Presentation on theme: "Characteristics of the Twenties"— Presentation transcript:
1 1920s: Themes, Advertising and Attitudes towards Consumerism/Mass Media
2 Characteristics of the Twenties Mass-Produced consumer goodsFarm depressionConsolidation of CompaniesNorthern and Southern disparityElectrificationLabor Unions stagnantAutomobileWomen’s economic rights stagnantRising Stock PricesRacismCapital expansion abroad, yet high Tariffs stifle foreign tradeArts develop (Jazz and Harlem Renaissance)Conservative politics were dominant
3 The Growth of Consumerism The 1920s saw the growth of the culture of consumerism--many Americans began to work fewer hours, earn higher salaries, invest in the stock market, and buy everything from washing machines to Model T Fords.
4 ConsumerismMore people in cities than farms; African-American migration (40% of 12 million blacks in Northern cities; 1st black congressman – de Priest – from Chicago)Leisure culture emerged since people had more time on their handsAutomobile (vacations, traffic, accidents – horses!)Tractors available for credit, but led to increased production – bad for prices!Increased family cohesiveness or decreased it?Class division widened due to suburban living and shorter commuting times over longer distancesWomen empowered (appliances, electricity; energy consumption increased; store-bought food, clothes, food prep easier)Increased need for oil, gas, rubber
6 Mass Production Consumer Goods Electrification Automobile 8 Million (1920) to 23 Million (1930)GM offered new colors (Ford, black)9% all wages earned from manufacturingStock prices rose due to rising sales, productivity, and mergers
7 Rising Popularity of Cars Cost-- The price of automobiles declined steadily until the mid-1920s so that many well-paid working families could now afford to purchase a car.Credit-- In 1925, Americans made 75% of all automobile purchases on the installment plan “Possess today and pay tomorrow.”
8 Henry Ford’s assembly line technique for mass-producing cars.
9 Main Sources of Economic Boom “Fordism”Effect of WWI on technology.Scientific management - efficiency experts: "Taylorism"Rapid increase in worker productivityPsychology of consumptionRelations between the federal government and big business
10 Automobile IndustryAnnual automobile production rose from 2 million during the 1920s to 5.5 million in 1929.By the late 1920s, there was one automobile for every five Americans.Mass Production & Assembly Lines were improved and became very self-evident.
11 EconomyCapital expansion abroad – hence political engagements (Roosevelt-Wilson)Meatpackers (Argentina)United Fruit (Latin America)Copper Mines (Chile)Private investment abroad increased xHigh tariffs stifled foreign exports (and imports)Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922)Smoot-Hawley (1930)Exports fell as a % of GNP – retaliatory tariffs!
12 Fordney-McCumber Tariff TariffsUnderwood Tariff of 1913Fordney-McCumber Tariff27%38.5%Republicans wanted to keep a prosperous home market for American business, so the tariff was raised in 1922.When European nations retaliated and raised the tariffs, all trade was hurt.Smoot-Hawley Tariff (1933) did the same thing.
13 North and SouthMove away from agriculture due to a depression after the first few years of the 1920s – falling European demand for US goodsAverage unskilled laborerNorth: 47c/hr; South: 28c/hrTextile Companies moved south, NE mill towns sufferedWomen, Mexican-Americans, Blacks (“Last hired, first fired”)Farmers – grain prices fell (US Army stopped purchases, Europe agriculture recovered)Protective tariff depressed exports, farm income fell 60%Borrowers defaulted…
14 an agri. depression in early 1920's contributed to an urban migration U.S. farmers lost agri. markets in postwar Europeat same time agri. efficiency increased so more food produced (more food = lower prices) and fewer labourers neededso farming was no longer as prosperous, and bankers called in their loans (farms repossessed)so American farmers enter the Depression in advance of the rest of society
15 Black Americans in this period continued to live in poverty sharecropping kept them in de facto slaveryboll weevil wiped out the cotton cropwhite landowners went bankrupt & forced blacks off their land
16 Blacks moved north to take advantage of booming wartime industry (= Great Migration) - Black ghettoes began to form, i.e. Harlemwithin these ghettoes a distinct Black culture flourishedBut both blacks and whites wanted cultural interchange restricted
18 Marcus Garvey (Jamaican born immigrant) established the Universal Negro Improvement Association believed in Black prideadvocated racial segregation b/c of Black superiorityGarvey believed Blacks should return to Africahe purchased a ship to start the Black Star lineattracted many investments: gov't charged him with w/fraudhe was found guilty and eventually deported to Jamaica, but his organization continued to exist
19 A Society in Conflict Sacco-Vanzetti Trial Anti-immigrant National Origins ActDiscriminationSacco-Vanzetti TrialItalian immigrantsUnfair trial (judge partial)
20 for immigrants – the point of origin had shifted to S & E Europe and new religions appeared: Jewish, Orthodox, CatholicN. European immigrants of early 19c. feared this shift and felt it would undermine Protestant valuesthis fear was known as NATIVISMmany wanted Congress to restrict immigration, leading to a quota system that favoured n. areas of Europefear of immigrants (from SE Europe) led to a sentiment known as the Red Scare (fear of comm. post-Bolshevik Rev.)basic comm. advocates a int'l revolution by the proletariat/workers - fears that this ideology could find its way into the U.S.
