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Emergency Immigration Law of 1921

enacted because of the influx of foreigners into the US after 1919, this restricted European arrivals each year to 3-percent of the foreign-born people in the US

Immigration Act of 1924

reduced the number of European arrivals each year to 2 percent, included fewer new immigrants from southern and eastern Europe

Vanzetti and Sacco

two Italian immigrant anarchists who robbed a bank and shot two people; when they were sentenced to death by an overly prejudiced judge a large public debate over their innocence arose between Conservatives (guilty) and liberals (not guilty)

people of Latin American descent

due to the immigration laws, what was the fastest growing ethnic minority in the US during the 1920s?


a widespread recognition that Western civilization had entered an era of bewildering change

a literal interpretation of the bible

what was fundamentalism grounded in?

the July 1925 "monkey trial"

the trial between William Jennings Bryan (against) and Clarence Darrow (for) over John T. Scopes, a high school teacher in Dawson, Tennessee teaching Darwinism in schools against Tennessee law; son escalated to a debate between modernism and fundamentalism

Anti-Saloon League

a group that became one of the most effective pressure groups in history by mobilizing Protestant churches behind its single-minded battle to elect "dry candidates"

displayed blatant ethnic and social prejudices

What did proponents of prohibition often do?

18th amendment

passed on January 19,1919; banned the manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors nationwide

"Scarface" Al Capone

most celebrated criminal of the 1920s; in 1927 he pocketed $60 million from his bootlegging, prostitution, and gambling empire; he also had a habit for flaunting his wealth and was known for his open disregard for legal authorities; eventually sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion

the jazz age

F. Scott Fitzgerald labeled the 1920s as the this because young people were willing to experiment with new forms of recreation and sexuality

movie theaters

what was a major public attraction during this time period?

rebellious young adults

what kind of people was jazz immensely popular with?

in fashion and on college campuses

where was the "new morality" seen, especially among women?

Alice Paul

a Quaker and chair of the Congressional Committee of the National Women's Suffrage Association (NAWSA); told women to be more aggressive and confrontational; by 1917 this women and her followers were picketing the white house and deliberately inviting arrest, after which they went on hunger strikes in prison

Carrie Chapman Catt

head of NAWSA; more moderate than Paul but equally persistent

19th amendment

gave women's the right to vote; became law on August, 18 1920; seen as the climatic achievement of the Progressive era

the great migration

What was the most signifcant development in African American life in the early 1900s?

the great migration

the movement of blacks from the south to the north to fill empty spaces in industrial jobs during World War I; led to a slow but steady growth in black political influence in northern cities

Harlem Renaissance

a cultural expression in literature and art during a period of great political activity and protest among northern blacks; sought to rediscover black folk culture

Claude McKay

Jamaican Immigrant who was the first significant writer of the Harlem Renaissance

Negro nationalism

movement that championed blackness, black cultural expression, and at its most extreme- black exclusiveness

Marcus Garvey

leading spokesman for Negro nationalism; encouraged blacks to liberate themselves from the surrounding white culture; endorsed social and political separation of whites and blacks; this mindset led to W.E.B. du Bois labeling this man "the most dangerous enemy of the negro race"; brought to the US the Universal Negro Improvement Association which he had created in Jamaica

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

a very influential organization in promoting black rights; founded in 1910 by northern white liberals and black leaders; main goal was getting the federal government to enforce the 14th and 15th amendments

theory of relativity

a theory devised by Albert Einstein which announced that space, time and mass were not absolutes and instead were relative to the location and motion of the observer; completely denounced Newton's research which suggested that the universe was governed by set laws that the scientific method could ultimately uncover

theory of radioactivity

theory that stated that mass and energy were interchangeable

Max Planck

German physicist who discovered the quantum theory

quantum theory

theory that electromagnetic emissions of energy, whether as electricity or light, came in little bundles that he labeled quanta; suggested that atoms were far more complex than one believed

uncertainty principle

discovered by Werner Heisenberg which announced that the activities within an atom were ultimately indescribable because the process of observation would affect the behavior of the particle by altering its position or velocity; symbolized that human knowledge has limits

imagist movement

a movement that revolted against the ornamental excessiveness or use of empty words in Victorian poetry in favor of the concrete image

Ezra Pound

an American expatriate poet and critic and a major figure in the early modernist movement in poetry. He became known for his role in developing Imagism, which, in reaction to the Victorian and Georgian poets, favored tight language, unadorned imagery, and a strong correspondence between the verbal and musical qualities of the verse and the mood it expressed.

