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1920's Good & Bad Things
Transcript of 1920's Good & Bad Things
The General Electric company introduced the Monitor Top.
The Monitor Top replaced many ice boxes in homes.
The benefit of new kitchen appliances was the key to attracting consumers in the 1920s.
During the 1920's a law was passed abolishing the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating liquors
Alcohol was heavily consumed before the law and it would have been very difficult to just stop all at once
There was such a great need for alcohol that wasn't being provided to the citizens
Gangsters saw this as a way to earn money, there was a big want for something that they could provide
Prohibition ironically lead to the growth of organized crime, speakeasies, saloons, etc
Growth of Organized Crime
Prohibition caused a new breed of gangsters and a growth of organized crime
The gangsters noticed the high demands for alcohol within society and the extremely limited supply there was to the average citizen.
Within this need of supply and demand, gangsters saw a chance to make a profit.
Al Capone in Chicago is one of the most famous gangsters of this time period.
These gangsters would hire men to smuggle in rum from the Caribbean (rum runners) or hijack whiskey from Canada and bring it into the U.S.
Others would buy large quantities of liquor made in homemade stills.
The gangsters would then open up secret bars (speakeasies) for people to come in, drink, and socialize illegally.
During this period, newly hired Prohibition agents were responsible for raiding speakeasies, finding stills, and arresting gangsters, but many of these agents were under-qualified and underpaid leading to a high rate of bribery.
Growth of KKK in the U.S.
The KKK was a clan that was anti-African American, anti-Jewish, anti-foreign, and anti-Catholic. Their purpose was to show that whites were still superior to other races.
In 1915, William Simmons founded the twentieth-century version of the KKK after viewing the film, Birth of a Nation, which glorified the history of the Klan.
They wore white robes and masks over their faces to conceal their identity. They would shoot into people's houses and burn their houses down
The Klan became a respected part of the Democratic Party and reached its peak of political power in the 1920s, when membership may have been as high as 4.5 million, including many prominent business and political leaders.
In 1922, the first all-color movie was called "Toll of the Sea."
The first movie with sound effects and music was called Don Juan.
In 1922,The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson, was the first movie made with sound (first talking movie).
In 1922, the first 3-D movie is released.
In 1928, Steamboat Willie introduced Mickey Mouse to the world.
Americans went to the cinema on a weekly basis.
The movie industry became a major part of American Industry.
During the 20's, most industries switched from coal power to electricity.
Most homes, towns, and cities were lit by electricity.
This allowed Americans to run new labor saving appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, electric razors, vacuum cleaners, electric irons, radios, and gramophones.
1920's Good & Bad
By: Sarah Salama, Athina Mahabeer, Julianne Bulatao
The Invention of the Radio
The invention of the radio was a very impactful event during the 1920's
With the radio, news was able to travel a lot faster throughout the nation
The radio made it possible to reach millions of listeners across the nation at the same time
The invention of the radio made it possible for people to listen to music in the comfort of their own home
Also, the radio aided the boom of Jazz music
Credit impacted the 1920s in a positive and a negative way
People in the 1920's used credit to buy anything they wanted now, and pay later
High consumption of goods created jobs to supply the high demands
With all the money that was being spent and the high consumption of goods, it created an economic boom
The 1920s were a time where Art culture really started to grow in America.
Poets, Authors, Musicians, and Artists started to become alive at this time due to the fact that the Jazz Age had a very free and expressive atmosphere
American artists and writers show American life realistically, recording the culture
Although some writers did reject the feel of the Jazz Age and became known as the Lost Generation.
The writers and artists apart the Lost Generation rejected materialistic values and disliked American culture
The Harlem Renaissance
The 1920's gave rise to many famous authors.
For African Americans, New York City's Harlem became their own cultural center
Many African American writers and poets took part of the literary scene in a movement called the Harlem Renaissance
Writers like James Baldwin, Countee Cullen, and Langston Hughes wrote about the African American experience
The Jazz Age
The 1920's was a time when Jazz was born.
Jazz bands played at dance halls and radio stations and phonograph records carried their tunes to listeners across the country.
Many young people during the 1920's loved to dance. Some of the famous dances at the time were the Charleston, the cake walk, the black bottom, and the flea hop.
Some elders didn't like jazz music's "vulgarity", but the younger people loved the freedom they felt on the dance floor.
The Assembly Line
The assembly line was the key to production of Ford's Model T.
He sold more than 15 million automobiles by 1927.
The economy continued to flourish because of the automobiles popularity.
Also, the construction of roads and highways contributed to the flourishing economy.
The Invention of the Refrigerator
In many of the Celebrities at this time, Americans recognized the virtues of the good old days
One of the many celebrities was baseball star, Babe Ruth who hit 60 home runs, winning the hearts of Americans, and breaking the season record.
Another celebrity would be Charles Lindbergh known as "Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle," was an American pilot famous for the first solo, non-stop flight from New York to Paris in 1927 in the Spirit of St. Louis.
Also, Duke Ellington who moved to Harlem in 1923 and began playing at the cotton club. He was a composer, pianist, and band leader. He was the most influential figures in jazz.
