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The 1920s as an Age of Reaction? Guess where this picture was taken?

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Presentation on theme: "The 1920s as an Age of Reaction? Guess where this picture was taken?"— Presentation transcript:

1 The 1920s as an Age of Reaction? Guess where this picture was taken?

2 The 1920s as an Age of Reaction? Women of the Ku Klux Klan Marching in Front of the Broome County Court House

3 What comes to mind when you think about the 1920s? The “New Woman” (Flappers) New Styles & Behaviors Speakeasies & Bootlegging Rapid Economic Expansion The Lost Generation The Harlem Renaissance Political Corruption Historical Context: The Twenties The “Roaring Twenties”

4 Reactions to Rapid Social Change Nativism Political Intolerance Temperance (Prohibition) Christian Fundamentalism Racial Tensions The Twenties Were Also an “Age of Reaction” A Temperance Poster

5 Immigration in the 1920s What is the main idea of the cartoon? What do we call anti- immigrant feelings?

6 Immigration in the 1920s How did the Quota Acts affect American immigration?

7 Nativism Nativism: Anti-immigrant feeling Quota Acts (National Origins Act)… set strict limits on immigration, especially from Eastern & Southern Europe Based on scientific racism Reflected growing nativist & anti- radical sentiment by groups like the KKK

8 The Second Ku Klux Klan Founded at Stone Mountain, GA 1915 by former minister William Simmons Release of film “Birth of a Nation” in 1915 popularized & glamorized the KKK Targeted not just African- Americans but also Jews, Catholics and immigrants in general By mid-1920s national membership reportedly reached 4.5 million

9 The Klan Arrives Broome County This pamphlet was found on people’s doorsteps in Binghamton on March 17, Question: Who do you think the local Ku Klux Klan was targeting? Answer: The Irish and Other Immigrants (especially Catholics and Jews)

10 The Klan Arrives Broome County Klan activity in Broome County first noted on St. Patrick’s Day 1923 when KKK pamphlets were left on doorsteps 20,000 workers (many of whom were immigrants) in the Triple Cities during the 1920s, including 12 E-J factories Local KKK was partly a reaction to this immigration

11 Binghamton as State Klan Headquarters New York State Klan Headquarters Henry & Wall Streets, Binghamton 1923 Binghamton chosen as NYS headquarters for the KKK State-wide conventions held, including cross-burnings and rallies in Endicott & Whitney Point In 1924 George F. Johnson received anonymous letter from a Klan member threatening a boycott of EJ Shoes unless he fired foreign workers Question: What is currently located at this site? Answer: The Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade

12 Klan Rally at Stow Flats Fairgrounds July, 1924

13 Local Klan Meetings

14 What criteria did someone have to meet in order to join the KKK? What does this suggest about how the KKK understood themselves?

15 The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) -Groups like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) fought to outlaw alcohol, prostitution, and other vices -In Broome County, the WCTU appeared to ally with the local KKK. Why would they do that?

16 Religious Revival 1920s Marked a Rise in Religious Fervor Question: What is Christian Fundamentalism? Answer: A strict, literal interpretation of the Bible. “Sister” Aimee, Billy Sunday, and Other Radio Evangelists Reached Mass AudiencesBilly Sunday What was the topic of Billy Sunday’s sermon in this clip? “Sister” Aimee McPherson

17 The Scopes “Monkey” Trial -High School teacher John Scopes is tried for teaching evolution in Tennessee Clarence Darrow & William Jennings Bryan -Became a debate on evolution & religious fundamentalism -First major trial to reach a mass audience as it was broadcast live on the radio

18 Putting It All Together… How did Christian Fundamentalists embrace aspects of modernism even as they appeared to struggle against it?

19 Race Riots The period between 1919 and 1921 was marked by violent race riots in northern cities. Why might this have happened? Chicago, 1919

20 The Red Scare A. Mitchell Palmer, U.S. Attorney General -Bombs Sent to Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer & Other Government Officials -Palmer Raids: 10,000 Suspected Communists & Anarchists Arrested -249 Deported to Soviet Union -Labor Unions like IWW targeted “Put Them Out and Keep Them Out,” The Philadelphia Inquirer (1919)

21 Sacco & Vanzetti Trial Sacco & Vanzetti -Italian Immigrants & Anarchists -Convicted of Murder w/out Much Evidence -Reflects both Nativism & Anti- Radicalism -Controversial Execution

22 Putting It All Together… Why would there have been so much fear of radicalism after 1917? Hint: What else was happening in other parts of the world at this time?

23 Closing Reflection What label should we use to characterize the 1920s?

24 The Twenties ? The Jazz Age The Age of Business The Roaring Twenties The Age of Reaction The Conservative Decade


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