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CHAPTER 23 Coping with Change 1920-1929. INTRODUCTION In many ways modern America began in the “Roaring Twenties” It was a time of rapid economic growth,

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 23 Coping with Change 1920-1929. INTRODUCTION In many ways modern America began in the “Roaring Twenties” It was a time of rapid economic growth,"— Presentation transcript:

1 CHAPTER 23 Coping with Change

2 INTRODUCTION In many ways modern America began in the “Roaring Twenties” It was a time of rapid economic growth, technological advances, and changing social and cultural values With millions of cars coming off Detroit’s assembly lines, Americans took to the roads They were entertained by movies and radio programs They bought an array of new consumer products All of these new developments in society stimulated great artistic creativity, but also contributed to social tensions, fears, and culture wars

3 INTRODUCTION  1.) Why was the economy so prosperous in the 1920’s and how were different social groups affected by the economic boom?  2.) What were the dominant political values of the 1920’s, and how did Republican presidents of the period represent them?  3.) What was the new popular culture of the decade, and which Americans did it barely touch?  4.) What developments in the period contributed to both the social tensions and the artistic flowering?

4 A NEW ECONOMIC ORDER Booming Business, Ailing Agriculture Demobilization following WWI disrupted the economy Caused a sharp recession By 1922, recovery had set in For the rest of the decade the economy grew rapidly and prospered Development of electric appliances Refrigerators Washing machines Vacuum cleaners Development of the automobile industries

5 BOOMING BUSINESS, AILING AGRICULTURE  Mass production of cars: created hundreds of thousands of jobs Stimulated a host of related industries Rubber Oil Steel Highway construction  American business also invested heavily abroad and loaned $$$$ to European nations to help them repay war debts  High protective tariffs in the 1920’s tended to suppress international trade

6 BOOMING BUSINESS, AILING AGRICULTURE  Wages rose overall during the decade  But not all workers shared in the pay increases: Southern workers African-Americans Mexican-Americans Recent immigrants Female workers

7 BOOMING BUSINESS, AILING AGRICULTURE  American farmers did well during WWI  After the armistice European and domestic markets contracted Prices plunged Farmers need to repay loans and mortgages Farmers tried to compensate by growing more This created a surpluses that drown down produce prices further  Agriculture remained a depressed sector of the economy throughout the 1920’s

8 NEW MODES OF PRODUCING, MANAGING, AND SELLING  Introduction of the assembly line and other technological advances brought more than 40% increase in productivity between 1919 and 1929 History Channel video--assembly line  This led to bigger profits  A wave of corporate merges By 1930, 100 corporations controlled almost 1/2 of the business done in the U.S.A. Competition disappeared  Corporations joined together in trade associations Fixed prices Divide markets

9 NEW MODES OF PRODUCING, MANAGING, AND SELLING  A network of chain stores developed Displaced small, independently owned retail stores  Big business successfully boosted sales and profits Introduced credit Relied heavily on advertising  Business influence and values pervaded all areas of American life in the 1920’s: Big businessmen became the new cultural heroes Politicians vied to serve business Organized religion tired to copy its selling techniques

10 WOMEN IN THE NEW ECONOMIC ERA  The proportion of women working outside the home stayed at about 24%  Working women earned less than men holding similar jobs  The growth of large corporation increased the need for: Secretaries Typists Filing clerks  Few women broke into management positions  Teaching and nursing were typical female professions

11 STRUGGLING LABOR UNIONS IN A BUSINESS AGE  The 1920’s were an unsuccessful time for organized labor  Union membership fell from 5 million in 1920 to 3.4 million in 1929  Management discouraged the growth of unions: Intimidation Violence Insistence on the open shop Use of scab labor during strikes Introduction by some companies of benefits such as stock purchase plans  Employers often charged that unions and strikes were Communist led

12 THE HARDING AND COOLIDGE ADMINISTRATIONS  Stand Pat Politics in a Decade of Change 1920 election Republicans nominated Warren G. Harding Democrats nominated James Cox Harding easily won Harding admin. was riddled with corruption He put friends in high positions which they abused

