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America after the Great W a r. Barnett UHS APUSH 2014. “War prosperity is like the prosperity that an earthquake or a plague brings.” — Ludwig von Mises. I. Transition from war and the rise of conservatism A. Crisis from World War I demobilization

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america after the great w a r

America after the Great War





“War prosperity is like the prosperity that an earthquake or a plague brings.”—Ludwig von Mises


I. Transition from war and the rise of conservatism

    • A. Crisis from World War I demobilization
    • B. The grim return of overt nativism and racism
    • C. Urban v. Rural
    • D. The economic good times (with the exception of farmers) of new entertainment, technology, and social standards.

II. WASP Racism

    • A. Emergency Quota Act 1921 - 3% of 1910
    • B. Johnson Immigration Act (1924) – 2% of 1890
    • C. National Origins Act (1929) – Quotas from 1920
      • Italian quota Italian origin pop, 1920 3.8M

________ = ________________ = ____ = 6,000

150,000 White Population, 1920 95.5M

D. Rise in Anti-Semitism



    • A. 1915 - William Simmonsfounds new KKK
    • B. D.W. Griffith - Movie "Birth of a Nation.”
    • C. South & North attraction – 5M by 1924
    • D. Decline – 1925 trial of Grand Dragon of Indiana

V. The New Negro and the Harlem Renaissance-

    • A. Increased migration of African Americans to northern urban areas
    • B. Du Bois - Black Nationalism?
    • C. Marcus Garvey, leader of the Black Nationalist (separatist)
      • 1. Back-to-Africa movement
      • 2. Vs. Creation of an African American self-image

D. The Harlem Renaissance 

    • 1. Jazz, Art, Literature, Music, and Dance
    • 2. Louis Armstrong
    • 3. Langston Hughes - "The Weary Blues“
    • 4. Bessie Smith - female blues singer
    • 5. Claude McKay - poet - urged blacks to resist discrimination
    • 6. Countee Cullen - "Color" - captured black struggle

VI. Modernism V. Fundamentalism or Urban V. Rural

    • A. John T. Scopes - biology teacher in Tennessee (1925)
    • B. Scopes Monkey Trial – Radio
      • 1. Clarence Darrow v. William Jennings Bryan (Cross of Gold Speech)
        • 1a. Liberal v. Conservative
        • 2a. modernism (science) and fundamentalism (faith)
    • C. Urban v. Rural

VII. Prohibition

    • A. grassroots movement originating in rural areas and Bible Belt
    • B. 18th Amend. (1919)
      • 1. Volstead Act - 1919 which enforced the law
      • 2. Victory for the grassroots fundamentalist reform
      • 3. WWI aided the cause
    • C. Wets vs. Drys
    • D. Black Market
    • E. Al Capone - illegal liquor trade in Chicago

VII. Literature - The Lost Generation - Many left for Europe

    • A. Disillusionment - "botched civilization”
    • B. Escape to Europe
    • "Lost Generation“
      • WWI, Red Baiters, KKK, Fundamentalists
    • C. Greenwich Village Bohemians – War & Loss of Progressivism
    • D. Sinclair Lewis - "Dodsworth," "Main Street," and "Babbitt" - describes business greed.
    • E. ThorstineVeblin wrote "Business Enterprise" - this was a dose of Marxism but urged the public planning for general welfare.
    • F. T.S. Elliot wrote "The Wasteland," a poem of a disillusioned culture
    • G. Henry L. Mencken - "The American Mercury“
    • H. Ernest Hemingway wrote "Sun Also Rises" and "A Farewell to Arms" which were anti-war
    • I. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote "The Great Gatsby"(1925) which was about a millionaire and greed - an attack on the society of wealth

IX. New Urban Ideas

    • A. Massive demographic shift from rural to urban– U>R
      • 1. Dramatic shift in the nation's self-image.
      • 2. Changes in world view, employment, education, and technology.
      • 3. Compulsory education and child labor laws
      • 4. Women worked outside the home more often.
        • Rising image of the New Woman - a break from traditional social role.
      • 5. The idea of intrafamilialdemocracy arose
        • Shared duties within the house hold; as a result, divorce rose.
        • Redefinition of marriage
        • More liberal views on child rearing, sexuality, and education conflicted dramatically with the Victorian moral code.

