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Chapter: 21:The Roaring Life of The 1920s

Section 1 Rural and Urban Differences: America changed dramatically in the years before 1920, 51.2 percent of Americans lived in communities with populations of 2500 to more than 1 million. Between 1922-1929 people started to leaving farms and towns each year.

The New Urban Scene: At the beginning of the 1920s, the population grew more crowded day by day. When the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect, it launched the era known as Prohibition, during which the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages was legally prohibited. Causes of prohibition were various groups who thought drinking too much alcohol was sinful. Reformers believed that the government should protect the public health. There were some effects of the prohibition. Consumption of alcohol declined. Disrespect for the law developed. Criminals found a new source of income. American Fundamentalism was the Protestant movement grounded in a literal, or non-symbolic, interpretation of the Bible. Fundamentalists argued that all the important knowledge could be found in the Bible.

Science and Religion Clash: Scopes Trial was a fight over evolution and the role of science and religion in public schools and in American society. Clarence Darrow was the most famous trial lawyer at that time and he was to defend John T. Scopes.

Scopes was a young biology teacher in Dayton, he read one passage in his class from Civic Biology: “We have now learned that animal forms may be arranged so as to begin with the simple one-celled forms and culminate with a group which includes man himself.� And he was promptly arrested, his trial was set for July.

Al Capone He headed a criminal empire in Chicago, which he controlled through the use of bribes and violence. From 1925 to 1931, Capone bootlegged whiskey from Canada, operated illegal breweries in Chicago, and ran a network of 10,000 speakeasies. In 1927, the “Big Fellow�, as he liked to be called, was worth an estimated $100 million.

Organized Crime: Prohibition not only generated dis-respect for the law, it also contributed to organized crime in nearly every major city. Chicago became notorious as the home of Al Capone, a gangster whose bootlegging empire netted over $60 million a year. Capone took control of the Chicago liquor business by killing off his competition. During the 1920s, headlines reported 522 bloody gang killings and made the image of flashy Al Capone part of the folklore of the period. In 1940, the writer Herbert Asbury recalled the Capone era in Chicago.

Section 2: The twenties woman During the 1920s, women changed their fashions, lifestyles and roles in society. The flapper is one of the free-thinking young women who embraced the new fashions and urban attitudes at that time. They started have beautiful coordinates and wear accessories.

1920's flapper Many young women became assertive. They started smoking cigarettes, drinking in public and talking openly about sex-actions. There's some 1920's dance styles But some old women disagree with that changing. Even so, a double-standard - a set of principles granting greater sexual freedom to men than to women- needed women did standards of behavior more serious than men did.

Women assumed new jobs. Many young women college graduates work in offices, hospitals and schools.

Women's jobs chart However women still earned less than men. Some men argued that women were just temporary workers and their real job was at home. The birthrate had been decreasing. Birth-control information available. Margaret Sanger (1879 – 1966) was an American birth-control activist in 1916, the founder of the American Birth Control League in 1921 and she fought for the legal rights of physicians to give birth-control information to their patients.

Margaret Sanger Started selling ready-made clothes, sliced bread, and canned foods. Open public services for the elderly, public health clinics and workers compensation assisted those who could not work any more. Marriages were based on romantic love and companionship. Children could go to school to study and play with others their own age, they didn’t have to work in factory, farm with adults. Teen in 1920s spent most of their time to study and socialize with others teen, they spent less time with their family.

Section 3: Education and Popular Culture School Enrollment: 1920s, high schools offered a broad range of courses which included jobs for those who were interested in industrial jobs. Teachers faced a new problem, teaching immigrants who spoke no English. From 1913 to 1926 school fees increased four times.

Radio come to age: Magazines and newspapers reached a huge audience, but the most powerful communications tool was the radio. It also called as “airwaves”, “ radio audience”, “tune in”.

America Chases New Heroes and Old Dreams. In the 1920s, Americans spent over $4.5 billion on entertainment. In the early 1920s, they enjoyed playing crossword puzzles and Mahjong, a Chinese game. In 1922, after the discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamen of Egypt, everyone mobbed stores for pharaoh toys. In the mid 1920s, people flooded stadium to see their sport stars.

