Roaring Twenties by liuqingyan


Chapter 34: American Life in the “Roaring twenties” 1919-1929
Post-war Disillusionment 1919-1921
Rise of Intolerance
   Bloodied by war
   Disillusioned by the peace
   Twenty years crusading for causes
       Made people weary
       Mood of the country changed
   Hysterical fears of red Russia
       Bolshevik Revolution 1917
       Labor troubles at war’s end
   Red Scare 1919-1920
       Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer
           Palmer Raids
               Drive to root out radicals
                                                                      Radicals on the Run 1919
       Used by business to break unions      American Legion joined the anti-Bolshevik chorus
       Deportation of aliens                                       Attacking the “enemy reds”
           SOS—Ship or shoot
    American Attitudes

    Mood of Progressivism          Mood of the Twenties
   Sympathy for the underdog         Every man for himself
   Self-sacrifice                    Tired of sacrifice
   Cultural dissent                  No cultural dissent
       Muckrakers                        KKK
       Reformers                         Patriotic societies
   Social experimentation            Conformity
                                      Live for today
   Improve the world
                                          After war
   Crusade for causes                        Craved speed, excitement
       Square Deal, New Freedom      Isolationism
       Great War                     Cultural, ethnic and political
Presidents 1920-1932

Warren G. Harding (R)   Calvin Coolidge (R)   Herbert Hoover (R)
1921-1923               1923-1929             1929-1933
Election of 1920
Election of 1920
Return to Normalcy
   Warren G. Harding (R)
   Calvin Coolidge (VP)
       Repudiation of Wilson
       Republicanism                                 Harding campaigning for president
                                                        Making a recording of a speech
       Isolationism                                                              1920

       Tired of idealism and self-sacrifice
   James Cox(D)
   Franklin Roosevelt (VP)
   Eugene V. Debs (Socialist)
       Federal prisoner
       Largest vote ever for a left-wing Socialist
   Women vote for the first time
Election of 1920
President Warren G. Harding
   Ohio gang
   Prosperous, small town newspaper editor
   Easy going, folksy, considered handsome
   Ill-informed
   Utterly dependant on subordinates
   Poor choice of friends
   Normalcy
   Washington Naval Conference 1921-1922
   Teapot Dome Scandal
   Died in office 1923
Intolerance in the 1920s

                         Red Scare
               Sacco-Vanzetti Case
                       Rise of KKK
                 Immigration Laws
Sacco-Vanzetti Case 1921-1927
   Murder of a Massachusetts paymaster and his guard
   Sacco and Vanzetti convicted in 1921
       Italians
       Atheists
       Anarchists
       Draft dodgers
   Judge and jury prejudiced
   Case dragged on for six years
   Executed
   Became martyrs for radical causes
Intolerance Became an
American Virtue
   Conform
   Creation of “patriotic societies”
   Rise of the Ku Klux Klan
       Anti- Negro
       Anti-Jew
       Anti-Catholic
       Anti-immigrant
       Anti-internationalist
       Anti-gambling
       Anti-evolutionist
       White supremacy
           WASP
   Peak—5 million dues-paying members
   As years pass, wartime emotions ebb
       Loss of support                       Ku Klux Klan parade
           Exposure of money-making scheme               40,000 men
                                              Brazen display of power
                                                    Washington 1926
Ku Klux Klan parade in Washington, D.C.
September 13, 1926
In a brazen display of power, the Ku Klux Klan organized a march in the
nation's capital in 1926. By this time, the Klan was already in decline.
Ku Klux Klan pamphlet
"America for Americans"
This image is from a Ku Klux
Klan pamphlet published in
the mid-1920s, when the Klan
claimed as many as five
million members nationwide.
The Klan portrayed itself as
defending traditional, white,
Protestant America against
Jews, Catholics, and African
Intolerance and
   War-destitute Europeans flooded to America
   Hostility to foreign influx
   Immigration Act 1924
       National Origins Act
           Established quotas based on
               1890 census
               Nation of origin
           Targeted southern and eastern Europeans
       Exclusion of all Asians
           Broke the Gentlemen’s Agreement 1908
   Results
       Immigrant tide cut-off
       Departure in American policy
       By 1931 more foreigners left than arrived       The Only Way to Handle It
       Triumph of nativism
           Blond-haired, blue-eyed northern European
Immigration and Quota Laws
The Prohibition Experiment