Lastly, Walt Disney who was a film maker, cartoonist, visionary. He opened small animation studio in 1923 and created a worldwide media empire, brought families and countries together. He developed many famous characters as well as amusement theme parks.
Because of women's suffrage, women felt free and able to do anything they pleased
This new attitude created a whole fashion fad. Women following this fad were known as flappers
Women expressed their freedom in their clothes, fashion, and their ability to go out as much as they wanted
Women weren't as conservative with their bodies and showed a lot more skin than the previous generation.
They wore short dresses, makeup, and cut their hair short
Since women started wearing more makeup, styling their hair, and generally changing their "look" new businesses and products started to appear that solely targeted women.
The 1920's were a time where the status of women in the workplace improved greatly.
Women were able to vote along the same lines as men in a number of countries.
Some of these countries were the United States, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Albania, and British Burma.
Women weren't perceived as "less than men" as much as before and were perceived a little more as "equals"
The Birth of Mass Culture
During the 1920's, many Americans had more money to spend and they spent it on consumer goods like home appliances and clothes, but in particular, they bought radios.
The first commercial radio station in the U.S., Pittsburgh's KDKA, hit the airwaves in 1920. Three years later, there were more than 500 stations in the U.S.
The most important consumer product of the 1920's were automobiles. Low prices and generous credit made cars affordable luxuries. (Ford Model T = $260 in 1924)
Madison Square Garden was rebuilt in 1925 to hold sporting events such as boxing, ice hockey, and basketball.
The Yankee Stadium was built in 1927 for baseball.
Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs.
Sports fans could listen to sports events live on the radio.
Professional football began during the 1920s.
Because of the whole "buy now, pay later" attitude in the early 20's, the nation was suffering from a lot of debt in the late 20's
After the stock market crash, credit froze up, once the credit froze up there was less and less money in system
Less money in the system caused deflation
To compensate for all the debt that we were in we had to higher tariffs
Once the tariffs went up, fewer countries were buying and trading with us
The less other nations were buying and trading with us the more jobs were lost
The consequences of credit lead to massive unemployment which then led to the Great Depression
The Stock Market Crashed
Many people invested in the 1920's. Although the Stock Market posed a risk, the optimism of the people in the 1920's was too great, so they simply ignored it.
They pulled money everywhere, investing their entire life savings.
In 1929, the Stock Market crashed.
This led to total devastation, resulting in the Great Depression of the 1930's.
In the southern states, Jim Crow laws still existed.
These separated out facilities for blacks and whites.
Some facilities included benches, toilets, and buses.
Black schools were under funded so most black people had a poor education, as well as poorly paid jobs, often working in farms.
In 1924 Congress placed quotas on the numbers of immigrants allowed into the country. This was done by ethnic group, with more people allowed in from groups who already had large communities in the USA.
In this way, Western Europeans were favored above others. Asians were banned from entering entirely.
A speakeasy is an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages.
A primary goal of the 1920s Prohibition was the reduction of drinking by workers.
Speakeasies are related to organized crime.
American farmers were not able be apart of the flourishing economy.
Due to an over-production of crops, there was more food produced than the population.
New farming machinery such as tractors and combine harvesters allowed the farmers to produce more food.
Due to the surplus of food, growing more food would only lower the price for the farmers.
• The Scopes Trial was one of the first highly publicized trial that concerned the teaching of evolution.
• The trial was about modern values and traditional values in America in the 1920s.
• John Scopes was convicted and fined $100 for teaching evolution in his class.
Immigrants were also targeted by the KKK and faced many racist situations, similar to African Americans
Immigrants were also refused jobs and some refused to serve them
Many Americans believed that the immigrants were taking their jobs
Immigration laws were tightened so much that only a small amount of each race could immigrate to America per year
Many of the low-paying jobs that the immigrants would take were given to immigrants from Canada and Mexico
Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover
• Warren G. Harding was ranked one of the worst US presidents.
• It was his own lack of vision and his poor sense of priorities that positioned him so low in the ranking of U.S. Presidents.
•Herbert Hoover was blamed for the Great Depression and was criticized for his efforts to resolve the economic problem.
Farmers and the Unemployed
Farming wasn't booming in the 1920's. Isolated rural areas didn't have electricity for the new consumer goods.
3/4 of the population was in poverty
The 1920's was also a time when tens of millions of Americans felt alienated from the society in which they lived.
While it is true that there was an economic boom in the 20's, 3/4 of the population were still in poverty
Even with the great demand for goods there was still very little work
In this time period if you weren't white middle class you were struggling very hard.
• The Great Depression that started in 1929 ruined the public's opinion of Coolidge.
• Many linked the nation's economic collapse to Coolidge's policies.
• Nearly five thousand rural banks in the Midwest and South shut their doors in bankruptcy while many thousands of farmers lost their lands.
End of World War I
The war was finally over
Many celebrated and others mourned for the many lives lost in the war.
The U.S. didn't suffer as much as the other countries after the war which made farms and industries expand.
Racism in the U.S.
The Great Depression
The Stock Market crash led to the Great Depression.
It was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world.
13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half of the country’s banks had failed.
Though the relief and reform measures put into place by President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped lessen the worst effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the economy didn't fully turn around until after 1939, when World War II kicked American industry into high gear.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."