T.S. Elliot

protege of Ezra Pound; went to Oxford in 1913 and decided to make England his permanent home; rejected the cheerfulness , optimism and hopefulness of the 1900s as well as the traditional notion of poetry as the literal representation of a beautiful world

Gertrude Stein

early champion of experimentalism and a collector of modern art; settled in Paris in 1903; cheif promoters of the modern prose style

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The earliest chronicler of the Jazz Age generation, who became successful and famous at an early age with novels such as This Side of Paradise (1920) and The Great Gatsby.

Ernest Hemingway

Writer who cultivated a public image caught up in the frenetic, hard-drinking lifestyle and the cult of athletic masculinity that are hallmarks of his novels such as Death in the Afternoon (1932), To Have and Have Not (1937), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), and The Old Man and the Sea (1952).

Thomas Wolfe

Southern Renaissance writer from Asheville, North Carolina, who became famous with the publication of his novel Look Homeward, Angel.

William Faulkner

Southern Renaissance writer who wrote about the fictional town of Jefferson, Yoknapatawpha County, in novels such as Sartoris (1929) and The Sound and the Fury (1929).

The Sound and the Fury

a novel by William Faulkner that is one the triumphs of modernist style but was misunderstood by readers when it first came out


NAACP is founded


Marcus Garvey brings to New York the Universal Negro Improvement Association


Prohibition begins with the ratification of the 18th amendment


the 19th amendment, guaranteeing women's suffrage, is ratified


F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Side of Paradise is published


Albert Einstein receives the Nobel Prize in physics


Congress passes the Emergency Immigration Act


T.S. Elliot's The Waste Land is published


Alice Paul's equal rights amendment is introduced to Congress


Congress passes the Immigration Act


Scopes "monkey trial" tests the teaching of evolution in Tennessee public schools

The Passing of the Great Race

1916 book by Madison Grant that argued that the great race of the Nordics of northern Europe was threatened by the Slavic and Latin people of eastern and southern Europe, outlining a pseudo scientific racism that bolstered postwar nativist sentiments and anti-immigration groups.

cause celebre

Popular cause among the public, as for example in the case of Sacco and Vanzetti, which inspired public demonstrations around the world on behalf of the two men.

klu klux klan

Organized in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1866 to terrorize former slaves who voted and held political offices during Reconstruction; a revived organization in the 1910s and 1920s stressed white, Anglo-Saxon, fundamentalist Protestant supremacy; the Klan revived a third time to fight the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s in the South.

William Jennings Bryan

Former secretary of state who became a fundamentalist leader whose following, prestige, and eloquence made the movement a popular crusade; in 1921 Bryan sparked a drive for laws to prohibit the teaching of evolution in the public schools, and in 1925 he served for the prosecution in the Scopes "monkey" trial, winning a hollow victory and dying a few days after the trial.

John T. Scopes

High school teacher who was prosecuted in 1925 for violating a Tennessee law outlawing the teaching of evolution in public schools and colleges; he was ultimately convicted but his $100 fine was overturned by the state supreme court on a legal technicality.

Clarence Darrow

Renowned Chicago trial lawyer and confessed agnostic who was the defense attorney in the Scopes "monkey" trial of 1925; he ultimately lost but the ruling was merely a gesture and was overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court on a technicality.

Volstead Act

Enforced the prohibition amendment, beginning January 1920.


Place where illegal alcoholic beverages were sold during the Prohibition Era.

Wickersham report

1931 Report issued by a commission under former attorney-general George W. Wickersham that provided evidence that enforcement of Prohibition had broken down.

Main Street

1920 novel by Sinclair Lewis that typifies the active disdain among leading young urban intellectuals for the old-fashioned rural/small-town values of the hinterlands.

H.L. Mencken

Baltimore journalist who wrote for the Smart Set and American Mercury and was merciless in his attacks on small-town life and the hinterlands.

The Side of Paradise

1920 novel of student life at Princeton by F. Scott Fitzgerald that depicted the revolution in manners and morals during the Jazz Age, evidenced first among young people and especially on the college campuses.

