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AH2 -- Unit 5 - 20's & 30's

Boom and Bust -- The Roaring '20's and the Great Depression

Jennifer Byrd

on 18 April 2016

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Transcript of AH2 -- Unit 5 - 20's & 30's

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Prosperity and Depression
Economic Cycles of the 1920’s and 1930’s
From Prosperity to Depression
Social, Intellectual and Technological Changes of the Period
Race, Religion, and the Roles of Women
Impact of New Deal reforms in enlarging the role of the federal government
After WWI, Americans just wanted to return to the way things were before the war – normalcy meant:
Isolationism -- The growth of nativism and fear of Communism after the war led to:
the Red Scare, the Palmer Raids, and the execution of Sacco & Vanzetti
the Emergency Quota Act, Immigration Act, and the National Origins Act
Growth of a new KKK
Less social reform
Increased economic growth

Warren G. Harding
(Republican) was elected
Election of 1920 –
A “return to normalcy…”
1923 – Harding’s administration is rocked by scandal
Sect. of Interior Albert Fall
let private companies drill oil on government land in Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, California
Fall received over $300,000 in gifts and payments
Fall went to jail
Harding died of a heart attack (or did he???)

Tea Pot Dome
"If I have a milkshake, and
you have a milkshake, and
my straw reaches across
the room, I will drink your
What have you done,
Albert?? That was
public land!!! Oh…….my
heart!!! Call a doctor…
“The business of the
American people IS
Upon Harding’s death, V-P Calvin Coolidge, became president
Believed the government should not interfere with the growth of business
“Keep cool with Coolidge…”
The 1920’s was a great decade for business
advertising industry
became big business – made consumers WANT stuff!
The stock market continued to go up and up…
A lot of regular folks are buying stocks
– borrowing money to buy stocks
Coolidge is re-elected in 1924
Business grows…and grows….and grows…..
Vocabulary Alert:

on margin
Buying stock with
borrowed $$
New technology also helped create a booming economy:
Henry Ford’s
assembly line
revolutionized industry
(increased use of machinery for production) increased production of goods
The public wanted all the new inventions of the period – radios, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, etc.
Increased production = lower prices
Lower prices =
MAJOR consumer spending
Those who couldn’t afford these products bought them on
CREDIT – e.g. installment plans
You can get my Model T in any color
you want -- as long as it’s black!!!
New Technology:
becomes a MAJOR medium for entertainment and communication
Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of the first presidents to use the radio after his election in 1932 with his
“fireside chats"
He talked to the American people to reassure them that things would get better.
Social, Intellectual, and Technological Changes
Henry Ford
’s mass production of the automobile made it affordable to most people (or they could buy it on the installment plan….)
also made transportation faster and more efficient
Amelia Earhart
-- became a famous female aviator during the '20s
Disappeared somewhere over the Pacific in 1937
Charles Lindbergh

was the
1st person to fly non-stop and solo across the Atlantic Ocean
May 20–21, 1927, from Roosevelt Field on New York's Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris, France, a distance of nearly 3,600 miles.
Took 33 ½ hours
150,000 people greeted him as a hero
Won the $25,000 Orteig Prize, among others
Lucky Lindy
1932 – 20 month old Charles Lindbergh
was kidnapped from his home
Richard Bruno Hauptmann was eventually convicted and executed
Led to the “
Lindbergh Law
”, which made it kidnapping across state lines a federal offense, as well as using US mail as an instrument to communicate ransom demands, etc.

Crime of the Century

Motion Pictures

Between 1910 and 1930, the movie industry boomed
First pictures were silent movies (
Birth of a Nation
In 1927, the first talking movie debuted (
The Jazz Singer
with Al Jolson)
Movies later offered an inexpensive escape from the realities of the depression
Duke Ellington
Bessie Smith
Jelly Roll Morton
Louis Armstrong
Musical artists from New Orleans and Mississippi brought their talents to the north.
The Cotton Club was NY’s swinging place
The Jazz Age (or the Roaring 20’s)
In 1919, Congress passed the
Volstead Act
, to enforce the 18th Amendment which prohibited the sale of alcohol
This led to
and organized crime
Gangsters such as Al Capone, John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd
Illegal bars called “
” became popular drinking holes
“Joe Sent Me….”
More and more women entered the workforce, and single women changed clothing and hairstyles to suit their new lifestyles
Bobbed their hair
Shortened the dresses
Smoke, drank and tended to be more rebellious
These new women were called

Women in the 20’s
Vocabulary Alert:

