Chapter 22 Lecture PowerPoint

Chapter Twenty-Two: The New Era
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
1920s as a New Era
Josephine Baker
– Retreat from Reform? A Jazz Age?
 Decade of Frivolity: Historians, writers, and Hollywood films
have portrayed the 1920s in the U.S. as a decade of affluence,
conservatism, and the emergence of a new urban,
industrialized, consumer-oriented society and popular culture,
including jazz, radio, film. But is this the full story?
 Becoming Modern?: Some historians argue that the 1920s
marked the beginnings of the U.S. becoming a real modern
nation. Yet large there was considerable resistance to these
changes, as evidenced by the rise of a new Ku Klux Klan and
resistance to the ideas of Darwin.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Economy
– Technology, Organization, and Economic Growth
 Economic Growth: Except for a brief recession in 1923, the 1920s was
mostly a decade of enormous growth. The industrial output of the U.S.
increased 60 percent. Unemployment dropped to 1.8 percent in 1926.
 Technology as a Source of Growth: Assembly lines and other
technological innovations made production boom. Using electricity a
power source in factories instead of coal was partly responsible for this
increase, as was a greater supply of well educated engineers.
 Rise of the Automobile Industry: This industry made huge contributions
to the American economy by itself, but also had a huge ripple effect:
steel, rubber, glass, and tool companies, oil corporations, and road
construction. Increased mobility also led to a greater demand for
suburban housing, creating a boon for the construction industry.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
1925 Pierce-Arrow Touring Car,
made in Buffalo, New York
Advertisement for a 1929
Willys-Knight Six, a car made
by a company in Toledo, Ohio,
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Economy
– Technology, Organization, and
Economic Growth
 Radio: The transmission of speech and music
became possible with the discovery of
modulation by Canadian-born scientist
Reginald Fessenden. The first commercially
licensed radio station was KDKA in
Pittsburgh in 1920, and soon thereafter
demand for vacuum-tube radio sets began to
take off. By 1925, there were two millions
sets in American homes, and in 1926, the first
national broadcasting network was created,
the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).
1926 Advertisement for an
Atwater Kent Radio
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Economy
– Technology, Organization, and Economic Growth
 Commercial Aviation: Planes were first used in a systematic way to deliver
mail, but remained more of a curiosity. The development of radial engines and
pressurized cabins led the way for more widespread commercial passenger
service beginning in the 1930s. The first regularly international scheduled
passenger service was by Pan Am between Key West and Havana in 1928.
 Telephones Proliferate: By the late 1930s, there were roughly 25 million in the
U.S., or one for every six people.
 Genetic Research: Scientist Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945) of Columbia
University developed a better understanding of how genes were transmitted
through experiments with fruit flies.
 Growing Industrial Consolidation: Large sectors of American businesses
continued their drive toward consolidation, especially those that relied on largescale mass production like steel and automobiles. Attempts were made to avoid
overproduction, which had caused recessions in 1893, 1907, and 1920.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The aviation industry got a significant
boost from the first non-stop solo
Atlantic crossing by Charles Lindbergh
(1902 - 1974) from Long Island to Paris
on May 21-22, 1927.
Early Pan Am flight service between Key West and Havana, 1928
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Economy
– Workers in an Age of Capital
 Inequality of Wealth: One major study said the two-thirds of
Americans lived at a “minimum comfort level,” while half of that
number were at or below “subsistence and poverty.” By 1930, the
average annual take-home pay for workers was $1,500, which was
$300 less than what was considered a minimum for a marginally
comfortable standard of living.
 Welfare Capitalism: Some companies did share some of the
prosperity with their workers. Henry For raised wages and instituted
paid vacations. Corporations also organized “company unions” that
workers could use to communicate grievances. But workers had little
control of their own fate, and all of these benefits disappeared when
prosperity collapsed by the end of 1929. In any case, firms offering
such benefits were a very small percentage of all employers.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Economy
– Workers in an Age of Capital
 Bleak Time for Labor: In the 1920s, unions themselves were
weak and conservative, failing to meet the challenges of the
new economy. William Green (1873-1952), the leader of the
AFL after the death of Samuel Gompers in 1924, remained
wedded to the old-fashion idea of the craft union, paying scant
attention to the growing class of unskilled industrial laborers.
