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The Roaring Twenties!

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Kate Curtin

on 6 January 2016

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Transcript of The Roaring Twenties!

Vol XCIII, No. 311


Govt cut taxes & regulations to encourage business growth

Introduction of automobile increased US business/industry

Henry Ford

Factories (cities in Michigan, Ohio, etc.)

Road construction

Transit changes allowed families to move further away from city centers

Could buy cars and other goods on installment plan or on credit
The Roaring 20's
Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery. -- President Coolidge
Nativism leads to Immigration restrictions
Emergency Quota Act (1921)
Set up quota system (maximum number of immigrants allowed from each foreign country)
Immigration Act (1924)
More thorough law, set quota at 2% of total of any given country’s residents in the U.S. as of 1890
Vice President under Harding
Became President when Harding died August 2, 1923
Promised to preserve traditional American ways
Lowered taxes
Promoted business growth
Opposed large government intervention

Racism & Harassment
Fear of radicals and communists
Russian Revolution
inspired a call for international communist revolution
Palmer Raids
Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer organized raids on suspected communists, socialists and anarchists in 1919
Employers didn’t want their employees to join unions (linked to radicalism and communism)
Boston Police Strike
1919, police demanded a raise from commissioner, those who asked were fired and remaining police went on strike
Calvin Coolidge – Mass. Governor
called out National Guard to restore order
Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
used anti-immigrant and anti-radical attitudes as an excuse to step up racist behavior, violence against African Americans
Labor Unrest
Steel mill strike
September 1919, employers called strikers communist

United Mine Workers, went on strike November 1, 1919
Coal miners strike
Establishing World Peace
Kellogg-Briand Pact
Urged 64 nations to sign it
renounced war as a tool of international policy
Main Trends in American Society:


– preoccupation of society with the acquisition of consumer goods
– suspicion of foreign-born people
– turned away from governmental activism of progressive era

– US pulled away from involvement in world affairs

"Return to Normalcy"
President Warren G. Harding (Republican)
Elected 1920, campaign slogan “Return to normalcy”
Wanted to return the U.S. to simpler time before Progressivism and WWI
Gave majority of authority to cabinet officials ("Ohio-gang")
Teapot Dome Scandal
symbol of government corruption
government oil reserves were secretly leased to oil companies in exchange for financial compensation
Remove U.S. from any foreign wars or affairs
Senate oppose Treaty of Versailles & League of Nations
1918 Influenza epidemic
Fordney-McCumber Tariff
Highest import tax ever
War debt
U.S. did not help Britain, France or Germany repay war debts
Immigration Restrictions
Calvin Coolidge
New Rhythms in the Air
Jazz: type of music from black American origin characterized usually by a regular or forceful rhythm

Emerged at beginning of 20th century

Instruments: brass, woodwind, and piano

Jazz flourished widely in Kansas City in the 1930’s

More than 100 night clubs, dance halls, and vaudeville houses in Kansas City ft. jazz

Famous jazz artists: King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, Duke Ellington
The blues started up in the Mississippi Delta near New Orleans

Created by African Americans in the southern US

Music that expressed sadness and depression

Bessie Smith: won most famous female singer of the 1920s

Blind Lemon Jefferson: ¨founding father of Texas blues¨

The blues is said to have originated in Chicago and flourished all around

The blues spread north during the Great Migration

As African Americans moved North, the blues followed.
Boom and Bust
Stock Market Crash
Stock prices decline in Sept/Oct 1929
Oct 24 "Black Thursday" a record 12,894,650 shares were traded
Oct 29 "Black Tuesday" stock prices collapsed completely
16,410,030 shares traded on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in a single day
Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors
Stock prices had nowhere to go but up, some recovery
Overall prices continued to drop
By 1932 stocks were worth only about 20 percent of their value in the summer of 1929
Crash of 1929 not sole cause of the Great Depression, but it did accelerate the global economic collapse
By 1933, nearly half of America’s banks had failed, and unemployment was approaching 15 million people, or 30 percent of the workforce
The Growth of Religion and the Scopes Trial
A Protestant movement brought about modernism that stressed the Bible’s importance, and the importance of morals.

Fundamentalists strictly enforced scripture in literal ways.
John T Scopes is charged with violating the Butler Act by teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to high school student
Scopes found guilty and fined $100; case was later dropped
Evangelists – People who attempted to convert others to their religion
Aimee Semple McPherson – prominent Christian evangelist
Traveled from city to city in an attempt to bring more people into the church
The Scopes Trial
America Hits the Road
Selling America
Youth Sets the Scene
Fads and Trends
Because of the nation’s growing with youth, business decided to sell products that promised youth vitality.