13 STAND PAT POLITICS IN A DECADE OF CHANGE  Charles Forbes Veterans’ Bureau chief Stole bureau funds  Harry Daugherty Attorney General of the Justice Department Sold influence and immunity from prosecution  Albert Fall Sec. of the Interior Leased govt. oil reserves at Teapot Dome, WY and other locations to favored businessmen in exchange for bribes

14 STAND PAT POLITICS IN A DECADE OF CHANGE  In the fall of 1923, Harding had a heart attack and died  Calvin Coolidge assumed the presidency

15 REPUBLICAN POLICY MAKING IN A PROBUSINESS ERA  In the Coolidge administration corruption lessened  The probusiness attitudes continued  High tariffs protected domestic manufacturers from foreign competition  “trickle down” theory Supported by Sec. of Treasury Andrew Mellon Congress lowered federal taxes for the wealthy

16 REPUBLICAN POLICY MAKING IN A PROBUSINESS ERA  Supreme Court declared the federal child labor law unconstitutional  Under Chief Justice William Howard Taft Appointed by Harding

17 REPUBLICAN POLICY MAKING IN A PROBUSINESS ERA  Even though Coolidge promoted govt. assistance to business, he opposed federal aid to all other groups He refused to extend relief to 1927 flood victims Twice vetoed the McNary-Haugen bill Which proposed to have Washington buy up surplus farm commodities at good prices

18 INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONALISM  The U.S.A. followed an independent internationalism Protected what it saw as U.S. global interests only Did not join the League of Nations or the World Court  International naval arms conference 1921 In Washington D.C. Called by Harding’s Sec. of State, Charles E. Hughes Treaties that imposed a 10-year moratorium on battleship construction Pledged the major powers to respect each other’s territorial possessions in the Pacific

19 INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONALISM  The 1920’s Republican administrations also insisted that the WWI allies repay a portion of their war debts to the U.S.  Then they made it difficult for them to do so Curtailed their sales of goods in the U.S. with high protective tariffs

20 PROGRESSIVE STIRRINGS, DEMOCRATIC PARTY DIVISIONS  Progressive reform sentiment did not completely disappear in the 1920’s  A coalition of labor and farm groups in 1924 revived the Progressive Party Nominated Robert LaFollette for president  Democrats nominated John W. Davis The party was split between urban and rural wings  Republicans nominated Coolidge  Coolidge easily won

21 Women and Politics in the 1920’s: A Dream Deferred  Ratification of the 19th amendment had less impact on politics in the 1920’s than many women’s rights advocates predicted  The women’s movement splintered: Some feminists backed an equal rights amendment Other feared it would undermine laws protecting female workers

22 MASS SOCIETY, MASS CULTURE  Cities, Cars, Consumer Goods This was the 1st decade in which the majority of Americans lived in cities City life-styles and values spread to more and more of the population The new consumer goods were most readily available to city dwellers New electric appliances transformed household duties Supermarkets Commercial bakeries

23 CITIES, CARS, CONSUMER GOODS  Automobiles had the biggest impact on American culture Traffic jams Parking problems Mounting accidental deaths Reduced parental supervision of young adults The spread of suburbs  History Channel video--car History Channel video--car

24 SOARING ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND A THREATENED ENVIRONMENT  The mass production and sales of cars and electric appliances took a heavy toll on the environment and natural resources  Generating enough electricity to power the new appliances consumed millions of tons of coal  The biggest users of oil and gasoline were the millions of automobiles

25 SOARING ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND A THREATENED ENVIRONMENT  The nation wasted and needlessly depleted fossil fuels  Pollution of the atmosphere all came from the cars, power plants, steel mills, and other industries  Cars also made it easier for people to visit wilderness areas Tourists’ demands for good roads, hotels, and other amenities in pristine areas soon threatened to ruin them  A few groups protested  Americans on the whole were indifferent to the environmental threat