Margaret Sanger

New York nurse and activist who began distributing birth-control information to working-class women in 1912; through her steadfast efforts, women for the first time began to gain easy access to contraception.

American Birth Control League

Organization founded by Margaret Sanger 1921, which in 1942 changed its name to Planned Parenthood, that distributed birth-control information to doctors, social workers, women's clubs, and the scientific community, as well as to thousands of individual women.

Comstock Law

Law named after Anthony (part of term), a self-appointed anti-vice crusader, who in 1873 convinced Congress that contraceptive information was as "obscene" as pornography and should be banned from the postal system; in 1914 Margaret Sanger was arrested for violating the Comstock Law by publishing The Woman Rebel, a monthly journal that advocated militant feminism including the right to practice birth control, but her case never went to trial.

Equal Rights Amendment

Amendment to guarantee equal rights for women, introduced in 1923 but not passed by Congress until 1972; it failed to be ratified by the states.

Jean Toomer

Author whose novel Cane, which pictured the lives of simple folk in Georgia's black belt and the sophisticated African-American middle class in Washington, D.C., was perhaps the greatest single creation of the Harlem Renaissan

Universal Negro Improvement Association

Black nationalist movement active in the United States from 1916 to 1923, when its leader Marcus Garvey went to prison for mail fraud.

southern renaissance

Literary movement of the 1920s and 1930s that included such writers as William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, and Robert Penn Warren.

the fugitive

Nashville poetry journal published from 1922-1925 by a group of southern writer, among them John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, Allen Tate, and Robert Penn Warren, who were committed to the new doctrines of modernism in literature.

Sigmund Freud

an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis: A system of psychological theory and therapy that aims to treat mental disorders by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious elements in the mind and bringing repressed fears and conflicts into the conscious mind by techniques such as dream interpretation and free association


United States intervenes in Mexico


World War I begins in Europe


British liner Lusitania, with Americans aboard, is torpedoed without warning by a German submarine


Congress passes the National Defense Act

March 1917

Zimmermann telegram reveals that Germany is attempting to incite Mexico to enter the war against the United States

April 1917

United States enters the Great War

January 1918

Woodrow Wilson delivers his Fourteen Points Speech

November 11, 1918

Representatives of warring nations sigh armistice


Supreme Court issues Schenck v. United States decision

Schenck v. United States

1919 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the wartime Espionage and Sedition Acts; in the opinion he wrote for the case, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes set the now-familiar "clear and present danger" standard.

National Defense Act

Act of 1916 that expanded the regular federal army from 90,000 to 175,000 and permitted gradual enlargement to 223,000, expanded the National Guard to 440,000, made provision for their training, and gave federal funds for summer training camps for civilians.

May 1919

Treaty of Versailles is presented to the Germans


Race riots break out in Chicago


US.s attorney general launches Red Scare

July 1921

Joint resolution of Congress officially ends the war among the United States, Germany and Austro-Hungary

Victoriano Huerta

Military dictator who assumed power of Mexico in 1913, forcing President Wilson to enunciate the new doctrine of nonrecognition out of sympathy for opposing factions; growing diplomatic pressure from the U.S. and his foes ultimately forced Huerta to leave office.

de facto

Exercising power as if legally established; being effectively in power but not officially acknowledged.

venustiano carranza

Leader of the Constitutionalist party in Mexico backed by President Wilson over Victoriano Huerta; recognized as Mexican president in 1915, managed to put through a new liberal constitution in 1917, but frequently clashed with rebel bandits, among them those led by Pancho Villa.

pancho villa

Leader of one of the independent gangs of bandits that spring up in Mexico because of the political upheaval of the early twentieth century; clashed with the forces of the Mexican President Carranza in 1915, led several attacks on Americans on either side of the border, and was chased by General Pershing and his troops in 1917.

John J. Pershing

General who was sent by President Wilson in 1917 to find Pancho Villa in Northern Mexico, without success; later commanded the first contingent of Americans sent to France during World War I.

dollar diplomacy

Practice initiated by the Taft administration of encouraging bankers in the United States to aid debt-plagued governments in Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; later applied to President Wilson's frequent military interventions in Latin America.

Central Powers

Also known as the Triple Alliance that developed in World War I, comprised of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, later joined by Turkey.

