The Twenties 1919-1929 Chapter 13 a booming Economy

Download 3.98 Mb.
Size3.98 Mb.

The Twenties 1919-1929

  • Chapter 13

A Booming Economy

  • Chapter 13 section 1


  • At first cars were for rich people
  • 1908 Henry Ford introduced the Model T
    • Cost $850
  • Ford opened a new plant into Detroit and began using the assembly line to make cars
    • Before assembly line it took 12 hours to create a Model T
    • After assembly line it took 90 minutes to make a Model T
    • Ford’s Assembly Line, one car every 10 seconds
      • 1930 ~ 30 million cars in US
  • Prices began to fall for Model T’s
    • Down to $290 by 1927
    • 1927 56% of Americans owned a car

Ford believed in keeping his workers happy

  • Ford believed in keeping his workers happy
    • Paid his workers $5 a day
      • More than double what others paid
    • He reduced the workday from 9 hours to 8 hours and gave workers Saturday and Sunday off
  • Hoped that workers would buy cars

The Gasoline Age

  • Auto Industry employed 6 million by 1930
    • Supporting industries millions more
      • Steel, glass, asphalt, rubber, wood, insurance, road construction, motor hotels (motels)
      • All this produced jobs, and wealth
  • Gas/Oil became huge business
    • Hurt the RR industry

Cars gave freedom

  • Cars gave freedom
    • A new youth movement began
      • “a house of prostitution on wheels”
  • Suburbs grew
    • People could live farther from their jobs
  • Deaths increased
    • 1951 one million dead from cars
      • More than all US wars combined

The Consumer Revolution

  • New affordable goods became available to the public
    • Washing machines, vacuum cleaners, radios, refrigerators
  • Advertising became big business to sell all the goods
    • Magazine and newspaper ads
    • Played on people’s wants and fears, not needs

People began buying all this stuff on credit

  • People began buying all this stuff on credit
    • Good and bad news, why?

The Bull Market

  • People began to heavily invest in the stock market during the 1920’s
    • Bull Market = market rising
  • People began to buy stock on margin
    • Buying on credit
    • 10% down
    • People ignored dangers

Cities, Suburbs, and Country

  • Cities populations rose during the 1920’s
    • People migrated out of rural areas to cities
    • Immigrants went to cities
  • Skyscrapers began to dominate cities
    • Electric elevators and steel allowed this to happen
  • City
  • 1910
  • 1930
  • New York
  • 4,766,883
  • 6,930,446
  • Chicago
  • 2,185,283
  • 3,376,478
  • Los Angeles
  • 319,198
  • 1,238,048
  • Detroit
  • 465,766
  • 1,568,662

Suburbs grew as cars became more popular

  • Suburbs grew as cars became more popular
    • Suburbs tended to draw the middle and upper classes
    • Cities started a slow decline towards poverty
  • Farmers did not feel the benefits of the “roaring twenties”
    • Agriculture prices were dropping, thus farmers were becoming more poor

The Business of Government

  • Chapter 13 Section 2

The Republican “Old Guard” Returns

  • 1921 Warren G. Harding inaugurated as President
    • Promised a “return to normalcy”
      • What does that mean?
    • Tried to appoint the “best minds” to his cabinet
      • Some good, some bad
  • Andrew Mellon became Secretary of the Treasury
    • Under Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon, Govt spending and taxes were reduced from 1921-1926
    • 1921, $1 million income = $663,000 income tax
    • 1926, $1 million income = $200,000 income tax
    • Tax burden shifted from rich to middle class
  • “Old Guard” Republicans returned and began to move away from Progressive Era
    • Big business/ laissez-faire government
  • Anti-trust laws practically ignored during Harding's administration


  • 1922 Harding signed the Fordney-McCumber Tariff, raised tariffs up to 38.5%
    • Up from 27%
  • High tariffs hurt Europe, who was trying to recover from WWI
  • Europe then raised their tariffs
    • Bad for US
    • All good for Hitler!