26 MASS-PRODUCED ENTERTAINMENT  Americans increasingly turned to mass-produced entertainment Assembly line production made work less fulfilling and less time consuming  Popular magazines built massive circulations Reader’s Digest  All over the U.S. people listened to the same radio programs and watched the same movies Produced a more homogeneous national culture

27 MASS-PRODUCED ENTERTAINMENT  The new standardized culture did not permeate all segments  In rural areas, evangelical Christians denounced much of the mass entertainment as godless  Mexican-Americans and African-Americans maintained most of their own vibrant ethnic culture

28 CELEBRITY CULTURE  Mass communication made possible by radio and film created nationwide heroes and media events  Sports celebrities: Babe Ruth Ty Cobb Jack Dempsey  Charles Lindbergh Solo flight across the Atlantic History Channel video--flight History Channel speech--Coolidge on Lindbergh

29 CULTURAL FERMENT AND CREATIVITY  The Jazz Age and the Postwar Crisis of Values In the so-called Jazz Age, some young people rejected the values of their elders on sexual matters, dress, and decorum The ideas of Sigmund Freud became popular psychoanalysis Women asserted their freedom by discussing sex openly, wearing makeup, smoking, and shortening their skirts, and their hair

30 THE JAZZ AGE AND THE POSTWAR CRISIS OF VALUES  This upheaval in manners and morals primarily affected the urban middle class  Most farmers, African-Americans, industrial workers, and recent immigrants were more concerned with economic survival than experimenting with new life-styles

31 ALIENATED WRITERS  The 1920s saw the emergence of many talented writers writers Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald  They were often critical of: the narrow-minded, small-town values of prewar America the materialistic business culture of the twenties  Some felt so uncomfortable with the 1920’s America that they spent much of the decade abroad  They did care deeply about finding and creating an “authentic” American culture through their works  In his American Mercury magazines, Henry L. Mencken championed the works of these new writers  He also kept up a steady barrage of ridicule of American politics and society

32 ARCHITECTS, PAINTERS, AND MUSICIANS CONFRONT MODERN AMERICA  Architecture American cities in the 1920s were filled with skyscrapers  Painters American artists painted the American scene Urban and rural Past and present  Thomas Hart Benton Edward Hopper Joseph Stella Georgia O’Keeffe

33 ARCHITECTS, PAINTERS, AND MUSICIANS CONFRONT MODERN AMERICA  Musicians New classical composers appeared Aaron Copland The unique contribution of America to the musical world was jazz George Gershwin Jelly Roll Morton Louis Armstrong Duke Ellington

34 THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE  Led by the growing African-American population in the northern cities  Harlem in New York City  New York City had a concentration of: Recording companies Book and magazine publishers Theater productions African-American civil-rights organizations NAACP headquarters  These drew African-American artists, writers, composers, musicians, and intellectuals Most of the U.S.A. and the West Indies

35 THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE  Whites flocked to Harlem’s jazz clubs to hear these musicians  All-black stage shows played on Broadway  White-owned publishing houses printed the novels and short stories Langston Hughes Claude McKay Explored the African- American experience in their works

36 THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE  Some sympathetic whites also produced works portraying African-American life George Gershwin’s musical Porgy and Bess  Many whites though held romanticized and stereotyped views of Harlem and African-Americans

37 A SOCIETY IN CONFLICT  Immigration Restriction In 1924 and 1929, the U.S. govt. passed restrictive laws that drastically cut the total # of immigrants permitted to enter the U.S.A. They also established quotas for each nationality Laws excluded Chinese and Japanese entirely and eastern and southern Europeans received small quotas Reflected the fears and intolerance of the time Total immigration fell to 280,000 in 1929 It averaged 1 million a year between This discriminatory, national-origins quota system remained in U.S. law until 1965

