trends
League of Nations left much of America
Returning soldiers faced unemployment or
took jobs away from women and AfricanAmericans
Many responded by becoming fearful of
 Nativism- prejudice against foreign-born people
 Isolationism- policy of pulling away from
involvement in world affairs
People feared the spread of communismeconomic and political
system based on a singleparty government ruled by a dictatorship
 In order to equalize wealth and power, communism
would put an end to private property, substituting
gov’t ownership of factories, RR, and other businesses
The panic in the US began in 1919 after
revolutionaries in Russia (Bolsheviks) overthrew
the czarist regime
A Communist party formed in the US and 70,000
Called it the “Red Scare”
Limiting Immigration
• “Keep America for Americans” became the
attitude of most Americans
• As a result of the Red Scare and anti-immigrant
feelings, the KKK rose again
– Devoted to “100% Americanism”
– Targeted African-Americans, Roman Catholics, Jews
and other foreign-born people
• Congress responded to the nativist pressure by
limiting immigration from certain countries
– The Emergency Quota Act 1921 set up a quota system
that established a maximum number of people who
could enter the US from each country
Designed to limit the number of Southern and Eastern European
Cultural Changes
• Impact of Automobile- became a status symbol
– Led to increase in jobs: Gas stations, repair shops,
motels, tourist camps, shopping centers, Route 66
• Airplane industry- 1927, Pan American Airways
inaugurated 1st transatlantic passenger flight
• Electrical conveniences- spread to suburbs
– Irons, refrigerators, cooking ranges, etc.
Mass Media Shapes
• Mass advertising- made brand names familiar and
marketed luxury items to all Americans
• Newspapers- more literate Americans led to
increased in newspaper circulations
– Shaped cultural norms and sparked fads
• Magazines- mass-circulation to reach a wide
– Focused on weekly news and culture
Mass Media continued
– Broadcast news, sports, music (jazz), children’s
programs, soap operas
– Created a more national culture- different audiences
around the country hearing the same programs
• Movies- offered viewers a way to escape their lives
through romance and comedy
– Helped promote a national culture
 Spectator sports became popular
 Boxing, baseball, college football, golf
 Babe Ruth electrified Americans
 Negro National Baseball League
City Life
 Between 1920-1929, nearly 2 million people left rural
areas for cities every year
 City dwellers read and argued about major issues
 City dwellers tolerated drinking, gambling, and casual
 Major battle between traditional and modern values
Women of the 20s
 In the rebellious, pleasure-loving atmosphere of the 20s, many
women began asserting their independence and demanded
the same freedom as men
 Flapper-an emancipated young woman who embraced new
fashions and urban attitudes
 Close-fitting hats, waist less dresses an inch above the knee, skin
toned stockings, boyish bob hairstyles
 Began smoking cigarettes, drinking in public, talking openly
about sex
 Danced the foxtrot, tango, Charleston
Traditional v. Modern
 As the 20’s roared on, many people tried to combat
the changing culture and values of the country
 Attempts were made to reign the country back in
 Prohibition
 Scopes Trial
The Prohibition
Amendment- est. era
of Prohibition-banned the
• 18th
manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic
• The US gov’t failed to budget enough money to enforce
the law
– Speakeasies-underground saloons and nightclubs that sold
– Bootleggers- people who manufactured or smuggled illegal
• Led to an increase in organized crime and people making
their own liquor
Science and Religion
• Fundamentalism- belief in the literal interpretation
of the Bible
– Led to conflict with some scientific ideas
– Rejected the idea that man had evolved from apes=
Darwin’s theory of evolution
• Scopes Trial (1925)- Teacher John T. Scopes violated
TN law that banned teaching of evolution in schools
– Featured fight between lawyer Clarence Darrow and
prosecution witness William Jennings Bryan
– Significance: Highlighted the conflict between science
and fundamentals
Harlem Renaissance
Literary and artistic movement celebrating African
American culture
• Great Migration brought African Americans to the
• Many moved to Harlem, a neighborhood on the Upper
West Side of NYC
– Became the world’s largest black urban community
– Suffered overcrowding, unemployment, and poverty
 Harlem Renaissance encouraged a new pride in AfricanAmerican experiences
 Wrote about the trials of being black in a white world
 Claude McKay-novelist, poet, urged African Americans to
resist prejudice and discrimination. Wrote of the pain of life in
the black ghettos
 Langston Hughes-poet, described difficult lives of workingclass African Americans
 Zora Neale Hurston-portrayed the lives of poor Southern
Happy Tuesday!
