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The Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties. The “Red Scare” Prohibition Gangsters The Jazz Age Flappers. Politics. President - 1920: Warren G. Harding “Return to normalcy” In a nation weary of war abroad and sacrifice at home Harding offered American’s a return to the good old days.

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The Roaring Twenties

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  1. The Roaring Twenties The “Red Scare” Prohibition Gangsters The Jazz Age Flappers

  2. Politics President - 1920: Warren G. Harding “Return to normalcy” In a nation weary of war abroad and sacrifice at home Harding offered American’s a return to the good old days

  3. What wasn’t normal after the war? • People were changing: • Technology changes the social scene • Mass media • Prohibition and organized crime

  4. Why? • Factories were converted for wartime production. • Neutrality prior to WWI: The US wanted to remain out of the European issues. • Great Migration: After the war many European refugees entered the US.

  5. Women’s Suffrage19th Amendment On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment by a vote of 304 to 89 and the Senate followed suit on June 4, by a vote of 56 to 25.

  6. Satirical Paper Religious Awakening • Religious Fundamentalism • Evolution vs.. Creationism

  7. Religious Fundamentalism • Definition of “fundamentalism” • The Fundamentals (1910) • ACLU attack on prohibition against teaching on evolution • Scopes “Monkey” Trial—Dayton, TN (1925)

  8. Evolutionism vs. Creationism a. Scopes Trial (Monkey Trial)- IN 1925, John T. Scopes (a high school biology teacher) was put on trial for teaching evolution. Scopes hired Clarence Darrow (like Johnny Cochran) to defend him. The debate was supposed to be over a teacher’s right to choose what to teach, but turned into what scientific theory was right: Evolutionism or Creationism.

  9. Issues in Religion • Scopes Monkey Trial • Carnival-like atmosphere around the Trial • John Scopes defied the law and was arrested for teaching evolution in 1925. • Scopes was found guilty and the penalty was $100 fine, which he never paid. • Challenged religion and traditional ideology.

  10. Immigration Restriction • 1917 Literacy Test • National Origins Quota Act (1924) • Slanted toward favoring “old immigrants” • Doors wide open to western hemisphere countries • Increased mechanization had reduced need for labor

  11. The Red Scare • Life in the 1920’s seemed to be unstable. • The overthrowing of governments abroad and the labor strikes and bombings at home convinced people that political violence posed a real threat to the US.

  12. The Red Scare • Red Scare An intense fear of communism and other politically radical ideas. • People felt that the instability in America was a result of immigrants bringing there radical ideas from abroad

  13. Russia • Picture of Russia

  14. American Fears • The USSR’s desire to spread communism to other nations alarmed many Americans. • Americans were already weary of Europe after WWI.

  15. Fear of Communism • In 1919 Russian backed communist tried to overthrow Germany and the Communist came into power in Hungary. • Similar chaos threatened to seep into the US. • In February a shipyard went on strike in Seattle and the mayor proclaimed that this was the work of revolutionaries.

  16. Culture of Fear • With the help of the Newspapers the public’s anxiety about the fear of communism rose.

  17. Sacco and Vanzetti • Began on April 15, 1920 when gunmen robbed and killed the guard and paymaster of a shoe factory in South Braintree, Mass. • A few weeks’ later police arrested 2 Italian immigrants n connection with the crime.

  18. The Case • Despite a strong alibi supported by many wit nesses, Vanzetti was found guilty. Most of Vanzetti's witnesses were Italians who spoke English poorly, and their trial testimony, given largely in translation, failed to convince the American jury.


  20. Decision • On April 9, 1927, after all recourse in the Massachusetts courts had failed, Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death. • Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on August 23, 1927

  21. Labor Strikes • A wave of strikes helped fuel the Red Scare in 1919. The number of strikes per month climbed from 175 in March to about 370 in august. • Many Americans believed that the communist agitators were behind this labor unrest.

  22. In actuality the strikes were a result of the decline in the standard of living that the workers had achieved during WWI

  23. Foreign Policy • Isolationism: To avoid political or economic alliances with foreign countries. • America’s isolationist ideals are one reason why Harding opposed the American membership in the League of Nations.

  24. Foreign Policy • The US was not apart of the League of Nations, but still attempted to develop peace abroad. • Kellogg-Briand Pact- 15 nations pledged to not use the threat of war in there dealing with one another. More than 60 nations joined the pact.

