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The Roaring Twenties Part 2. Politics and Prosperity. 38. Karl Marx 1818 - 1883 Wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848. 39. Communism. A political and economic ideology Government ownership of all land and property

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the roaring twenties part 2

The Roaring Twenties Part 2

Politics and Prosperity



Karl Marx

1818 - 1883

Wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848



  • A political and economic ideology
    • Government ownership of all land and property
    • A classless society where wealth is distributed according to people’s needs
    • A single political party controlled by the government
    • The country’s needs are always more important than the individual


  • Communists rebels who overthrew the Russian government in Nov. 1917
  • Russian word for “majority”
  • Led by Vladimir Lenin
  • Their emblem was a red flag
  • Their army was called the Red Army
the red scare


The Red Scare
  • An intense fear of communism and other radical political ideas that spread through the U.S. in the 1920’s
  • Triggered by Communist take-over of Russia and Hungary and labor strikes in the U.S.
  • Suspected communists were arrested and charged with sedition
  • Many were jailed, removed from office, or exiled


Any action or language that incitesrebellion against the authority of the government


The Red Scare:

Democracy in danger?




People who oppose any form of political authority

sacco vanzetti trial


Sacco-Vanzetti Trial
  • April 1920 – Braintree, MA
  • Guard and paymaster at a shoe factory were robbed and killed
  • 2 Italian immigrants were arrested
  • Convicted and sentenced to death
  • Many believed that it was fear of their radical anarchist political beliefs that led to an unfair verdict
  • April 1927 - Both were electrocuted after years of appeals
warren g harding


Warren G. Harding
  • 29th President
  • 1921 – 1923
  • Republican
  • From Ohio
  • Campaign called for a return to “normalcy”


Harding’s suggestion that the U.S. wished to return to a calm, normal way of life after the stressful events of the previous decade, such as Progressivism, World War I, and the Red Scare

harding s policies


Harding’s Policies
  • Isolationism – U.S. would not join the League of Nations
  • Disarmament – nations should voluntarily give up their weapons
  • Immigration restrictions
  • Tariffs raised to protect American business from foreign competition
teapot dome scandal


Teapot Dome Scandal
  • Harding’s Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall, gave drilling rights on government owned naval oil fields in Wyoming to 2 private oil companies
  • Received nearly $400,000 illegally
  • No evidence that Harding was involved
  • Fall was fined $100,000 and sentenced to a year in prison
calvin coolidge


Calvin Coolidge
  • 30th President
  • 1923 - 1929
  • Republican
  • Massachusetts
  • VP under Harding - Takes office when Harding dies in Aug. 1923


calvin coolidge1


Calvin Coolidge
  • A man of few words – “Silent Cal”
  • “The chief business of the American people is business.”
  • Took a laissez-faire approach to business
  • The government should leave business alone and let it grow
kellogg briand pact


Kellogg-Briand Pact
  • 1927 - Agreement written by U.S. Secretary of State, Kellogg, and French Foreign Minister, Briand
  • 60 nations pledged not to use the threat of war against each other
consumer economy
Consumer Economy


An economy that depends on a large amount of spending by consumers



Consumer Economy Cycle

gnp increased


GNP Increased
  • Gross National Product
  • The measure of a country’s productivity
  • The total value of goods and services produced annually
new electric gadgets available to the american consumer
New Electric Gadgets Available to the American Consumer
  • Radios
  • Toasters
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Sewing machines
  • Refrigerators
  • Coffee pots
  • Ovens
  • Irons
henry ford


Henry Ford
  • 1896 – invented the quadricycle
  • 1899 – started the Detroit Automobile Company – made 22 cars
  • 1900 – business failed


henry ford1


Henry Ford
  • 1901 – There were over 50 companies making cars, but only the wealthy could afford them
  • Ford wanted to “democratize the automobile” by making them cheaper
  • 1903 – Started the Ford Motor Company
  • Mass produced the Model T using assembly line production
assembly line


Assembly Line
  • A process in which each worker completes a single specific task in the production process
  • At the end of the line, the product is complete
  • Ford’s assembly line produced a Model T every 24 seconds

Question -

How did Henry Ford convince investors to back his plan to produce cheap reliable cars after his first venture had failed?



Ford, at the age of 38, entered a race against the most famous racer in the country, Alexander Winton.

Ford’s “Sweepstakes” had 26 horsepower.

Winton’s “Bullet” had 70 horsepower.


In a 10 lap race, Ford came from behind in the 7th lap to beat Winton by a wide margin, averaging 45 mph.

What made the difference?


Winton’s car began to misfire badly, but Ford’s car had a spark coil insulated with a porcelain case designed by a dentist. (The forerunner of the spark plug)

Ford won $1000 and a punch bowl, and found financial backers for his new car company.


Henry Ford’s “Sweepstakes”

2 cylinders – 539 cubic inches – 26 hp – top speed 72 mph


1923 Ford

Grain Truck

installment plans


Installment Plans
  • Manufacturers attracted consumers by allowing payments over time
  • Items most likely bought on credit:
    • Cars
    • Furniture
    • Vacuum cleaners, radios, refrigerators
    • Washing machines


  • The practice of making high-risk investments in hopes of getting a huge return
  • The rapid rise of stock prices throughout the 1920’s convinced people that they could “get rich quick”
buying on margin


Buying on Margin
  • Common people with little money would buy stocks by putting 10 – 50 percent down and borrowing the rest owed
  • If the stocks went down in price, the investor still owed the full amount for them plus the interest on the loan
welfare capitalism


Welfare Capitalism
  • In order to prevent more labor strikes, employers began to improve conditions by offering
    • Higher wages
    • Paid vacations
    • Health insurance
    • English classes
herbert hoover


Herbert Hoover
  • 31st President
  • 1929 – 1933
  • Republican
  • New York
  • Continued to keep government out of business