H102 Lecture 16_ The Politics of Frustration_ The 1920s

H102 Lecture 16_ The Politics of Frustration_ The 1920s -...

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12/22/11 H102 Lecture 16: The Politics of Frustration: The 1920s 1/9 us.histor\.wisc.edu/hist102/lectures/lecture16.html SWanle\ K. SchXlW], PUofeVVoU of HiVWoU\ william P. TiVhleU, PUodXceU LecWXre 16 The Politics of Frustration: The 1920s NoW all AmeUicanV benefiWed fUom Whe "poliWicV of pUoVpeUiW\" in Whe 1920V. Man\ VeUYicemen had WUoXble finding jobV Zhen Whe\ UeWXUned home fUom woUld waU I. FXUWheUmoUe, Whe naWion e[peUienced an XpVZing in UaciVm and [enophobia. MoUeoYeU, b\ Whe 1920V, man\ AmeUicanV had gUoZn ZeaU\ of WZo decadeV of cUXVadeV foU UefoUm, Veemingl\ endleVV aWWempWV Wo paVV moUal legiVlaWion, and inYolYemenW in a bUXWal ZaU. Man\ longed foU a Wime Zhen life ZaV VimpleU, eYen if WheVe "good old da\V" e[iVWed onl\ in Whe popXlaU imaginaWion. ThiV lecWXUe highlighWV Whe fUXVWUaWionV and an[ieWieV WhaW man\ AmeUicanV dealW ZiWh dXUing Whe 1920V. Some questions to keep in mind: 1. Warren G. Harding promoted a "return to normalc\." What sort of "normalc\" was Harding referring to? Did America return to "normalc\" in the 1920s? 2. How can we distinguish "Cultural Fundamentalism" from religious fundamentalism? 3. How did the rise of the "Invisible Empire" foster a new definition of "Americanism?" The "Good Ol' Da\s" Man\ people longed foU Whe loVW elemenWV of a "B\gone AmeUica:" 1. FUee of laboU and Uacial VWUife 2. FeZeU "foUeigneUV" 3. No Uadical ideologieV 4. MoUe aWWXned Wo Whe Uh\WhmV of Vmall-WoZn life 5. MoUe deYoXW in FXndamenWaliVW ChUiVWianiW\ 6. LeVV goYeUnmenW inWeUfeUence in WheiU liYeV The Return to "Normalc\" In 1920, waUUen G. HaUding ZaV elecWed PUeVidenW of Whe uniWed SWaWeV. HaUding, a RepXblican, appealed Wo popXlaU feelingV of noVWalgia in hiV 1921 inaXgXUal addUeVV b\ pUomiVing a UeWXUn Wo "noUmalc\," a ZoUd HaUding himVelf had coined. AV Whe decade Xnfolded, iW became cleaU WhaW "noUmalc\" inclXded WhUee majoU WUendV: 1. RedefiniWion of "AmeUicaniVm" 2. ReVXmpWion of Uacial anWagoniVm
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12/22/11 H102 Lecture 16: The Politics of Frustration: The 1920s 2/9 us.histor\.wisc.edu/hist102/lectures/lecture16.html 3. Resurrection of "old-time religion" "CXlWXUal FXndamenWaliVm" H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) was a widely read journalist and satirist. Mencken mocked American society for its Puritanism ("the haunting fear that somebody, somewhere may be happy"), anti-intellectualism, and conformity. He summed up his attitudes about the naivet± and moral righteousness of popular American attitudes when he wrote: "It was Americans who invented the curious doctrine that there is a body of doctrine in every department of thought that every good citizen is duty-bound to cherish and accept. It was Americans who invented the right thinker." H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), joXUnaliVW, ediWoU, and cUiWic Copyright 1997 State Historical Society of Wisconsin Mencken also found the American public to be extremely gullible: "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." The 1920s was a time when many adherents of "Cultural Fundamentalism" attempted to ensure that all Americans
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H102 Lecture 16_ The Politics of Frustration_ The 1920s -...

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