 “American Plan”: This was a euphemistic phrase for unionbusting in the 1920s. Corporations lobbied for “open shops,”
meaning no collective bargaining power for unions. This
campaign led to a decrease in union membership, from 5
million in 1920 to 3 million in 1929.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Economy
A. Philip Randolph
– Women and Minorities in the Workforce
 Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters: African Americans who
had migrated to industrial areas were generally not allowed
entry into craft unions and skilled trades, so most worked as
janitors, dishwashers, and other “unskilled” trades in which the
AFL was uninterested. The first African American union to
receive a charter from the AFL, was the Brotherhood of
Sleeping Car Porters, which despite the resistance of the
Pullman Company, was founded in 1915 with A. Philip
Randolph (1889 – 1979) as its first president.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Economy
Members of
the Fresno
Nissei baseball
team pose with
Babe Ruth ad
Lou Gehrig
– Women and Minorities
in the Workforce
 Asian Immigration in the West: In the wake of the Chinese Exclusion Act
of 1882, Japanese replaced the Chinese as a major source of menial labor.
Many “Issei” (immigrants) and “Nissei” (second generation) became
economically successful through small businesses or truck farms.
California passed discriminatory laws in 1913 and 1920 against land
ownership. Filipinos were also greeted with hostility, with riots against
them beginning in 1929.
 Rising Mexican Immigration: Another major source of unskilled labor in
California and the Southwest was Mexican immigrants. Nearly 500,000
entered the U.S. in the 1920s and settled mostly in California, Texas,
Arizona, and New Mexico. Large barrios grew in cities like Los Angeles,
El Paso, San Antonio, Denver, and other urban centers.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Economy
– Agricultural Technology and the Plight of the Farmer
 Mechanization: The number of tractors quadrupled during the 1920s as
they converted from steam to internal combustion engines, helping to
open 35 million new acres of land. More sophisticated combines and
harvesters allowed for more to be harvested with less workers.
 Agricultural Science: Pioneering of new genetic hybrid crops and the
new chemical fertilizers and pesticides began in the 1920s, although did
not enter into widespread use until the 1930s.
 Declining Food Prices: Demand did not keep up with the explosion in
production, leading to a steep decline in prices for crops. More than 3
million people left agricultural work during the decade, with many selling
off small farms to big company farms.
 McNary-Haugen Bill: This bill demanded federal subsidies and purchases
to maintain “parity” for farmers: that farmers would at least make back
the cost of production. Coolidge vetoed it in 1926 and 1928.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Culture
– Consumerism and Communications
 Growing Consumer Culture: The United States emerged as a full-fledged
consumer society in the 1920s. Middle-class people began to purchase
refrigerators, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners. People wore
wristwatches and smoked cigarettes. Women bought mass-produced fashions
and cosmetics.
 Advertising Industry: The modern advertising industry had its genesis in the
1920s. Ad men no longer sought to sell a product on its own virtues, but
began to sell an entire lifestyle associated with the products. Ads would also
make people feel insecure about an issue a product supposedly addressed.
 Bruce Barton (1886-1967): One of the founders of the modern advertising
industry, he wrote a book called The Man Nobody Knows, which portrayed
Jesus Christ as a “super salesman,” arguing that Jesus wanted people to live
fulfilling lives here and now—a message in tune with the new consumerism.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
1928 magazine ad for
Lucky Strike cigarettes
Vogue magazine cover,
March 1929
1929 magazine ad for a GE
“monitor top” refrigerator
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
Al Jolson in
The Jazz Singer
The New Culture
– Consumerism and Communications
 National Media Market: Many newspapers were absorbed into national
chains, while mass-circulation magazines reached national audiences.
 Movies: Hollywood became an even more significant and influential
industry during the 1920s. Over 100 million people saw movies in 1930
compared to 40 million in 1922. The first feature-length “talkie” debuted
in 1927, The Jazz Singer, featuring Al Jolson (1886-1950) in blackface.
