AP US Hist — Chp. 20 (The Twenties, 1920-1932)
Terms in this set (50)
1918 — Supreme Court upholds Espionage Act, conviction of Eugene V. Debs
Debs was convicted for a speech condemning the war. The Court unanimously upheld the conviction.
This was 1 week after the Schenck v. U.S. case.
1919 — Schenck v. United States
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.
1919 — Claude McKay publishes poem, "If We Must Die"
Harlem Renaissance writings often contained a strong element of protest like in McKay's poem which was a response to the race riots of 1919.
The poem affirmed that blacks would no longer allow themselves to be murdered defenselessly by whites.
1920 — Election of Warren G. Harding to presidency; "return to normalcy"
In 1921, Harding becomes president and promises a return to "normalcy" after an era of Progressive reform and world war.
1920 — Founding of Civil Liberties Bureau (later American Civil Liberties Union)
a group of pacifists, Progressives, and lawyers that helped to bring attention to violations of Americans' legal rights... to protect the rights of unpopular minorities.
1915 — Rebirth of the Klu Klux Clan
The film, "The Birth of a Nation", along with the trial and lynching of Leo Frank for the 1913 murder of a teenage girl in Atlanta, was used as a recruiting tool for the KKK
Primarily white, native-born Protestants.
The new Klan saw American civilization endangered not only by blacks, but by immigrants and all groups that endangered "individual liberty" like feminists, unions, immorality and giant corporations.
It faded after 1925, but many agreed with the sentiments that secular culture and political radicalism threatened the liberties of native-born Americans.
1927 — Execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti
The Sacco-Vanzetti case reflected the fierce cultural battles that raged in communities in the 1920s.
To native-born Americans it symbolized the immigrant threat to their way of life. To immigrant-Americans & liberals, it symbolized the threat to prejudices and stereotypes of immigrants.
The executions showed the success of the "stronger, richer" people in politics, law and law enforcement against the weaker immigrant population.
"the American way of life"
In high wages, efficient factories, and the mass production of consumer goods, Americans seemed to have discovered the secret of permanent prosperity.
rise of the stock market
By 1928, an estimated 1.5 million Americans owned stock—still a small minority of the country's 28 million families, but far more than in the past.
- a new style of management where corporations showed socially conscious kind of
business leadership via private pensions, medical insurance, job security, etc.;
- focused on "human factor" of employment
Teapot Dome scandal
The most notorious scandal involved Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall, who accepted nearly $500,000 from private businessmen to whom he leased government oil reserves at Teapot Dome, Wyoming. Fall became the first cabinet member in history to be convicted of a felony.
"clear and present danger"
Speaking for the Court, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes declared that the First Amendment did not prevent Congress from prohibiting speech that presented a "clear and present danger" of inspiring illegal actions
A bobbed hair, short skirt, public smoking & drinking, birth-control-using woman
who epitomized change in sexual behavior standards'
"100 percent Americanism"
the "New Negro"
rejection of established stereotypes and search for black values in art and politics
new black assertiveness
"Free Mob" and repression
this was historically significant because:
- the censorship of speech
- books banned by Postal Service and Customs Service
- Hollywood adopts Hays code for self-censorship
1922 — Washington Naval Arms Conference
negotiated reducing the navies of Britain, France, Japan, Italy, and the United States.
1922 — Hollywood adopts the Hays code
a sporadically enforced set of guidelines that prohibited movies from depicting nudity, long kisses, and adultery, and barred scripts that portrayed clergymen in a negative light or criminals in a positive light.
Filmmakers hoped that self-censorship would prevent censorship by local governments since the courts saw movies as a business subject to regulation by law... not an artistic form of expression.
1922 — Cable Act
overturned the 1907 law requiring American women who married foreigners to assume citizenship of the husband — except in the case of Asians, who still forfeited their nationality with The Naturalization Act of 1790.
1922 — "American Individualism" by Herbert Hoover
In 1922, while serving as secretary of commerce, Hoover published American Individualism, which condemned government regulation as an interference with the economic opportunities of ordinary Americans, but also insisted that self-interest should be subordinated to public service.
1923 — Congress introduces the Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Act (ERA) campaign failed.
It proposed to eliminate all legal distinctions on gender. This separated the interests of different groups of women. The National Women's Party wanted equal access to employment, education and other opportunities, but this meant that would remove special legal protection to women wanting pensions for mothers and laws limiting women's hours of labor to help them raise their children.
1923 — "Meyer v. Nebraska"
Robert Meyer, a Bible teacher in Nebraska, was arrested for teaching a Bible lesson in German, a violation of state law.
The case overturned a Nebraska law that required all school instruction to take place in English. This law was an anti-German measure of WWI to force Americanization on its people.
This case upheld the guarantee of equal liberties by the 14th Amendment.
This case lead to other laws being overturned and the expansion of freedom for all immigrant groups in the U.S.
