Aspects of Americanization in 1920s and 1930s
Seminar paper from the year 2002 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,7 (A-), Dresden Technical University (American Studies), 28 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Although the Wilhelmian Reich seemed to be relatively stable, political forces and events finally led to the catastrophe of the first World War with its devastating consequences for Europe and especially for Germany, which not only lost part of its territory, but also its political and economical power through the Treaty of Versailles. This state of affairs left an unstable country, in which the public mind increasingly began to look overseas towards an America that showed a solution for most of its economic, social, or political problems. It is true, of course, that Germans had felt the American influence before. However, the peak of this America-boom, whether American friendly or Anti-American, was reached in the Weimar Republic, where a fierce debate on an ambiguous America picture took place. While European countries mainly stumbled from one bloody conflict to another, America further developed its technology and at the same time its main sociological ideas. Inventors and scientists strived to set up working systems that could make work and life more efficient. Electrification was the charming word of the day, and when Samuel Insull took over Edison's Commonwealth Edison of Chicago, one of the most powerful and complex systems, both economically and technologically, was set up. This is probably the place where Henry Ford picked up his ideas, and using the Principles of Scientific Management by Frederick Winslow Taylor, he founded another powerful economic system, which soon should become a symbol for modernism all over the world: the Ford Company. There also was a strong cultural notion in the influence that America had on European countries. Although America and its systems were usually referred to as mass systems, sometimes even as soulless systems without culture and heritage, the Weimar Republic also had been a place of new cultural developments that were taken from American developments and given a European style. This refers especially to the Bauhaus, to the L'Esprit Nouveau, to the movement of the Neue Sachlichkeit, which gained strong publicity through its new style in the public in the1920's.
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