Presentation on theme: "LIFE & CULTURE IN AMERICA IN THE 1920S"— Presentation transcript:
1LIFE & CULTURE IN AMERICA IN THE 1920S The Roaring TwentiesLIFE & CULTURE IN AMERICA IN THE 1920S
2America at the Start of the Decade Victorious in World War ITreaty of Versailles defeatedPeriod of isolationismRepublican ascendancyBy the dawn of the 1920s, the United States had emerged from World War I as one of the world’s superpowers; however, it remained unwilling to accept the role of world leader. President Woodrow Wilson fell short of his goal of “making the world safe for democracy” with the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations when the Senate rejected the treaty. Without a U.S. presence in the League of Nations, the international organization lacked the credibility needed to maintain world peace.Unwilling to consider the possibility of sending U.S. soldiers into another foreign war, most Americans favored an isolationist policy in dealing with international affairs. The election of Warren Harding in 1920 began a period of Republican Party dominance that lasted throughout the decade: from 1921 until 1933, Republicans controlled both the White House and Congress.
3Americans on the Move 1920s: Urbanization still accelerating New York 5 millionChicago 3 million
4Demographical Changes Migration NorthAfrican Americans moving north at rapid pace.Struggles:Faced hatred from whitesForced low wages
5URBAN VS. RURAL Farms started to struggle post-WWI. 6 million moved to urban areasUrban life was considered a world of anonymous crowds, strangers, moneymakers, and pleasure seekers.Rural life was considered safe, with close personal ties, hard work and morals.
6THE TWENTIES WOMANAfter the tumult of World War I, Americans were looking for a little fun in the 1920s.Women were independent and achieving greater freedoms.
7THE FLAPPER Challenged the traditional ways. Revolution of manners and morals.A Flapper was an emancipated young woman who embraced the new fashions and urban attitudes.
8NEW ROLES FOR WOMENEarly 20th Century teachersMany women entered the workplace as nurses, teachers, librarians, & secretaries.Earned less than men and were prevented from obtaining certain jobs.
9PROHIBITIONOne example of the clash between city & farm was the passage of the 18th Amendment in 1920.Launched era known as ProhibitionMade it illegal to make, distribute, sell, transport or consume liquor.Prohibition lasted from 1920 to 1933 when it was repealed by the 21st Amendment
10SPEAKEASIES AND BOOTLEGGERS Sinful activity?Reaction by immigrantsSpeakeasiesBootleggersAll of these activities became closely affiliated with …smuggled liquor from Canada, Cuba and the West IndiesReaction by immigrant groups were not willing to give up drinkingSpeakeasies
11Al Capone was finally convicted on tax evasion charges in 1931 ORGANIZED CRIMEProhibition contributed to the growth of organized crime in major citiesAl CaponeChicago, Illinoisfamous bootlegger60 million yr (bootlegging alone)Al Capone was finally convicted on tax evasion charges in 1931
12Why was Prohibition difficult to enforce? People were not prepared to stop drinking alcohol. People enjoyed it.Why so difficult?There were hardy any prohibition agents to enforce the law. There were more Speakeasies in Chicago than agents in the USA.BOOTLEGGERS could easily smuggle alcohol into the country. The border with Canada was far too large to patrol.Gangsters like Al Capone paid policemen and judges etc (CORRUPTION) to make sure they weren't arrested
13SUPPORT FADES, PROHIBITION REPEALED By the mid-1920s, only 19% of Americans supported ProhibitionMany felt Prohibition caused more problems than it solvedThe 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition in 1933
14The Rise of Nativism Controlling Immigration Sacco and Vanzetti Case Emergency Quota Act 1921National Origins Act of 1924Sacco and Vanzetti CaseRise of the KKK
15Ku Klux Klan Colonel William J Simmons Attacks against: Revived organization in 19151922: enrollment 4 millionAttacks against:African AmericansCatholicsJewsimmigrants
16SCIENCE AND RELIGION CLASH Fundamentalists vs. Secular thinkersA Protestant movement - literal interpretation of the bible is known as fundamentalismFundamentalists found all truth in the bible – including science & evolution
17SCOPES TRIALIn March 1925, Tennessee passed the nation’s first law that made it a crime to teach evolutionThe ACLU promised to defend any teacher willing to challenge the law – John Scopes didScopes was a biology teacher who dared to teach his students that man derived from lower species
18SCOPES TRIALThe ACLU hired Clarence Darrow, the most famous trial lawyer of the era, to defend ScopesThe prosecution countered with William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic presidential nominee.