1924 — Calvin Coolidge wins presidential election
With Coolidge, the scandals of Harding's presidency subsided. He seemed to be an honest man of few words. But he continued the conservative policies of President Harding.
1921 — Congress passes temporary immigration quotas
restricted immigration from Europe to 357,000 per year (0ne-third of the average before the war).
1924 — The Immigration Act — Congress passes permanent immigration quotas
Congress permanently limits European immigration to 150,000 per year, distributed according to a series of national quotas that severely restricted the numbers from southern and eastern Europe.
No immigrants were allowed from Asia.
However, to satisfy the demands of the large farmers in California who relied on Mexican labor, the 1924 law did not limit immigration from the Western Hemisphere.
The term "illegally alien" was used and an emphasis on "race" is important in public policy.
"American must be kept American," declared President Coolidge.
1924 — Congress grants all Indians born in the United States American citizenship
declared that all Indians born in the United States to be American citizens, although many western states continued to deny the vote to those living on reservations.
1925 — Scopes trial
John Scopes, a teacher in a Tennessee public school, was arrested for violating a state law that prohibited teaching Darwin's theory of evolution.
Scopes was persuaded by the American Civil Liberties Union to break this law to test its constitutionality... freedom... the right to independent thought.
The jury found Scopes guilty... it was later overturned on a technicality.
1925 — "The Man Nobody Knows" by Bruce Barton
Book that portrays Jesus as "[t]he Founder of Modern Business," in an effort to make the Christian story accessible to businessmen of the time.
as "the greatest advertiser of his day, ... a virile go-getting he-man of business," who "picked twelve men from the bottom ranks and forged a great organization.
1926 — Henry Ossian Sweet trial
Ossian Sweet was a black physician who moved into a previously all-white Detroit neighborhood in 1925. When a white mob attacked his home trying to force him out, Sweet fired into the crowd, killing a man.
He was charged with murder, along with his two brothers.
They were acquitted by an all-white jury of murder charges in what came to be known as the Sweet Trials.
1927-1928 — President Coolidge vetoes McNary-Haugen farm bill
This bill sought to have the government purchase agricultural products for sale overseas in order to raise farm prices. Coolidge denounced it as an unwarranted interference with the free market.
1928 — Herbert Hoover defeats Alfred E. Smith in presidential election
After Coolidge announced he would not run for a 2nd term as president, Hoover accepted the Republican nomination.
Smith received the Democratic nomination.
Since both of their political platforms did not differ much, except Smith opposed the Prohibition, the race for the presidency dealt with their personalities and religions. Since Smith was the first Catholic to run, the race became about anti-Catholicism.
Hoover won by a landslide... 58% of the vote.
1928 — Claude McKay publishes "Home to Harlem"
During the Harlem Renaissance, black poets and novelists rejected black stereotypes and resisted restrictions.
In this novel, McKay, makes his main character a free spirit who wandered from one scene of exotic life to another in search of a beautiful girl he had known.
W.E.B. Du Bois, a prominent black civil rights activist, feared that the novel reinforced white prejudices about black life.
1929 — Robert and Helen Lynd publish "Middletown"
This study found that leisure activities and a lifestyle of consuming goods had replaced people's focus on politics and public concerns. Voting turnout had decreased. People were more concerned with themselves than public good.
1929 — Stock market crashes
October 29, 1929 : "Black Tuesday" —
the stock market crashed and more than $10 billion in market value vanished in 5 hours.
As a result, in 1930, 26,000 businesses fail and others lay off workers.
Banks fail because Germany did not pay back France and Britain for the war... and then France and Britain could not pay back American bank loans made during the war.
Banks fail because people withdrew all their money, and as a result banks could not give everyone back all the money because it was loaned out to those people and countries who could not pay it back. So, people lost all their savings when these banks failed.
Between 1929 and 1932, the market value of U.S. products and resources continued to fall. More than 11 million Americans (25%) could not find work.
1929 — Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921 repealed
Congress repealed the Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921 that provided federal assistance to programs for infant and child health.
So, several attempts to improve the situations of women and their children in the 1920s failed.
For example, The Minimum Wage Decision in 1923 also kept law from creating a minimum wage for women.
1930 — Hawley-Smoot tariff
Meant to help the Depression... it made the economic situation worse.
It raised high taxes on imported goods and that caused higher taxes on exported goods... this reduced international trade.
Less goods sold meant less money made and less jobs.
1932 — Bonus March on Washington
20,000 unemployed veterans marched to Washington in 1932 to demand early payment of $1,000 - WWI bonus that was redeemable in 1945.
On June 17th, the Senate rejected their demands. Many veterans and their families remained in the capital because they had no where else to go.
On July 28th, Washington police began to force these out of their shantytowns and two men were killed. Hoover responded by sending an army to force the marchers out of the capital and burn the shantytowns.
1932 — Creation of Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Federal Home Loan Bank System
Hoover's belief that the people and businesses just needed to voluntarily cut back in order to stem the Depression failed.
