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Americans were tired of changing the world, so they turned inward. Lots of tension evident - old v. new, nativists v. other, capitalists v. other, urban v. rural, international perspective v. domestic

Red Scare

1918-1920: American fear of Commism spreading due to Communist International forming (Comintern - purpose was to "export revolution around the world" - Russian Revolution November 1917) and other foreigners' presense; rise of nativism

Palmer Raids (1919-1920)

Attorney General Mitchell Palmer and secretary J. Edgar Hoover conducted raids to find Communists and other non-democratic government supporters - very unsuccessful - found ~3 pistols

Sacco and Vanzetti (1921)

2 important Italian immigrants accused for the murder and robbery of a paymaster in Braintree, Mass. Lots of circumstancial evidence and interrogation about political beliefs - nativism rampant; eventually went to the electric chair in 1928

Immigration Quota Acts (1921, 24, 29)

restricted Southern and Eastern European immigrants, increased the number allowed for Western and Northern Euros; first restriction the United States put on European immigrants

Volstead Act (18th Amendment)

prohibition established; "dries" (against liquor, like Carrie Nation) v. "wets" (for liquor)

KKK Resurgence

idea of "pure" Americans in charge; against blacks and immigrants; nativist feelings

Scopes Trial

John T. Scopes - Dayton, TN schoolteacher; trial - business publicity stunt to get money for the town; William Jennings Bryan (fundamentalist) came to prosecute Scopes for teaching evolution (violating the Butler Act of 1925-made it illegal to do this); Darrow defended him; Bryan won but was completely made a fool of about his fundamentalist ideas

Henry Ford

Invented Model T car and distributed in 1908; also invented the assembly line

Charles Lindbergh

Flew from NYC to France in The Spirit of St. Louis (aviator)

Marcus Garvey and the Black Star Line

Black man that wanted blacks to be self-sufficient (i.e. starting their own grocery stores); eventually gave up on equal rights in America and promoted leaving the US to go to the West Indies (Caribbean) and Africa to have own settlements (shipline called Black Star Line)

Harlem Renaissance

black cultural literary movement in the 1920s showing developing identity and feelings of blacks during this time period

"The Lost Generation"

Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck - American writers that fled America (went to Europe, etc) because they thought that it was backwards and pointless - wrote some of the best American literature ever

"Return to Normalcy"

Harding's vague slogan for election in 1920; Republican leaders thought he'd do their bidding, but he turned out to be a corrupt and irresponsible president; pro-business, conservative; surrounded himself with brilliant advisors like Mellon and Hoover (commerce secretary)

Andrew Mellon

Harding's secretary of treasury; believer in "trickle-down economics;" this means that tax cuts to business would give them more money to spend, therefore stimulating the economy. Works only to a point

Ohio Gang

Harding's gang that he took to Washington with him to drink and play poker; presidency stinks of scandal

Teapot Dome Scandal

Teapot Dome, WY; Albert Fall (secretary of the interior) sold drilling rights in federal territory land for kickbacks - pro-business

Washington Naval Conference (1921-22)

US hosts and invites several world naval powers; primarily to set naval rules to avoid war in the future (America moving towards isolationism); Charles Evans Hughes, Harding's secretary of state, organized it. Five Power Pact: est. ratio for "capital ships" (navy's big ships): GB 5: US 5: Japan 3. MISTAKE: Japan built up her navy while GB and US had to scuttle ships. Four Power Pact: Jp, US, GB, and France decided to consult one another before hostile Pacific actions. Nine Power Pact: treaty that pledged that each country would uphold the Open Door Policy of John Hay (China)...US realized they failed later at Pearl Harbor. Can a world power be isolationist or have a small gov't? Apparently not.

Election of 1928

Al Smith (Catholic Democrat) v. Herbert Hoover (Rep). Republicans had a reputation from the "booming" economy of the 1920s while Al Smith was Catholic and did not want Prohibition to continue; Hoover won easily

Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)

a corrupt and irresponsible president; pro-business, conservative; surrounded himself with brilliant advisors like Mellon and Hoover (commerce secretary); knew he was bad - "I have no fear of my enemies, it's my friends that keep me up pacing at night."

Calvin Coolidge (1923-1928)

Succeeded Harding after his death of a heart attack in 1923; SO conservative; pro business; "Silent Cal" - believed in tiny gov't; "the man that builds a factory builds a temple."

Herbert Hoover (1928-1932)

Harding's secretary of commerce; WWI in charge of food and fuel - Hooverizing; conservative; lost election in 1932 probably because of Americans' perception of his inability to stop the Depression


18th amendment - made purchase/sale of liquor illegal - "noble experiment" failed; organized crime increased, gangsterism flourished; showed old world trying to retake control of new world (new American culture - immigrants, etc)


Gangsters like Al Capone arose because of bootlegging and speakeasies - effects of Prohibition. Organized crime rates increased

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