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A new age of American Prosperity

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1 A new age of American Prosperity
THE ROARING TWENTIES A new age of American Prosperity

2 BACKGROUND Automobiles, telephones, and electricity made life easier and more comfortable than ever before Most Americans focused on making money and enjoying themselves Beneath an appearance of calm and prosperity, America experienced fundamental economic and social change There was less emphasis on politics

3 ADJUSTING TO PEACE (1920s) American’s returned to its policy of “isolationism” in foreign affairs Government stopped wartime spending Soldiers returned from war looking for jobs Factories closed to convert from military to civilian products Farmers lost markets in Europe From 1919 to 1921, the U.S. experienced a temporary economic recession

4 THE RED SCARE As a result of the Russian Revolution, fears of communists, anarchists, and immigrants rose in America When a wave of strikes hit the U.S. in 1919, many Americans feared it was the start of a Communist revolution. This was known as the “Red Scare”. It created an atmosphere of panic.

5 Palmer Raids In Jan. 1919, an Italian anarchist set off a bomb outside Attny General Mitchell Palmer’s home. It was one in a series of attacks that day on judges, politicians, and police officers in 8 cities Palmer was convinced of a radical plot to overthrow the government He ordered the round-up of 4,000 suspects in several cities without warrants (directed by J. Edgar Hoover) Most were later released, but 600 were eventually deported

Two Italian immigrants (Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti) were convicted of committing murder during a robbery They were alleged to commit the robbery to get funds to start an anarchist revolution Pressure for their release came from around the world Americans were afraid to look weak if they were released With no sufficient evidence, the judge declared them guilty and they were executed in 1927

Caused by the Red Scare, anarchist bombings, and the Sacco and Vanzetti trial Nativists believed white Protestant Americans were superior to other people The migration of African Americans from the South to Northern cities led to increased racial tensions after the war Revival of the Ku Klux Klan (hostile to immigrants, Catholics, and African Americans) Race riots broke out in many cities (worst in Chicago – 38 killed) Segregation and lynching continued in the South

8 Assignment – create a chart analyzing the causes and effects of the following events: Red Scare, Palmer Raids, Sacco & Vanzetti Case, Nativism and Racism Ex: Event Causes Effects Red Scare Palmer Raids Sacco & Vanzetti Case Nativism & Racism

The message below was delivered by President Harding as part of his Inaugural Address in 1921: “We must seek the readjustment with care and courage. [W]e must strive for normalcy to reach stability …. The forward course of the business cycle is unmistakable. Peoples are turning from destruction to production. Industry has sensed the changed order and [is] turning to resume their normal, onward way. The call is for productive America to go on. I speak for administrative efficiency, for lightened tax burdens, for sound commercial practices, for adequate credit facilities, for sympathetic concern for all agricultural problems, for the omission of unnecessary interference of government with business, for an end to government’s experiment in business, and for more efficient business in government administration.” How did Harding intend to return Americans “to normalcy”? _________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In 1920s, Republicans returned to the White House They followed policies favorable to American business Supported laissez-faire policies The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act (1920) raised tariffs to their highest level in history Lower taxes on the wealthy and corporations (this shifted a larger tax burden to the average wage earner) Lax enforcement of antitrust laws and regulations (increased business mergers in the 1920s)

11 WILLIAM G. HARDING Won landslide election in 1920
Promoted a “return to normalcy” Showed tolerance – rejected racial and ethnic prejudices Resisted anti-semitism Signed an act creating child health care centers Pursued arms reduction (sponsored the Washington Naval Conference and supported U.S. membership in the World Court

The Teapot Dome Scandal Secretary of the Interior leased oil-rich gov’t lands at Teapot Dome, Wyoming to two of his business friends in exchange for personal bribes (he was a friend of Harding) This was one of the worst scandals in U.S. history It was uncovered after Harding’s death in 1923 Another appointment, Charles Forbes, stole millions from the construction of veteran’s hospitals These scandals left a lasting stain on his reputation

13 CALVIN COOLIDGE Picked as Harding’s VP based on his record as Governor of Massachusetts Became President when Harding died suddenly in 1923 Was elected for another term in 1924 Symbolized old-fashioned values of honesty and thrift Continued laissez-faire policies

14 SILENT CAL Spoke so infrequently in public, became known as “Silent Cal” Received much of the credit for business expansion in the 20s Some blame his approach to the economy (as doing nothing) as encouraging the over-speculation that resulted in the stock market crash of 1929

15 HERBERT HOOVER Skilled engineer and self-made millionaire
During the war, he oversaw U.S. food production Became Secretary of Commerce under Coolidge Predicted the end of poverty in America if he were elected President in the 1928 Presidential campaign

16 RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM Individuals were given equal opportunities, a free education, and a will to succeed Credited achievements of business in raising American living standards Believed rugged individualism spurred progress and was the foundation of America’s “unparalleled greatness” Believed interference in business would undermine the nation’s prosperity (increase corruption, smother initiative, decrease opportunity)

17 Assignment Complete the graphic organizer in your notes packet
Focus on each President’s approach to business and economic policy

After 1920, wages and employment opportunities began to rise It was a prosperous time for many Americans Business profits and production increased Government policies favored business There were also other factors…