Margaret Sanger
– believed large families led to poverty and restricted opportunities for women
Promoted the use of birth control – founded the American Birth Control League (later called Planned Parenthood)
Women, cont….
This was an outpouring of music and literature by African-Americans of the 20’s
Literature –
Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston
Music –
Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith
W.E.B. Dubois
– major political voice for blacks in the 20’s; founded NAACP
Marcus Garvey
– created the Universal Negro Improvement Association and started the
“Back to Africa”
Both promoted black pride
Race Issues –
Because so many people went into debt to buy new stuff, some Americans became disillusioned with the materialism of the 20’s
Sinclair Lewis
Main Street
, which critiqued American society
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby
Gertrude Stein
called some of the writers of the 20’s
the Lost Generation
, because they become so disillusioned with the greed and moral corruption that they actually became expatriates – left the US and moved to Europe
Ernest Hemingway
The Sun Also Rises, Farewell to Arms
) moved to France
Intellectual Trends of the 20’s
Post WWI and new technology brought a battle between religion and science – old vs. new; fundamentalism vs. science
Evangelists such as
Billy Sunday and Aimee Semple McPherson
preached fundamentalism on the radio
Religion and Science
1925 – Science teacher
John Scopes
taught Darwin’s
Theory of
in his biology class in Dayton, Tennessee and was arrested. (Evolution suggests that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations.)
It was ILLEGAL because it went against creationism
Clarence Darrow
was the defense attorney
William Jennings Bryan
was prosecutor
Scopes was found guilty
New machinery let farmers produce WAY more than the American public could consume
Overproduction = LOW prices AND…..
Farmers had gone into debt to buy new machines
Congress passed two bills to help farmers
Coolidge vetoed both
Farmers do NOT share the wealth…
Nah nah nah
nah…..hey hey
Republican Herbert Hoover defeated
Democrat Al Smith (1st Catholic candidate)
Election of 1928
As some major investors started selling, people went into a panic
16 million shares were sold in one day
The stock market crash meant that many who owned stocks lost everything they had
October 29, 1929 --
Black Tuesday
--Too many goods to buy; low farm prices
– high tariffs = lack of international trade
Too much credit
– people were in debt and couldn’t pay loans…banks went under
New technology
– machines replaced people and/or people went into debt to buy machines!
Stock market crash
-- jump-started a chain reaction -- spark of the Great Depression
Causes of the Great
Effects of the Great Depression:
Business failures =
Unemployment =
Foreclosures =
Bank failures =

Homelessness and poverty,
soup kitchens and bread lines
Hoover believed in “
rugged individualism”
– Americans had always believed that it was the individual’s job to take care of himself and his family – NOT the government’s….
But with the depression and about ¼ of Americans out of work, many felt it was the government’s job to provide DIRECT RELIEF
In 1932, over 43,000 (17,000 WWI vets) marched on Washington demanding their bonuses early
Hoover called in troops to run off the
“Bonus Army”
, as they were called.
Bad times are “Hoovering” over us…
Hoover’s primary response to the depression was creating the RFC
Federal money was pumped into banks and business to keep them going
Hoover believed in the
“trickle-down effect”
– that people would benefit from this because businesses could re-open and start hiring and banks could start loaning money to businesses.
Great idea – but NOT ENOUGH for this depression.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
In the Midwest, a series of storms blew the topsoil off the overused farm land, creating huge dust clouds that covered everything w/black dirt
Many traveled west to become migrant farms workers (Okies and Arkies)
Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck chronicled one family’s journey and hardships
Dust Bowl
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(Dem.) was elected
He was ready to experiment to try to solve the Depression
Created a group of scholars and experts called the
Brain Trust
his informal advisors)
Frances Perkins
as Sect. of Labor – first female Cabinet member.
Election of 1932
Say what???
“We have nothing to
fear but fear itself…"
Unlike Hoover, FDR believed it WAS the government’s job to provide direct relief
He thought deficit spending (spending borrowed $$) would help end the Depression
The New Deal had 3 goals:
In the “1st Hundred Days”, Congress passed a large number of bills
Civilian Conservation Corp
– CCC – provided jobs for young, single men
National Industrial Recovery Ac
t – NRA –
tried to raise industrial prices
Agricultural Adjustment Act
– AAA – tried to help farmers with loans and overproduction; paid them NOT to grow crops
Public Works Administration
– PWA – gave jobs building dams, highways, etc. ($6 bill)
Works Progress Administration
– WPA – gave jobs to build public buildings & paid struggling artists, writers, etc. ($13 bill)
New Deal Programs (Alphabet Agencies)
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
– FDIC –
Insured bank deposits in case of bank failures
Tennessee Valley Authority
– TVA – built dams to create jobs and bring electricity to poverty-striken southern Appalachia
Securities and Exchange Commission
– SEC – began regulating the stock market
Social Security Act
– SSA – Gave retirement income to everyone over 65
MORE New Deal agencies….that STILL exist today!!!
Many people felt it went TOO far, giving the gov’t. too much control. But some felt it did not do enough:
Father Charles Coughlin
– radio priest who wanted gov’t control of all banks, and redistribution of wealth
Huey P. Long
– Louisiana senator – wanted drastic redistribution of wealth, limits on income…called it Share the Wealth. Was assassinated
Francis Townsend
– wanted to give everyone over 60 $200 a month, requiring it be spent every month
Critics of the New Deal
Another group of FDR’s critics was the Supreme Court, which struck down both the AAA and the NRA as unconstitutional
To solve this problem, after his re-election in 1936, FDR proposed enlarging the court from 9 to 15 justices
People were outraged, and FDR gave up the idea
Court Packing
The New Deal did NOT end the Depression.

While it provided some direct relief, the economy would not rebound.
World War II will finally end the Depression
Vocabulary Alert:


Vocabulary Alert

is characterized by its length; by abnormally large increases in unemployment; falls in the availability of credit, often due to some kind of banking or financial crisis; shrinking output as buyers dry up and suppliers cut back on production and investment; large number of bankruptcies
Social behavior...

Spectator sports became extremely popular in the 20's

Boxing - Jack Dempsey
Baseball -- "Babe" Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig
Football -- Red Grange
Golf -- Bobby Jones
Most American women were NOT
flappers, though!
Dang that
AHII - Unit 5

The Roaring 20's
and the
Great Depression

Vocabulary Alert

illegal drinking clubs/bars
Women of the 20's who embraced the new
morality and lifestyles....
severe economic
downturn, lasting years;

Vocabulary Alert!
Brain Trust
Group of economic experts who served as FDR's advisors
But what a price....
Vocabulary Alert!!
The study/belief in the possibility of improving the human species by discouraging reproduction of persons with undesirable traits (negative) or encouraging reproduction of persons with desirable traits (positive)
Change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by means of natural selection, mutation, genetic drift
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