The Roaring Twenties
and the Great Depression
Dr. John Holmes
History 121, U.S After 1877
Diablo Valley College San Ramon
...
WWI: the Watershed of Modernity
Before: a different world
1920s: many features of
contemporary society
modern literature a...
The Age of the Automobile
From a luxury good to mass
ownership
1900 4,000 cars in America; 1914
half a million
1929, 23 mi...
Economic transformations
Urbanization and the farming crisis
Automotive age created by:
Mass production, the assembly line...
Birth of the Consumer Society
US the first society geared to mass
production of consumer goods
From “producerism” to
“cons...
Social transformation and women
Birth of suburbia
Changes in the family
Suffrage and women in the workforce
Revolution in ...
Prequel to the “Roaring ‘20s”
1920-22 economic depression
From labor offensive to business
counteroffensive
1919: The Grea...
The Great Backlash
WWI repression and “100%
Americanism”
Anti-immigrantism: from anti-
Germanism to anti-Communism
Anti-Se...
The Ku Klux Klan
Birth of American fascism
Lynching of Leo Frank
“Birth of a Nation”
“American values,” doc. 23-3
Based in...
Transformation of Black America
The “New Negro.” doc. 22-5
Immigration cutoff, Great Migration
Blacks and immigrants in 20...
The Garvey Movement
First mass black movement
Values of Garveyism: doc. 23-5
Reaction to:
White violence vs. the Great
Mig...
The Great Depression and
the Mood of America
From optimism to despair
Not rebellion but paralysis
Suicides among the rich
...
Depression Causes: External
Results of WWI: US economic
domination, but not military
League of Nations and isolationism
Eu...
Domestic Roots of the Depression
Genuine internal growth, but also
era of wild speculation
Marx Brothers and “Coconuts”
4 ...
Depression Economic Theories
Traditional explanation: it’s cyclical
Grover Cleveland and Hoover
Monetarism: Milton Friedma...
The Hoover Administration
Elected as expert in disaster relief
… in Europe
Opposes relief for American poor
“Hoovervilles”...
Communists in the Great Depression
Attraction of the Soviet model
100,000 US workers apply to
emigrate to the Soviet Union...
Next Class
The New Deal and the Great Labor
Upheaval of the 1930s
Readings: Foner Chapter 21, and
Johnson Chapter 24
Video...
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Week six, roaring 20s and great depression

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Week six, roaring 20s and great depression

  1. 1. The Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression Dr. John Holmes History 121, U.S After 1877 Diablo Valley College San Ramon Summer 2013
  2. 2. WWI: the Watershed of Modernity Before: a different world 1920s: many features of contemporary society modern literature and art sexual mores dress Signature: the automobile Basis: economic transformation Backlash to modernity the other story of the 1920s. Dualities.
  3. 3. The Age of the Automobile From a luxury good to mass ownership 1900 4,000 cars in America; 1914 half a million 1929, 23 million car owners, including half of all factory workers America, the first automotive society
  4. 4. Economic transformations Urbanization and the farming crisis Automotive age created by: Mass production, the assembly line Mechanization of factories US producing more electricity than rest of world combined “Fordism”: the affordable car 1920s prosperity includes workers 1922 to 1928: production +70%; GNP 40%; average income +30%; wages +22%, workweek -4% But social inequality increases
  5. 5. Birth of the Consumer Society US the first society geared to mass production of consumer goods From “producerism” to “consumerism” Workers can participate in the consumer economy Profileration of advertising Pro-business policies of government Coolidge document, 23-1 Critics: Niebuhr, doc. 23-2
  6. 6. Social transformation and women Birth of suburbia Changes in the family Suffrage and women in the workforce Revolution in housekeeping Separate spheres and womens’ professions Women enter public life Changes in sex norms The automobile back seat Contraception: doc. 23-4 Sanger: from the IWW to “eugenics” The “flapper”
  7. 7. Prequel to the “Roaring ‘20s” 1920-22 economic depression From labor offensive to business counteroffensive 1919: The Great Steel Strike Immigrant strike broken by US army William Z. Foster and the U.S. Communist Party David Montgomery: The Fall of the House of Labor Company Unionism and the Red Scare
  8. 8. The Great Backlash WWI repression and “100% Americanism” Anti-immigrantism: from anti- Germanism to anti-Communism Anti-Semitism in the 1920s Fear for traditional American values Anti-Catholicism and Prohibition Scopes trial: the symbol Outdoor media circus Town picks Scopes for ACLU Social Darwinism vs. Protestant fundamentalism
  9. 9. The Ku Klux Klan Birth of American fascism Lynching of Leo Frank “Birth of a Nation” “American values,” doc. 23-3 Based in Midwest and West No longer tied to Democratic Party Indiana and California Republicans Demos: 1924 “Klanbake Convention” An urban Catholic party? From Al Smith to FDR
  10. 10. Transformation of Black America The “New Negro.” doc. 22-5 Immigration cutoff, Great Migration Blacks and immigrants in 20th Century American culture The “Jazz Age” Black culture and American music Jews as “New York intellectuals” Birth of Harlem from Jewish to black neighborhood “Harlem Renaissance.” Claude McKay (p. 748), Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Thurston
  11. 11. The Garvey Movement First mass black movement Values of Garveyism: doc. 23-5 Reaction to: White violence vs. the Great Migration Garvey speech after St. Louis riot Republican repudiation of blacks “Back to Africa” as expression of despair Garvey and KKK: “call me a Klansman if you will, but potentially every white man is a Klansman”
  12. 12. The Great Depression and the Mood of America From optimism to despair Not rebellion but paralysis Suicides among the rich Silence on the breadlines Failure of all American institutions banks -- 24 to 15,000! company unions & benefits Foreclosures and homelessness Huge unemployment--average 20% Lack of public services Rotting food amid widespread hunger
  13. 13. Depression Causes: External Results of WWI: US economic domination, but not military League of Nations and isolationism Europe: the Dawes Plan and the debt triangle Success until US bankers stop investing in Germany… US entanglement in world economy leads to crash US influence in world only economic/financial Smoot-Hawley and Hitler
  14. 14. Domestic Roots of the Depression Genuine internal growth, but also era of wild speculation Marx Brothers and “Coconuts” 4 million investors in stock market Rich-poor gap: 3/4 of income gains to top 1% of population Consumerism and debt Uneven prosperity: farm crisis, higher wages plus unemployment Coal and textile Stock market crash sign of developing overproduction crisis
  15. 15. Depression Economic Theories Traditional explanation: it’s cyclical Grover Cleveland and Hoover Monetarism: Milton Friedman Interest rates too high under Hoover Was universally accepted … Keynesianism: Underconsumption Solution: government spending Dominant interpretation then … and again now Marxism: overproduction basic to capitalism
  16. 16. The Hoover Administration Elected as expert in disaster relief … in Europe Opposes relief for American poor “Hoovervilles” Relief for banks in 1931 “Bonus Army” of 1932 Hoover sends US army against it Final crisis of American system?
  17. 17. Communists in the Great Depression Attraction of the Soviet model 100,000 US workers apply to emigrate to the Soviet Union Only party of social rebellion Unemployed leagues Physical resistance to foreclosures Farmworkers in California Wins a following among blacks Only anti-racist party in America Wins a following among intellectuals Capitalism bankrupt?
  18. 18. Next Class The New Deal and the Great Labor Upheaval of the 1930s Readings: Foner Chapter 21, and Johnson Chapter 24 Video of Flint Sitdown Strike

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