US Society 1910-1929

  • Created by: taz
  • Created on: 10-02-13 10:59


As wages grew, people had more time and money to spend on goods and leisure.

Industry made new goods to buy, such as radios, cars, fridges and advertising made these new goods seem more desirable.

They also wanted to spend money on going to sports events, movies ect.

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This boosted the sales of consumer goods.

Adverts were everywhere, billboards, newspapers, and from 1922, radios.

People responded by spending a lot of their money and even borrowing to keep up with what others had

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Jazz music

This played a massive part in the entertainment boom.

It swept from the South from the North during the 1920s as black people moved to cities like New York and Chicago.

Jazz and dances like the Charleston and the Black Bottom represented and new freer era.

Jazz music was mostly played in speakeasies and very popular among the young.

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This became a leisure activity and part of popular entertainment, especially for wealthire middle classes.

There were live matches to attend at newly built stadiums, golf courses and tennis courts and radio broadcasts of boxing, baseball and American Football (Gridiron)

Many sports stars were very popular among fans and seen as Heros.

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The movies

The cinema was the fastest growing popular entertainment, even more so when 'talkies' started in 1927.

By 1922 movies were making $4 million a week in ticket sales.

They were hugely popular as it was a form of escapism for many.

People were able to see glamour on a big screen

The tickets were very cheap

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The Hays Code (1930)

Responded to critisism that the movies caused immorality.

Its rules aimed to stop the movie 'lowering the moral standards of movie goers'

Many Christian religious societies saw movies as a bad influence among people

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Movie stars

They earned huge amounts of money

In 1916, Mary Pickford, the highest earning movie star, was paid $10,000 a week- the average wage was $13 a week

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Was made law by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.

It came into effect in 1920.

It prohibited the making, transport and sale of alcohol in all US states

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Illegal Drinking Became Common

Millions of people still wanted to drink

It soon became clear that people would break Prohibition if they could

Illegal 'speakeasies' sprang up

Better speakeasies served 'bootleg' acohol, smuggled from Mexico

Bad ones served home-brewed 'moonshine' that could be dangerous tto drink (some caused blindness)

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Organised Crime

This had been in the US for a long time but was boosted by Prohibition

Gangsters took over the sale of alcohol

Gangster Al Capone made $105 million profit from crime in 1927- $60million of that money was from speakeasies.

Gangs were wealthy and powerful; they used the prfits of crime to bribe police, judges and local officials.

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Reasons for the Growth of Organised Crime

Prohibition (which inreased profit)

The War (trained people to kill)

Cars (quick getaways)

Its Profability (could afford bribes)

The Ruthlessness of the Gangsters (intimidated people)

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Gang Wars

This sprang up as powerful rival gangs fought eachother to control cities such as Chicago

An example of this was the St Valentine's Day massacre when 7 Moran gang members were killed by Capone's gang in 1929.

There were about 400 gang related killings in Chicago in 1929

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Effects of War on Women

The fact that women worked so successfully during the war led to their getting the vote in 1920(19th Amendment)

They were paid less and some lost jobs to the returning men after 1918, but many stayed on and continued to work in jobs that had previouslu only been done by men, e.g on factory production lines.

This started a trend.

For example, women white collar workers rose from 1.9 million in 1910, to 3.3 million in 1920 and 4.7 million in 1930.

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The names given to some young independant women in the 1920s

They earned their own money, and behaved with the freedom formerly reserved for men

They drove cars, drank and smoked, cut their hair really short and wore shorter, less restricting and more revealing clothes.

not all Americans approved of women behaving in this way.

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Women Consumer

Took advantage of the new labour saving appliances developed in the 1920s (like washing machines and fridges) and new convenience items (like frozen food) to make their lives easier.

Some married women even continued to go out to work, though this was generally disapproved of.

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This was part of everyday life.

All over the USA. black people did the poorest paid jobs and were 'last hired, last fired'

Racism existed in the North, but was more severe, violent and legally enforced in the South

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Jim Crow Laws

Enforced segregation- making black people use seperate transport, cafes, toilets, drinking fountains ect.

Black schools, situated in the poorest parts of town, got less money from the government than white ones and the teachers were not as well trained

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Black People had the Right to Vote

They were often prevented from using this right

Voting in the South was by tricks, threats and intimidation

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Many Black People Moved North

This is because of Southern racism, they moved to cities like New York.

The black population in Harlem was 33% in 1920 but 70% by 1930

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Racist Violence Happened Across the USA

But it was most common in the South.

Black people were beaten up, their homes were burned and they were murdered or lynched (killed by a mob for a supposed crime)

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The KKK were a Racist Organisation

It wanted America to be a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) nation

It mainly targeted black people, although it did persecute Jewa, immigrants, and Catholics

In some Southern states the police, the law courts and the loacal government were full of Klan member.

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The Rising Number of Immigrants

From 1900-1920, 12,5 million Europeans emmigrated to the USA, as did 1.5 million people from Canada, Asia and Mexico.

Prejudice against immigrant communities inthe USA was rising

Isolation and prejudice caused the governement to submit to pressure to restrict immigration.

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This restriced immigration from any country to 3% of the number of immigrants from that country already living in the USA according to the census of 1910.

This made the biggest cut in immigrants from Eastern Europe and Italy, the groups there was most prejudice against.

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Set a limit on immigration. It was 150,000 a year.

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The Sacco and Vanzetti Case

This was an example of prejudice against immigrants.

The two immigrants were executed despite unclear evidence.

It showed legal prejudice; the judge wanted a guilty verdict.

The public debate showed wider prejudice; e.g thinking of all immigrants as poor, lacking in skills, involved in crime or communists.

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The Monkey Trial (1925)

This showed how people's religious convictions caused intolerance.

John Scopes, a teacher in Dayton Tennessee was put on trial for introducing the teaching of evolutionary ideas of Charles Darwin.

Teaching anything contrary to the Divine Creation of Man was banned in Tennessee.

He was found guilty and fined $100

This law was not changed until 1967

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