USA boom in 1920s

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  • Created by: naomih
  • Created on: 27-04-13 08:12

Prosper (40%)

New Technologies:

Production line - Modernise existing industries e.g. oil, car manufacturing

       - increase demand -> job creation

       - Developed (Bakelite) plastics cheap and for house hold

Republican Policies - unemplyment - 1921 (11.9%) 1929 (3.2%)

       - 'Laissez Faire' rugged individualism

       - Low taxation (tariffs), little regulation on industries (wages)

American Attitude - Confidence+mentality to take chances and expand

      'American Dream' 1928 (35000 millionaires), buy goods boost economy

Econ sit. WW1 - grew quickly - provide for Europe (market goods) +development

Natural Resource - rich in resources, space for development

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Those who did not (60%)

Farmers - mass produced, prices dropped-> smaller farms bad

      - Competition especially with Canada

New immagrants - unemployment rate high, work in contruction

    - wages only rose 4% cause of cheap labour

Blacks - labourers/sharecroppers - 3/4 million lost jobs

   - discrimination (all-white policy) - booming industries dont hire (FORD)

Old industries - over production --> prices drop

       - Found other materials e.g. oil+gas, safety dropped (cotton to nylon)

Tariffs - Other countries charge for exports too

Gobal demand and over production

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Society Change (attitudes+values)

Disperities of:

- Wealth

- Attitudes+values - conflict

- Prohibition - 1 section of society imposing their beliefs to another section of society

The car: freedom to travel, crime easier, opportunity for 'sexual freedom'

Radio: by 1930, 40% homes had a set. Created nation habit of listening to sports events

Clubs+dancing: replaced by fast dances e.g. Charleston 

Jazz: Black music impact the youn e.g. Duke Elington

Sex+cinema: sex outside marriage, visited cinema 2/3 per week

   : Sex symbols e.g. Clara Bow(it girl), Rudolf Valentino, Theda Bara(Bad girl)

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Society Change (Women)

2 big changes:

- given the vote in 1920, more politcal power

- worked in wartime factories in large no., gave desire for more work opportunities

Work: increased numbers particularly mechanisation (no physical strength)

: Lower wages, 10 million women in paid enpoymen (25% increase on 1920)

Social Habits: Clothes changed: waistless knee length, lightweight dresses

    : Short hair, make up, smoked in public, drove cars

    : more free time due to new domestic labour-saving products e.g. vacuum

named Flappers: short skirts, bobbed hair, powedered knees, bright clothes, make up

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Intolerance in 1920s (1)

Ku Klux Klan (KKK) - started in southern states end of American Civil War in 1864-65
       - Aim to terrorise black people, 1915 revived helped by film the Birth  of the nation
       - 1920 had over 100,000 members, 1925 5 million 

       - believed White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPS) are the best

1925 - membership rapidly declines due to excesses of some its leaders

- e.g. D.C. Stephenson trial for ******

Black Experience: thousands moved to cities of north (NY doubled 150,000->300,000)

  :most violent was 1919, thousands driven from homes in 23 race riots

Black Renaissance: black culture+pride in cities (writers+artists) e.g. Weldon Johnson

     : Black theatre+black american music e.g. Josephine Baker

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Intolerance in 1920s (2)


- between 16 January 1920 and December 1933

- 1917 Anti-Saloon League made prohibition a big issue (dries)

bootleggers+smugglers - brough illegal liquor supplies into cities

moonshine - alcohol made at home, 1930 - 282,122 illicit stills seized by gov. agents

  - Deaths from alcohol poisoning went up 1920 (98) --> 1926 (760)

Speakeasy - illegal bar

Why Prohibition failed:

- Lack of public support - Profits

- Problems of enforcement - Big business

- Organised crime - Corruption

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