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The Roaring Twenties LIFE & CULTURE IN AMERICA IN THE 1920S.

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Presentation on theme: "The Roaring Twenties LIFE & CULTURE IN AMERICA IN THE 1920S."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Roaring Twenties LIFE & CULTURE IN AMERICA IN THE 1920S

2 America at the Start of the Decade Victorious in World War I Victorious in World War I Treaty of Versailles defeated Treaty of Versailles defeated Period of isolationism Period of isolationism Republican ascendancy Republican ascendancy

3 Americans on the Move Urbanization still accelerating 1920s: 1920s: New York 5 million New York 5 million Chicago 3 million Chicago 3 million

4 Demographical Changes Migration North Migration North African Americans moving north at rapid pace. African Americans moving north at rapid pace. Struggles: Struggles: Faced hatred from whites Faced hatred from whites Forced low wages Forced low wages

5 URBAN VS. RURAL Farms started to struggle post-WWI. 6 million moved to urban areas Urban 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.

6 THE TWENTIES WOMAN After the tumult of World War I, Americans were looking for a little fun in the 1920s. After the tumult of World War I, Americans were looking for a little fun in the 1920s. Women were independent and achieving greater freedoms. Women were independent and achieving greater freedoms.

7 THE FLAPPER Challenged the traditional ways. Challenged the traditional ways. Revolution of manners and morals. Revolution of manners and morals. A Flapper was an emancipated young woman who embraced the new fashions and urban attitudes. A Flapper was an emancipated young woman who embraced the new fashions and urban attitudes.

8 NEW ROLES FOR WOMEN Early 20 th Century teachers Many women entered the workplace as nurses, teachers, librarians, & secretaries. Many women entered the workplace as nurses, teachers, librarians, & secretaries. Earned less than men and were prevented from obtaining certain jobs. Earned less than men and were prevented from obtaining certain jobs.

9 PROHIBITION  One example of the clash between city & farm was the passage of the 18 th Amendment in  Launched era known as  Launched era known as Prohibition  Made it illegal to make, distribute, sell, transport or consume liquor. Prohibition lasted from 1920 to 1933 when it was repealed by the 21 st Amendment

10 SPEAKEASIES AND BOOTLEGGERS Speakeasies Sinful activity? Sinful activity? Reaction by immigrants Reaction by immigrants Speakeasies Speakeasies Bootleggers Bootleggers All of these activities became closely affiliated with … All of these activities became closely affiliated with …

11 ORGANIZED CRIME Al Capone was finally convicted on tax evasion charges in 1931 Prohibition contributed to the growth of organized crime in major cities Prohibition contributed to the growth of organized crime in major cities Al Capone Chicago, Illinois famous bootlegger 60 million yr (bootlegging alone)

12 Why was Prohibition difficult to enforce? Why so difficult? People were not prepared to stop drinking alcohol. People enjoyed it. Gangsters like Al Capone paid policemen and judges etc (CORRUPTION) to make sure they weren't arrested BOOTLEGGERS could easily smuggle alcohol into the country. The border with Canada was far too large to patrol. There were hardy any prohibition agents to enforce the law. There were more Speakeasies in Chicago than agents in the USA.

13 SUPPORT FADES, PROHIBITION REPEALED By the mid-1920s, only 19% of Americans supported Prohibition By the mid-1920s, only 19% of Americans supported Prohibition Many felt Prohibition caused more problems than it solved Many felt Prohibition caused more problems than it solved The 21 st Amendment The 21 st Amendment repealed Prohibition in 1933

14 The Rise of Nativism Controlling Immigration Emergency Quota Act 1921 National Origins Act of 1924 Sacco and Vanzetti Case Rise of the KKK

15 Ku Klux Klan Colonel William J Simmons Colonel William J Simmons Revived organization in : enrollment 4 million Attacks against: Attacks against: African Americans Catholics Jews immigrants

16 SCIENCE AND RELIGION CLASH Fundamentalists vs. Secular thinkers Fundamentalists vs. Secular thinkers A Protestant movement - literal interpretation of the bible is known as fundamentalism A Protestant movement - literal interpretation of the bible is known as fundamentalism Fundamentalists including science & evolution Fundamentalists found all truth in the bible – including science & evolution

17 SCOPES TRIAL Scopes was a biology teacher who dared to teach his students that man derived from lower species In March 1925, Tennessee passed the nation’s first law that made it a crime to teach evolution The ACLU promised to defend any teacher willing to challenge the law – John Scopes did

18 SCOPES TRIAL The ACLU hired Clarence Darrow, the most famous trial lawyer of the era, to defend Scopes The ACLU hired Clarence Darrow, the most famous trial lawyer of the era, to defend Scopes The prosecution countered with William Jennings Bryan, the three- time Democratic presidential nominee. The prosecution countered with William Jennings Bryan, the three- time Democratic presidential nominee.

