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American Life in the Roaring Twenties 1919-1929. Chapter 31. I. Seeing Red. After war Americans turned inward Shunning diplomatic commitments, denounced radical foreign ideas and “un-American” lifestyles

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i seeing red
I. Seeing Red
  • After war Americans turned inward
  • Shunning diplomatic commitments, denounced radical foreign ideas and “un-American” lifestyles
  • Shut out immigration (passed literacy requirement for immigrants) and sealed off economy from the outside world
  • New technologies, forms of entertainment and leisure first appeared in the US, but there were fears that America was losing their traditional ways
i seeing red1
I. Seeing Red
  • Flu Epidemic (1918-1919) September 1918 virus first appears, Spring 1919 disappears
  • Killed millions around the world (22m, 500,000 U.S.)
  • Men and women in 20’s, 30’s hit hardest
  • Combined with effects of war, gave people a sense of doom
  • Red Scare- fear of communists and radicals, plotting against the United States
  • Labor unrest seen as work of communists, radicals
  • Communist Soviet Union called for international workers revolution and end of capitalism
  • April 1919 40 bombs intercepted in mail, one sent to Attorney General (Mitchell Palmer)
  • Government response- Palmer Raids
  • Arrested thousands of Southern, Eastern Europeans (not all were radicals), many deported, or held in jail without ever being charged with crime
  • American Civil Liberties Union formed 1920 to protect rights and liberties
  • Conservative business leaders used this as an excuse to break the back of labor unions
i seeing red2
I. Seeing Red
  • Anti- foreignism reflected in Sacco and Vanzetti case
  • Italian immigrants and known anarchists
  • Accused of killing two men at a shoe factory
  • ACLU provided defense counsel
  • Found guilty, little hard evidence
  • Bias against immigrants, political climate worked against them
  • 1927 put to death in electric chair
  • Gave the radicals two martyrs for their “class struggle”
ii hooded hoodlums of the kkk
II. Hooded Hoodlums of the KKK
  • Membership in the organization spiked in the 20’s
  • Manifestation of intolerance and prejudice from anxiety of changing times
  • Resembled “nativist” movement of 1850’s
  • Anti- anything except Anglo, “native” American
  • Uprising against forces of modernism and forces of diversity shaping American culture
  • Movement concentrated in Midwest and South
  • At its peak had about 5 million members
  • Collapsed in late 20’s after political corruption was exposed
iii stemming the foreign flood
III. Stemming the Foreign Flood
  • Country had little use for immigration in the 20’s,
  • Immigration Act of 1924- end of open immigration
  • Government created a quota system to restrict immigration
  • Geared to keep out southern and eastern Europeans, Japanese immigrants
  • Employers used racial/ ethnic differences to undermine class and political solidarity
iv prohibition and the rise of gangsterisim
IV. Prohibition and the Rise of Gangsterisim
  • Last spasm of the progressive movement was prohibition of alcohol, legalized with the passage of the 18th Amendment and implemented with the Volstead Act in 1919
  • Prohibited sale, distribution and manufacture of alcohol
  • More popular in South and West
    • South seen as a way to keep blacks “in their place”
    • West seen as attack on vice associated with the saloon
    • Opposition in the east where there were large groups of immigrants and Old World styles of sociability
  • Conditions that hampered enforcement: ignored tradition of weak control by central government over private lives, disillusionment in aftermath of war and wisdom of further self denial, understaffed federal agents to enforce law
  • Corner saloon replaced by “speakeasies”, alcohol still available
  • Did have some positive effect- bank savings increased, absenteeism at work decreased
iv prohibition and the rise of gangsterisim1
IV. Prohibition and the Rise of Gangsterisim
  • Prohibition spawned criminal activity
  • Profits of selling booze led to rivalries between gangs in big cities
  • Arrests were few, convictions fewer and the bribery of federal agents was rampant
  • Organized crime developed around sale of liquor and reached into other areas- prostitution, drugs, gambling
  • Organized crime became one of the most lucrative businesses in the country
v changes in society
V. Changes in Society
  • Split in rural and urban values, Changes in standard of living, religious values
  • 1920 Census first time more American lived in urban areas than rural areas
  • Urban- enjoyed new consumer products,
  • Open to social change, science, secular values important
  • Formal education more important
  • Rural- more traditional view of science, religion, culture
  • Most new consumer products unavailable
  • Many people, especially in rural areas, felt threatened by the changing values of society--formed ways to react to these changes
  • Religious fundamentalism grew during the 1920s
  • World changing in ways people don't understand and can't control