21 The Red ScareFearing communists, anarchist, and socialists, America turned against these common people.Raids were executed by the Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer who hunted down the radicals and “reds” in response to fears of a growing socialist populace in the US.
22 On April 15, 1920, two men robbed and murdered a paymaster and his guard as they transferred $15,776 from the Slater and Morrill Shoe factory. Three weeks later, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were accused and arrested for this crime, despite the little evidence against them. They were convicted, but their appeals lasted 6 years afterward.Both men were executed for their "crimes."Sacco-Vanzetti Case
23 at this time, W. Wilson was gravely ill following a stroke his Attorney General, A. Mitchell Palmer, wanted to take a shot at the presidency - he used fears of both immigrants and communism to his advantagehe had J. Edgar Hoover round up suspected radicals, many of which were deported (Palmer Raids)
24 The Ku Klux Klan In power Great increase Anti-black Anti-immigrant Anti-SemiticAnti-CatholicAnti-women’s suffrageAnti-bootleggers
25 Fundamentalism “Old-time religion” – literary reading of the Bible as scriptureTeaching of Darwinism evolution prohibited in public schools“Monkey Trial” – John T. Scopes, a biology teacher, was convicted and fined for $ of teaching evolution to his students. The fine was later thrown out because of a technicality.
26 High School Biology teacher Scopes “Monkey” TrialEvolution vs. CreationismScience vs. ReligionFamous LawyersDayton, TennesseeJohn ScopesHigh School Biology teacher
27 PROHIBITION - on manuf. and sale of alcohol 18th AMENDMENT (1919)an outgrowth of the long-time temperance movementin WWI, temperance became a patriotic mvmt. - drunkenness caused low productivity & inefficiency, and alcohol needed to treat the woundeda difficult law to enforce... organized crime, speakeasies, bootleggers were on the riseAl Capone virtually controlled Chicago in this period - capitalism at its zenith…Prohibition finally ended in w/ the 21st Amendmentforced organized crime to pursue other interests…
28 Prohibition Volstead Act untouchables Gangsters 18th Amendment Al Capone
29 New Productivity 40% increase due to assembly lines Con: Discouraged individuality, limited pride in work skills, limited prospects for advancementPro: Fordism (“decent wages”)Consolidation of companies by 1930100 companies controlled 50% of US BusinessModernization of business – professional managersIncreased wages led to increase in buying powerDealerships/ chain stores/ air conditioningJC as a successful businessman of popular story! The Man Nobody Knows by Bruce Barton (1925)AdvertisingCredit purchases 75% of auto sales by 1929Harding and Coolidge pro business (“The business of America…”)
30 Labor 5 million to 3.4 million (1920-1929) Wages increased, limited clout of unionsCraft unions (RR, printing etc) not needed in mass- production facilitiesManagement thugs – union violence still highNon-union shop: “Open Shop” – the “America Plan”Black membership of unions low, even though AFL prohibited discrimination82,000 members nation-wideMost blacks hired as scabs
31 HardingRepublican base = corporate leaders, northern farmers, businesspeople, native-born white-collar workers, professionals, some skilled blue-collar laborersDemocrat base = white South, immigrant citiesAppointments:Good: Henry Wallace (Agriculture); Charles Evans Hughes (Sec State); Andrew Mellon (Treasury); Hoover (Commerce)Bad: Daugherty (AG); Fall (Interior); Forbes (Vet. Affairs – even though he was a draft dodger!)Scandals – influence peddling, stealing funds, Teapot Dome (Fall)
32 Harding Pro-BusinessHigh tariff, low taxes (and inheritance tax) – “trickle- down” theoryOverturning anti-business reforms (Keating-Owens Act overturned by Supreme Court)NO aid for Flood victims in 1927, but a Flood Control Act of 1928McNary-Haugen benefited farmers, but vetoed twice by Coolidge (pushed farmers to the Democrats)
33 Warren G. HardingWarren G. Harding was elected to the Presidency in 1920 in which he urged a "return to normalcy." (Policies of the “Guilded Age”)Generally conservative, especially regarding taxes, tariffs, immigration restriction, labor rights, and business regulation. (laissez-faire)Harding's administration was marked by corruption and scandal. (Teapot Dome Scandal)Died of a stroke in office in August 1923.