  25. Prohibition The 18th Amendment

  26. What was ‘Prohibition’? • A law called the Volstead Act introduced in the USA in January 1920. • It banned the manufacture, sale and transport of alcohol. • The federal government had the power to enforce this law. • It theory the USA became ‘dry’. • It has since become known as the ‘noble experiment’.

  27. Why was prohibition introduced? • It already existed in many states • Moral reasons • Campaigners like the Anti-Saloon League of America • The First World War

  28. What is the message of this cartoon?

  29. What is the message of this cartoon?

  30. What is the message of this cartoon?

  31. What is the message of this cartoon?

  32. What were the effects of prohibition? • Speakeasies • Moonshine • Smuggling • Organised crime

  33. Speakeasies • Secret saloon bars opened up in cellars and back rooms. • They had names like the ‘Dizzy Club’ and drinkers had to give a password or knock at the door in code to be let in. • Speakeasies sold ‘bootleg’ alcohol, smuggled into America from abroad. • Before Prohibition there were 15,000 bars in New York. By 1926 there were 30,000 speakeasies!

  34. Moonshine • A spirit made secretly in home made stills. • Several hundred people a year died from this during the 1920s. • In 1929 it is estimated that 700 million gallons of beer were produced in American homes.

  35. ‘Bootleggers’ • Smugglers called ‘Bootleggers’ made thousands of dollars bringing in illegal alcohol to America. • America has thousands of miles of frontiers so it proved easy. • Famous smugglers like William McCoy made fortunes by bringing alcohol from the West Indies and Canada.

  36. Organised Crime • The enormous profits to b made attracted gangsters who started to take control of many cities. • They bribed the police, judges and politicians. • They controlled the speakeasies and the distilleries, and ruthlessly exterminated their rivals.

  37. Al Capone • By 1927 he was earning some $60 million a year from bootlegging. • His gang was like a private army. He had 700 men under his control. • He was responsible for over 500 murders. • On 14th February 1929, Capone’s men dressed as police officers murdered 7 members of a rival gang. This became known as the ‘Valentine’s Day Massacre.’

  38. Great Migrationreasons • Economics - Jobs • People were moving from the South to the North. • From rural areas to cities.

  39. African Americans Move North • Because of “The Jim Crow Laws” African Americans began to move north where they felt they would receive more fair treatment, as well as find a better paying job.

  40. Harlem Renaissance- A revival of African-American arts, entertainment, and literature. Writers 1. Langston Hughes- Perhaps the best writer during the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes focused on poetry to address racial injustices in America. 2. Claude McKay- Known for his militant verses in poems written to inspire African-Americans to stand up against discrimination.

  41. Musicians 3. Louis Armstrong- Armstrong helped to spread Jazz to all parts of the United States. Jazz originated amongst the African-American community in America. 4. Duke Ellington- Self taught musician and one of the most famous composer of his time. Played at the famous Cotton Club.

  42. Political leaders 5. W.E.B. Du Bois Helped start the N.A.A.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). This organization protested the “shameful treatment of the African- Americans”.

  43. 6. Marcus Garvey- Garvey began the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Garvey had two goals: A.) Black people should go back to Africa B.) “Black is beautiful”.

  44. “The Sexual Revolution”, Divorce and the “New Woman” • Apparent loosening of American sexual mores • Sex seen as fun and discussed with frankness • Sexual content in magazines, movies and songs • Jazz as the musical complement to the era • The sexual revolution in literature

  45. “The Sexual Revolution” (cont.) • F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise (1920) • The “flapper” stereotype • Sexual revolution more of a sideshow for most American women • Triumph of romantic love • Changing feminist goals • Escalating American divorce rate

  46. Flappers • Flappers symbolized the youth revolution in the 20’s. • This new type of young woman was: rebellious, energetic, fun loving, and bold. • Not all young women were flappers; those who did became a symbol of a cultural revolution.

  47. Flapper image

  48. Differences between rural and urban? Most moral populations wanted to preserve traditional values, not to change them like the flappers.

  49. Rise of Mass Media • Films • Radio • Newspapers • Magazines (Tabloids)

  50. Media • Prior to the 1920’s America was separated into regional cultures. • Most Americans didn’t know about the rest of the country. • Films and nationwide news-gathering and radio produced the beginning of a national culture.

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