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The 1920s, Great Depression, and WW2

Lost Generation

Gertrude Stein
describes the 1920s b/c of lost innocence from WW1

Margaret Sanger

birth control
Progressive Era

Life in America in the 1920s

Rebirth of nativism
Disrespect for the law
Maldistribution of wealth

Nativism in the 1920s

1. Red Scare (1919 - 1921)-- A. Mitchell Palmer, state laws prohibited communist talk
2. Laws passed-- 1921 Emergency Quota Act and 1924 Immigration Act (quota system)
3. KKK
4. Crimes blamed on foreigners (Lindburgh baby)

Disrespect for the law in the 1920s

Organized crime due to prohibition (Speak Easies, Al Capone)
1919 Volstead Act "enforced" prohibition

Maldistribution of wealth in the 1920s

Reasons for Prosperity in the 1920s:
1) Andrew Mellon's tax policies (trickle-down economics in theory)
2) cheap oil from America
3) increased productivity
--new technology
--education (John Dewey, learn by doing)
--scientific management (Frederick Taylor, observe the workplace)
4) new consumer-based industries
--advertising, "The Man Nobody Knows" by Barton

How Automobiles changed America

1. 1 in 6 Americans depended on the auto industry for their jobs
2. changed family life forever
3. begins suburbanization and highways
4. break down rural isolation
5. railroads have competition
6. improves air quality

Tensions in the 1920s

Wets vs. Drys
Fundamentalism vs. Modernism (Scopes monkey trial, 1925)
Rich vs. Poor
Owners vs. Unions (anti-union period)
Blacks vs. Whites (Marcus Garvey, founder of UNIA, back to Africa movement)
Traditional Woman vs. Flapper
Urban vs. Rural (1920 census said more in cities than farms)
Traditional families vs. Modern families
Buy on cash vs. Buy on credit


Movies-- 1903 The Great Train Robbery (first), Birth of a Nation (greatest, DW Griffith), 1927 The Jazz Singer (minstral shows, Al Jolson)
Harlem Renaissance-- jazz, Langston Hughes, Zora Hurston
Novelists-- F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway
Poets-- E.E. Cummings, TS Eliot
Architect-- Frank Lloyd Wright
Social critic-- Sinclair Lewis

1920 Esch-Cummins Act

RR should consolidate and become more profitable, and ICC should promote those goals

Harding's supreme court

Taft (chief justice)
Albert Fall (secretary of Interior)
Charles E. Hughes (secretary of State)
Andrew Mellon (secretary of Treasury)
Hoover (secretary of Commerce)

Harding's "beliefs"

Gov't should cooperate with big business and let business solve its own problems
Ignore antitrust laws
Appoint business people to regulatory boards


Recession (Congress to raise tariffs)
--1922 Fordney-McCumber tariff
VA and AL set up, bonus to WW1 vets
--Bonus Bill
Farmers suffering

1922 RR strike

injunction to go back to work

1923 Adkins vs. Children' Hospital

reverses Muller decision about special protection to women in the workplace

Teapot Dome Scandal

Albert Fall took bribes, had to decide which companies could drill for oil on public land
Harding's presidency

Harding's domestic policy

1921-- Recession, bonus bill for vets, frustrated farmers
1922-- tariff, RR injunction, veto bonus bill
1923-- scandals, Adkins case

Harding's foreign policy

1921-- WWI officially ends, Washington Naval Conference (Four, Five, Nine power treaty, ratio of 5:5:3 for dreadnoughts in 5 power)
1922-- oil in Middle East, observers in League of Nations, Mussolini comes to power

Coolidge's domestic policy

1924-- McNary-Haugen bill (farmers), veto bonus bill

Coolidge's foreign policy

1924-- troops out of Dom. Repubic, Dawes Plan (lend money to countries to repay us)
1926-- troops to Nicaragua, oil disputes in Mexico
1928-- Kellogg-Briand Pact of Paris (outlaws war)

Beliefs of Hoover

1. Isolation
2. Nothing is wrong with the economy
3. Causes of the depression are overseas
4. Individual initiative (rags-to-riches)
5. Gov't handouts (entitlements) destroy moral fiber of Americans
6. by 1932, gov't has a responsibility for human welfare

October 1929

Stock market crashes
Begins Great Depression

Hoover's domestic policy

1929-- Agricultural Marketing Act (money to farm co-ops, sets up Federal Farm Board)
1930-- Hawley-Smoot tariff (destroys foreign markets), public works projects
1932-- Bonus Bill Army, Reconstruction Finance Corp. Act (bailout), Norris-Laguardia act (outlaws injunctions that break up strikes and yellow dog contracts)

Hoover's foreign policy

1931-- Japan's military takes control and invades Manchuria
1932-- Japan bombs Shanghai and leaves League, Stimson Doctrine (not recognize territory gained by force)
1933-- Hitler comes to power, troops out of Nicaragua

FDR's New Deal

3Rs: relief, recovery, reform

FDR ideas

Brain trust-- close advisors
Fireside Chat-- radio speeches
Hundred Days-- set standard for president's first 100 days in office

Keynesian Economics

John Maynard Keynes
Pump priming-- pour money into economy to get economy flowing

Important Elections

1932-- complete rejection of Hoover's approach to the Depression
1936-- overwhelming support to FDR's approach to the Depression

Schechter vs. NY

NIRA unconstitutional b/c can't regulate intrastate business
"sick chicken" case

Butler vs. US

First AAA unconstitutional b/c how to pay for it


Artificial scarcity-- pay farmers not to farm
Parity price-- gov't determined price floor


Codes of Fair Competition-- voluntary, all businesses are to cooperate to develop a plan for the entire industry (min. wage, max. hr/wk)
Collective Bargaining-- right of a union to represent all employees in negotiations with employer

Conservatives in 1930s

American Liberty League
Al Smith
FDR destroying liberty and creating socialism

Radicals in the 1930s

Father Coughlin-- antisemitic, social justice
Huey Long-- "share the wealth" ($5000 to every American)
Francis Townsend-- money to senior citizens

John Lewis

Pres. United Mine Workers Union
organized unskilled workers
combined with AF of L to form AFL-CIO in 1955

Frances Perkins

first woman to serve in White House cabinet (Dept. Labor)

Mary McLeod Bethune

highest ranking black woman in FDR's administration

1937 recession

less pump-priming
new social security tax

Entitlement programs

programs people think the gov't owes them

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