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Interwar Period.pdf

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Professor Candace Sobers

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FROM THE ROARING 20S TO THE DIRTY 30S INTRODUCTION :THE R ETURN TO N ORMALCY THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC OF1918 •Major flu epidemic, known as the “Spanish Flu” even though it has nothing to do with the Spanish •After the epidemic is over more people die than in the war HARDING AND THE R ETURN TON ORMALCY •This is a very scary time and everyone wants to get back to normal -- it was much harder to return to normalcy in Europe than in America because it entirely cities were destroyed •Republicans end up controlling the White House from 1921-1923 in the form of Warren G. Harding Who is succeeded by Calvin Coolidge from 1923-1929 -- he was never really into • the presidency •Their goal was to increase prosperity in order to make the United States of America a better place to live •These republican presidents want to achieve such ends by themselves, without European intervention -- isolationist T HE R OARING T WENTIES •This is a decade that sees a dramatic change in American lives •Many want to return to a time when these changes never took places “THE B USINESS OFAMERICA ISB USINESS” •Quote from President Coolidge •Many believed that money and wealth differentiated America from much of Europe •The idea that Americans can break out of their social strata is purely American •If everyone can generate more wealth, their is more wealth to go around •The role of government in this period os to create conditions in which businesses can flourish The United States of America moves from a debater nation (owes money to others) to • a creditor nation (loans money to others) •Raised tariffs early on -- protects business and restricts trade •Fordney-McCumber (1922) •Smoot-Hawley (1930) •Less governed regulations of the economy •1921 -- the United States of America begins the first international disarmament conference •1922 -- Washington Naval Conference •Meant to stem the tide of naval productions •1928 -- Kellogg-Briand Pact •Basically outlaws war -- nations will not use war to settle their disputes FROM THE ROARING 20S TO THE DIRTY 30S •62 nations sign on -- including the governments of Germany, Italy, and Japan (but these are not the same governments that will be in power during WWII) •However, there is no enforcement -- like the League of Nations THE N EW N EGRO AND THE NEW W OMAN THE “NEW NEGRO ” 1920s sees the rise of the “New Negro” • •The “new negro” is much more of DuBois-kind of activist •Meant to reflect some of the changes in American Society •The 1920s allowed many African Americans to go north -- this is known as the Great Migration •However this is not a promise land -- race riots ensue and little work is found, but many stay •Create a series of Black enclaves in the Northern states -- like Harlem •Harlem becomes the center of African-American arts and culture -- the Harlem Renaissance •Helps put American arts and culture on the maps -- a broader American culture •Presents a particular vision on Black culture -- Garveyism Garveyism argues that integration is never going to work, therefore they • should concern themselves with remaining pure • A very early version of Black Power • It takes the American experience and makes it more global THE NEW W OMAN •Emerges from the social changes over the past 20 years The most visible face of the “New Woman” is the flapper • •Flappers are much more than elite young women challenging social conventions •They are the challenges to the Victorian/Edwardian order •Engage in anti-social behavior -- behavior against the norm •Flappers started to date -- this was also never done before •She rode in automobiles •Sometimes they played sports •They wore comfortable clothes •They were deliberately androgynous •They are radicals •In the 1920s no one knew if the flapper was to be feared or not •The Cosmopolitan Aesthetic -- one of the hallmarks of being sophisticated was being racially ambiguous (having features from a variety of racial backgrounds) •Women are also economically independent -- 1 in 4 women will have a job out of the home •Helps them gain more buying power and clout -- creates many new industries •The 19 amendment now allows women political freedom -- they can vote FROM THE ROARING 20S TO THE DIRTY 30S •Many women are not going to identify with flappers, but they are challenging accepted social mores M ASS S OCIETY AND THE C ONSUMER MPERUM •With more and more people living in urban areas you end up with a mass culture •The symbol of the mass culture was the automobile •Mass production lead to mass consumption •When more and more Americans own cars it will change the geography of the country •Fordism becomes synonymous wi
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