The Stench of Scandal

  • Harding Administration had many scandals
    • 1923 Col Charles R. Forbes skimmed ~$200 million from the Veterans Bureau
    • Teapot Dome Scandal
      • 1921 naval oil reserves located at Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, Cali
      • Albert B. Fall, Secretary of the Interior, convinced the Secretary of the Navy to transfer these reserves to his control
      • Fall then leased these reserves to private companies, receiving bribes in the process
      • 1923 news about scandal leaked
      • 1929 Fall sentenced to 1 yr in prison
    • Scandal shook public confidence in the government
  • 1923 President Harding died of pneumonia in San Fran while on a speaking tour
  • His presidency is remembered as most corrupt since Grant

“Silent Cal” Coolidge

  • Calvin Coolidge was sworn in by his father in the middle of the night
    • Very different than Harding
      • Honest, moral, shy, quiet
  • “The man who builds a factory builds a temple”
  • “The chief business of the American people is business”
  • Believed in the status-quo

Coolidge worked to lower taxes, pay the national debt, give businesses incentive, and cut government spending

  • Coolidge worked to lower taxes, pay the national debt, give businesses incentive, and cut government spending
  • 6 straight years of huge economic growth under Coolidge

Frustrated Farmers and Minorities

  • Farmers did great during WWI
    • Hurt bad after war ended
  • Technology helped/hurt farmers
    • Tractors allowed farmers to farm more land, with less hired help, faster
    • Increased farm products, thus dropping prices
  • Farmers did not benefit from the booming economy
  • Blacks and other minorities also continued to suffer
  • Coolidge did not feel it was the governments role to try to create an ideal society

America Seeks Benefits with out Burdens

  • 1921 US signed separate peace treaty with Central Powers
  • 1921-1922 Washington Naval Disarmament Conference
  • 1928 Kellogg-Briand (bree AHN) Pact between US and France
    • 62 nations signed
    • Only defensive wars allowed
    • Not enforceable
  • America unrealistic and isolationist in 1920’s

A Three-Way Race for the White House in 1924

  • Reps nominated Coolidge
    • “Keep Cool and Keep Coolidge”
  • Dems nominated John W. Davis
  • Coolidge won with 382 to 136 votes

Foreign-Policy Flounderings

  • War debt became a huge issue
    • America went from a debtor nation to a creditor nation
  • The Allies owed USA $10 billion and US wanted to get paid
  • England and France said the debts should be forgiven since they lost millions of men and US didn’t, and since all the money borrowed was spent on US goods
    • They also complained that the high US tariffs made it impossible to make the money they needed to pay US back

Unraveling the Debt Knot

  • Allies debts to US forced them to seek high reparations from Germany
    • Wanted to use reparations to pay US
    • German inflation got out of control
  • 1924 Dawes Plan adopted
    • Rescheduled German reparations
    • Allowed US loans to Germany
  • Europe was mad b/c we didn’t cancel debt
  • US loans to Germany
  • German payments to Allies
  • Allies pay war debt to US

Social and Cultural Tensions

  • Chapter 13 section 3

Traditionalism vs. Modernism

  • 1920 census revealed more American lived in cities than in rural area
  • People in urban areas tended to believe in modernism
    • A more open mind to social change and scientific discoveries
  • People in urban areas tended to be more traditionalist


  • Education made big strides in 1920’s
    • More prevalent in the North
      • South didn’t have time for “book learning”
    • More states made high school mandatory
    • 1920’s more than ¼ graduating high school

Monkey Business in Tennessee

  • Many Americans were fundamentalists in the 1920’s
    • Bible is literal
  • Major clash between Creation and Evolution in schools
  • Three states outlawed teaching evolution
    • Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas

Scopes Monkey Trial, 1925, Tennessee

  • Scopes Monkey Trial, 1925, Tennessee
    • High School biology teacher John Scopes put on trial for teaching evolution
    • William Jennings Bryan a prosecutor
    • Clarence Darrow the defense attorney
    • Massive media attention
    • Scopes found guilty, fined $100
  • The trail made Fundamentalists look silly as most other Christians were reconciling evolution and creation

Stemming the Foreign Flood

  • 1920-1921 800,000 immigrants came to US
    • Most from South and Eastern Europe
  • Emergency Quota Act, 1921
    • 3% of nationality could immigrate, based on nationality’s population in US in 1910

Immigration Act of 1924

  • Immigration Act of 1924
    • Lowered to 2% and changed year to 1890
      • Great for Northern Europeans, bad for South and Eastern Europeans
    • Stopped all Japanese immigration
    • Canadians and Latin Americans exempt
      • Mexicans still faced discrimination
  • Immigration basically came to a stop in America
    • 1800’s = 35 million immigrants


  • What is your stance on immigration? Should America open our borders to anyone who wants to come here? Should we close our borders? What stipulation should there be on immigration in your opinion?


  • KKK re-emerged in 1920’s
    • Anti-anything not “American”
      • US born Protestant from Anglo-Saxon blood were
      • Americans
    • Mid 1920’s 5 million members
    • What does this say about USA in the 1920’s?