He signed laws creating:
- Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which loaned money to failing banks, railroads and other businesses.
- The Federal Home Loan Bank System offered aid to home owners threatened with foreclosure.
- $2 billion also went to create employment through public works projects like road and bridge construction.
BUT... Hoover refused to do more than this. He opposed direct relief to unemployed people
Who benefited and who suffered in the new consumer society of the 1920s?
• The 1920's was a new age of consumerism where money was now spent on leisurely items and activities, such as things for the home like vacuum cleaners and washing machines.
• Those who were able to participate were the middle class who wealth had money to live on AND to spend frivolously. However, people were willing to take on debt in order to maintain this lifestyle.
• The big businesses were pressed for more production, BUT their workers did not receive better wages.
• Farmers to also suffered during this period because they had new machines and land investments acquired during the war they now could not pay for because the demand for exporting food to Europe ended.
• Industrial companies, such as Ford, were thriving because of consumer demand.
• Social freedoms of women improved. They were allowed to vote, and rebelled against social restrictions. However, the government did not support women's needs for equal rights, better wages, children's health, limited work hours.
In what ways did the government promote business interests in the 1920s?
• Lowered income tax
• Increased tariffs
• Coolidge and Harding: pro-business men in federal agencies —> repealed regulatory system
• Overturned minimum wage law for women in D.C.
• Overturned law preventing goods produced by child labor from interstate commerce
• Under the very corrupt Harding administration: Albert Fall leased oil reserves to private businesses —> Teapot Dome Scandal
• Foreign affairs: raised taxes on imported goods (Fordney-McCumber Tariff) that in turn promoted U.S. private business
• The government continued to dispatch soldiers when a change in government in the Caribbean threatened American economic interests
Why did the protection of civil liberties gain importance in the 1920s?
• Progressive Era (1890-1920):
Espionage Act, Muller v. Oregon, censorship; people could not enjoy civil liberties, govt regulated everything,
- 1917 Civil Liberties Bureau —> 1920 ACLU demonstrates loss of Progressivism(?) in U.S. —> invented right of privacy
- Bill of Rights became important - protection of Americans' freedoms
What were the major flash points between fundamentalism and pluralism in the 1920s?
- conservative, traditional, return to previously held values
- believed in the literal translation of the Bible
- Religion v. Science: believed Darwinism and evolution should not be taught in schools
- supported Prohibition
- supported Americanization and limiting immigration (1924 Immigration Act)
- Harding agreed that Blacks were second-class citizens
- believed everyone equal (Franz Boas)
- immigrants and change is good
- lobbying for immigrant equal treatment at work
What were the causes of the Great Depression, and how effective were the government's responses by 1932?
- Stock market crash of 1929
- Decrease in American purchasing power due to unequal distribution of income/wealth
- By 1932, Hoover believed this was a result of a natural business cycle.
- Hoover was uncaring to citizen needs and refused to give government relief because he was told economic downturn is normal part of capitalism
- Hoover preferred associational action and placed faith in the voluntary steps by businesses to help needy neighbors and employees.
Which groups did not share in the prosperity of the 1920s and why?
Farmers due to debt; immigrants due to low wages, bad jobs, discrimination
How did consumerism and the idea of the "American way of life" affect people's understanding of American values, including the meaning of freedom, in the 1920s?
1920s was ruled by youth, fashions, fads; prohibition was instituted b. 1920s = time of self expression; use of automobiles
How did business practices and policies lead to a decline in union membership in the 1920s?
• New strategies by companies to discourage union membership
• More cooperation between businesses and government
• Employees' demands gradually being met
• The suggested methods to discourage unions include counter organization, inducing union leaders to support management, supporting other pro-business enterprises, refusing to work with pro-union enterprises, obtaining information on unions and other tactics.
President Calvin Coolidge said, "The chief business of the American people is business." How did the federal government's policies and practices in the 1920s reflect this understanding of the importance of business interests?
• Business interests were given special consideration by government institutions
• Interest rates were kept low = capital formation for large business enterprises
Coolidge is talking of the dignity of labor. Coolidge and [Secretary of the Treasury Andrew] Mellon generally
adopted a laissez-faire stance toward the economy; they neither subsidized
farmers, businessmen, and investors nor harmed or impeded them.
president's non-interventionist posture reflected his abiding respect for
producers of every kind. Coolidge believed "civilization and profits go
hand in hand"
Who supported restricting immigration in the 1920s and why?
Klu Klux Clan and The american born people due to nativism
Why did ideas about restricting immigration through federal legislation gain success in the 1920s?
Race became a determinant of public policy - blacks given 2nd class citizenship
In what ways did ideas about proper roles for women change in the 1920s?
• Equal rights amendment - equal access to employment, education, other citizen
• Sexual freedom
• Youthful flapper image
• society still stressed that marriage & homemaking as ultimate goals
• women used for
advertising purposes i.e. smoking = freedom; marriage still ultimate goal, freedom can be in home boundaries