The Motion Picture Association was founded in 1922 to impose standards
on content and improve the image of the industry (the current ratings
system did not emerge until 1968).
 Birth of Commercial Radio: In 1920, KDKA in Pittsburgh was the first
commercial radio station on the air. In 1927, the first national
broadcasting netwwork, NBC, was formed, as was the federal regulatory
commission that would later be known as the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC).
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Culture
– Psychology and Psychiatry
John B. Watson
 Freud and Jung: Investigating the subconscious mind through as a
source of mental problems through “talk therapy”/psychoanalysis
became more widespread as the theories of Sigmund Freud (1856 1939) and Carl Jung (1875 - 1961) gained wider acceptance.
 Behavioralism: John B. Watson (1878-1958), a psychologist at Johns
Hopkins University, countered the Freudian focus on the
subconscious by treating the behaviors/symptoms of mental illness,
and had significant success in treating alcoholism, drug addiction, etc.
He emphasized “nurture” in the nature vs. nurture debate.
 Opportunities for Women: Women with medical training often found
it easier to establish themselves in psychiatry compared to more maledominated fields of medicine.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Culture
– Women in the New Era
 “New Professional Women”: College-educated women were
not as rare as they had been in the late 19th century, and many
entered the professions. But most working women remained in
low-skill, working-class positions, and there remained a strong
cultural pressure for middle-class women to stay at home and
raise children.
 Motherhood Redefined: Behavioralist John B. Watson
challenged the idea that women had a natural maternal instinct,
and that women needed to rely on advice of experts to help
raise children.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Culture
– Women in the New Era
 Margaret Higgins Sanger (1879 - 1966): This
pioneer of the American birth control movement
said her concern came from her work as a visiting
nurse in the immigrant slums of the Lower East
Side. She believed large families were a cause of
poverty, and even supported many aspects of the
controversial eugenics movement. Sanger started
publishing The Woman Rebel in 1914, which
coined the term “birth control” and proclaimed
that every woman should be “the absolute mistress
of her own body.” She founded the American Birth
Control League in 1921, which changed its name
to Planned Parenthood in 1942.
Margaret Sanger
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Culture
– Women in the New Era
Silent movie star
Louise Brooks
(1906-1985), who
is often seen as
epitomizing the flapper
 “Flappers”: Many longtime women’s reformers were dismayed by
single young women who did not see it as necessary to maintain rigid,
Victorian female “respectability,” but who enjoyed drinking,
smoking, dancing, and seductive clothes and make-up. The distinct
style of dress, speech, and hairstyles originated with working-class
and lower-middle-class women, but came to be copied by more
affluent women.
 Sheppard-Towner Act: Despite the 19th Amendment, women made
few further political gains in the 1920s. One was the 1921 SheppardTowner Act, which provided federal funds to states for pre-natal and
child health-care, but Congress ended the program in 1929.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
Depiction of the popular idea
of the flapper by radical
cartoonist, Art Young (1866-1943)
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
“Democracy is a pathetic
belief in the collective
wisdom of individual
-- H.L. Mencken
The New Culture
– Writers and Artists
 Modern Society Critiqued: The decade proved to be a spectacular for
American literary production. Many writers took on a very critical
edge toward modern society, collectively known as the “debunkers.”
Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) savaged American middle-class strivers
in a trilogy of novels: Main Street (1920), Babbitt (1922), and
Arrowsmith (1925). F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925)
depicted the emptiness of the American worship of wealth and
material success.
 H.L. (Henry Louis) Mencken (1880-1956): Perhaps the foremost
“debunker” was this irascible Baltimore journalist, who took pleasure
in ridiculing nearly every aspect of American life, but especially
politics and religion.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
The New Culture
– Writers and Artists
 “Harlem Renaissance”: A concentration of artists, musicians, and
writers created a flourishing cultural life in 1920s Harlem.
• The New Negro (1926): This anthology of fiction, poetry, and essays edited by
Alain Locke included works from writers like Zora Neale Hurston, Countee
Cullen, Langston Hughes, and Claude McKay.
• Langston Hughes (1902-1967): Published his first collection of poems, The
Weary Blues, in 1926.
• Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899-1974): Young Ellington left a
successful career in Washington D.C. to come to Harlem in the early 1920s. By
1927, his orchestra became the house band at the Cotton Club.
• Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960): This writer and anthropologist came to New
York in 1925 to study at Barnard College, and became involved with many of
the young leading Harlem Renaissance writers, creating the literary magazine,
Fire!! with Langston Hughes and others in 1926.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
Duke Ellington
Claude McKay
Zora Neale Hurston
Langston Hughes
Blues by Archibald Motley (1929)
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
A Conflict of Cultures
– Prohibition
 Failure of Prohibition: When the 18th Amendment went into effect in Jan.
17, 1920, it had the support of the most of the middle class and most
people who identified as progressives. But it quickly became clear it was
a failure as it became almost as easy to get alcohol as it had been when it
was legal. What was worse was that the business of distributing and sell
alcohol had now become the monopoly of organized crime rather than
legitimate businessmen.
 “Wets” versus “Drys”: Many middle-class progressives who initially
supported prohibition became dismayed, however, many rural Protestants
continued to support it, seeing drinking as associated with the modern
city and Catholic immigrants. The “Wets” increasingly gained support,
but were not able to get the 18th Amendment repealed until 1933, largely
due to the woes of the Great Depression, with the 21st Amendment’s
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
A Conflict of Cultures
– Nativism and the Klan
 Anti-Immigrations Sentiments: Nativism
had been a consistent part of nineteenthcentury politics, but calls to limit
immigration began to intensify in the late
19th and early 20th century. Immigration’s associations with radical
politics became stronger during the war.
 National Origins Act of 1924: In 1921, Congress passed an emergency
quota system on immigration that limited the amount of immigrants from
any one national group to 3 percent of its population in the U.S. in 1910,
cutting immigration from an 800,000 annual average to 300,000.
Nativists pushed further, getting the 1924 National Origins Act passed.
This act lowered the quota to 2 percent for Europeans and based the
quotas on the 1890 census, not the 1910 one. In addition, it stopped all
East Asian immigration.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
Klan March
on D.C. in 1925
A Conflict of Cultures
– Nativism and the Klan
 Rise of the New Klan: The first incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan had
been killed off in the 1870s. But in 1915, a group of white
southerners gathered in Stone Mountain, Georgia, to re-form the
Klan. D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, which depicted the old Klan
in a romantic and positive light, helped to bolster membership.
 New Focus: The new Klan was at first focused on intimidating
blacks, but after World War I, it shifted more of its focus on Catholics,
Jews, and foreigners. This new Klan had success in cultivating
members in industrial cities of the Midwest and the West. In 1924, it
peaked at a reported 4 million members, with the largest
concentration being in Indiana. A series of leadership scandals in
1925 started a long, slow decline influence.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
John T. Scopes
A Conflict of Cultures
– Religious Fundamentalism
 Fundamentalists and Modernists: The place of religion in American society
was hotly debated in the 1920s. Protestants were divided among modernist,
middle-class urbanites, and fundamentalist, rural people who believed the
Bible should be interpreted in a literal sense. This was particularly true with
the story of Genesis in the Bible, which contradicted Darwin’s theories.
 Scopes Trial: In March 1925, the Tennessee legislature passed a law
outlawing the teaching in public schools of any theory that contradicted
divine creation of humanity as told in Genesis. Offered free counsel by the
ACLU (founded in 1920). John T. Scopes (1900-1970), a 24-year-old biology
teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, agreed to violate the law. As a defender of
fundamentalism, the aging William Jennings Bryan made the prosecution’s
case, arguing for biblical literalism. In a surprise move, Clarence Darrow, the
progressive lawyer, put Bryan himself on the stand, and made him look
foolish on a national radio broadcast. Scopes lost, but the fundamentalist
were mocked on a national stage.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
Darrow and Bryan during the trial; H.L. Mencken deemed it
the “Monkey Trial.”
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
A Conflict of Cultures
Al Smith
– The Democrats’ Ordeal
 Divided Democrats: Republicans were able to dominate national offices in
the 1920s due to a deeply divided Democratic party: Southern and rural white
Protestants on one side, and urban immigrant Catholics on the other.