34 President Coolidge “The business of America is business.” Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922)Promote business, independence, foreign agreements.Smoot-Hawley Tariff (1930)Worsened depression, raised tariff to the point where foreign gov’ts retaliatedNo help for farmersForeign Policy
35 Calvin CoolidgeAfter Harding’s death, Calvin Coolidge soon took the place of Harding, but did little as vice president.When he assumed the presidency after Harding's death, he acted quickly to repair the damage of the Harding administrations scandals and to secure the presidential nomination.He was easily elected over Democrat John W. Davis and Progressive Robert M. La Follette.Near the end of his second term, Coolidge decided not to run for president again and retired from politics.His policies included federal tax cuts and high tariffs, but he lost favor during the Great Depression.
36 International Affairs No League, no International Court of Justice for USA“Independent Internationalism” allowed US economic interests to be promotedWashington Naval Arms ConferenceKellogg-Briand Pact (General Treaty for the Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy) – (1928)A new Isolationism
37 Why was the USA isolationist ? Tradition…….Dislike of the ‘old world’ (Europe)…….Dangerous ideas……US soldiers in the First World War………
38 TraditionIsolationism had always been part of America’s policy towards the rest of the world. The USA had only joined the war when forced to.
39 Dislike of the old world Most Americans had moved from Europe to start new lives. They wanted to leave Europe behind.
40 Dangerous ideasEurope was full of ideas that Americans feared such as anarchy, socialism, marxism, communism. They wanted to be cut off from such ideas.
41 US Soldiers USA lost 112,432 men in WW1 They wanted to avoid any future wars !
42 1920's also brought about great changes for women... th Amendment gave them the federal voteafter 1920, social circumstances changed too as more women worked outside the homeand more women went to college and clamoured to join the professionswomen didn't want to sacrifice wartime gains - amounted to a social revoltcharacterized by the FLAPPER/ "new woman"(bobbed hair, short dresses, smoked in public...)
43 Women Cigarettes = “torches of freedom” Make-up = “Hope in a Jar” Home: delegate “to electricity all that electricity can do”Wage discrimination:Ex Meatpacking trimmer (male: 52c/hr; female: 37c/hr)Corp. Offices (file clerks, secretaries, typists)High School graduation rates increase 12% by 1930; College degrees x3 to 50,000 between 1920 and 1930Nursing, Libraries, and TEACHING predominant jobs
44 Successes and limits of 19th Amendment “Feminine Charm” (material consumer culture cut through “civic idealism” of previous generation)Child Labor Laws; Protection of women workers; Federal support for educationSheppard-Towner Act – rural prenatal and baby-care centersKeating-Owens (1916) struck down in 1922Women’s protective laws (1923)Child Labor amendment not ratified (1924)Sheppard-Towner Act expired (“threat to monopoly of health business by physicians”)
45 EntertainmentMagazine circulation increased (Readers’ Digest, Saturday Evening Post)Book-of-the-Month began (1926)Radio (1920 election results, 1921 World Series)NBC (1926), CBS (1927), “Amos ‘n’ Andy” (1928)CelebritiesChaplin, Rudolph Valentino, Mary Pickford, Cecil B. De Mille (Ten Commandments – 1923); Al Jolson (The Jazz Singer – 1927); Mickey Mouse (Steamboat Willie – 1928)Hollywood “cabal” (Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures, Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer) – evoked rural life, but lived in cities/studios
46 Motion PicturesMotion picture production became one of the ten largest industries in the United States during the 1920s.In 1922, theaters sold 40 million tickets a week.By 1929, that number had grown to 100 million a week.
47 The Dawning of RadiosThe first commercial radio station went on the air in the 1920s in Pittsburgh.By 1922, 3 million American households had radios.