               Eighteenth Amendment 1919
                        Noble Experiment
                        Volstead Act 1920
Prohibition 1920s
   Eighteenth Amendment 1919
       Noble Experiment
   Volstead Act 1920
       Outlawed liquor
   Popular in the Midwest and the South
   Created a nation of criminals
       50% of all crime involved alcohol
       Gangsterism
       Racketeering           Haul by police liquor squad
       Bootlegging                    Cases of moonshine
                                       Washington, D.C. 1922
           Bathtub gin
           Moonshine
           Accounted for 100 million gallons per year
       Speakeasies
            Texas Guinan
  Queen of the Nightclubs
 Operated “speakeasies” in
          New York City
Chicago, Capone
   Chicago
       Most spectacular example of lawlessness
       Rival gangs
       Al Capone “Scarface”
           Bootlegging
           “Public Enemy Number One”
           St.Valentine’s Day Massacre 1929
               Shocked the public
               Forced the federal government to act
               Prohibition Repealed
                   21st Amendment 1933
           Finally convicted of income tax evasion
   Prostitution, gambling, narcotics, “protection money”
   Racketeering
       Easy, lucrative, illegitimate scheme made possible through bribery and
Science and Fundamentalism

                    Scopes Trial
Scopes Monkey Trial 1925
Dayton, Tennessee

Modernism                          Fundamentalism

   Origin of the Species             Bible
   Darwin’s theory of evolution      God created the world
   John Scopes arrested              Violated Tennessee law
   Clarence Darrow                   William Jennings Bryan
   Biology                           Theology
   Reconcile religious beliefs       Belief in the letter of the
    with science                       Bible
   Majority of country               South—Bible Belt
Clarence Darrow at the Scopes Evolution trial
Darrow's passionate devotion to freedom of thought, led him to the
courtroom pictured here, in defense of John Thomas Scopes, a teacher
accused of teaching the theory of evolution.
Mass Consumption Economy
           Age of Ballyhoo
                 Sports as business
                       Bull Market
1920s Mass Consumption Economy
   Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon
       Tax policies favored expansion
   Rapid expansion of capital investment
   Ingenious machines
       Refrigerators
       Vacuum cleaners
       Radios
   Powered by relatively cheap energy
   Assembly-line production
   New industries
       Electric power
       Automobile industry
       Movies
   Advertising
       Persuasion, seduction, sexual suggestion
       Ballyhoo
   Installment buying
                                               Rudolph Valentino
                                                  as the “Sheik”
General Electric ad
Electric appliances
  Commonplace in the 1920s
  Advanced the consumer economy
Note daughter and mother
Domestic tasks made easier by
  Electric range
  Vacuum cleaner
Ford ad
Henry Ford constantly worked
to reduce car prices.

He also promoted installment
buying, promising in this ad that
"with even the most modest
income, [every family] can now
afford a car of their own."