The Prohibition “Experiment”

  • 18th Amendment in 1919
    • Volstead Act passed to enforce the amendment
  • Not a popular law
  • Hard to enforce a law that the majority of people don’t want to follow
  • “Speakeasies” formed
    • Underground bars
    • Lots of hard liquor
  • Bootleggers began making their own liquor
    • Some could kill you

The Golden Age of Gangsterism

  • Prohibition gave birth to organized crime
    • Chicago, 1920’s
      • Al Capone
        • Alcohol distributor
        • War with rival gangs
        • Bribed police, juries, judges
        • St. Valentines Day Massacre, 1929
          • 7 members of rival gang killed
  • Gangsters moved into other businesses
    • Prostitution, gambling, drugs
  • Merchants paid “protection” money
  • By 1930 $12-18 billion a year income for Mob
    • Way more than the Federal Govt

A New Mass Culture

  • Chapter 13 Section 4

Leisure Time

  • 1850 people worked 70 hours per week
    • 1910: 55 hours per week
    • 1930: 45 hours per weeks

Hollywood’s Filmland Fantasies

  • Silent films
    • Charlie Chaplin
  • One of the first full length films was D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915)
  • Hollywood became movie capital of the world
  • Films used for propaganda in WWI
  • 1927 the first “talkie” came out
    • The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson
  • Movies became dominate form of entertainment
    • 60 to 100 million people per week
  • Movies helped create an American culture

The Radio Revolution

  • Marconi, 1890, wireless telegraph
  • Once voice carrying radio was perfected radio became big business
    • Programs, commercials, news
  • Radio changed society
    • Politics, sports, music
  • Phonographs allowed people to listen to songs at will

Humans Develop Wings

  • Orville and Wilbur Wright
    • Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
    • December 17, 1903
    • Flew for 12 seconds
  • After WWI the air industry grew
    • Flying circuses
    • 1920 airmail began
  • Charles A. Lindbergh, 1927, Spirit of St. Louis
    • First solo flight across Atlantic, NY to Paris
      • Took 33 hours
    • Huge celebrity after flight and American hero
  • Aviation industry took off
    • Passenger airlines

The Dynamic Decade

  • 1920’s was a time of great change in US
  • Women found more work
  • Margaret Sanger began fighting for contraceptives
  • Sex became less taboo
    • Advertisers figured out sex sells
  • The “flapper” was born
      • Sexually liberated women beholden to no one man
    • Women began to wear shorter skirts, bobbed their hair, and wore one piece bathing suits
  • Late 19th Century
  • 1920s

Cultural Liberation

  • After WWI a new generation of writers appeared in US
    • Know as the “Lost Generation”
      • Name was given by Gertrude Stein
        • American poet living in Paris
      • Lost faith in mankind after WWI
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • 1920 This Side of Paradise
    • 1925 The Great Gatsby

Ernest Hemingway

  • Ernest Hemingway
    • Part of the “Lost Generation”
    • WWI vet
    • 1926 The Sun Also Rises
    • 1929 A Farewell to Arms
    • 1961 killed himself

The Harlem Renaissance

  • Chapter 13 Section 5

Moving on Up, to the East Side

  • African-Americans migrated North during WWI
    • “Great Migration”
  • Found work in major industrial cities
    • Detroit, Pittsburg
  • ~200,000 moved to Harlem, NY
    • Became the epicenter for a flowering of African-American culture

Marcus Garvey

  • Marcus Garvey
    • Jamaican immigrant to Harlem in 1916
    • Preached Black pride and nationalism and started the “Back to Africa” movement
    • Founded the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
      • Mid 1920s it has 2.5 million members
    • Arrested for mail fraud and deported to Jamaica
    • Inspiration for the Nation of Islam and the Black Power movement in the 1960s

All that Jazz

  • Some call the 1920’s the “Jazz Age”
  • Jazz music was created by African Americans
  • Moved north during the Great Migration
  • Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington


  • The Harlem Renaissance was not just music, but also Literature
    • Poems, stories, books, journalists, essays
  • Writers explored the pains and joys of being Black

Claude McKay

  • Claude McKay
    • “If We Must Die”
      • If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accurséd lot. If we must die, O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead! O, kinsmen! we must meet the common foe! Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow! What though before us lies the open grave? Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack, Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!


  • By Langston Hughes
  • I've known rivers: I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.
  • My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
  • I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
  • I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.
  • I've known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers.
  • My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
  • 1922

Legacy of the Harlem Renaissance

  • It gave a voice to African American culture and changed the way Blacks and Whites viewed African American culture

Download 3.98 Mb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2023
send message

    Main page