19 RISE OF THE AUTOMOBILE Probably the single most important factor behind American prosperity Ownership grew from 8 to 24 million and affected all aspects of American life By 1929, one out of every nine workers was employed in an auto-related industry Cars gave greater mobility Made possible the growth of suburbs School buses allowed rural students to attend school regularly

20 HENRY FORD Engineer and automobile manufacturer
Introduced the Model T in 1905 – was the 1st car many middle-class Americans could buy Introduced the assembly line in 1914 – increased production By 1924, Ford was producing 1.6 million cars a year at a price of $300 (by 1925, 1 car every 10 seconds) Efficiency of the assembly line made it possible to double wages, while slashing prices Wanted to give workers buying power to purchase cars and other mass-produced goods

21 OTHER NEW INDUSTRIES Transmitting electricity Improved motors
Trans-Atlantic telephone service Household appliances (vacuum cleaner, refrigerator) Radio and motion pictures Chemical industries (oil and natural gas)

The assembly line provided great gains in productivity Consumers paid lower prices Changed the nature of factory work Skilled workers were no longer needed

23 MASS CONSUMPTION Mass markets for goods Advertising stimulated demands
People had more money, leisure time, and purchasing power Retailers allowed people to buy on credit This allowed people to purchase expensive goods they could not otherwise afford

24 Percentage of items bought by installment plans, 1921-1929
Consumer Item Installment Plan Automobiles 75% Phonographs 89% Vacuum Cleaner 65% 85% Furniture Washing Machine 75% Jewelry 25%

25 SPECULATION Speculation – the purchase of any item not for personal use, but in hope of selling it at a higher price In the 1920s, people speculated in stocks and real estate New industrial development led to increased shares of corporations listed on the stock market Gains in stock fueled speculation (as more people bought stock, prices went even higher)

26 UNEVEN PROSPERITY Not all shared in the prosperity of the 20s
In 1929, the top 1000th (0.1%) of Americans had a combined income equal to the bottom 42% They also controlled about 1/3 of all savings, while ¾ of Americans had no savings Many faced poverty Farmers faced lower incomes due to overproduction Railroads suffered because of automobile increase Textile workers faced lower wages due to foreign competition Minority groups faced discrimination in employment

27 Assignment Using the information in the powerpoint and your notes, create a storyboard of the factors leading to American prosperity in the 1920s

Many Americans began to adopt values that threatened traditional values of the 19th century Young people wanted greater freedom and excitement These changes in values were reflected in literature, films, and drama People were influenced by greater mobility and material comfort Women, young people, and African Americans felt a new sense of freedom Others felt their traditional ways were threatened

Prohibition (Guided Reading) The Scopes “Monkey Trial” of (Guided Reading) Immigration restriction - Immigration Acts of 1921, 1924, and (Immigration Chart activity) Flappers (Guided Reading)

30 Continued… Eugenics – a pseudo-scientific belief that the human race could be improved by breeding (superior parents would have even better children) Led by Charles Davenport – believed mentally ill should be prevented from having children and immigration of “inferior races” should be limited Led to forced sterilizations, segregation laws, and marriage restrictions Financed in part by Carnegie Institute and Rockefeller Foundation Closely tied to Social Darwinism

31 Continued… Around 1910, New York City began to emerge as the capital of popular music publishing. Tin Pan Alley – section of NY where song-writing and musical ideas mixed together to form American Popular Music (melded blues, jazz, and ragtime) Vaudeville also became the most popular form of entertainment Tin Pan Alley made money of ordinary people demanding sheet music and Vaudeville’s need for music Famous song writers emerged – Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Scott Joplin, and George Gershwin

32 Continued… Fads of the 1920s – flagpole sitting, marathon dancing
The “Lost Generation” – writers who rejected the desire for material wealth Believed America had become too materialistic and lacked spirituality Ernest Hemingway – wrote A Farewell to Arms and The Sun Also Rises about experiences in WWI Sinclair Lewis – wrote Main Street and Babbitt, ridiculing the narrowness and hypocrisy of American life F. Scott Fitzgerald – wrote The Jazz Age and The Great Gatsby about the rich and the search for wealth often leading to tragedy

33 POPULAR NEW HEROES More leisure time gave people greater opportunity of entertainment (sports, radio, movies, magazines) A new age of popular heroes resulted from the need for a sense of personal identity in an age of machines Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey (sports figures) served as new role models Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean (1927). He traveled through fog and ice, and after 33 hours, landed in Paris (36,000 miles). His daring trip made him a national hero and world wide celebrity

The general awakening of African-American culture in the 20s Often referred to as the Jazz Age Begun by a rising middle class of African Americans Mostly about music, but also reached to dance and visual arts Wanted to bring recognition to the African-American community Reflected optimism, freedom, pride in all things black, and confidence in their future

POETS AND WRITERS – Langston Hughes & Alan Locke (expressed pride in their heritage while attacking racism) and Countee Cullen (won more literary prizes than any other African-American writer), and Zora Neale Hurston (successful African-American female writer) POLITICAL ACTIVISTS – Marcus Garvey (highly controversial – known for his fancy uniforms and fiery speech). He encouraged African-Americans to set up their own shops and businesses and advocated his Back-to-Africa Movement, encouraging blacks to return to Africa (especially Liberia)

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