In this lesson, our instructor Elizabeth Turro gives an introduction on the interwar period. She talks about conservative presidents, Calvin Coolidge, mixed economic development, consumer culture, images of the 1920s, the jazz age and modern culture. She also explains popular heroes, new literature: stream of consciousness, art and architecture, automat, gender roles, family and education, the new woman, women in the 1920s, pop culture and Harlem renaissance. The other key points are Marcus Garvey, UNIA, prohibition, crime, the noble experiment, nativism, pluralism and racism fundamentalism and modernism.
The “Return to Normalcy” during Harding’s presidency: a new era of republican policies, limited government and pro-business policies, major spending cuts—backlash against progressivism
Coolidge followed a similar approach to Harding and new tax cuts benefited wealthy individuals & corporations, & for the most part, the FTC ignored the antitrust laws
Mixed economic development and inequality: postwar recession (1921) and then business prosperity (1922-28)
A consumer culture emerged: consumers could buy assembly-line goods, such as cars, refrigerators, phonographs, & radios
The U.S. economy was strong but had weaknesses too, such as overproduction, a condition in which production of goods exceeds the demand for them & inflation
The Roaring Twenties and the Jazz Age: young people were pushing the social boundaries and dancing in nightclubs, speakeasies, new styles were prominent like bobbed hair and shorter dresses, some women were flappers, jazz was popular in urban areas, the talkies were developed, mass culture grew
The “lost generation” no longer has faith in Victorian era culture and expressed their disillusionment with the war and consumer culture in their literature and art
The Harlem Renaissance: a movement among young writers & artists who broke w/older genteel traditions of black lit in order to reclaim a cultural identity w/African roots
Although Americans drank less after the 18th Amendment took effect in January 1920, Americans broke the law & began making alcohol at home & in speakeasies and crime rose
The Interwar Period
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.