48 Celebrity CultureCharles Lindbergh – mechanized/standardized time, still room for individual heroismBaseball – Ty Cobb (4,191 hits), Babe Ruth (1927 – 60 homers)Boxing – Jack Dempsey
49 Celebrities Babe Ruth &Ty Cobb Charles Lindbergh The Spirit of St. LouisJack Dempsey
50 The 20’s is The Jazz Age The Flappers Writers Musicians make up cigarettesshort skirtsWritersF. Scott FitzgeraldErnest HemingwayMusiciansLouis ArmstrongDuke Ellington
51 Artists of the 1920sMoodily lampooned/mourned/ridiculed materialism of the periodFitzgerald Great GatsbySinclair Lewis Main Street, BabbittH.L. Mencken The American Mercury – ridicule and satireHemingway The Sun Also Rises, etcPaintersHopper, Thomas Hart Benton – Urban and small town reminiscenceGershwin and Copland
52 Harlem Artists “New Negro Movement” or “Flowering of Negro Literature” Painters, writers, musicians all congregated in Harlem cabarets (nightclub restaurant)Challenged traditional values, and usually were from middle class backgroundsCatalogued racial inequities in American life, especially the turbulence of urban cultureWhites came to escape the taboos of white urban culture, but the places that were “spontaneous” and “primitive” and “spiritual” featured black artists without allowing blacks in the audience (Cotton Club)Symbol of racial achievement, most of all, which inspired future artists (James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison etc
53 Langston HughesI’ve known rivers: I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. I looked upon the Nile and raised pyramids above it. I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset. Ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the rivers
54 Harlem (1951)What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore – And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over – Like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags Like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
55 Other authors and personalities of the Harlem Renaissance Zora Neale HurstonJoyce Sims CarringtonGeorge SchuylerA. Philip RandolphRudolph FisherWalter WhiteJean Toomer
56 Jazz Sidney Bechet Duke Ellington Bessie Smith Louis Armstrong Mamie Smith (*)Bix BeiderbeckeMa RaineyNick LaRocca – “The Original Dixieland Jazz Band”Ella FitzgeraldBillie HolidayLet’s listen to Bechet, Oliver, Armstrong, and some Ellington…Marian Anderson (*)King Oliver
73 Effects of Commercialization “It would be idle to assert that life on the farm occupies as good a position of dignity, desirability, and business results as farmers might easily give it if they chose. One of the chief difficulties is the failure of country life, as it exists at the present, to satisfy the higher social and intellectual aspirations of country people.” -Teddy Roosevelt (1909)
75 Amos and Andy Amos and Andy, with Rinso Commercial Note the use of music – the Rinso whistle!What other cultural characteristics do you notice (in reference to the 1920s?)How does the show treat African Americans? (Note the names: “Kingfish”, and “Henry Van Porter”, the words the characters use, and the expressions they make)Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll – who are they?
76 Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll … Surprised Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll … Surprised? Blackface/Minstrel Shows common at the time
77 Practice Question (1 of 2) Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon’s policies did which of the following? a. Reduced income tax-rates for the wealthy to release money for private investment b. Provided aid to the Allies during the First World War c. Provided federal guarantees for bank deposits. d. Restricted loans to Mexico after the Tampico and Veracruz incidents e. Combated the Depression by giving lower-income groups more purchasing power.
78 Practice Question (2 of 2) The assembly-line production of Henry Ford’s Model T automobile resulted in which of the following by the end of the 1920s? a. A sharp degrease in railroad passenger traffic b. The federal government’s abandonment of research on air travel c. The development of a large international market for American automobiles d. Widespread purchase of automobiles by average American families e. Construction of the federal interstate highway system
79 Practice QuestionWhich of the following emerged during the Progressive Era as the most influential advocate of full political, economic, and social equality for Black Americans? a. W.E.B. Du Bois b. Frederick Douglas c. Booker T. Washington d. Ida B. Wells e. Langston Hughes
80 Practice QuestionWhich of the following best describes the Harlem Renaissance? a. The rehabilitation of a decaying urban area b. An outpouring of Black artistic and literary creativity c. The beginning of the NAACP d. The most famous art show of the early twentieth century e. The establishment of motion picture palaces
81 Election of 1928Hoover (R) v Smith (D) – first Catholic! V Thomas (Socialists)Smith garnered large urban votes, rural midwest (hard- pressed farmers who didn’t like Coolidge OR Hoover’s S of C role)Hoover: American Individualism (1922)Self-made, but praised big businessLimited government involvement, cooperative social/economic order should be led by capitalists, not government
82 Herbert HooverHaving served as secretary of commerce under both Harding and Coolidge, Hoover was elected to the presidency in 1928, helped by the prevailing prosperity in the country.Hoover had been in office just a few months when the Great Depression began.In 1932, he lost the presidential election to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
83 Black ThursdayWhen the “Bull” market began to rise, many people started to buy stock on margin.Black Thursday, October 24th, 1929, 13,000,000 shares were sold.There was not enough collateral to back up stock margin.The next day, October 25th, J.P. Morgan and many bankers bought huge blocks of shares to stabilize the market.
84 The Beginning of What was Thought to be the End On October 29, 1929, 16,400,000 shares took a downturn for the worse.The stock market began to collapseOver the next two months, 40 billion dollarsworth of stock disappeared into thin air.The Great Depression soon followedas thousands of banks closed their doors.