  • Children reject the values that the parents have lived with all their life
  • One way this fundamentalism manifested itself came in the laws of a few southern states which mandated creationism, not evolution, be taught in classrooms
vi monkey business in tennessee
VI. Monkey Business in Tennessee

Scopes “Monkey” Trial

  • 1925, at the urging of local community leaders, John T. Scopes, a high-school biology teacher in Dayton, Tenn. challenged his state's antievolution law
  • He did so with promise of assistance from the ACLU
  • ACLU hired team of lawyers headed by Clarence Darrow to defend Scopes
  • Prosecution assisted by William Jennings Bryan--who argued for inerrancy of Bible, but sometimes found himself not knowing what the Bible said
  • Scopes convicted by local jury--but received short sentence and small fine
  • Scopes Trial a battle between two sets of values--the older, rural values and the modern urban values
  • Fundamentalism (and the South) ridiculed by national press-influence of fundamentalism diminished in mainstream churches after the trial, it still retained a large following
vii the mass consumption economy
VII. The Mass Consumption Economy
  • Cultural issues divided Americans
  • Decade after war America experienced growth
  • Changed the way Americans lived
  • Created modern consumer economy
  • Technology, leisure activities broke down barriers and helped form a common American culture
  • Rising wages, shorter work weeks
  • More free time more disposable income
  • Consumer Revolution- advertising, buying on credit, electricity made new products available to people
  • Availability of electric power – washing machines, vacuum cleaners made housekeeping easier
  • Advertisers- used new methods to sell more products (focused on desires and fears of consumers)
  • Buying on credit allowed people to buy products they would have needed to save years for
  • Economy became increasingly venerable to disruptions of the credit structure
vii the mass consumption economy1
VII. The Mass Consumption Economy
  • Radio and Phonograph- result of technological advances, business enterprise
  • Americans listened to same music, learned same dances- contributed to mass popular culture
  • Radio- 1920 first commercial radio station (KDKA Pittsburg, PA)- within three years over 600 stations
  • Brought events into millions of homes- sporting events, news
  • Politicians had to learn the “art” of media to reach millions at once that heard promises and pleas
  • Advertising and commercials made radio a vehicle for selling American free enterprise
  • Phonograph- people could listen to music whenever they wanted
  • Regional music styles were made national
viii sports and the rise of the airplane
VIII. Sports and the Rise of the Airplane
  • Sports created nationally famous athletes
  • Increased newspaper readers, radio audience boosted popularity
  • Sportswriters captured excitement of events
  • Sports became big business
  • Sports feats showed people capable of great feats, idealized self
  • 1903 first successful airplane flight
  • During WWI used in combat
  • After war first passenger lines operated, mostly used for mail service, stunt fliers traveled across country
  • 1927 Charles Lindberg flies solo across Atlantic Ocean, became American hero
  • Feat popularized flying more than any other event, increased idea of it being a commercially viable industry
  • Removed some of the “isolation” of the American psyche
ix movies
IX. Movies
  • Movie industry began to grow in early 1900’s and it blossomed in the 1920’s
  • Hollywood was the movie capital of the world
  • Used during the war to promote anti-German propaganda
  • Local theaters became cultural classroom for Americans
  • Americas democratic art, most popular form of entertainment
  • First movie stars
  • 1927 first “talkie” Jazz Singer
  • Movies represent fantasies, desires, of Americans
  • Help create a common American culture
x advent of the automobile age
X. Advent of the Automobile Age
  • Caused biggest change to lifestyles during the 1920’s and beyond
  • Scientific managementtechniques- reduce time, effort, cost to produce cars (“Taylorisim” sought to eliminate wasted motion)
  • Cars put on assembly line- inspired by meatpacking industry
  • Best known carmaker Henry Ford, had a one track devotion to standardization that he used to produce cars
  • Idea of mass production used for automobiles
  • Model T- only car Ford sold ($ 260 by mid-1920’s)
  • Ford also doubled wages of workers, weekends off, 8 hr workday
x advent of the automobile age1
X. Advent of the Automobile Age
  • Steel, glass, rubber, asphalt, gasoline, insurance, road construction industries all benefitted
  • Oil discoveries in Southwest US
  • 1926 national highway system first appeared
  • Service stations, motels
  • Created new jobs, helped national prosperity
  • Made commerce speedier
  • Gave people more freedom, car became a necessity
  • Go where they wanted, not tied to tracks or train schedule, hurt railroads
  • Altered residential patterns
  • Suburbs grew, people could live farther from jobs
  • Communities linked by highways to cities
