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Arts and Humanities
History of the Americas
Module 04 Between the Wars: 04.07 Review
Terms in this set (35)
What: With the rise of striking workers, such as police officers, steel workers, and coal miners, the American public feared a Communist revolution of their own was on the horizon. This period of general fear against radical thought is termed the Red Scare.
Significance: All together, about 6,000 people were rounded up during the Red Scare. Most were arrested without warrant and held without charge, in violation of the Constitution. The case of Sacco and Vanzetti symbolized the effects of Red Scare thinking. However, by the summer of 1920, the Red Scare had subsided. Most Americans realized that the threat of revolution had been exaggerated, and their own liberties threatened by the raids.
Bureau of Investigation
What: Attorney General of the United States, A. Mitchell Palmer, created a special "anti-radical" branch of the Bureau of Investigation. This branch was called the General Intelligence Division. This was a small detective force whose duties were to study radical groups and identify their members.
When: August 1919
Who: Attorney General Palmer appointed J. Edgar Hoover to head the new division
Significance: The Red Scare would lead to the growth of this division. In a few years, it would become known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI.
What: After World War I, isolationism grew. The country's costly involvement in World War I had made it wary of conflicts on the world stage. As a result of these feelings, Congress passed a series of Neutrality Acts. These acts sought to ensure that the United States would not become entangled again in foreign conflicts.
Significance: A series of Neutrality Acts passed between 1935 and 1937 prevented U.S. citizens from choosing sides in foreign conflicts. These acts kept citizens from selling arms and war materials to warring countries or traveling on warring ships. They also banned people from trading non-illegal items in anything but cash sales. Nations participating in these sales had to be willing to transport the goods themselves.
What: The Johnson-Reed Act followed the Quota Act of 1921. The 1921 act placed limits on immigration based on the number of people from specific countries. The Johnson-Reed Act placed further restrictions on immigration based on nationality.
Who: Affected immigrants to the United States
Significance: Also known as the Immigration Act of 1924, the Johnson-Reed Act restricted the number of immigrants from Southern and Eastern European countries. It also banned the immigration of Middle Easterners, East Asians, and Asian Indians. The act did not set limits on the number of Latin American immigrants.
What: The Kellogg-Briand Pact was also called the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War or the World Peace Act. The pact was an agreement signed by all the world's "civilized" nations to renounce war "as an instrument of national policy."
When: August 1928
Who: Sixty-five nations, including Japan, Italy, and Germany, eventually signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The only important absent country was Communist Russia, called the Soviet Union or the U.S.S.R. The U.S.S. R. was barred by the United States because it refused to honor the war debt incurred by the Tsar's government.
Significance: The treaty did not apply to wars of self-defense or any other reasons that a country felt it was obligated to fight. In practice, the Kellogg-Briand Pact did not accomplish its aim of ending war.
What: During the 1920s, wealth replaced the shortages of World War I. Americans began a whole new lifestyle of leisure and entertainment. Historians call this era the "Roaring Twenties." It was called this because of the period's rapidly changing culture and economic conditions.
When: The decade of 1920s
Significance: New products and ways of doing business changed how people lived and worked. For the first time, Americans took part in a consumer culture like that of today. Government worked to support booming economic growth. However, not everyone shared in the good times.
Teapot Dome Scandal
What: The most famous scandal of the Harding administration was the Teapot Dome Scandal. It occurred after Harding's Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall, had his department take control of oil fields in Teapot Dome, Wyoming, from the Navy. Fall accepted bribes to allow private companies to lease the land without competitive bidding. By 1924, the deals had become public. Fall was convicted of bribery and sent to prison.
Who: Albert Fall, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Significance: The court invalidated the Teapot Dome lease in October 1927 and returned the oil reserve to the Navy. At the time, the scandal was regarded as the "greatest and most sensational scandal in the history of American politics." Citizens began to distrust their government and view it as corruptible.
What: Reacting to a rumor that a black man had sexually assaulted a white woman, a mob of 20 to 30 white men went in search of the suspected rapist. A gunfight broke out leaving four dead, including the suspected rapist. The next day the mob, plus an additional 200 men, returned to burn down the house where the previous fight had taken place. The rioters attacked the city of Rosewood, slaying animals, burning buildings, and killing African Americans. The death toll was between seven and 21.
Who: Race riot between a white mob and African Americans
Where: Rosewood, Florida
Significance: African Americans hid in the local swamps, frightened by the escalating violence and racial tension. Some white residents of Rosewood helped African Americans escape the violence. Many residents fled to Gainesville and cities in the north, and Rosewood became deserted. The courts claimed there was insufficient evidence to prosecute any of the rioters, and as result, no one was ever charged with a crime for the Rosewood massacre.
What: The Jazz Age was a cultural movement at the end of WWI when jazz music and dance became popular. The radio helped increase the music's popularity.
When: During the 1920s and beyond
Significance: The Jazz Age ended in the 1930s at the beginning of the Great Depression. The introduction of jazz music brought an entirely new cultural movement. The music helped African American artists find their footing in a scene dominated by white Americans.
Prohibition and the Eighteenth Amendment
What: One of the signature elements of life in the Roaring Twenties was Prohibition. Supporters of Prohibition demanded the ban of alcohol for recreational purposes. They believed that alcohol was the root of family conflict, violence, and crime. Some supporters, who were also opposed to immigration, blamed alcohol abuse on certain immigrant groups.
Significance: Passed in 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment made it illegal to make, sell, or transport alcohol in the United States. Congress then passed the Volstead Act, which enforced the amendment. Prohibition reduced some health problems related to alcohol abuse. However, it also led to the rise in social problems. Alcohol smuggling became big business, which benefited notorious gangsters like Al Capone. These smugglers, known as bootleggers, sold alcohol to nightclub owners who ran "speakeasies" or illegal bars. Eventually, the government determined that the law was not enforceable. The Eighteenth Amendment was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933.