B. Rise of Big Business

    • 1. US held 40% of the world's wealth.
      • Goal of the conservative government was to protect the position of the wealthy - Andrew Mellon.
      • 2. Greater demand for consumer goods evolved.
        • new means of production
        • rise in electrical use.
        • Phone systems emerged in greater numbers and
        • industrial output soared.
      • 3. The efficiency of electricity and new forms of business practice increased production and decreased cost.
      • 4. Shift of Women's democracy in families - spending money

C.Henry Ford

    • 1. Assembly line
    • 2. High wages, efficiency, and economies of scale
    • 3. Model T - the "Tin-lizzy.“
    • 4. Auto industry drove the economy in the 20's and transformed our society
    • 5. Effects
      • 1a. Other Industries
      • 2a. Greater mobility
      • 3a. more recreation and the movement of rural America to urban America.
      • 6. Problems - congestion and pollution.

X. Coolidge conservatism

    • A. Andrew Mellon - laissez faire
    • B. Bureau of Budget 1921 -reduce debt
    • C. Norris LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act 1932 - outlawed yellow dog contracts
    • D. Bruce Barton - "The Man Nobody Knows"
    • E. Ads and Mass marketing - consumerism
    • F. Later Speculation
      • 1. land
      • 2. stocks

XI. The age of the consumer, entertainment, and new social standards

  • A. Sports
    • 1. Baseball - Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth "Sultan of Swat“
    • 2. Boxing - Jack Dempsey
    • 3. Track, football, baseball - Jim Thorpe
    • 4. Football - Red Grange
    • 5. Swimmer - Gertrude Ederle was a great swimmer and swam the English Channel faster than any man before!
    • 6. Recreational sports grew dramatically.
    • 7. Social changes represent new consumer period

C. Radio ads, education, entertainment

  • D. Music
    • 1. Phonographs
    • 2. Jazz and opera
    • 3. Lewis Armstrong
  • E. Movies
    • 1. The Great Train Robbery
    • 2. Talkies "Jazz Singer" - 1927
    • 3. New stars and heroes - Clara Bow, Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino
    • 4. Greater use of sex, crime, war, romance, and comedy within movies

F. Changing styles and morals

    • 1. Key shift from Victorian to "modern" ideologies
    • 2. This created a dramatic generation gap
      • a) Jazz
      • b) Drinking and smoking
      • c) Dating was no longer supervised by parents
      • d) Use of make-up and "exotic perfume"
      • e) New controversial fashions
    • 3. Freudians (followers of Sigmund Freud) claimed it was irrepressible sex drive, thus casting inhibitions aside.
    • 4. Conservative Victorians felt this radical behavior cast aside moral standards. Extra curricular behaviors dominated - sororities, fraternities, prom, football games.

G. The "New" Women

    • 1. May have been more open-minded and departed from Victorianism, but most did not practice premarital sex.
    • 2. Radical feminist - Margaret Sanger was in favor of birth control. She did not promote the cause of birth control for the purpose of promiscuity, but for the purpose of aid poor women who were overburdened with children and seemed to be caught in a cycle of pregnancy and poverty. The circulation of this information was against the law until the 1960's.
    • 3. Divorce was easier for women and with more women working in service positions, this became a realistic option - to leave a marriage and support themselves.
    • 4. Women faced a double standard in the work place, facing lower wages and less promotion opportunities compared to men of equal training and skill.
    • 5. Unfortunately the social feminist movement led by Carrie Chapman Catt slowly declined.

XII. The Air Plane

    • A. Lockheed produced airplanes for commercial flights.
    • B. Great improvements since WWI
    • C. Charles Lindbergh (known as "Lucky Lindy") flew his plane, the "Spirit of St. Louis", across the Atlantic Ocean non-stop. This success increased the American public's interest in flight.
    • D. Lindbergh flew the "Spirit of St. Louis" which led to the creation of new innovations in planes, contrasting with the period.
    • E. Bill Mitchell's (an aviation zealot who predicted the attack on Pearl Harbor) warnings regarding military use of planes loom but are ignored.