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Understanding Life In The 1920s


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Understanding Life In The 1920s

  1. 1. Understanding Life In The 1920s
  2. 2. The Role of Women <ul><li>Women won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19 th Amendment in 1920 </li></ul><ul><li>Women, expressing newfound political rights, shed their petticoats, bustles, and ankle length skirts in favor of simpler, lighter, and more practical garb </li></ul><ul><li>Flappers wore short skirts, cut their hair, and applied lipstick </li></ul><ul><li>Bathers wore daring new swimsuits which gave them grater freedom of movement in the water </li></ul><ul><li>Women held on to gains made in the work place during the Progressive era and WWI, but made no new breakthroughs </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural attitudes toward women changed but few intellectually satisfying and well-paying careers became available </li></ul>
  3. 3. Prohibition <ul><li>In 1917 the Congress approved the 18 th Amendment which prohibited the manufacture or sale of beverages containing more then one-half to one-percent alcohol (a level that made beer and wine illegal) </li></ul><ul><li>When the amendment was ratified in 1919 Prohibition began </li></ul><ul><li>Opposition to Prohibition was so great in the eastern cities that the law proved impossible to enforce </li></ul><ul><li>Smuggling of liquor was rampant </li></ul><ul><li>Organized crime made a fortune in “bootleg” liquor </li></ul><ul><li>It was not until 1933 that the 21 st Amendment was ratified, ending the Prohibition era </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sports Mania <ul><li>All areas of entertainment became big business in the 1920s , and sports was no exception </li></ul><ul><li>Sports reporters eagerly followed every move by heroes such as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb </li></ul><ul><li>College football, once a pastime for students and alumni, became a major commercial enterprise in the 1920s </li></ul><ul><li>Boxing became a spectacle for the masses </li></ul><ul><li>The 1927 Dempsey-Tunney fight grossed more than 2.6 million at the gate </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The industrial developments of the 1920s differed from the earlier Industrial Revolution focused on heavy industry (steel production, machine tools, and locomotives) </li></ul><ul><li>The 1920s focused more on consumer items such as automobiles, radios and iceboxes </li></ul><ul><li>Supermarkets opened in the theory that goods would sell themselves, often to consumers who did not know they wanted an item until they war it on the shelf </li></ul><ul><li>The development of cellophane in 1926 enhanced the ability of goods to sell themselves because customers could handle and inspect products without damaging them </li></ul>Changing Consumer Habits
  6. 6. Advent of the Movies <ul><li>The motion picture became a popular pastime during the 1920s </li></ul><ul><li>Early films did not identify the actors but movie studios soon discovered that the public had clear favorites and would buy tickets to see them again </li></ul><ul><li>The age of the movie star had begun, as Clara Box, Mary Pickford, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and Lillian Gish became celebrities </li></ul><ul><li>On October 6, 1927 the first talking movie was released, The Jazz Singer , staring Al Jolson </li></ul><ul><li>The movie’s great success signaled the end of the silent era </li></ul>
  7. 7. New Forms of Transportation <ul><li>About nine million automobiles were registered in the United States in 1920 and by 1930 registration had more than tripled </li></ul><ul><li>Between 1921 and 1929 surfaced road mileage in the United States almost doubled. With good roads, car owners no longer had to live close to their jobs in cities </li></ul><ul><li>The new mobility caused a boom in the growth of suburbs </li></ul><ul><li>With Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 transatlantic flight from Long Island to Paris, the age of air transportation began </li></ul><ul><li>After Lindbergh’s flight, Americans took to the skies in increasing number </li></ul><ul><li>Air passenger figures quadrupled in 1928, although to travel across the country in the late 1920s passengers still faced a 48 hour trip and had to switch to trains for night travel </li></ul>