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Chapter 25: The Jazz Age

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Harry Jarcho

on 30 January 2018

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Transcript of Chapter 25: The Jazz Age

Democrats nominated
Al Smith
– Smith was a former governor of NY, of Irish/German/Italian heritage, Catholic, anti-Prohibition, and viewed as a progressive
Republicans nominated
Herbert Hoover
when Coolidge declined to run for re-election
Hoover ran promoting the economic prosperity under the Republicans and promising a “final triumph over poverty”
The Election of 1928
The Coming of the Great Depression
Rapid social change provoked a backlash, highlighting the tensions and contradictions of the decade
Job fears combined with nostalgia for an idealized, more homogeneous America led Congress to pass:
Emergency Quota Act
(1921), which limited annual immigration from any country to 3% of that nation's representation in the U.S. as of 1910, giving a huge advantage to immigrants from northern and western Europe.
Three years later, Congress passed the
Immigration Act of 1924
, which included the
National Origins Act

and the

Asian Exclusion Act
, lowering the quota to 2% - an obvious effort to limit “new immigration” of southern European Catholics and eastern European Jews and banning Asians entirely

Nativism and Immigration Restriction
Changing Image of Women
High tariffs protected American industry, but hurt farm exports
Coolidge was committed to
government (hands off the economy, cut back on regulation of industry)
Promoted US economic interests abroad, a return to –
Dollar Diplomacy
Women were replaced by returning servicemen in most industrial jobs
Wage discrimination remained widespread
The weakening of the labor union movement hurt women
Women found increasing employment in offices, as secretaries – rarely in management positions
Women’s role and power as consumers grew, even as they were pushed out in the workplace
Women in the Workplace
New assembly line techniques (
) boosted productivity 40%, lowering prices
Business consolidation continued - Ford, GM, GE, Westinghouse - by 1930, 100 corporations controlled nearly 50% of all American business
Initially, corporations rejected wage cuts, and actually raised wages in order to stimulate consumer demand
Advertising and
buying on credit
grew explosively
Presidential Election of 1924
Democratic Party support was split between urban voters (ethnic, progressive) and rural voters (Southern, conservative, often racist)
For example, to keep Southern support, the 1924 Democratic convention rejected a resolution condemning the Ku Klux Klan
With the Democratic Party divided, Progressive candidate Robert LaFollette siphoning off progressive votes, and with the economy humming along, Coolidge cruised to a landslide Republican victory in 1924
Cars and Consumer Goods:
Installment Buying
As the stock market tumbled on October 24, 1929, a crowd of concerned investors gathered outside the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street
Management employed thugs to intimidate and harass labor during the 1920s. Union organizers were tarred as unamerican Communists during the “Red Scare”
The Klan’s promise to restore America’s racial, ethnic, religious, and moral purity appealed to middle- and working class white Protestants who were frightened by rapid social change
The Klan added immigrants, Catholics, and Jews to their campaign of lynching, arson, and intimidation that they had pioneered against African-Americans
Nativism, Racism, and the Resurgence
of the Ku Klux Klan
Marcus Garvey
, shown here in New York City in 1922, attracted many poor and working-class urban African-Americans with the parades and regalia of his
Universal Negro Improvement Association