Triple Entente

Alliance that developed during World War I, also known as the Allied Powers, comprised of France, Great Britain, and Russia.

trench warfare

Tactic that gave the First World War its lasting character; most of the great battles of the war involved hundreds of thousands of men crawling out of their muddy, rat-infested trenches and then crossing "no-man's-land" to attack enemy positions, only to be pushed back a day or a week later.

hyphenated Americans

Of the 1910 population of 92 million, more than 32 million were "this term," first- or second-generation immigrants who retained ties to their old countries.


British passenger liner sunk by a German U-boat, May 7, 1915, creating a diplomatic crisis and public outrage at the loss of 128 Americans (roughly 10 percent of the total aboard); Germany agreed to pay reparations, and the United States waited two more years to enter World War I.

William Jennings Bryan

Secretary of State during World War I under President Wilson; believed that America had a religious duty to advance democracy and moral progress in the world but was an avowed pacifist, only reluctantly confronted Germany after the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, and later resigned to join the peace movement as a private citizen.

arabic and sussex pledges

Pledges made by the German government after the sinking of the British passenger vessel Arabic in 1915 and the French steamer Sussex in 1916, agreeing to pay an indemnity and offering public assurances that German U-boats would not sink passenger and merchant ships; the latter implied the virtual abandonment of submarine warfare.


Demand for a stronger American army and navy in face of the events of World War 1; the National Security League organized in 1914 promoted the cause of military preparedness.

Naval Construction Act

Act of 1916 that authorized between $500 million and $600 million for a three-year navy expansion program.

Revenue Act of 1916

Doubled the basic income tax rate from 1 to 2 percent, lifted the surtax to a maximum of 13 percent (for a total of 15 percent) on incomes over Dollar 2 million, added an estate tax, levied a 12.5 percent tax on gross receipts of munitions makers, and added a new tax on corporation capital, surplus, and excess profits; these taxes placed the financial burden of military preparedness on the wealthy, which amounted to the most clear-cut victory of radical progressives in the entire Wilson period.

"peace without victory"

Term used by President Wilson in a speech before the Senate on January 22, 1917 in which he declared that only a "peace among equals" could endure, based on the principles of government by the consent of the governed, freedom of the seas, and disarmament.

Zimmerman telegram

From the German foreign secretary to the German minister in Mexico, February 1917, instructing him to offer to recover Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona for Mexico if it would fight the United States to divert attention from Germany in case of war.

Liberty bonds

The Liberty Loan Act added $5 billion to the national debt by creating "Liberty Bonds" to help fund the war effort.

Newton D. Baker

Secretary of war under President Wilson; he saw the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of young men as an opportunity for social engineering and created the Commission on Training Camp Activities (CTCA) to inculcate middle-class "progressive" virtues and values into recruits while they were undergoing their military training.

food administration

Secretary of war under President Wilson; he saw the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of young men as an opportunity for social engineering and created the Commission on Training Camp Activities (CTCA) to inculcate middle-class "progressive" virtues and values into recruits while they were undergoing their military training.

War Industries Board

Established in 1917 the (abbreviation of term), headed by the Wall Street speculator Bernard Baruch, became the most important of all the economic mobilization agencies; the purchasing bureaus of the United States and Allied governments submitted their needs to the board, which set priorities and planned production, allocated raw materials, told manufacturers what to produce, order construction of new plants, and, with the approval of the president, fixed prices.

Great Migration

Large-scale migration of southern blacks during and after World War I to the North, where jobs had become available during the labor shortage of the war years.

Committee on Public Information

Established on April 14, 1917 and composed of the secretaries of state, war, and the navy, with the help of journalists, photographers, artists, entertainers, the committee used propaganda instead of censorship to convey the Allies' war aims to the people, and above all to the enemy, where it might encourage the forces of moderation.

Espionage Act

Act of 1917 that set penalties of up to $10,000 and twenty years in prison for those who gave aid to the enemy, who tried to incite insubordination, disloyalty, or refusal of duty in the armed services, or who circulated false reports and statements with intent to interfere with the war effort.

Sedition Act

Act of 1918 that extended the penalties of the Espionage act to those who did or said anything to obstruct the sale of Liberty Bonds or to advocate cutbacks in production, or who said, wrote, or printed anything "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive" about the American form of government, the Constitution, or the army and navy, effectively outlawing criticism of government leaders and war policies.

