Roaring Twenties: 1916–1929

Vocabulary

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

organization whose stated mission is to preserve the rights guaranteed by the laws and Constitution of the United States

anarchist

someone who rebels against political authority and the established order, especially through violence

Bartolomeo Vanzetti

Italian immigrant fish peddler who was executed for robbery and murder during the Red Scare

bootlegging

illegal manufacture, transport, or sale of a product. Bootlegging typically describes trade in illegal alcoholic beverages.

consumerism

theory that the public's increasing consumption of goods and services is good for the economy

credit

provision of goods or services to customers with the expectation of payment at a future date

flapper

young woman of the 1920s who broke away from conservative Victorian era values, wearing short skirts and hairstyles, using cosmetics, dancing to jazz tunes, driving automobiles, and showing disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior

ghetto

city district occupied by members of an ethnic, cultural, or religious minority, particularly because of economic, social, or legal restrictions

Great Migration

20th-century mass movement of African Americans from the rural South to cities in the North

Harlem Renaissance

period of cultural consciousness and growth in the African American creative arts community, notably in the Harlem district of New York City, from about 1918 to 1937

Immigration Act of 1924

immigration law passed in the wake of post-World War I anti-immigration sentiments. It established quotas on immigration from most nations and prohibited entirely any immigration from Asia.

installment plan

system of purchasing goods through a series of small, regular payments

isolationism

desire to concentrate on one's own country and avoid international involvement

Jim Crow

post-Civil War segregationist legislation common in the South

laissez-faire

economic policy that allows businesses to operate with minimal intervention by the government

Langston Hughes

American poet and novelist whose work focused on the African American experience

moving assembly line

manufacturing process introduced by Henry Ford in 1913. Conveyor belts move a partially assembled automobile from one worker to the next, and each attaches a part to the auto in turn.

nationalism

strong commitment to the interests of one's own nation above those of other nations

Nicola Sacco

Italian immigrant shoemaker who was executed for robbery and murder during the Red Scare

organized crime

group of clandestine professional criminals who work together to obtain money, goods, and power through illegal means

Palmer raids

invasive searches to apprehend, arrest, and deport suspected anarchists

prohibition

legal ban on the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages, particularly in the United States between 1920 and '33

Red Scare

fear that immigrants might be communists and anarchists plotting to overthrow the government

Scopes trial

test case brought by the ACLU to challenge a Tennessee law against teaching about evolution

speakeasy

secret club designed to allow patrons to drink without getting caught

Teapot Dome scandal

corrupt secret leases of federal oil reserve lands

Zora Neale Hurston

American author and folklorist whose work focused on the lives of African Americans in the rural South