Women started to rebel against society to gain intellectual and independence

Bobbed hair
Showed legs

Driving gloves
hair was gelled back for men
Short dresses for women
Peekaboo hats

Women in Schools
Colleges numbers increased

New schools were built with larger gyms and libraries

Americans kept children in schools because they didn’t depend on their wages like before.

At the Movies
New American Heroes
Sports Impact on American Society
Sports proliferated during the 20's. The increase in popularity was due to the new arising of media, which helped promote sports. Media was key for the American public to know what is going on around the country.
Sports Stars
One of the most famous baseball stars from the 1920’s is Babe Ruth. Babe Ruth won 7 championships for the New York Yankees, including 4 World Series titles.

Another popular sports icon during the 1920s is Red Grange, who made football history as one of the most remarkable athletes of all time.
Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindberg was an American aviator, military officer, explorer, social activist and a pilot.

He became famous for making the first transatlantic airplane flight in 1927.

Fun Fact
: His son got kidnapped and murdered by Bruno Richard Hauptmann who was convicted of first-degree murder, and also sentenced to execution.

The Harlem Renaissance
The cultural, social, artistic explosion the took place in Harlem at the end of World War 1 and the middle of 1920.

During the Harlem Renaissance white people started listening to music and reading literature written by black artists.

During the Harlem Renaissance new music like jazz and blues were created.

Lanstong Hughes, Duke Elington and Billie Holiday are some of the major parts who wrote in the Harlem Renaissance.

After the renaissance black music, literature, and art became more accepted in America.

The Failure of Prohibition
Crime & Criminals
Because of the criminal experience gained and political connections established in gambling, gangsters had become prepared for exploitation of prohibition.
How was crime changed as a result of prohibition?
Al Capone
Al Capone: He was a world famous gangster crime boss whose business took place in Chicago Illinois
What did he do?: Al Capone did bootlegging with alcohol and other illegal substances
he became a multimillionaire
he also encouraged and was a huge boss when it came to prostitution
was a huge gambler and was good at it
Baby Face Nelson: was a famous bank robber and was a famous killer in the 1930s
Was born in Chicago Illinois
He stole tires
armed robberies
Bonnie & Clyde:
Were famous criminals during 1930s
Traveled across u.s.
were in a gang called the Barrows

Crosses in the Night
Lost Generation
Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body - the producers and consumers themselves.

-- President Herbert Hoover (1930)
Great Depression
Long Term Causes for Depression
Changes in trade and production made key industries struggle
Textiles, steel, railroads
Farmers producing surplus makes prices drop
Government sets up price supports: buys surplus goods to prop up prices and prevent farm failure
Too few restrictions on people buying on credit, large amounts of debt
Economic boom widens gap between rich and poor, creates instability
Short Term Causes for Great Depression
Stock market crash
October 24 and October 29 (Black Tuesday), 1929
Prices of stock fall rapidly because of rush to sell all at once
Bank failure
Nervous customers try to withdraw money from banks all at once, banks don’t have the money on hand and fail
President Hoover
Struggles to combat depression, conservative policies prevent big intervention in economy
Public blamed him for depression (“Hoovervilles” and “Hoover blankets”)
Limited programs attempting to create jobs
Boulder Dam construction began 1930 (later re-named Hoover Dam)
Lost 1932 election to democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Introduced many programs to stimulate economy – called them The New Deal
Began reforms immediately – “First Hundred Days” in 1933
First action: closed banks, couldn’t re-open until they were stable
Job creation: helped Americans struggling with employment, propped up some industries
Attacks on the New Deal
New Deal
The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

-- President Franklin Roosevelt (1932)
How and when did the KKK grow in the late 1920s?
What were their beliefs they tried spreading?
Why did they sink back down into obscurity?
There have been 3 klans through history (1866-1872), (1915-1930s), (1930s-Present)

The Klan was against Jews, Catholics, immigrants, and African Americans

Their main focus was to re-establish white supremacy in America

Nativism and racism influenced the spread of the KKK

They performed burning cross ceremonies’ and lynching’s

By electing numerous senators they greatly spread their power and influence

By the 1920s the Klan had managed to attract an estimated 4,000,000 followers

By 1930 membership dwindled to around 4500 Klansmen
Who was the Lost Generation?
A group of American writers who came of age at the end of the World War.
Most of these writers emigrated to Europe
Most of the writers had strong connections to the World War.
They believed that the United States as they knew it was gone
Famous Writers and Artists
Key writers were: Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ernest Hemingway
wrote the novels The Sun Also Rises and The Old Man and the Sea.
His Mentor was Gertrude Stein who came up with the idea of “ The Lost Generation”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
wrote The Great Gatsby
Supreme Court struck down some programs
FDR tried to restructure courts (“court packing plan”) – Congress blocked him
Conservatives oppose it
American Liberty League: wealthy businessmen, thought programs violated individual and business liberties
Huey Long: started “Share Our Wealth” campaign, thought New Deal wasn’t enough
Second New Deal became necessary when programs didn’t do enough – “Second Hundred Days” in 1935
Goals of the New Deal
to provide Americans with immediate assistance to help them with basic necessities of life
food, direct monetary payments and employment