Women's Suffrage and the Nineteenth Amendment
What: Before 1920, some states, including Wyoming and other western states, gave women the right to vote, also known as women's suffrage. Other states offered only partial suffrage for women. Nine states on the eastern seaboard, however, refused women the right to vote until the Nineteenth Amendment passed.
Significance: During World War I, women had entered the workplace and left the sphere of the home. This redefined and expanded the public notion of women's worth. This realization, along with aggressive new lobbying tactics, made women's suffrage inevitable. Congress finally passed the Nineteenth Amendment in 1919, giving women the right to vote.
What: Black Tuesday is also known as the Wall Street Crash of 1929. On this day, the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States occurred.
When: October 29, 1929
Significance: Stock market prices reached an all-time high in September 1929, but then, they began to fall. Investors, particularly those who had borrowed to pay for their stocks, began selling stocks to get their money back. When this happened, the stock prices dropped steeply. The crash eventually led to the Great Depression.
The Great Depression
What: The Great Depression was a severe economic decline that occurred worldwide during the decade preceding World War II. It had devastating effects for everyone, rich and poor.
When: 1929 - early 1940s
Significance: After the stock market crashed, many Americans rushed to the banks to withdraw their money. When too many depositors withdrew their money from a bank, the bank ran out of cash and closed. Many banks had loaned money to stock purchasers who could no longer repay the loans, and others had made stock market purchases themselves, which were now worthless. The worsening economic situation was no longer just a stock market crisis. It had become the Great Depression, the worst economic downturn in American history.
What: For those who lived on farmland in the Great Plains, the economic crisis of the Great Depression went from bad to worse in 1934. A severe drought hit and lasted for several years. During World War I, much of the grassland in the area had been deeply plowed. The removal of the grass and the dryness of the drought combined to turn the topsoil into dust. Then, huge windstorms whipped the dirt into the air, causing massive dust storms.
When: During the 1930s
Where: The Great Plains
Significance: Across the Midwest, severe dust storms almost buried houses and destroyed livestock and crops. Famers had to decide whether to leave their homes or try to survive the damage. This period became known as the Dust Bowl.
Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
What: The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act placed an extremely high tariff on many goods imported into the United States. The goal was to support American businesses and to require consumers to spend their money at home.
Significance: The act backfired and spread the Great Depression across the globe. Foreign countries no longer had the United States as a market for their goods. They passed their own tariffs, so American goods could no longer be sold abroad. Global trade fell dramatically.
The First New Deal
What: During his campaign for president, Franklin D. Roosevelt promised American voters that he would give them a New Deal. Unlike Hoover, Roosevelt believed that government should and could directly promote economic recovery. He promised to reform the troubled banking industry and to provide relief to the American people.
Who: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress
Where: Between 1933 and 1934
Significance: During his First Hundred Days in office, Roosevelt proposed 15 bills that became law. These new laws became the heart of the First New Deal, which included government initiatives such as the Emergency Banking Act, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the National Recovery Administration (NRA), and the Public Works Administration (PWA). Other programs worked to employ Americans, provide home loans, and help the unemployed.
The Second New Deal
What: The Second New Deal saw wide-ranging initiatives that tried to support the general welfare of the American people.
Who: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress
When: Between 1935 and 1938
Significance: The efforts of the First New Deal had helped end some of the immediate problems of the Great Depression. The following year, Roosevelt and Congress began using the power of government to improve people's lives in ways that had never been done before. The second wave of improvements included government initiatives such as Social Security and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Fair Labor Standards Act were also created during this period.
What: Roosevelt proposed a plan for Social Security. This plan would encompass several social welfare and insurance programs run by the government.
When: 1935 - present
Significance: The Social Security Act created a system of federal unemployment insurance. This insurance program was to provide direct payments to non-farm workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The Social Security Act also set up a federal program to provide a small, regular income to older Americans and people who could not work because of a disability. This plan was financed by new payroll taxes paid by workers. This social welfare program is still in effect in the United States today.
What: The federal government grew greatly during the New Deal and took on new importance in the overall economy. New Deal initiatives increased government oversight of the financial sector and encouraged massive public building programs. Government also became more involved in people's personal finances. For the first time, the government took taxes directly out of Americans' paychecks to support its programs. It also made the first direct payments to the unemployed and the elderly. These payments helped create a lasting welfare state, in which the government bears responsibility for the well-being of its citizens.
Significance: Even though the New Deal ended in 1938, its effects are still felt in the United States today. Some politicians still argue about how to best fund Social Security. Others may discuss the need for banking reform. Americans continue to disagree about how to put New Deal ideas and programs into practice even 75 years later. People now look to the government for solutions to social and economic problems.
philosophy that government is unnecessary and harmful
an economic and political system in which the state owns and controls all property
opposition to people and ideas that are different from the dominant culture
policy that one's country should not be involved in political and economic relations with other countries
social system emphasizing buying goods based on perceived desire rather than need
a religious viewpoint based on the belief that biblical events happened exactly as described
system of paying for high-priced goods in smaller, fixed payments over time
method of short-term investing in which the investor gambles on receiving large profits quickly
stock market in which prices are falling
stock market in which prices are rising
tax, often placed on imported goods to protect domestic industries
communities of shacks built by homeless people during the Great Depression
buying on margin
borrowing money to purchase stocks with the intention of paying the loans back when the price of the stock rises
period of renewal for African American literary and musical traditions that followed World War I and was centered in a New York City neighborhood
young women during the 1920s who expressed their rebellion against traditional ideas of womanhood by cutting their hair short and wearing short dresses
gross national product
the annual value of all goods and services produced in a country
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