 Al Smith (1873-1944): Smith, born in the Lower East Side to Irish immigrant
parents, served as governor of New York from 1923 to 1928, and symbol of
the urban, immigrant-based wing of the Democratic Party.
 1924 Election: Smith was a contender for the Democratic nomination for
president in 1924, at which planks to condemn the Klan and to demand the
repeal of prohibition were narrowly defeated by the rural wing of the party.
William McAdoo, secretary of the treasury under Wilson, was the rural
wing’s candidate who also had the Klan’s endorsement. Ultimately a
compromise candidate, John W. Davis, was chosen, who was defeated easily
by Republican incumbent, Calvin Coolidge.
 1928 Election: Smith secured the Democratic nomination, but largely due to
anti-Catholic prejudice, was badly defeated by Republican Herbert Hoover.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
Warren G. Harding
Republican Government
– Harding and Coolidge
 Republican Leadership: Republicans held the presidency from 1921
until 1933. From 1918 to 1931, they controlled both houses of
Congress as well.
 Warren G. Harding (1865-1923): This undistinguished senator from
Ohio was elected to the presidency in 1920; party leaders were
intentionally looking for someone who would be conservative in the
mold of McKinley and turn away from progressivism and campaign
on a “return to normalcy.” Yet he was a small-town man with limited
intellectual capacities, and had a penchant for gambling, illegal
alcohol, and womanizing. He often seemed overwhelmed by the
demands of the office.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
Republican Government
– Harding and Coolidge
 Teapot Dome Scandal: Harding had elevated some of the party hacks
who had been instrumental in making his career into key cabinet
positions. One was a New Mexico senator, Albert B. Fall, who was
appointed as Secretary of the Interior. Fall and others in the cabinet
were engaged in fraud and corruption, with the most spectacular
scandal being when it was discovered that the rich naval oil reserves at
Teapot Dome, Wyoming, had been transferred to the Department of the
Interior. Fall “leased” the reserves to two wealthy businessmen, who in
turn received a “loan: to ease his financial troubles. Fall was convicted
of bribery and spent a year in jail.
 Harding’s Death: During extensive trip out West—including the first
presidential visit to Alaska—Harding’s health failed, and he died in
San Francisco on August 2, 1923, of a heart attack.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
Republican Government
– Harding and Coolidge
 Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933): This laconic, almost puritanical New
Englander, was in many ways very different from Harding, but
pursued the same conservative, unaggressive position toward the
office, and perhaps was even less active as he believed the
government should play only a very small role in people’s lives. He
had been elected governor of Massachusetts in 1919 and came to
national attention for his tough handling of the Boston police strike of
1920. He easily won reelection in 1924 against the divided
Democrats’ candidate, John W. Davis. His administration did little,
but it was at least free from scandal. He probably would have won
renomination in 1928, but chose not to run.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
Republican Government
– Government and Business
Andrew Mellon
Herbert Hoover
“After all, the chief business of the
American people is business.”
– Calvin Coolidge, 1925
 Business and Government Ties: The close relationship between the
federal government and the private sector pioneered during WWI
continued in the 1920s.
 Sharp Tax Reductions: Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon
(1855-1937), an aluminum millionaire and banker, worked to
lower taxes on corporate profits, getting Congress to cut them by
more than half, and at the same time managed to pay off the
federal debt from World War I.
 “Associationalism”: The Secretary of the Treasury, Herbert Hoover
(1874-1964), was themost high-profile member of the cabinet,
who advocated business “associationalism”: the voluntary
formation of business associations in various industries to stabilize
and self-regulate, preventing the need for government interference.
Chapter Twenty-Two:
The New Era
Republican Government
– Government and Business
 Herbert Hoover: This former
mining executive and promoter of
business efficiency had spent a
part of his career in China and
spoke Mandarin. He easily
defeated Al Smith in 1928. But
less than a year into his
administration, the nation plunged
into its most severe and prolonged
economic crisis ever, one which
he was philosophically illequipped to handle.
The Election of 1928