19 SCOPES TRIAL Trial opened on July 10,1925 Trial opened on July 10,1925 as an expert on the bible. Darrow called Bryan to the stand as an expert on the bible. Bryan admitted that the bible can be interpreted in different ways Bryan admitted that the bible can be interpreted in different ways Scopes was found guilty and fined $100 Scopes was found guilty and fined $100

20 Mass Media Increases in Mass media Increases in Mass media Methods of communication. Methods of communication. Radio Radio Magazines Magazines Newspaper Newspaper Movies Movies Newspapers: 27 million to 39 million Increase of 42% Motion Pictures: 40 million to 80 million Increase of 100% Radios: 60,000 to 10.2 million Increase of 16,983%

21 EXPANDING NEWS COVERAGE Literacy increased in the 1920s… Literacy increased in the 1920s… as a result Newspaper and magazine circulation rose. Newspaper and magazine circulation rose. By the end of the 1920s… By the end of the 1920s… 10 American magazines - boasted circulations of over 2 million a year. Tabloids created

22 RADIO COMES OF AGE Radio becomes the most powerful communications medium to emerge in the 1920s. Radio becomes the most powerful communications medium to emerge in the 1920s. News was delivered faster and to a larger audience. News was delivered faster and to a larger audience. Americans could hear the voice of the president or listen to the World Series live. Americans could hear the voice of the president or listen to the World Series live.

23 Popular Culture of the 1920’s Sports Baseball (Babe Ruth) Boxing (Jack Dempsey) The rise of Hollywood Silent movies (Charlie Chaplin) By the end of the decade movies had sound Radio Played Jazz music News Amos n’ Andy

24 ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS Walt Disney's animated Steamboat Willie marked the debut of Mickey Mouse. It was a seven minute long black and white cartoon. Movies offered escapism through romance and comedy Movies offered escapism through romance and comedy First sound movies: First sound movies: Jazz Singer (1927) First animated with sound: First animated with sound: Steamboat Willie (1928) By 1930 millions went to the movies each week. By 1930 millions went to the movies each week.

25 ART OF THE 1920s  Georgia O’ Keeffe  Edward Hopper Radiator Building, Night, New York, 1927 Georgia O'Keeffe

26 Modern American Art Edward Hopper Displayed realism in his paintings Paintings conveyed a modern sense of disenchantment and isolation

27 WRITERS OF THE 1920s  F. Scott Fitzgerald  Paradise Lost  The Great Gatsby  Ernest Hemingway  The Sun Also Rises  A Farewell to Arms  “Lost Generation”

28 F. Scott Fitzgerald ( ) This Side of Paradise Published at age 24 he became an overnight celebrity read 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.

29 Ernest Hemingway ( ) Fought in WWI on the Italian front in Among the writers most affected by the war. Responded to propaganda and overblown appeal of patriotism Novels The 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.

30 The "Lost Generation" After WWI, a new generation of writers Their works often conveyed resentment of ideals betrayed by society. Writers F. Scott Fitzgerald Ernest Hemingway Sinclair Lewis T.S. Eliot

31 Sinclair Lewis ( ) Chronicled Midwestern life from his home in Minnesota. Works Mainstreet (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.

32 Poetry T.S. Eliot "The Waste Land" (1922) One of the most influential poems of the century. “The Hollow Men” (1926) described a world filled with empty dreams He foresaw a world that would end “not with a bang but a whimper Carl Sandburg Used common speech in his poems Poems glorified the Midwest and the expansive nature of American life.

33 MUSIC OF THE 1920s  Jazz  George Gershwin  Duke Ellington  Cotton Club  Blues

34 1920s DANCING Charleston Charleston Swing Dancing Swing Dancing Dance Marathons Dance Marathons

35 HEROES OF THE 20s  In 1929, Americans spent $4.5 billion on entertainment. (includes sports)  People crowded into baseball games to see their heroes was a larger than life  Babe Ruth was a larger than life American hero  He hit 60 homers in 1927.

36 LINDBERGH’S FLIGHT May 27, 1927: first nonstop solo trans-Atlantic flight. May 27, 1927: first nonstop solo trans-Atlantic flight. Spirit of St. Louis NYC - Paris NYC - Paris 33 ½ hours later – (no auto pilot) $25,000 prize

37 How has the 1920s impacted the America that we live in today?


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