and its message of black pride, self-help, and pan-African nationalism.
Marcus Garvey (1887–1945)
Blues by Archibald Motley, 1929
This painting by the African-American artist
Archibald Motley
represented the "Ash-Can" style, which considered no subject too undignified to paint, as well as the sensual relationship between jazz music and dancing within African American culture.
No other artistic form exemplified America’s changing, modernizing culture as vividly as jazz, but it was by no means the only contribution of African-Americans to American music and culture. African-Americans also contributed the blues during this time.
American Becomes an Urban Nation:
Lesson 3: A Booming Economy
Clarence Darrow (left) argued against William Jenning Bryan at the Scopes Trial
- A Protestant movement which believes in the Bible’s literal truth, e.g., the Genesis account of Creation
Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection (evolution)
as a threat to their religious faith, Fundamentalists sought to outlaw teaching it in the public schools
Fundamentalism and the Scopes “Monkey” Trial
From Grove to Consumer: California Citrus Industry in the 1920s
The ban on much European immigration led to a huge rise in immigration from Mexico and other Latin American countries, principally to fill farm labor needs
Mexican workers at a citrus grove in Southern California’s Orange County.
The idealized scene of a mother and child with Valencia oranges is from a crate label used by an Orange County citrus grower.
Needed Workers/Unwelcome Aliens:
Hispanic Newcomers Fill the Void When European and Asian Immigration are Restricted
Sunday, by Edward Hopper, 1926
East River from the 30th Story of the Sheridan Hotel, by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1928
Architects, Painters, and Musicians Confront Modern America
A Farewell to Arms
, Ernest Hemingway wrote cynically about the “glory” and “sacrifices” of war and about the politicians who waged it
The Great Gatsby
, F. Scott Fitzgerald celebrated the liberation of the Roaring Twenties, but also exposed the decadence, selfishness, and disregard of the hedonistic rich for the less fortunate
Disillusioned writers and youth rejected Victorian morality and sought to defy conventional definitions of proper behavior
The Jazz Age
Mass media, especially movies, both shaped fashion and reflected national anxieties about changing social mores (e.g., role of women, impact of assembly line routine on men’s sense of self-worth)
Traditionalists and Fundamentalists worried that Hollywood's "Jewish -owned" movie industry was contributing to immorality
Hollywood and Celebrity Culture
Labor saving appliances like gas stoves, electric irons, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners meant eased housework for women
Car ownership meant new freedom for workers, women, and youth
Cities, Cars, Consumer Goods
Mass Society and Consumerism
The growth of consumer goods and electrical appliances, but especially the automobile industry, stimulated the economy
By 1930, 60% of American families owned a car
Like other nations, the US enacted high tariffs to protect domestic industry - this policy hurt farmers, as farm prices and agricultural exports plummeted
“Fueled by new consumer products and new methods of producing and selling goods, the economy surged in the 1920s. Not everyone benefited, and farmers in particular suffered chronic economic woes.”

After a brief postwar down-turn, the American economy surged in the 1920s.
Economic Expansion, 1920–1929
Prohibition was widely ignored – it undermined respect for the law and strengthened organized crime.
Viewed as a failed experiment, Prohibition was repealed in 1933.
Prohibition was both an effort to address alcohol abuse, and an effort at moral control of the immigrant cities.
Return to Normalcy
In the Presidential Election of 1920, Republicans sought to soothe the nation after the war and nominated
Warren G. Harding
, who promised a
“Return to Normalcy”
When Harding died in office, VP
Calvin Coolidge
assumed office
Harding and Coolidge Administrations
Lesson 2: Desire for Normalcy
Essential Questions:
What were the main cultural and political conflicts in the 1920s?
How did government policies and economic developments in the 1920s help cause the Great Depression?
Booming Business: A Consumer Culture
Booming Business, Trouble for Farmers
Republican Policy in a Pro-Business Era
Progressive Stirrings, Democratic Party Divisions
Harding and Coolidge Administrations
Harding and Coolidge Administrations
Mass Society, Mass Culture
Flaming Youth,
Alienated Writers
A Clash of Cultures
A Clash of Cultures
Smith carried the nation’s 12 largest cities , but, Hoover won in a landslide
Herbert Hoover at the Helm
The Stock Market Crash of 1929
The Changing Image of Women,
Flaming Youth, and Alienated Writers
Labor and Racial Strife
Racial Strife
African-American efforts to assert equal rights led to a white backlash
Returning soldiers demanded equality, based on service
Job opportunities had led to the Great Migration to northern industrial cities
After the war, job competition and latent racial prejudices in the North led to a series of race riots and violence against African-Americans, both in the rural South and industrial North, e.g., Chicago, St. Louis, Tulsa
Unionized white workers resented black strike-breakers, once industry began to roll back wartime wage gains
Labor Unions Lose Ground in the 1920s
Gains made by labor during WWI were rolled back during this period
1919 saw the largest number of strikes in the nation's history, as employers tried to roll back WWI wage increases and tried to kill unions
Anti-union forces claimed that labor unions were led by Communists who sought to destroy capitalism and overthrow the American government
Union membership fell from 5.1 million to 3.6 million
White workers also feared and resented competition from blacks, who had migrated North for factory jobs during WWI
Fear of Radicalism: The Palmer Raids, Sacco & Vanzetti, and

