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Utopia and Dystopia in History

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Katie Robertson

on 24 October 2013

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Transcript of Utopia and Dystopia in History

Utopia and Dystopia in History
WW I at a glance...
Going further, how do these, along with traditions, values, and beliefs contribute to the development of culture?
Let's start with World War 1
With your group, discuss what you know about "The Great War." As a group, decide whether this was a utopic or dystopic time period. Be able to defend your decision with evidence or characteristics from what we have previously discussed.
How has the vision of the American Dream (a utopian society) been made evident in literature, art, and music?
Take 3 minutes and brainstorm a list of time periods that could be considered dystopic or utopic.
The Roaring 20's/ The Jazz Age
How is art, literature, and music a reflection of the time period in which it was created?
Art of WW I
Yet another characteristic of a Dystopia.
Which of the four causes of WW 1 could be illustrated in this painting?
"Flags on Fifty-Seventh Street"
Music of WW I
"Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts for Soldiers"- Al Jolson
H. G. Wells
Early in his career, he wrote the Utopic novel, "A Modern Utopia."
He sought a better way to organize society.
Literature of WW I
The World Set Free is a novel written in 1913 and published in 1914 by H. G. Wells. The book is based on a prediction of nuclear weapons of a more destructive and uncontrollable sort than the world has yet seen.
"The World Set Free" (1914)
As nations often do after wars, America fell into a policy of isolationism in the 1920s.

The United States stayed out of European affairs and severely restricted immigration. Leaving the ideals of the Progressive Era behind, America in the twenties was back to its pro-business stance. And though they weren't drinking in public, thanks to Prohibition, Americans had lots of new entertainment to distract them: jazz music, new styles of dancing, radio broadcasts, and the first "talking" motion pictures.
After WW I
Starting in 1921, America experienced a decade of prosperity that fueled a growing consumer culture. Automobiles (invented twenty years earlier) finally became affordable for a large number of Americans, who also began purchasing new home appliances: refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and washing machines.

Large numbers of African-Americans had come North during World War I to find manufacturing jobs. In the twenties, new African-American communities flourished in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere. Jazz music (which had been invented by African-Americans in the South around 1900) now found enormous popularity with white audiences as well.

The music moved from bluesy, New Orleans beginnings to orchestra-inspired big bands with twelve to twenty members. These big bands played danceable swing music in clubs and halls. King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie were some of the newly famous jazz musicians.
Music of the Roaring 20's
Billie Holiday:
one of my personal favorites.
Show me your dancing skills...

How do you think the people of this time period felt about this music?
How is the music of this time period utopic? dystopic?
Based on what you know so far, how is jazz music a reflection of the time period?
Most Americans (women in particular) thought immoral behavior and drinking were like hot days and snow cones: they went hand in hand. Women couldn't yet vote, but they demonstrated their political influence when the United States outlawed the manufacturing and selling of alcohol in 1920 by passing the Eighteenth Amendment.

But those who lived during Prohibition found many ways to skirt the law. Bootleggers smuggled liquor from the West Indies and Canada, and new secret clubs called speakeasies appeared in major cities, replacing bars.
In fact, the Prohibition didn't eradicate immoral behavior so much as it allowed a new class of organized thieves to flourish. Gangsters throughout America got enormously rich from distributing illegal alcohol. Al Capone, the famous mob boss of Chicago, built an empire of organized crime entirely based on controlling liquor.
African-American culture was flourishing in the jazz clubs of New Orleans, Chicago, and New York, but this wave of creative output wasn't limited to music. During the Harlem Renaissance, poets and authors brought the black experience to the printed page. Langston Hughes used blues forms and motifs in his politically charged poems, including his famous "The Weary Blues" in 1926. Later he became a communist and began advocating for major political change in America with such poems as "One More 'S' in the U. S. A."
F. Scott Fitzgerald
This book portrays the time period as beautiful, but morally corrupt, as many viewed it.
Though Gatsby’s power to transform his dreams into reality is what makes him “great,” Nick, the protagonist, reflects that the era of dreaming—both Gatsby’s dream and the American dream—is over.
A. A. Milne Publishes Winnie the Pooh (1926)
Agatha Christie Disappears and Reappears (1926)England
In December of 1926, the English writer Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie (1891 - 1976) was discovered to be missing. Despite the fact that she was later located at a hotel, the reason for the mystery-writer's disappearance was never determined.
Christie's mysteries often featured Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, who were two detectives. Agatha Christie had a highly successful career, receiving the 1954 - 1955 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award in honor of her Witness for the Prosecution. It was made into a movie in 1957.
Adolf Hitler's Book, Mein Kampf,
is Published (1925)
In July of 1925, Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945) issued his autobiography. The book, entitled Mein Kampf or My Struggle, would have a second volume in 1926; the People's Edition appeared in 1930. The book, written while Hitler was imprisoned early in his career, reflected his hatred of Jews, and his belief that Germans were a superior race. Outside of Germany the book was not given much notice, a fact the Allies would soon regret.

