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1920s America.docx

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Erin Black

1920s America 2/8/2012 2:23:00 PM I. Economic Boom  Nations net income leapt from 64 billion in 1891 to 84 billion dollars after WWI  Housing industry o Beginnings of the larger sub-urban sprawl  Automobile o The height of the car industry o By the end of the decade 60% of America’s families owned a car o Largest manufacturing industry in the decade o Led to gas stations, repair shops, greater amounts of hotels/motels, greater amounts of fast food chains o Symbol of prosperity of the decade o Henry Fords success spurred other industries to put the assembly line put into place  Mass Consumption & the growth of advertising o Advertising  Stimulates the desire for new products  Removes Americans from traditional values of thrift and saving  “spend don’t save, replace don’t make due”  advertisers saw them selves as missionaries of modernity  ad content changes  pre WWI advertising told what the product is  post WWI advertising told what the product can do for you o credit buying  nations total consumer debt doubled  fuels the consumer revolution II. Modern (Mass) Culture  Movies o 1 sound film about Jazz  Jazz o Creation of African Americans o Originally found in New Orleans and spread through the great migration o To popularity in Harlem equal to that of Broadway shows o Quickly attracts white Americans (in particular the youth) o Represents the new and innovative changing ways of life o Popularized by the phonograph  The Radio o Popularizes jazz  Mostly only the “white” version of jazz o Used for sermons o Soap-operas o Sports casts  Above the means of the lower classes  Enabled the lower classes to listen to the biggest sports at the time o Median for entertainment to enter the American household o Manufacturers were turning out more then 2 million a year III. Changing Social Values  A Sexual Revolution? o Peoples attitudes towards sex were changing  People are talking about it in a different way  Emphasis on satisfaction rather then purely reproduction o Movies o Suggestive song lyrics o Dances promoted greater contact o Increase in acts other then sex  Ex: “petting”  seen as less deviant  more normative o Less change  Most couples are still against pre-marital sex  Dating o Represents a paired relationship without the commitment of marriage o Encourages a small amount of sexual experimentation  But not sex itself yet o Environment where people met casually and regularly without parental supervision o Use of the car  Freedom and mobility o Growth of a distinctive youth culture, separate from their parents o New social norms  Previously Victorian norms were more closely followed  Moved in very different spheres of each other  Only saw each other in a chaperoned context o Middletown  Study on small town American life  Discovered the same views of dating and social values as seen in the larger cities o Leads to change in the view of the woman  Women are becoming more independent, schooling, potential careers o IV. The New Woman  Socially (flappers) o Shortening their hem lines o Shorter hair o More flashy clothes and jewelry o Makeup is more commonly used  Before this period the only people who wore makeup were prostitutes  Driven by the advertising industry o Smoking o Drinking o More active  Independent  Economically o More middleclass women are working for pay  1 in 4 o Gives them slightly more independence o If women are single gain large amount of independence  Results in large amount of advertising being targeted on them  Politically o For the majority of women, the 13 thamendment was only the beginning o The National Women’s Party and the Equal Rights Amendment  Wanted equal rights for women in all sectors  Men and women should receive equal rights throughout all jurisdictions  First introduced to congress in 1923  Led by Alice Paul  More radical type of suffragette  Worries  Many viewed it as to radical  What exactly is equal?  Some viewed separate laws for women and men more appropriate o Tamer Versions of Feminism  Dorothy Bromely’s “Feminism New Style”  Complaining that the radical version of the new women didn’t properly represent the true 1920’s women  *see weekly notes on UTORID for quote  still challenged women’s place in society  behaviors adopted prior to marriage  behaviors once married
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