an economic and political system based on a single party government ruled by a dictatorship. Russia was the first communist country in 1917.
The Red Scare
It began in 1919 in the US after revolutionaries in Russia overthrew the Czarist regime. Vladimir 1st started a new communist state. They waved red flags and wanted to abolish capitalism. A communist party of 70,000 people formed in the US. bombs were mailed to the government and business leaders. Everyone was scared the communists would take over. US attorney general A. Mitchell Palmer took action to combat this scare.
Palmer and J. Edgar Hoover hunted down suspected communists, socialists, and anarchists. They invaded homes, offices, and put people in jail and didn't allow them legal counsel. Foreign born suspects were deported without trials. The raids never found evidence of a revolutionary conspiracy. The public decided Palmer didn't know what he was doing.
Sacco and Vanzetti
They were arrested and charged with robbery and murder of a factory paymaster and his guard. The accused were Italian and it was during the time of the red scare. People had prejudices against foreigners. They died in the electric chair on August 23, 1927. They were arrested in May 1920.
Ku Klux Klan
They were devoted to 100% Americanism. By 1924, membership reached 4.5 million "white male persons, native born gentile citizens." They believed in keeping blacks "in their place" and driving Roman Catholics, Jews, and foreign born people out of the country. They were paid to recruit new members.
Emergency Quota Act
This set up a quota system in 1921 to establish a maximum number of people who could enter the US from each foreign country. This occurred until the 1960s.
Impact of the Automobile
It changed America. Paved roads (Route 66) was a visible effect. It changed architecture (houses/garages). Launched construction (gas stations, car shops etc.) The first automatic traffic signals were in Detroit in 1920s. Cars helped rural families and people could vacation easier. Workers could live miles from work, resulting in urban sprawl as cities spread in all directions. And it definitely helped the economy.
Electricity transformed the nation. by the end of the 1920s, people had electric irons, refrigerators, cooking ranges, and toasters. These appliances helped housewives, and coincided with women working outside the home.
Advertising agencies no longer just informed the public about products and prices. Now they hired psychologists to study how to be appealing.
This enabled people to buy goods over an extended period, without having to put down much money at the time of purchase. Banks provided the money at low interest rates.
Birth of a Nation
1915 was the first blockbuster movie. First time Hollywood sees how much money they could make from movies. Everyone had to see it. It was about good triumphing over evil. They used the KKK as good, and the blacks as bad. Sadly, Woodrow Wilson loved it.
Nine boys were accused of murder and rape. They were black. This occurred in 1931. The accusers admitted they weren't raped, but the court wanted the blacks to be guilty.
This showed women trying to have more freedom in the 1920s. Flappers had really short hair and wore short skirts. They wanted more freedom and to do whatever they wanted.
This occurred when a teacher illegally taught evolution in a biology class. This was in 1925 in Tennessee. John T. Scopes was found guilty and had to pay a fine.
Assembly lines, industrial revolution. We learned how to make a lot of food and products.
1920, 18th amendment went into effect. Manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages was prohibited. Support for this mainly came from the South and West, where many protestants lived.
A protestant movement where they argued that all important knowledge could be found in the Bible.
By the end of the 1920s, the radio network had created something new in the US: the experience of hearing news as it happened.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
He wrote "This side of Paradise" and "The Great Gatsby" to show the negative side of the period's gaiety and freedom, portraying wealthy and attractive people leading imperiled lives in gilded surroundings.
He was wounded in WWI. Wrote, "The sun also rises" and "A farewell to arms" where he criticized the glorification of war.
An immigrant from Jamaica. He believed African Americans should build a separate society. In 1914, he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).
He was the Harlem Renaissance's best poet. Most poems describe the hard lives of blacks. He wrote "Let America Be America Again" and "I, Too, Sing America".
A trumpet player who joined the Creole Jazz band. He became the most influential musician in the history of Jazz.
It was born in the early 1920s in New Orleans, where musicians blended instrumental ragtime and vocal blues into an exuberant new sound.
In the late 1920s, this jazz pianist and composer led his ten piece orchestra at the Cotton Club. He was one of America's greatest composers.
Mining and lumbering were no longer in high demand, especially coal mining. Agriculture also suffered.
During WWI, famers planted more, but after the war, crop prices declined. So they went into debt but couldn't pay it off, because no one was buying crops.
People were spending money beyond their means. They bought goods on credit, where they agreed to buy now and pay later. Usually this was in the form of an installment plan (monthly payments) and interest charges.
Uneven Distribution of Income
During the 1920s, the rich got richer. More than 70% of families earned less than $2,500 a year, barely enough to survive. Most American families couldn't participate fully in the economic advances of the 1920s.
Buying stocks and bonds on the chance of a quick profit, while ignoring the risks.
Buying on Margin
Paying a small percentage of a stock's price as a down payment, and borrowing the rest.
On October 29th 1929, the bottom fell out of the market, and the nation's confidence. The number of shares dumped that day was a record of 16.4 million.
Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act
In 1930, congress passed this act, which established the highest protective tariff in US history. It was designed to protect American farmers and manufacturers from foreign competition. But it had the opposite effect. By reducing the flow of goods into the US, the tariff prevented other countries from earning American currency to buy American goods. World trade fell by 40%. (Tariff= tax on imported goods)
Veterans from WWI told the government they suffered and deserved a bonus for serving during the war. So the government said they would give them a bonus in several years. But when the great depression hit, the veterans couldn't provide for their families. So they went to the white house demanding to get their bonus right then. President Hoover wouldn't give them their bonus. This caused quite a commotion, and two veterans ended up dead, and a baby also died.
Lines of people waiting to receive food provided by charitable organizations or public agencies.
The Dust Bowl
A drought that began in the early 1930s. Hardest hit areas were Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. They were named the Dust Bowl.
Farmers packed up families and left homes to head west to California because of the Dust Bowl. Okies came from Oklahomans, but it eventually became a derogatory term.
Cash payment or food provided by the government to the poor. This was not around during the early years of the Great Depression. Sadly there was no direct relief. Some cities and charities helped a little, but it wasn't enough to feed everyone.
He believed that one of the government's chief functions was to foster cooperation between competing groups and interests in society. He also believed in individualism: people should care for themselves. He opposed federal welfare. This made suffering American's upset.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
This was approved by Congress in 1932. It authorized up to $2 billion for emergency financing for banks, life insurance companies, railroads, and other large businesses. Hoover believed that the money would trickle down to the average citizen through job growth and higher wages. In the first 5 months, the RFC loaned $705 million but business continued to fail.