  • Improved mass transportation, car led to development of suburbs
  • Suburbs drain resources from cities
xi science social thought and modernism
XI. Science, Social Thought and Modernism
  • Rational, mechanical ideas of how world worked changed
  • Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Heisenberg's Theory of Uncertainty showed absolute values of how things worked were not true
  • Freud explored subconscious, subconscious regions seen as more potent than reason
  • Also demonstrated that repression was responsible for a variety of social ills
  • Fundamentalist lost ground to the modernists
xi new roles for women
XI. New Roles for Women
  • New Woman” of 1920’s more liberated, Victorian morality rejected
  • Dresses shorter, wore makeup, danced, drank
  • Flapper symbolized new , modern woman
  • Wanted same political, social, economic rights as men
  • Alice Paul and the National Women’s party began a campaign for an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution
  • Lived longer, had fewer children, freed time to pursue other interests
  • Many entered professional workforce, although they went into low paying jobs (“women’s work”)
  • Elected as governors (TX, WY)
  • Differences in material culture made life for urban and rural women distinct
xiii the jazz age
XIII. The Jazz Age
  • Emerged in South (New Orleans) where different traditions and cultures came together
  • Based on improvisation, blues and European traditions
  • Spread north with Great Migration, became theme music of 1920’s
  • Radio, phonograph spread influence
  • Bridged races, inspired white songwriters and musicians (who stole style and made a huge profit)
xiv the harlem renaissance
XIV. The Harlem Renaissance
  • African American migration continued 1920’s
  • Many found a better life, jobs, political voice
  • Did not escape oppression, had worst jobs, housing
  • Period of cultural expression in music and literature
  • Development of “new black consciousness”
  • Center was Harlem, NY, blend of cultures, ideas
  • Spawned charismatic political leader Marcus Garvey
  • Jamaican immigrant, promoted idea of black nationalism, “Back to Africa” Movement
  • Called for black separatism- businesses, communities
  • Founded Universal Negro Improvement Assn. promoted black pride
  • Put in prison 1925 for mail fraud, deported
  • Inspired Nation of Islam, Black Panther Movement later in century
xiv the harlem renaissance1
XIV. The Harlem Renaissance
  • African American literature developed from the Harlem Renaissance
  • Explored pains and joys of being African American, some called for equality with whites
  • Langston Hughes- literary voice of HR, captured diversity of AA life
  • Jean Toomer- Cane looked at rural life in the south and sophisticated urban life in Washington, D.C.
  • Claude McKay- militant writer, wrote about struggle for dignity
  • Zora Neale Hurston- collected folktales of rural Florida, called for women’s independence
xv modernism in art and literature
XV. Modernism in Art and Literature
  • Literature, arts were changed by WWI
  • War killed millions, left many homeless
  • Seen as action of irrational people
  • Began to question ideas of progress, left people pessimistic
  • Writers and artists expressed lack of faith in a traditional worldview
  • Painters moved away from traditional representation
  • Experimented with abstract styles, represented inner mood
  • Saw artistic honesty in abstract paintings
xv modernism in art and literature1
XV. Modernism in Art and Literature
  • Postwar literature represented the exuberance of youth and the resentment of ideals betrayed
  • Called “Lost Generation”
  • Searched for new truths, new ways to express truths
  • Most were expatriates living in Paris and London
  • Wrestled with meaning of war and life
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway, T.S. Elliot, Sinclair Lewis, Gertrude Stein
  • Greatest generation for American writers
xv modernism in art and literature2
XV. Modernism in Art and Literature
  • Earnest Hemmingway- novels feature search for real life
  • Hard living, athletic, masculine lifestyle
  • About doomed life after the war
  • Wrote in a concrete, stripped down style
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald- first novel This Side of Paradise, age 24
  • Wrote about excess of Jazz Age, bible for youth of the 20’s
  • Great Gatsby about American dream and tragedy
  • William Faulkner- stories set in Mississippi, reflected southern world
  • Literature- dying way of life vs. modern way of life
  • Leader of Southern Renaissance
boom and bust
Boom and Bust

1919-1929

i wall street s big bull market
I. Wall Street’s Big Bull Market
  • Right after the war scarcity of supplies, increased demand caused inflation
    • Agriculture- prices fell, farmers could not pay debt
    • U.S. had a postwar recession
    • Industrial workers wages could not buy as much after war (inflation)
    • Many workers went on strike to demand better conditions (1919- 4m), racial unrest across the country in the summer of 1919
  • Decade after war America experienced growth
  • Changed the way Americans live, created modern consumer economy