Lindbergh’s flight Sport stars weren’t as popular as Charles A.Lindbergh a pilot who made the first nonstop solo flight across Atlantic ocean. The handsome pilot wanted to get the $25,000 prize for the transatlantic flight. He took off from Newfoundland. The flight took him 33 hours and 29 minutes. Finally he landed at Le Bourget airfield near Paris. When he returned to the US, the whole country made him their idol and president received him in the White House.

Entertainment and the Arts George Gershwin was a well known concert music composer who merge traditional elements with American jazz to make a new sound that was identifiably American.

Georgia O’Keeffe drew the “Radiator Building-Night” painting to show an America of realities and dreams.

Writer of the 1920s Sinclair Lewis, the first American to win the Nobel Prize in literature with his novel Babbitt, the novel is to ridicule Americans for their conformity and materialism.

F.Scott Fitzgerald used the term”Jazz Age” in his works “This Side of Paradise” and “ The Great Gatsby” to reveal the negative side of this period.

Edna St.Vincent Millay, a poet who wrote poems to celebrate youth and a life of independence and freedom.

Ernest Hemingway, a wounded soldier in WW I and the best-known expatriate author. In his novels The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, he criticized the glorification of war. He also created a new literary standard.

Section 4: The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance is a literary and artistic movement celebrating AfricanAmerican culture. This movement was lead by middle-class, well-educated African Americans. These writers wrote about life of African American being surrounded by the whites. Claude McKay is novelist and a poet who is known for his novel “Home to Harlem�. His poem described the harsh life of an African American living in a ghetto and the pressure of living in the world among whites.

Langston Hughes,(February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was the most known writers of this movement, his poem described the harsh life of the working class African American. Some of his poems contain rhythm of jazz music.(All of his poems)

Zora Neale Hurston,(January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960) was also a well known writer. In her novels, short stories, and book she illustrated lives of uneducated, poor Southern blacks.

Her best known novel is “Their Eyes Were Watching God”.

Along with the literary movement, jazz music was created during the Harlem Renaissance . It latter became a popular music genre throughtout the world. It also became the most famous music for dancers. Louis Armstrong was a member of Oliver’s group in which latter known as the Cerole Jazz Band. He was famous for his improvise skill and an amazing sense of rhythm. He latter joined Fletcher Henderson’s band then to the most important big jazz band in New York City.He is one of the most influential musician in the history of jazz.

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington,(January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960) was a pianist and music a composer. During the 1920s and the 1930s he was regraded as one of American composer.(Satin Doll perform by Duke Ellington.)

Work cited:

Section 1 (Bryant - Clarence Darrow) (Bryant John T. Scopes) (Bryant - Al Capone) (Bryant - Organized crime) Book information (Bryant - section 1 from chapter 21)

Section 2’s flapper) (1920’s dances) index.jsp (Women’s job chart) (Margaret Sanger pic) (Margaret Sanger) (American Birth Control League)

Section 3 ( Charles Lindbegh) (Charles Lindbergh and his plane) (Sinclair Lewis pic) (Sinclair Lewis) (F.Scott_Fitzgerald) (F.Scott_Fitzgerald pic) (Ernest Hemingway) (Ernest Hemingway pic) (George Gershwin pic) (George Gershwin) (Georgia O’Keeffe pic)’Keeffe (Georgia O’Keeffe) (Edna Vincent Millay) (Edna Vincent

Millay pic)

Section 4 htp:// (Langston Hughes) (Zora Neale Hurston) (Claude McKay) (Louis Armstrong) (Duke Ellington) (Home To Harlem) (Harlem Renaissance) (Harlem map) (Hughes’ poems) (Ellington’s Satin Doll) (Harlem)

Chapter 21:The Roaring Life of The 1920s  

Changing way of life The twenties woman Education and Popular Culture The Harlem Renaissance

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