Flashcards in The Roaring Twenties Deck (17):
Why did Americans in the 1920s have more money to spend on leisure activities?
- Economic growth linked to consumerism
- Between 1923-29 wages rose by 8%
- The most popular form of entertainment
- By 1926 there were over 17,000 movie houses
- In 1927 the first talkie was released
- By 1930, more than 100 million tickets were being sold every week
- Hollywood became the centre of movie making in the USA
- Major studios included Warner Brothers, Paramount and MGM
What was the Hays Code?
- Introduced in 1930
- Intended to stop movies "threatening the morals of American society"
- Rules included no screen nudity, excessive kissing, crimes and adultery had to be presented as evil
Who were some of the famous movie stars?
- Charlie Chaplin
- Greta Garbo
- Rudolph Valentino
- Mae West
- Gloria Swanson
Why were the 1920s known as the Jazz Age?
- Jazz became very popular in this period
- New dances such as the Charleston and the Black Bottom appeared
- It was seen as wild and represented greater freedom
- The record industry sold jazz records for people to listen and dance to at home
Why were the 1920s known as the Golden Age of Sport?
- With the high popularity of radio, people could listen to sporting broadcasts
- Baseball, boxing, tennis, golf, football and swimming were popular sports
- Babe Ruth (baseball), Jack Dempsey (boxing) and Ruth Ederle (swimming) became national celebrities
- Public transport and cars meant people could travel to racetracks and stadiums
What was the role of radio in the 1920s?
- The first radio station, KDA, began in 1920
- Main source of family entertainment
- Broadcast sports, news, music
- By 1925, 2.7 million families had a radio
- By 1930, 40% of US homes had a radio
How did advertising help consumerism?
- Adverts were everywhere: newspapers, magazines, billboards, sides of buildings, radio
- As women were more likely to be working and earning their own money, labour saving devices such as vacuum cleaners were advertised
What was the significance of advances in motoring?
- Many people owned cars, so they could get to movies, sporting events and clubs
- The road system expanded so new jobs were created such as garages, petrol stations, roadside motels and diners
How did morals and values change?
- Many people broke the law during Prohibition
- Many disapproved of the flappers wearing shorter dresses, drinking, going clubbing, smoking and being unchaperoned
- Some people thought movies and jazz music encouraged immorality
What happened in the Monkey Trial?
1) The teaching of evolution in schools was banned in 6 US states, led by William Jennings Bryan, a fundamentalist politician.
2) John Scopes challenged this ban in Tennessee and taught evolution. He was arrested and put on trial.
3) The trial took place in July 1925 - on the first day, 1000 people were in the courtroom. It was broadcast live on radio in Chicago and articles appeared covering it.
4) Bryan refused to answer questions put to him or said "The Bible states it; it must be true", according to an article in the Baltimore Evening Sun.
5) The judge ruled Scopes was breaking the law and fined him $100. The law was not changed until 1967.
6) The trial damaged the Fundamentalists' public image as they were mocked and their arguments ridiculed. Bryan was shown to be ignorant and confused.
How did employment change for women in the 1920s?
- 2 million more women were employed in 1930 than 1920
- 1/3 of university degrees were awarded to women
- A lot of women did poorly paid, unskilled jobs
- Only 4% of university professors were women
- Medical schools allowed 5% of places to women
- They had no minimum wage
How did entertainment change for women in the 1920s?
- Cinema, radio and dance halls gave new career opportunities to women
- Some actresses were so successful they set up their own companies
- Did not improve the situation of the vast majority of women
- Actresses had only passive roles, usually love interests
How did politics change for women in the 1920s?
- Women were given the vote in 1920
- In 1924 Nellie Taylor Ross became the first female governor of a state (Wyoming)
- In 1926 Bertha Knight became the first female mayor of a city (Seattle)
- These were only the select few
- Women did not make much progress in politics
- Most women were not interested in politics
- Women did not have equal rights to men
How did marriage change for women in the 1920s?
- Married women had an average of 2.6 children by 1930, compared to 3.6 in 1900
- The average lifespan in 1925 was 63, compared to 51 in 1900
- In 1929, there were 200,000 divorces, compared to 100,000 in 1914
- Media told women they should marry and have children
- Generally, women stopped working after marriage
How did society change for women in the 1920s?
- Women had their own money and could decide what to do with it
- Pressure from women convinced Ford to make his cars in other colours
- Labour-saving devices gave women more time for leisure
- Some people were conservative, especially in rural areas
- Many married women could not afford these devices
- Only 32% of farmhouses had running water, and 57% of these owned a washing machines
- Women on farms had the additional tasks of milking cows and working in the fields