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Modern Times: the 1920s

Modern Times: the 1920s

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Modern Times: the 1920s

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  1. Modern Times: the 1920s

  2. Warren Harding, President 1921-1923 "America's present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality...."

  3. Calvin Coolidge, President 1923-1929“The Business of America is Business”

  4. Narratives of the 1920s.. • The birth of the modern age: social liberation and a modern aesthetic • “Culture Wars”: moderns v traditionalists, urban v rural, religious v secular • The privatisation of consumption and the diminished public sphere • A new nationalism, isolationism

  5. Modernity… Social transformation: “new women”, “new negro” Mass production… “Fordism” Mass consumption and a new culture of consumption: youth, leisure, celebrity, advertising, private affluence

  6. Jazz: transgressing boundaries of race, gender, class, urban/rural, genre?

  7. The New Woman “I really think that American gentlemen are the best after all, because kissing your hand may make you feel very good but a diamond and a sapphire bracelet lasts forever.“ Anita Loos, actress and author of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1926)

  8. Clara Bow and the cult of celebrity

  9. Al Capone: Gangster as celebrity

  10. Babe Ruth: Commercialised leisure

  11. Henry Ford

  12. William Howard Taft Bailey v Drexel Furniture Co. (1922): anti-child labor legislation unconstitutional Coronado Coal Co. v United Mine Workers (1925): labor unions could be prosecuted for restraint of trade Pro-Business Supreme Court

  13. “Youth demanded simple clothes instead of these fussy, elaborate styles of the 1900's" Ivory Soap ad, 1929

  14. Images of modernity: Women empowered as consumers?

  15. Legitimating desire • Consumption as modernity Chesterfield and Camel ads (late 20s)

  16. Mass consumption as liberation: The link between the “New Woman” and the consumer society

  17. Consumption as competition,pleasure…and sex Buick ad (1923)

  18. Sophistication and discernment: the “Democratisation of consumption”? Woodbury’s soap ad from the Ladies Home Journal (November 1926)

  19. The Rise of the Consumer Movement • Christine Frederick, Selling Mrs Consumer (1929) • Chase and Schlink, Your Money’s Worth (1927) • Consumers Research (founded 1929)

  20. …discontents • Cynicism of the “Lost Generation” • Closed Society: Red Scare, Racism, Nativism and the Klan.. Fear of subversion and fear of difference • A New Puritanism: prohibition and evangelicalism

  21. F. Scott Fitzgerald and the “Lost Generation” “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy--they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clear up the mess they had made....” The Great Gatsby (1925)

  22. The Red Scare and “One Hundred Percent Americanism” Sacco and Vanzetti

  23. Immigration Restriction Acts of 1921 and 1924 Immigration Quotas after 1924 based on 1890 census Britain 65,721 Germany 25,957 Ireland 17,853 Italy 5,802 Poland 6,524 Russia 2,784 Japan 100 (whites only) China 100 (whites only)

  24. The Revival of the Klan

  25. The Scopes “Monkey Trial” (1925)

  26. Puritanism and Politics: Prohibition, from progressive reform to reactionary moralism?

  27. “It was the Americans who invented the curious doctrine that there is a body of doctrine in every department of thought that every good citizen is duty-bound to cherish and accept. It was Americans who invented the right thinker.” H.L. Mencken