Hitler wrote this book post WW I. Discuss with your group how he was able to convince the majority of the German population to agree with his outlandish accusations.
What impact will this book have on the future? (US and the WORLD)

Film and TV
The Jazz Singer Becomes the First Talkie (1927)
The first film featuring spoken words was The Jazz Singer. Warner Brothers produced the talkie in 1927. Al Jolson (1886 - 1950), who was later in The Singing Fool, spoke the first words. In the previous year, the company had created a film with music. In 1928, Warner Brothers moved film making a step further. The Lights of New York became the first film to feature speech throughout the entire movie. The arrival of talkies hurt many silent film stars, but others like Charlie Chaplain were able to continue their work.
Art of the Jazz Age:
Aaron Douglas

Aaron Douglas was the Harlem Renaissance artist whose work best exemplified the 'New Negro' philosophy. He painted murals for public buildings and produced illustrations and cover designs for many black publications including The Crisis and Opportunity. In 1940 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he founded the Art Department at Fisk University and taught for twenty nine years.
How is this painting a reflection
of current society?
The End of an Era:
All this prosperity came crashing down on Black Monday, October 28, 1929. Soon the stock market had lost $30 billion, ushering in the Great Depression, and then World War II.
In World War II a new Dictator would rise to power. His goal would be to
create a German Utopia. What are your reactions to this Utopia?
Is this a Utopia?
Task 1:

As a Historian of the 21st century, you have been chosen to account one of the current events or aspects of our society. You will be leaving this piece of history for future generations to study and understand our current world.
Choose a current event or aspect of today's society. Using art, literature, and/or music as a medium, document this event or aspect, to reflect the culture of your generation.

A message that is intended primarily to serve the interests of the messenger—this is the basic definition of propaganda. It may also be defined as the spreading of information in order to influence public opinion and to manipulate other people's beliefs. Information can be delivered in many ways.
The Great War affected and hurt all nations and families that were involved. Not surprisingly, the war also influenced artists and writers alive during the time period. Pablo Picasso's horror at the war showed up in many of his paintings. Writer Gertrude Stein named this group of writers and artists the lost generation. This name comes from the fact that the world felt that they had lost a generation of young men who'd died in the war. And those who lived were deeply scarred.
This war was often referred to as "The Great War." In your opinion why or why isn't this an appropriate name?
What are the major causes of WW I?
The assassination of Franz Ferdinand.....
This was the "the straw that broke the camel's back"
4 Major Causes:
1. Imperialism
European nations were competing with one another to claim the greatest number of colonies in Africa, Asia and South America. More colonies meant more global power.
2. Militarism
European countries were not just competing for colonies. They were also rivals for military power. England had built the famously large and powerful Royal Navy. Other countries—especially Germany—believed that they needed to build up their navies just in case they ever had to fight against England.
3. Alliances
Even though the leaders of these countries were busy strengthening their militaries, they knew they needed some friends. So they turned to some of their neighboring countries and said, "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine." Various countries made military alliances, or agreements that if another country attacked their friends, they would back their friends and help them fight.
4. Nationalism
Nationalism is a belief system in which people love their country and want it to be the most powerful nation in the world. They cheer for military victories and often denounce those who propose peace as traitors.

Imagine your favorite team makes it to the championship game. How hard are you going to cheer for them? If a fan of the rival team starts criticizing your team, how are you going to feel? Now imagine that the stakes are much higher. It’s life or death. And everyone has guns. Can you see how it can be dangerous when whole countries feel this way?
So, here's the breakdown:
Why did the assassination of F. Ferdinand start the war?
Most of the fighting was among European countries. Why do you think the US got involved?
The Bombing of the Lusitania was the first cause.
Task 2:
Choose a current
issue and create a
piece of propaganda,
convincing people to
believe as you do.
Task 3:
Pick a time in your lifetime that could be considered utopic or dystopic . Describe the time and
explain how the music,
art, literature, or values
were a reflection of
the dystopia or utopia of that time.

The war ended in 1918 with an Armistice, or cease fire.
The Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919.
The treaty created several new countries in the place of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire
How did World War I's effects on Germany contribute to World War II?
The most dramatic part of the treaty related to Germany. Even though we know that there were many causes of the war, Germany was forced to take complete responsibility for all of the destruction and casualties of the war. All 10 million deaths of soldiers and 10 million deaths of civilians. Some of Germany’s land was taken away and given to neighboring countries, and the Germans were made to pay an extremely large debt (about $442 billion in modern dollars). The debt was so large that Germany didn’t finish paying it off until 2010.

Some historians argue that the treaty was too harsh on Germany and that by crippling Germany, the treaty helped cause the conditions that allowed Hitler to rise to power.

Other Interesting WW I Facts:

Trench Warfare
Poisonous gas
What people thought the war was like vs. what the war was actually like.
the "Roaring 1920's"
Full transcript