19SCOPES TRIAL Trial opened on July 10,1925 Darrow called Bryan to the stand as an expert on the bible.Bryan admitted that the bible can be interpreted in different waysScopes was found guilty and fined $100
20Mass Media Increases in Mass media Methods of communication. Radio MagazinesNewspaperMoviesNewspapers:27 million to 39 millionIncrease of 42%Motion Pictures:40 million to 80 millionIncrease of 100%Radios:60,000 to 10.2 millionIncrease of 16,983%
21EXPANDING NEWS COVERAGE Literacy increased in the 1920s… as a resultNewspaper and magazine circulation rose.By the end of the 1920s…10 American magazines -boasted circulations of over 2 million a year.Tabloids created
22RADIO COMES OF AGERadio becomes the most powerful communications medium to emerge in the 1920s.News was delivered faster and to a larger audience.Americans could hear the voice of the president or listen to the World Series live.
23Popular Culture of the 1920’s SportsBaseball (Babe Ruth)Boxing (Jack Dempsey)The rise of HollywoodSilent movies (Charlie Chaplin)By the end of the decade movies had soundRadioPlayed Jazz musicNewsAmos n’ Andy
24ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS Movies offered escapism through romance and comedyFirst sound movies: Jazz Singer (1927)First animated with sound: Steamboat Willie (1928)By 1930 millions went to the movies each week.Walt Disney's animated Steamboat Willie marked the debut of Mickey Mouse. It was a seven minute long black and white cartoon.
25ART OF THE 1920s Georgia O’ Keeffe Edward Hopper Radiator Building, Night, New York , 1927 Georgia O'KeeffeGeorgia O’ Keeffe captured the grandeur of New York using intensely colored canvases
26Modern American Art Edward Hopper Displayed realism in his paintings Paintings conveyed a modern sense of disenchantment and isolation
27WRITERS OF THE 1920s “Lost Generation” Ernest Hemingway F. Scott FitzgeraldParadise LostThe Great GatsbyErnest HemingwayThe Sun Also RisesA Farewell to Arms“Lost Generation”F. Scott Fitzgerald coined the phrase “Jazz Age” to describe the 1920sFitzgerald wrote Paradise Lost and The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby reflected the emptiness of New York elite societyErnest Hemingway, became one of the best-known authors of the eraIn his novels, The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, he criticized the glorification of warMoves to Europe to escape the life in the United States.“Lost Generation” (Gertrude Stein)Group of people disconnected from their country and its values.His simple, straightforward style of writing set the literary standard
28F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) This Side of Paradise Published at age 24he became an overnight celebrityread by aspiring flappers and their lovers, who displayed a bewildered abandon toward life.The Great Gatsby (1925)depicted the glamour and cruelty of an achievement-oriented society.
29Ernest Hemingway ( ) Fought in WWI on the Italian front in 1917.Among the writers most affected by the war.Responded to propaganda and overblown appeal of patriotismNovelsThe Sun Also Rises (1926) -- wrote of disillusioned, spiritually numb American expatriates in Europe.Farewell to Arms (1929) -- One of the finest novels in any language about the war experience.
30The "Lost Generation"After WWI, a new generation of writersTheir works often conveyed resentment of ideals betrayed by society.WritersF. Scott FitzgeraldErnest HemingwaySinclair LewisT.S. Eliot
31Sinclair Lewis ( )Chronicled Midwestern life from his home in Minnesota.WorksMainstreet (1920) -- Story of one woman’s unsuccessful war against provincialism.Babbitt (1922) -- Affectionately pilloried George F. Babbitt, a prosperous vulgar, middle-class real estate broker who slavishly conformed to the respectable materialism of his group.
32Poetry T.S. Eliot Carl Sandburg "The Waste Land" (1922) One of the most influential poems of the century.“The Hollow Men” (1926)described a world filled with empty dreamsHe foresaw a world that would end “not with a bang but a whimperCarl SandburgUsed common speech in his poemsPoems glorified the Midwest and the expansive nature of American life.
33MUSIC OF THE 1920s Jazz Blues George Gershwin Duke Ellington Cotton ClubBluesGeorge Gershwin merged traditional elements with American Jazz.Someone to Watch Over MeEmbraceable YouI Got Rhythm
35HEROES OF THE 20sIn 1929, Americans spent $4.5 billion on entertainment. (includes sports)People crowded into baseball games to see their heroesBabe Ruth was a larger than life American heroHe hit 60 homers in 1927.
36LINDBERGH’S FLIGHTMay 27, 1927: first nonstop solo trans-Atlantic flight.Spirit of St. LouisNYC - Paris33 ½ hours later – (no auto pilot)$25,000 prize
37How has the 1920s impacted the America that we live in today?