 Take out your 1920’s homework packet. Keep it on
your desk
Great Depression
False Prosperity
• Prosperity in the 20’s based on credit- “buy now, pay
– Installment buying- form of credit with monthly
payments with interest
– Overspeculation-buying too many stocks hoping to
sell at a higher price in short period of time, regardless
of risk involved
– Buying on margin- paying only a small percentage of a
stock’s price as a down payment and borrowing the
rest to make a stock purchase
And speaking of
 It was the latest “get rich quick scheme”
 Everyone was playing the stock market
 Putting entire savings into the market
 Gambling with life savings
Causes of the Great
Industries were in trouble-after war, production slowed down,
people losing jobs
Farmers in debt- during war, farmers producing a lot of crops
to feed troops but after war they didn’t slow down production
– Too much product, what does that mean?
Consumers had less money- wages were being cut, people
losing their jobs= less money in hand to buy luxury itemsCreates a cycle of issues
Credit- people buying more than they can afford, can’t pay off
their credit
Uneven distribution of wealth- rich were not impacted by
economic issues
Coolidge and Hoover
• Calvin Coolidge (R) and successor Herbert
Hoover(R) were very pro-business
– favored gov’t policies that kept taxes down and
business profits up
– Goal was the keep gov’t interference minimal
• Hoover ignored signs of trouble, expecting the
marketplace to correct itself
Black Tuesday
• October 29, 1929- the stock market crashed with 16.4
million shares sold in 1 day- prices collapse
– Prices of stocks fell-> speculators left with huge debts
that they couldn’t repay to banks ->banks failed ->
people lost their savings
• Federal Reserve failed to prevent widespread
collapse of the nation’s banking system
• Hawley Smoot Act (1930)- high protective tariff
resulted in retaliatory tariffs in other countries,
which strangled international trade
Great Depression
• Period from 1929-1940 in which the economy
plummeted and unemployment skyrocketed,
causing widespread hardship
– Businesses failed (90,000)
– Collapse of financial system- over 11,000 banks closed
– Unemployment rose to 25% by 1932
Hoover’s approach
Hoover tried to reassure Americans that the
nation’s economy was sound
 Americans had to remain optimistic
 Business as usual
 Depression is a normal part of the business cycle
 The economy will fix itself
Believed government’s role was to encourage and
facilitate cooperation not control it
Americans values individualism therefore Hoover
opposed any form of federal welfare or direct relief
 Felt it would weaken peoples self-respect
His answer to the problem was to let individuals,
charities and local organizations pitch in and help
Hardships and Suffering
• Many lost their homes, jobs
– Homelessness increased
– Shanty towns emerged- little towns consisting of shacks
Nicknamed “HOOVERVILLES”- after President Hoover
– Soup kitchens
– Bread lines
Hardships and Suffering
• Farms were foreclosed on
• The Dust Bowl
– drought struck in the 1930s
– For decades farmers in the Midwest broke up farmland,
removing the protective grass covering, exposing dirt
Leaving a lot of land unusable
When the drought struck and winds picked up dust became
Hardest hit was Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico,
and Colorado
Many abandoned their farms and moved to California
– Nicknamed “Okies”
Stop and Think!!
 Why did many farm families leave their land during
the Great Depression?
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
• Wins elections of 1932
– Inaugural address rallied a frightened nation
“the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
• Instituted “fireside chats”- radio addresses aimed at
restoring American confidence
• Implemented his plan to bring country out of
Depression- “New Deal”
– Focus of relief, recovery, and reform measures
• First Hundred Days- period of massive reform
• 21st Amendment- repeals prohibition
Relief Measures
IMMEDIATE HELP- temporary programs
• Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)-provided jobs for
young single males on conservation projects
• Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)- provided jobs
building dams to bring water and electricity to poor
regions in the South
• Works Progress Administration (WPA)- created as many
jobs as quickly as possible
– Construction of airports, highways, public buildings
– Professional art, music, theater
Recovery Measures
• Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA)- aided farmers
by regulating crop production so prices would rise
• National Recovery Administration (NRA)- reformed
banking practices and established fair codes of
competition for businesses
Reform Measures
• Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)protected bank deposits up to $5,000
• Wagner Act- defined unfair labor practices and
established a National Labor Relations Board to
settle disputes between employers and employees
• Social Security Act (SSA)- provided a pension for
retired workers and their spouses and helped people
with disabilities
Impact of New Deal
 Changed the role of government- Government took a
more active role in solving the nations problems
 Public believed the responsibility of the gov’t was to:
 Deliver public services
 Intervene in the economy
 Act in ways to promote the general welfare