Generation Y/Millennials
Be able to name and describe three or four
ideas (political/economic/social)
to illustrate the styles and manners of today’s
Group Questions
One Individual needs to be the spokesperson of the group
(Choose a side!!!!)
• Group 1=Politics and Government: Were the 20’s a retreat from
Progressivism or an extension of reform?
• Group 2=Economics: Were the 20’s a business paradise or an
economic black hole?
• Group 3=Cultural Clashes: Was this an age of unlawful protest or
legal repression?
• Group 4=Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs: Are the 20’s best
remembered as a period of isolation or one of internationalism?
• Group 5=Mass Culture: Was the so-called “Jazz Age” characterized
as carefree or insecure?
1. What similarities do you see between the images?
2. What differences do you see between the images?
3. What conflict is being suggested by the images?
Edward Hopper, Automat, 1927
John Sloan, 6th Ave Elevated, 1928
Chapter 25
Patterns of Economic Growth
• Second Industrial Revolution
– Electricity replaced steam
– Modern assembly introduced
• New technologies meant new
industries and business
– Examples: automobiles, radio,
motion pictures, marketing,
advertising, etc…
– Big business weakened
regionalism, brought
uniformity to America
• U.S. developed the highest
standard of living in the world
Economic Weaknesses
Railroads poorly managed
Coal displaced by petroleum
Farmers faced decline in exports, prices
Growing disparity between income of
laborers, middle-class managers
• Middle class speculating with money (stock
Change in Cultural Life
• City Life in the Jazz Age
– Harlem Renaissance-African Americans prominent in music, poetry
• Rapid increase in urban population
– Skyscrapers symbolized the new mass culture
– Communities of home, church, and school were absent in the cities
• Decade was notable for obsessive interest in celebrities and sports
– Celebrities -Charles Lindbergh, Gertrude Ederle
– Sports-Jack Dempsey, Babe Ruth, etc…
• Women starting to challenge conformity (equal rights)
– Flapper Girls (minority)
– Sexual revolution
• 1925: Scopes Trial discredited fundamentalism among intellectuals
– Fundamentalists vs. Modernists
• "Exiled" American writers put U.S. in forefront of world literature
– They were bewildered by the rapid changing social patterns and appalled by the materialism
of America as well as the wastefulness of WWI
– T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, etc…
The Rural Counterattack
• Rural Americans identified urban culture with
Communism, crime, immorality
• Progressives attempted to force reform on the
American people
– Upsurge of bigotry
– An era of repression
Red Scare
• 1919: “Red Scare”
Illegal roundups of innocent people
Forcible deportation of aliens
Terrorism against “radicals,” immigrants
Sacco and Vanzetti executed
• 1925: Klan membership hit 5 million
– Violence, internal corruption resulted in Klan’s virtual
disappearance by 1930
• 1924: National Origins Act
– Quotas favored northern Europeans
– Mexican immigrants exempted from quota
• 18th Amendment gave federal government
power to pass Volstead Act of 1920 that
prohibits production, sale, or transport of
alcoholic beverages
• Consumption of alcohol reduced
• Prohibition resented in urban areas
• Bootlegging became big business (crime
Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover
• Return to "normalcy"
Tariffs raised
Corporate, income taxes cut
Spending cut
Government-business cooperation
• Republican presidents appealed to traditional American
• Coolidge represented America in his austerity and rectitude
• Hoover represented the self-made man
• Urban wing of the Democratic party emerged as the most
powerful force
– Still divided between rural and urban democrats
The Old and the New
• Old historical view: The Depression ended the
spirit of the twenties
• New historical view: The twenties laid the
foundations of modern America