Prosperity, Depression and the New Deal (1919-1941)
The Post-World War I period was characterized by economic, social and political turmoil. Post-war prosperity brought about changes to American popular culture. However, economic disruptions growing out the war years led to worldwide depression. The United States attempted to deal with the Great Depression through economic programs created by the federal government.
19. Movements such as the Harlem Renaissance, African-American migration, women’s suffrage and Prohibition all contributed to social change.
The Harlem Renaissance was a celebration of African American culture and contributed to social change. The themes of African American art and literature gave pride to people of African heritage and increased awareness of the struggles related to intolerance and life in large urban centers. Jazz flourished during the Harlem Renaissance and became an established American music genre.
The large numbers of African Americans moving to northern cities during the Great Migration increased competition for jobs, housing and public services.
The movement to give women suffrage saw the fruition of its goal with the passage of the 19th Amendment. The change brought more women into the political process, eventually including women running for public office.
Prohibition had mixed results. Establishments that openly sold liquor closed their doors. Prohibition lacked popular support. It further divided the nation along secularist/ fundamentalist, rural/urban and modern/traditional lines. It led to speakeasies and increased organized crime. The law was difficult to enforce and was repealed with the 21st Amendment.
Expectations for Learning
Describe social changes that came from the Harlem Renaissance, African-American migration, women’s suffrage and Prohibition.