Eugene V. Debs

Socialist leader who ardently opposed American intervention in World War I and was arrested and sentenced under the Espionage Act to twenty years in prison for encouraging draft resistance; while in jail in 1920 he polled nearly 1 million votes for president, his second run at the office.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

March 3, 1918 peace between the Bolsheviks in control of the Russian government and Germany.


Party of Vladimir Lenin who in November 1917 led a revolution that took control of the Russian government, causing Russia to drop out of World War I.

Fourteen Points

President Woodrow Wilson's 1918 plan for peace after World War I; at the Versailles peace conference, however, he failed to incorporate all of the points into the treaty.

League of Nations

Organization of nations to mediate disputes and avoid war established after World War I as part of the Treaty of Versailles; President Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points'' speech to Congress in 1918 proposed the formation of the league.

Henry Cabot Lodge

Staunch Republican and reservationist who, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, opposed the American membership in the League of Nations and effectively blocked it in the Senate.

war guilt clause

Clause in the Treaty of Versailles by which Germany confessed responsibility for the war and thus for its entire costs.


Group of isolationist U.S. senators who fought ratification of the Treaty of Versailles, 1919-20, because of their opposition to American membership in the League of Nations.


Group of U.S. senators led by Majority Leader Henry Cabot Lodge who would only agree to ratification of the Treaty of Versailles subject to certain reservations, most notably the removal of Article X of the League of Nations Covenant.

spanish flu

Unprecedentedly lethal influenza epidemic of 1918 that killed more than 22 million people worldwide.

Calvin Coolidge

Governor of Massachusetts and future president who was made famous by his involvement in the Boston Police Strike, the most celebrated postwar labor dispute, when he declared that: "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time."

Red Scare

Fear among many Americans after World War I of Communists in particular and noncitizens in general, a reaction to the Russian Revolution, mail bombs, strikes, and riots.

A. Mitchell Palmer

Attorney-General whose house was partially destroyed by a bomb sent by a lunatic fringe group; he harbored an entrenched distrust of aliens and warned the public against a Bolshevik Red Menace.

"Soviet Ark"

Nickname for the transport ship that transported 249 people from New York for Finland on December 22 1919; included were assorted anarchists, criminals, and public charges, all of whom were deported to Russia without benefit of a court hearing.

100 percent Americanism

Crusade for restrictions on immigration that was a legacy of the Red Scare.


Wright brothers fly the first airplane


Ford Motor Company is founded


First radio commercial is aired


President Warren Harding dies in office


Charles Lindbergh Jr. makes first solo transatlantic flight


Herbert Hoover is elected president

October 29, 1929

stock market crashes


Congress passes the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Act of 1930 that raised tariffs to an unprecedented level and worsened the depression by raising prices and discouraging foreign trade.


Congress sets up the Reconstruction Finance Corporation


Congress passes the Glass-Steagull Act

Glass-Steagull Act

Banking Act of 1933 that established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and included banking reforms, some designed to control speculation. A banking act of the Hoover administration, passed in 1932 and also known as the Glass-Steagall Act, was designed to expand credit.

Reconstruction Finance Corporation

Federal program established in 1932 under President Herbert Hoover to loan money to banks and other institutions to help them avert bankruptcy.


Bonus Expeditionary Force converges on Washington to demand payment of bonuses promised to war veterans

"the Duchess"

nickname for Warren Harding's wife

"ohio gang"

group of men that made of Harding's cabinet, headed by Harry M. Daughtery who Harding regularly met with, played poker games and drank illegal alcohol with

Revenue Act of 1926

extended further benefits to high-income individuals by lowering estate taxes and repealing the gift tax

Fordney-McCumber Tariff

(1922) dramatically increased rates on chemical and metal products as a safeguard against the revival of German industries that had previously commanded the field

the automobile

the most significant transportation development of the twentieth century

Commerce Department

most active agency of Harding's and Coolidge's administrations; run by Herbert Hoover

McNary-Haugen bill

although this bill which would exempt farmer cooperatives from anti-trust laws and give farmers other government assistance was vetoed by Coolidge both times, it brought farming problems to national attention; defined their problems as the result of crop surpluses and revived political alliance between the west and the south

Agricultural Marketing Act

passed through Congress in 1929 under Hoover, established both a Federal Farm Board with a revolving loan fund of $500 million to help farm cooperatives set up "stabilization corporations" empowered to buy surpluses

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