38 NEEDED WORKERS/UNWELCOME ALIENS: HISPANIC NEWCOMERS  The 1920’s, National Origins Act did not curtail immigration from Western Hemisphere countries  By 1930, about 2 million Mexicans had arrived in the U.S.A.  Most lived in the Southwest  Most worked in agriculture  Agribusiness wanted the cheap labor  Mexicans experienced bitter resentment from nativist Americans

39 NATIVISM, ANTI-RADICALISM, AND THE SACCO-VANZETTI CASE  The Sacco-Vanzetti case further illustrated the intolerance and divisions in society in the 1920’s  Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italian immigrants  They were convicted of robbery and murder Vanzetti (on left) Sacco (on right)

40 NATIVISM, ANTI-RADICALISM, AND THE SACCO-VANZETTI CASE  The evidence against them was circumstantial  The prosecution probably prejudiced the jury by stressing their ethnic origin and political radicalism  They were found guilty of the crimes and were executed in 1927

41 FUNDAMENTALISM AND THE SCOPES TRIAL  Several states passed laws prohibiting the teaching of any scientific theory that contradicted the account of human origin given in the Bible  John T. Scopes High school teacher in Dayton, TN Challenged the state’s law by teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution

42 FUNDAMENTALISM AND THE SCOPES TRIAL  The American Civil Liberties Union hired a team of distinguished lawyers headed by Clarence Darrow to defend Scopes  William Jennings Bryan assisted the prosecution  Scopes was convicted

43 FUNDAMENTALISM AND THE SCOPES TRIAL  The fundamental religious position was ridiculed in the courtroom and in the national press  But states still passed anti-evolution laws  Textbook publishers deleted mention of Darwin’s theories to appease local school boards  History Channel video--Scopes trial History Channel video--Scopes trial

44 THE KU KLUX KLAN  Another indication of social conflict and intolerance was the rise of the KKK  Preached hatred toward blacks, Jews, Catholics, immigrants, and the new urban values  Membership grew to an estimated 5 million  For a short time it exerted real political power in a few states OR, OK, IN  It threatened, intimidated, beat, and murdered those it considered to be dangerous to a “purified” America

45 THE GARVEY MOVEMENT  Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)  Led by Marcus Garvey  Mostly poor urban African-Americans  Preached black pride  Black “economic solidarity”  A return to Africa  At its peak the UNIA had 80,000 members  The first mass movement among African-Americans

46 PROHIBITION: CULTURES IN CONFLICT  Prohibition split Americans  Supporters: Native-born Fundamentalist Protestants Rural areas  Opponents: Liberals Intellectuals Rebellious youths Big-city immigrants

47 PROHIBITION: CULTURES IN CONFLICT  Enforcement of prohibition broke down almost immediately  Many Americans did not believe in it  Organized crime was busy supplying the demand for illegal liquor  Prohibition became a big issue in the 1928 election  History Channel video--prohibition raid History Channel video--prohibition raid

48 HOOVER AT THE HELM  The Election of 1928 Democrats nominated Alfred Smith Republicans nominated Herbert Hoover Hoover easily won Many fundamentalist Protestants would not vote for Smith because he was a Catholic, did not support Prohibition, and came from NYC The biggest reason for Hoover’s victory was economic prosperity and Republican promises that things would get even better

49 Herbert Hoover’s Social Thought  Hoover encouraged voluntary cooperation among corporate leaders: Raise wages Plan production and marketing Standardize products

50 Herbert Hoover’s Social Thought  He believed in self-regulation by business would ensure economic growth and a better life for all He did not believe in govt. intervention  After the Great Depression set in, he clung to voluntarism and was reluctant to use govt. power This greatly handicapped his ability to deal with a sick economy

51 CONCLUSION  In the 1920’s Americans tried to adjust to the mass production, mass culture, and urban society that had emerged  The decade’s political leadership was for the most part conservative and backward looking  Those who found this new world unfamiliar and threatening often reacted with repression and hate Supporters of prohibition, fundamentalists, KKK  Others embraced the new life-styles made possible by radios, cars, movies, and electric appliances  The social change also produced an outpouring of creative energy Harlem Renaissance, Jazz, American literature


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