  • 1920’s period of rising stock prices (bull market)
  • Investors take risks, buy on margin (pay small amount up front, pay rest back over time)
  • Stock was collateral for loan
  • Thinking boom and bust economy would end, there would always be prosperity
  • Signals in bank failures and real estate speculation
i wall street s big bull market1
I. Wall Street’s Big Bull Market
  • More conservative policies to promote growth of business
  • Presidents wanted to serve the public good through less government
  • Sec. of Treasury Andrew Mellon, a multimillionaire, favored low taxes on individuals and corporations
  • Tax burden shifted to the middle class
  • Herbert Hoover- Commerce Sec. wanted to use business and labor leaders to manage industry, not legislation
ii republicans in power
II. Republicans in Power
  • Harding used government to guide business to profits
  • Used courts to back up policies, appointed 4 justices to Supreme Court (would have an effect for years)
  • Stripped away gains for labor, women in the workplace, anti trust laws ignored
  • Dismantled progressive and wartime controls over the economy
  • Close circle of advisers called ‘Ohio Gang”
  • Saw government service as a way to get rich at expense of others
  • Teapot Dome Scandal- (1921) Sec. of Interior arranged sale of government oil reserves in Wyo. to private investors for “loans”
  • Harding signed deal, senate investigated
  • 1924- Sec. of Interior sentenced to prison
  • 1923- Harding died before he could finish his term or answer for his role in this and other scandals
iii silent cal coolidge
III. Silent Cal Coolidge
  • Replaced by VP Calvin Coolidge
  • “Silent Cal” quiet, honest, frugal, fumigated some of the stench of Harding
  • Pro- business, creation of wealth was good for all America
  • Followed same economic policies as Harding
  • American economy grew, general prosperity for all Americans over next six years
iv hiking the tariff higher
IV. Hiking the Tariff Higher
  • True to idea of American isolationism, business tried to keep out foreign investment in the 1920’s
  • Put up high tariff walls to keep out a flood of cheap foreign goods from recovering Europe
  • Tariffs were raised throughout the decade, Republican presidents were far more friendly to tariff increases than the progressives of past decades
  • Set off chain reaction that kept Europe from being able to pay war debts, spurred Europe to pass tariffs to keep out American goods
v frustrated farmers
V. Frustrated Farmers
  • Farmers caught in boom-bust cycle more than industry
  • Peace brought an end to guaranteed prices by government and overseas purchases
  • Wartime boom encouraged them to cultivate new land
  • Farmers produced surpluses that led to price dampening depression
  • In 1920’s 25% of all farms were sold to repay debt
  • Congress tried to help farmers but conservative financial policies allowed farmers problems to not be heard
vi american foreign policy
VI. American Foreign Policy
  • Isolationism was the rule in the 20’s, even though America sent “observers” to the League of Nations meetings in Geneva, Switzerland
  • America was active in the Middle East where they secured drilling rights to reap the benefits oil
  • 1921-1922- Washington “Disarmament” Conference- limit construction of navies, reduce arms race
  • 1928- Kellogg- Briand Pact- treaty to outlaw “war as an instrument of national policy” world leaders knew this was useless
  • Defensive wars were still permitted with pact, America had been lulled into a false sense of security
  • 1920’s U.S. thought best policy was to keep rest of world at arms length, by outlawing war U.S. hoped to never be involved in another world war
vi american foreign policy1
VI. American Foreign Policy
  • US did still participate in the affairs of Latin American and Caribbean nations to protect their investments
  • Overshadowing all other foreign policy issues was international debt, US after war was the creditor nation of the world
  • US wanted to be repaid the $10 billion it loaned Europe during the war
  • US wanted Britain, France to pay back money borrowed for war
  • They needed Germany to pay reparations
  • Financial issue threatened world economy
  • 1924Dawes Plan arranged US loans to Germany to pay Britain and France
  • Damaged US reputation- Europe saw US as heartless demanding payment after human costs of war
  • US never did get money and it led to continued neutrality and isolationism as thing grew worse in Europe in the 1930’s
vii presidential elections 1924 1928
VII. Presidential Elections 1924, 1928
  • 1924 Coolidge reelected over a hopelessly split Democratic party and the reform minded progressives
  • Times were too good to change the course
  • 1928 Coolidge decides not to run, Herbert Hoover (Sec. of Commerce) was chosen as successor
  • Hoover was a self mad millionaire, the ideal businessperson's candidate
  • Democrats nominated Alfred Smith of NY
  • Many saw Smith as too Catholic, urban, too much of a drinker
  • Dry, fundamentalists help Hoover carry the South for the first time to carry former Confederate states
  • First election where radio played a role
ix hoover s first years
IX. Hoover’s First Years
  • Many did well in 1920’s; two groups that did not farmers and wage earners
  • Hoovers government philosophy- voluntary cooperation between labor and management
  • Economy needed sense of competition, little government interference
  • Decentralized government, low taxes
  • Passed Agricultural Marketing Act and established the Farm Board, agencies set up to help farmers to help themselves through lending and farmers cooperatives
  • 1930 Farm Board agrees to buy surplus production, causes glut of agricultural products and leads to a decline in prices
ix hoover s first years1
IX. Hoover’s First Years
  • 1930Hawley Smoot Tariff designed to help farmers
  • Created the highest tariff in peacetime history (avg. duty 60%)
  • Hawley-Smoot Tariff raised prices on foreign goods
  • Added to farm, manufacturing problems, could not sell glut of goods
  • European countries retaliate and pass protective tariffs, seen as an act of economic war
  • Destroyed international trade
  • Countries could not repay loans to U.S., business’ bank collapses in Europe
x great crash end the twenties
X. Great Crash End the Twenties
  • When Hoover took office the speculative bubble and good times on the stock exchange were coming to an end
  • In mid-1929 British raised interest rates to bring investment back to the country, foreign investors dumped money in US market for British market
  • Sept- Oct 1929 stock market begins to drop
  • October 29- Black Tuesday bottom fell out of stock market, billions of dollars lost
  • Investors lost confidence in market, many lost all of their money, jobs, homes
  • Hoover tells Americans economy healthy
xi causes of the great depression
XI. Causes of the Great Depression
  • Industrial production increased and corporate profits rose
  • Wealthiest 1% made same amt. as bottom 42%
  • Problem- overproduction, under consumption, over expansion of credit
  • Problems caused by Hawley-Smoot Tariff caused chain reaction across Europe
  • Farms sold at auction and many became tenant farmers across the South and Midwest
xii chain reaction
XII. Chain Reaction
  • Stock market crash caused chain reaction of events
  • Banks Collapse
  • Depositors tried to withdraw money (run on banks), many banks failed (over 2,000 from 29-32)
  • Misguided Monetary Policy
  • Federal Reserve tightened money supply to discourage lending
  • Too little money in circulation, not enough for banks
  • Business Closes, Unemployment Rises
  • Reduced spending, production cutbacks
  • Led to job layoffs, by 1933 25% of Americans out of work
xiii rugged times for rugged individualists
XIII. Rugged Times for Rugged Individualists
  • Many Americans did not understand the reasons the Depression happened
  • Attacked most American families, many men lost initiative and self respect
  • Men felt that they betrayed family, birthrates dropped, families broke up, children dropped out of school
  • Unemployment at 25%, those that had jobs had wages, hours cut
  • Many went hungry, waited in bread lines for food, many lost their homes
  • Grouped together in Hoovervilles, makeshift shacks, tents built on public land
  • Feeling of loss of American Dream, zapped American spirit and uniqueness
  • Most popular song 1933 “ Brother Can You Spare a Dime?”
xiii rugged times for rugged individualists1
XIII. Rugged Times for Rugged Individualists
  • Hoover struggled to respond to America’s problems
  • Tried hands off policy, downturn part of natural business cycle
  • Business should voluntarily combat depression, act in best interest of the community
  • Asked business, industry to keep employment, wages, prices at current levels, wanted more money in hands of businesses
  • Local relief agencies were overwhelmed, did not have funds to battle economic downturn
  • Hoover begins to realize that government needed to help, efforts probably prevented further collapse of the economy
xiv hoover battles the great depression
XIV. Hoover Battles the Great Depression
  • Hoover finally began to use federal resources to battle economy
  • 1932- Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC)
  • Loaned billions for business, railroads, state and local governments
  • Money for banks, to provide loans, stimulate business (trickle down economics), no money to individuals
  • Succeeded with construction project on Colorado River (Boulder/Hoover Dam), brought irrigation, employment to Southwest
  • Benefits to labor through the Norris-La Guardia Act (1932) outlawed using court injunctions to restrain labor
  • Policies by Hoover paved the way for the expansion of the federal government under the New Deal
xv routing the bonus army in washington
XV. Routing the Bonus Army in Washington
  • 1932- Group of WWI veterans went to D.C. to demand payment for service that was to be paid in 1945
  • Called Bonus Army
  • Government did not have the money
  • Set up camps and occupied government buildings
  • Hoover used federal troops to remove them
  • Army used excessive force, Gen MacArthur called them revolutionaries
  • Photographs of army action shocked Americans
  • Election of 1932 was time for change