1920’s Social Change US History I Unit 4: Boom! The 1920’s
When We Discuss Social History, What Do We Talk About? Social Intellectual thought, birth, death, population, etiquette, culture, family organization and family life, taboos, migration and immigration, entertainment, humor, art, architecture, fashion, style, philosophy, etc… Economic Political
Social Changes of the 1920’s • Guiding question: How might economic prosperity and social change be related? • Share your journal responses • How we will approach an answer to the question: The 1920’s was a decade of great social change and cultural conflict. The conflict was most evident in the cities where there was a greater concentration of diverse groups of people, each with their own interpretation of what the American Dream meant to them.
Why Studying 1920’s Social History Matters New inventions of the 1920’s: Flavored yogurt Push-button elevators Zippers Electric Razors Dry ice Water skiing Oven thermostats Pop-up toasters Neon Signs Food disposals Tissues Car radios Adhesive tape Spiral notebooks Motels Have you used (or seen) any of these things today or this week?
Demographics • What’s demographics? • The characteristics of a population group • Changes in demographics sets the stage for social change in the 1920’s • More people move from rural to urban areas • Why? • Rural – urban economic gap widens • Morals and manners differ between rural and urban areas • African American migrate north (we also saw this during WWI) • Suburbs grow
Women’s Roles • More women enter the work force • Why? • Needed the money (consumer culture) • Wanted to establish financial independence • Defied parental authority • Women’s vote (granted in 1920) gradually influences politics • Family life changes • Romance and friendship become important aspects of marriage • Flappers influence women’s fashion and behavior
Flappers • An icon of 1920’s social change • Characterized by: • Bobbed hair • Flesh-colored silk stockings • Wore make-up • Short skirts • Sleeveless dresses • Listened/danced to jazz music • Drove cars • Used the unique slang style • Where would you put flappers on the political spectrum?
Examples of 1920’s Slang “Bee's knees”= terrific “Beeswax”= business ("None of your beeswax") “Handcuff”= engagement ring “Java”= coffee “Keen”= appealing “Jake”= great ("Everything's Jake.") “Level with me”= be honest What does this slang say about the youth culture of the 1920’s?
Lifestyle • Buses begin to replace trolleys • Automobiles increase people’s mobility • How do you think the automobile changed youth culture? • What did the automobile now allow all people to do? • Live farther from jobs, escape city life
Lifestyle • Increased access to news and information • Motion pictures were popular (were silent until 1927) • Radio played music and “shows” • Interest increases in sports • More people saw sports in motion pictures, listened to them on the radio • Babe Ruth becomes famous during the 1920’s • Widespread access to information helped unify the nation.
Lifestyle • Household daily life changes with new inventions and technology • Refrigerators, washing machines, and vacuums appear in 1920’s households
Harlem Renaissance • By end of 1920’s 4.8 million of 12 million African Americans had moved to cities. • NAACP founded in 1909 by W.E.B. DuBois • Membership of NAACP doubled • Celebrations of black culture flourished in Harlem and other cities
Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance “Dream Variations” by Langston Hughes To fling my arms wide In some places of the sun, To whirl and to dance Till the white day is done Then rest at cool evening Beneath a tall tree While night comes on gently, Dark like me— That is my dream! To fling arms wide In the face of the sun, Dance! Whirl! Whirl! Till the quick day is done. Rest at pale evening… A tall, slim tree… Night becoming tenderly Black like me. How does the poem by Hughes celebrate black culture and the identity of African Americans?
Emergence of Jazz Music • The 1920’s has been referred to as the “Jazz Age” • Jazz as freeform expression • What else about society during the 1920’s can be considered “freeform?” • The Charleston
“We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw. Alas! Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats’ feet over broken glass In our dry cellar Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion; Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom Remember us—if at all—not as lost Violent souls, but only As the hollow men The stuffed men.” Consequences of Social Change:Ashcan Realists and the Lost Generation Excerpt from “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot (1925)
Discuss the conflict between liberal andconservative ideas during the 1920’s. In conclusion…relating the spectrum to society: