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The Politics of the 1920’s. Isolationism. Many Americans adopted a belief in isolationism. This meant pulling away from involvement in world affairs. Congress Limits Immigration.

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Isolationism

  • Many Americans adopted a belief in isolationism. This meant pulling away from involvement in world affairs.
congress limits immigration
Congress Limits Immigration
  • In response to nativist pressure, Congress decided to limit immigration from southern and eastern Europe. The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 established a quota system to control and restrict immigration.

America changed its formally permissive immigration policy.

a time of labor unrest
A Time of Labor Unrest
  • Strikes were outlawed during WWI, however, in 1919 there were more than 3,000 strikes involving 4 million workers.
  • These included the Boston Police Strike, the Coal Miner’s Strike and the Steel Mill Strike.
1920s tough times for unions
1920s: Tough Times for Unions
  • The 1920s hurt the labor movement. Union membership dropped from 5 million to 3.5 million. Why? African Americans were excluded from membership and immigrants were willing to work in poor conditions.

Ford Foundry workers in 1926; only 1% of black workers were in Unions at the time.

section 2 the harding presidency
Section 2: The Harding Presidency
  • Harding was not expected to win the presidency. However, his call for a “return to normalcy” or the idea that America should return to isolationism, nativism and laissez faire economics was appreciated by most Americans.
  • Warren G. Harding’s modest successes include the Kellogg-Briand Pact which renounced war as a means of national policy (signed by fifteen nations, but difficult to enforce), and the Dawes Plan which solved the problem of post-war debt by providing loans to Germany to pay France/Britain who then paid the U.S.

Harding 1920-1924

scandal hits harding
The president’s main problem was that he didn’t understand the issues. Several of Harding’s appointee’s were caught illegally selling government supplies to private companies.

Harding looked bad because he had appointed good friends in to the government and people accused him of playing favorites and benefiting from their illegal activities

Scandal Hits Harding
teapot dome scandal
Teapot Dome Scandal
  • The worst case of corruption was the Teapot Dome Scandal. The government set aside oil-rich public land in Teapot, Wyoming. Secretary of Interior Albert Fall secretly leased the land to two oil companies. Fall received $400,000 from the oil companies and a felony conviction from the courts
section 3 the business of america
Section 3: The Business of America
  • The new president, Calvin Coolidge, fit the pro-business spirit of the 1920s very well. His famous quote: “The chief business of the American people is business . . .the man who builds a factory builds a temple – the man who works there worships there”

President Calvin Coolidge 1924-1928

american business flourishes
American Business Flourishes
  • Both Coolidge and his Republican successor Herbert Hoover, favored governmental policies that kept taxes down and business profits up (laissez faire). Tariffs were high, which helped American manufacturers. Government interference in business was minimal. Wages were increasing.
american standard of living soars
American Standard Of Living Soars
  • The years 1920-1929 were prosperous ones for the U.S. Americans owned 40% of the world’s wealth. The average annual income rose 35% during the 1920s ($522 to $705). Discretionary income increased
  • This was also due to modern conveniences such as the auto, electricity and new technology all created on Ford’s moving assembly line.
causes of the great depression
Causes of the Great Depression
  • Laissez faire economics by Republican government
  • Speculative investments
  • False prosperity
  • Buying on credit (installment buying)
  • Drop in farm prices and prices of food
  • Overproduction of goods