The Red Scare
April, 1919 – postal workers intercept 34 bombs addressed to govt. officials
June, 1919 – unsuccessful bombing attempt on life of U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer
Palmer establishes antiradicalism division of the Justice Dept. (became the FBI) and launches a series of raids on suspected radicals
Over 7000 alleged anarchist, radical immigrants and citizens arrested, imprisoned – many are deported without trial
Red Scare
hysteria was in full bloom, leading to the May, 1920 arrest of
Nicola Sacco
Bartolomeo Vanzetti
on murder charges

The Palmer Raids
Sacco and Vanzetti
Rural, native-born WASP America v.
Increasingly diverse, urban America
Anti-immigrant prejudice, anti-German prejudice, and patriotic fervor all combined to finally achieve the Progressive's dream of temperance - the era of alcohol prohibition arrived with the
18th Amendment
"a victory for health, morals, and Christian values"

The experiment failed, as crime syndicates grew rich providing illegal alcohol to Americans, who broke the law in droves
Nativism and Immigration Restriction
A Clash of Cultures
A Clash of Cultures
Lesson 4: The Roaring Twenties
The Lost Generation
Intellectual Modernism
The Harlem Renaissance
African Nationalism:
The Garvey Movement
I, Too, Sing America
by Langston Hughes
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,"

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.
African-American poets, like
Langston Hughes
, and authors, like
Zora Neale Hurston
, expressed confidence and pride in the African-American experience
A Booming Economy
Mass Production, Business Consolidation, Advertising, and Buying on Credit
Brief video clip of Rudolph Valentino
Brief video clip of flapper icon Clara Bow
Brief video clip of Charles Lindberg
Jazz great Louis Armstrong
Introductory Video Clip
Lesson 1: Time of Turmoil
Chapter 25: The Jazz Age
Harding and Coolidge
New Ways of Producing, Managing, and Selling
Popular Mass Entertainment

The Palmer Raids
With the economy humming along, Coolidge cruised to a landslide Republican victory in 1924
Explaining how to buy a car on credit
A number of American writers were disillusioned by WWI and objected to what they thought was a shallowness in American culture. Some left the U.S. to live in Paris and other European countries. They became known as the "Lost Generation."
The Growing Influence of Movies and the Rise of Sports
Factory workers sought relief from the boredom of assembly line work in new leisure activities.
Professional sports, books, movies, and radio all grew in popularity
Harlem, NY became a mecca for African-American poets, writers, and artists, as well as a base for growing political power and pride, as exemplified by the Garvey movement
The Harlem Renaissance
“America must be kept American.”
President Calvin Coolidge quoted upon signing the National Origins Act in 1924)

The Roaring Twenties
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Nativism, Anti-radicalism, and the Trial of Sacco & Vanzetti
Art and Literature
Chapter 25: The Jazz Age
The Urban and Rural Population of the United States, 1900–2000
Blues legend Bessie Smith
Anti-immigrant prejudices, as well as anti-German and anti-Irish stereotypes of being "boozers" played a role in the Prohibition movement.
Anti-Prohibition Protest March
Full transcript