A policy or program that has its primary goal to promote growth in the American economy

A policy or program that was designed to ensure that effects of the Great Depression did not occur again
Women and the New Deal
Women appointed to many important government positions for the first time
Frances Perkins named Sec. of Labor
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt helped mobilize female votes for FDR
Continued to experience discrimination in workplace and struggle for equal rights
Opportunities for Black Americans
Black Americans appointed to government positions
“Black Cabinet” – influential blacks who advised the Roosevelt administration on racial issues
Organized by head of Office of Minority Affairs in the NYA, Mary McLeod Bethune

Eleanor Roosevelt supports black rights

FDR falls short of promoting full civil rights, afraid of alienating white Southern Democrats
Other Minorities
Mexican Americans largely supported the New Deal, although they received few benefits

Native Americans received gov’t support from the New Deal
Indian Reorganization Act (1934): strengthened land claims

Group of supporters of the New Deal made of:
Labor Unions
African Americans
Southern Whites
Urban Groups
New Deal Programs
FDR believed gov't legislation/involvement was crucial to stimulate the economy

STEP 1 - Deal with banking crisis
Banking Holiday:
banks shut down and subject to gov't inspection, allowed to open when "healthy"
People's confidence returned, they redeposited, allowing banks to invest in the economy

STEP 2 - Stock market reform
Police and regulate the NYSE

STEP 3 - Put more $ in circulation
FDR abandons gold standard (gov't could print more $ than gold reserves would allow)
w/ more $ in circulation, wages and prices increased
inflation gives govt more spending power
Prohibition failed because it was difficult to enforce, bootleggers, speakeasies, and organized crime.

Prohibition was so difficult to enforce because it increased organized crime and most government officials didn’t follow prohibition.

Bootleggers were people who smuggled alcohol during prohibition.

Speakeasies were underground bars/clubs that people would go to during prohibition so they could drink without getting caught.

Eventually the 21st amendment was passed and ended prohibition.

Phantom of the Opera (1925), Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) Robin Hood (1922) The Jazz Singer (1927)
Well known actors/ actresses:
Gary Cooper (1901-1961) began as a silent movie actor
Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) began at 7 years old. A “legend” in movie making.
Judy Garland : born in 1922. Well known for Wizard of Oz
The earliest movie theaters were called nickelodeons

In the 1920s advertisement changed from simply announcing the existence of a product to persuading the public that they need this product

This helped build brand loyalty for the company which helps sell other existing and new products to these same customers

Coca-Cola serves as a good example of how product advertising over this 40 year period

“Buy Now, Pay Later” became the credo of many middle class Americans of the Roaring 20s

For the single-income family, all these new conveniences were impossible to afford at once. But retailers wanted the consumer to have it all.

Department Stores opened up generous Lines of Credit for those who could not pay up front but could demonstrate the ability to pay in the future

Americans Buying on Credit
Mass Media
Of all the new appliances to enter the nation's homes during the 1920s, none had a more revolutionary impact than the radio

The first commercial radio station began broadcasting in 1919, and during the 1920s, the nation's airwaves were filled with musical variety shows and comedies.

The film industry was introduced and so was the birth of Hollywood, this became the single most significant instrument in the mass media during the 1920s

A small group of companies consolidated their control over the film industry and created the "studio system" that would dominate film production for the next 30 years. this created studios like Paramount, 20th Century Fox, MGM,etc.

Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA)
-- Protected farmers from price drops by providing crop subsidies to reduce production
Civil Works Administration (CWA)
-- Provided public works jobs at $15/week to four million workers
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
-- Sent 250,000 young men out of cities & into work camps to perform reforestation and conservation tasks
Federal Emergency Relief Act (FERA)
-- Distributed millions of dollars of direct aid to unemployed workers
Glass-Steagall Act (FDIC)
-- Created federally insured bank deposits ($2500 per investor)
National Youth Administration (NYA)
-- Part-time employment to more than two million college and high school students
Social Security Act (SSA)
-- Provided pensions, unemployment insurance, and aid to blind, deaf, disabled, and dependent children.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
-- Federal government build series of dams to prevent flooding and sell electricity. First public competition with private power industries
Works Progress Administration (WPA)
-- Employed 8.5 million workers in construction and other jobs, but more importantly provided work in arts, theater, and literary projects.

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