Mass Consumption – (definition)



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The Roaring Twenties – Overview
Why were the 1920’s so prosperous?

Prosperous – Having success, flourishing, being well off
Reason #1

Impact of the AutomobileHenry Ford developed the assembly line

(parts can be made faster and can be made by unskilled workers)



What impact did Ford’s assembly line have on the U.S.?

Ford’s assembly line makes car production cheaper

Cars are much more affordableno longer just toys for the wealthy

New Businesses – gas stations, restaurants, and tourism businesses boom and it becomes easy to live in rural areas


Reason #2

The development of New Industries – widespread use of electricity allows for many

new industries, jobs, and profits



What are some of the new industries in the 1920s?

1. The Automobile Industry

2. The Electrical Industry

3. Radio and Motion Picture Industries


Reasons #3

More Efficient Production Techniques – New techniques in manufacturing and

industrial production (such as the assembly line) allow industry to be more efficient

What is an assembly line?

Workers stay in one place doing the same job, as products come to them on a conveyor belt

Efficient Production Techniques make huge quantities of goods available and people

have money to spend on them – It is a time of MASS CONSUMPTION!!!!

Mass Consumption – (definition)

A large amount of items are being produced, purchased, and used




During the 1920s, there are many changes within the United States…

We will examine 3 forms of changes in American Society:



What are some political changes?

What are some economic changes?

What are some social changes?

Political Changes during the 1920s

Politically, the U.S. was led between 1920-1930 by 3 Republican Presidents… Can you name them??



Warren Harding (1921-1923) -- Republican

Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) -- Republican

Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) -- Republican
President Warren Harding (1920-1923)
A Return to Normalcy –Harding’s campaign motto when he won the 1920

election: promises to get America back to normal after the ­­­­­­­­­­­­­war and to run a

government less involved in business and foreign affairs (wants to end the

postwar recession)

Harding’s Presidency is most remembered for its scandals:



Teapot Dome Scandal: Government officials accepted bribes from business men

(money in exchange for government oil fields in Teapot Dome, Wyoming)


President Calvin Coolidge 1923-1929

"Stay Cool with Coolidge"

  • Took over after Harding's death

  • Committed to business

  • Laissez Faire approach to the economy

  • "Coolidge Prosperity" -- the economy improves under Coolidge

The Kellogg-Briand Pact -- passed in 1928 during Coolidge's presidency.

This was an agreement among nations to outlaw war, except in self-defense.

Nations agree to settle disputes through peaceful means and not through war.

(Problem: there was no way to enforce the pact)


President Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)

  • Promised to help end poverty and unequal distribution of wealth in the U.S.

  • Laissez faire government

  • Wanted to "help people help themselves"

  • PROBLEM!!!!!!

Hoover was President during the Stockmarket Crash in October of 1929

(Black Tuesday) --- leading to the start of the great depression


Economic Changes during the 1920s

Republican presidents are pro-business and follow a laissez-faire policy

Many people experience economic prosperity – An Economic Boom!!!

Did everyone experience economic prosperity? Who DID NOT?




FarmersSmall farmers are hurt by the economy. Post WWI when European

farmers begin producing again, American farmers are producing too much and prices fall.

•Farmers can't afford all of the luxury consumer goods and technology

Native Americans -- Most live on reservations and have few luxury goods

High unemployment rate and short lifespan



African Americans -- faced discrimination, segregation is still legal

The KKK becomes active again (against African Americans)



Big corporations and the wealthy benefited the most from the economy!!

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