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For more information, please see full course syllabus of AP U.S. History
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The Interwar Period

  • 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.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Overview 0:05
  • Conservative Presidents 2:45
    • Harding's Presidency
    • Herbert Hoover
    • Republican-Dominated FTC
  • Calvin Coolidge 4:41
    • A Strong Pro-Business Stance
    • New Tax Cut
    • Interior Albert Fall
  • Mixed Economic Development 6:45
    • Postwar Recession
    • A Consumer Culture
    • Overproduction
    • Inflation
  • Consumer Culture 9:41
    • A New Pop Culture
    • Radios
    • Duke Ellington
    • New Consumer Goods
    • New Journalism
  • Images of the 1920s 12:40
  • The Jazz Age and “Modern” Culture 12:55
    • African Americans
    • Rebel Against Their Elders
  • Popular Heroes 14:22
    • Bath Ruth
    • Charles Lindbergh
    • First Solo Non-Stop Flight
  • New Literature: Stream of Consciousness 15:37
    • Gertrude Stein
    • The Waste Land
    • Victorian Era Culture
  • Art and Architecture 18:00
    • Art Deco Style
    • Edward Hopper
    • George Gershwin
  • Automat 19:43
  • Gender Roles, Family and Education 20:00
    • Flappers
    • Influence of Sigmund Freud
  • The New Woman 22:57
    • The Women's Joint Congressional Committee
    • The League of Women Voters
  • Women in the 1920s 24:32
  • Pop Culture 25:10
    • Leisure Time in Rural and Urban Areas
    • The Jazz Singer
    • Tin Pan Alley
    • Fox Trot and Charleston
  • Harlem Renaissance 26:40
    • A Cultural Identity with African Roots
    • NYC's Harlem
    • New Negro
  • Marcus Garvey and UNIA 28:25
    • Garvey Advocated Black Separatism
    • Four Million Followers
    • Negro World
    • Mail Fraud
  • Prohibition and Crime 30:13
    • 18th Amendment
    • Volstead Act
    • Lucrative Bootlegging Trade
  • The Noble Experiment 31:43
    • Drys
    • Wets
    • Bathtub Gin
    • Roaring Twenties
  • Nativism, Pluralism and Racism 34:02
    • Mass Media
    • National Origins Act
    • Birth of a Nation
  • Fundamentalism and Modernism 37:40
    • The Monkey Trial
    • The Trial of John T. Scopes
  • Example 1 39:39
  • Example 2 41:58
  • Example 3 43:39
  • Example 4 45:07