This ad also encouraged impulse
"You live but once and the years roll
by quickly. Why wait for tomorrow
for things that you rightfully should
enjoy today?"
Autos and the Gasoline Age
   Detroit—motor capital of America
   1908—8,000 cars (for the rich)
   Henry Ford
       Model T (“Tin Lizzie”) $260
         Mass production techniques cut costs
           1913—300,00 cars
               Cost 2 year’s wages
           Cheap, rugged, reliable
           By 1925 finished auto every ten seconds
               Cost 3 month’s wages                   Henry Ford 1896
           By 1930 Americans owned 30 million cars
       Autobuses made school consolidation possible
       Cities explode/Sprawling suburbs
       Convenience, pleasure, excitement
   New Roads
   Gasoline stations
   Leisure hours spent joyriding
The Cost of a Model T Ford 1908–1924
Ford Highland Park
Assembly line 1928
•Assembly line for Model-A
 Fords, at Ford's main assembly
•Workers quickly perform the
  same task on car after car as
  the chassis moves past
  them at the rate of six feet per
     •Pioneered the assembly
        line as a way to reduce
        cost and dependence on
        skilled workers.
     •Paid the highest wages in
       Detroit but required
       complete obedience from
       his workers, even to the
       point of prohibiting
       whistling while at work.
Hundreds of identical Fords jam
Nantasket Beach
Near Boston
Fourth of July in the early 1920s
Mulholland Drive (William Mulholland—brought water to the city/Los Angeles Aqueduct)
Biggest land development to date
Los Angeles, California 1924
Impact of Automobiles
   Gigantic new industry
   Displaced steel from its kingpin role
   By 1930
       Employed directly or indirectly 6 million people
   Wellspring of the nation’s prosperity
   Supporting industries
       Petroleum
       Rubber
       Glass
       Fabrics
       Highway construction
       Service and garage stations
   Rise in the standard of living
   Speedy marketing of perishable foods
   Hard hit railroad industry
   Americans—love affair with the automobile
   1890s Guglielmo Marconi
       Wireless telegraphy
       Used for long-range communications in WWI
   KDKA in Pittsburgh
       First commercially licensed radio station in U.S.
       Broadcast news of Harding landslide
   Family gathered for regular programs
   Knitted nation together
   Simultaneous experiences
       Sports events broadcast to millions
       Music of famous artists and orchestras to countless homes
Radio ad
Between 1922 and 1930
 Families owning radios swelled from
   60,000 to almost 14 million
Manufacturers such as RCA
 Produced a variety of sizes and shapes
 Took out full-page advertisements in
Popular publications to
 Inform the public
 Latest design and technology
Commercialized Sport in America
   Baseball
       Babe Ruth
           Sultan of Swat
           The Bambino
           Homerun King
       Yankee Stadium
           “The House that Ruth Built.”
   Boxing
       Jack Dempsey
           Heavyweight champ 1921
   Golf
       Bobby Jones
           Grand Slam
               The Open and Amateur Championships in U.S. and Britain
           Designed Augusta National course
           Founded the Masters Tournament
               Played at Augusta in March 1934
                                                        Babe Ruth
                                                    Widespread appeal
                           One of the country's first sports superstars
Photograph of his mighty home run swing appears on a school notebook
                  Shows the new link between sports and consumerism
Birth of Aviation 1903
Miracle at Kitty Hawk

   Orville and Wilbur Wright
    Invented and
    built the
    world's first

                                                       The Wright Brother’s “Wright Flyer”
                    Orville Wright at the controls, lifted off in sustained, controlled flight.
           This first heavier-than-air flight traveled a mere one hundred twenty feet, and
                                                                 lasted only twelve seconds.
                                                                         December 17, 1903
                                                                              North Carolina
Lindbergh’s Solo Flight to Paris 1927
   First successful solo flight New York to Paris
       May 1927
       33 hours, 39 minutes
   Charles Augustus Lindbergh
       “Lucky Lindy”
       The ultimate hero
       Idolized
           Romance
           Chivalry
           Handsome
           Brave
           Self-dedication
   “Spirit of St. Louis”
In a celebrity-obsessed
decade, Lindbergh
rocketed to instant fame
after his 1927 solo
transatlantic flight.
National Air and Space Museum
Kidnapping of the
Lindbergh baby
Hollywood and Films
   1890s Thomas Edison
       First “contraption” for flickering movies
   Nickelodeons
       Five-cent theaters
   The Great Train Robbery 1903
                                     Gloria Swanson
       First story sequence
   Silent movies & “stars”
       Rudolph Valentino
       Charlie Chaplin
       Gloria Swanson                                Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford,
                                                        Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffiths

   Eclipsed all other amusement
   The Jazz Singer 1927
       First talkie
       Al Jolson
Al Jolson
The Jazz Singer
Revolution in Manners and Morals

                         Margaret Sanger
                                 Jazz Age
                      Harlem Renaissance
                       Literary Liberation
New Order in Manners and Morals
 Accelerated by
1. Growing independence of women
2. Freud’s teachings
        For mental health must have uninhibited sex life
3.       Prohibition
        Lawlessness
4.       Automobile
        Freedom to move
5.       Sex and movie magazines
        Opened opportunity for all to take in sex scandals
6.       Post-war disillusionment
Birth Control
   National Women’s Party 1923
       Alice Paul                              Alice Paul

   Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
       Passed Congress in 1972
       Fell short of ratification 1982
                                                    Margaret Sanger
   Contraceptive Use
       Margaret Sanger
   Flappers                                                          flappers
       Bobbed hair
       Dress hemlines elevated
       Stockings rolled up
       Cheeks rouged
       Cigarette smoking
       Devil-may-care independence
                                Clara Bow
                                The “it” girl
Sexual Revolution
   New sexual frankness
   Advertisers exploited sexual allure to sell everything
   Dr. Sigmund Freud
       Birth of the science of psychology
       Sexual repression responsible for nervous and emotional ills
   Taboos flew out the window
       Danced to jazz music
       Darkened movie theaters

                         King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band
         Oliver came to Chicago from New Orleans 1918
                      First important black jazz ensemble
Louis Armstrong
• Born in 1900
• First began to play the
  trumpet in New Orleans
• Emerged as a leading
  innovator in jazz after
  1924, when he joined
  Fletcher Henderson's
  orchestra in New York.
• Some of his recordings
  from the 1920s are
  among the most original
  and imaginative
  contributions to jazz.
Harlem Renaissance
    Vibrant, creative culture
    Langston Hughes
        “Poet Laureate of Harlem”
            The Weary Blues
                His first volume of verses
    Jazz Music
                                                                                                     Weary Blues
        Born in New Orleans                                         Cover design evokes the connection between
        Nurtured and grows in Harlem                                       music and poetry that was part of the
                                                                                             Harlem Renaissance
        Louis Armstrong
        Duke Ellington
            Composer pianist and big ban leader
            Prominent figure in the history of jazz
            Music stretched into various other genres including
                Blues, gospel, film scores, popular and classical
            Career spanned more than 50 years                     Louis Armstrong
                                                       Played trumpet in New Orleans
                                       Emerged as a leading innovator in jazz after1924
                                   Joined Fletcher Henderson's orchestra in New York
Literary Liberation
   H.L. Mencken
       American Mercury
       Journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist
       Acerbic critic of American life and culture
       Notably attacked ignorance, intolerance, "frauds,"
        fundamentalist Christianity
       One of the most influential American writers and prose stylists
        of the first half of the 20th century
   F. Scott Fitzgerald
       This Side of Paradise 1920
           A kind of Bible for the young
       The Great Gatsby 1925
           Glamour, cruelty of achievement oriented society
                                                         F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
                                                                  On the Riviera1926
Literary Liberation
         Ernest Hemingway
             Served in WWI
             Affected by the war
                 The Sun Also Rises 1926
                     Disillusioned American expatriates in Europe
                 A Farewell to Arms 1929
                     One of the finest novels about the war experience
         Sinclair Lewis
             Main Street 1920
                 One woman’s unsuccessful war against provincialism
             Babbitt 1922
                 Prosperous, vulgar middle-class conformity to materialism
         William Faulkner
             Soldier’s Pay 1926
                 Bitter war novel
             The Sound and the Fury 1929
                 Life in the deep south
New York City
   Skyscrapers
       Product of the machine age
       Buildings thrust upwards
       Empire State Building
           102 stories
           Tallest building in the world
           Dedicated in 1931
   Frank Lloyd Wright
       Considered one of the greatest
        American architects
       Buildings should grow from their sites

                                 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh
Golden Twenties

Florida Land Boom 1925-1926
                 Bull Market
                              Twenties Boom
   Florida Land Boom 1924-1925                                   Stock Market speculation
       Causes                                                    Orgy of boom-or-bust trading
           Wildcat scheme in real estate                         Coolidge encouraged the
                Bold business venture brings wealth
           Confidence brought on by                              Buying on margin
            Coolidge                                                  Small down payments
           Climate
           Accessibility of Florida to
                                                                  Lure of easy money and profits
            populous northern cities                              No curbs from Washington to
           Auto made nation of nomads                             discourage the money-mad
           Revolt against urbanization                            speculation
       BUST 1926                                                 Catch phrases of the day
            People failed to pay                                     “Never Sell America short”
            Banks failed
                                                                      “Be a bull on America”
            Hurricane devastated the
            “gold coast”
                      West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens,
                     Boca Raton, Pompano Beach, Hollywood,
                                   Fort Lauderdale and Miami

To top