The USA in the 1920*s


The USA in the 1920’s

Chapter’s 20 and 21


The USA’s Reaction to WWI

League of Nations

– President

Woodrow Wilson urged membership but he needed the approval of the

US Congress. Most Americans feared if America joined the league, they’d be obliged to interfere in foreign conflicts.



Americans wanted to remain cut-off from other countries to avoid any further conflict.

Effects of Isolationism

•kept USA out of European affairs- weakening the league of Nations.

•linked with Racism & The Red


•helped bring about tariffs


Why did people want to come to the USA?

1. “Land of Opportunity” – higher wages, more jobs, natural resources

2. “Land of the Free” – freedom of religion, speech

3.“Melting Pot” – variety of different people, races, religions, etc.

Immigration Pre WWI

America had an ‘open doors policy’, now some Americans started demanding this ‘door’ be closed.

America was seen as a ‘melting pot’ and a ‘land of opportunity’ because it was rich, there were jobs & was self - sufficient.

Anti-Immigration Laws


Americans started experiencing


- or fear of foreigners.

The USA quickly passed a series of laws including:

The Immigration Law (1917) immigrants had to pass a literacy test.

The Emergency Quota Act (1921) – limited immigrants to 357,000 per year. Not to exceed 3% of the number from that country already living in the USA in 1910.

The National Origins Act (1924)

reduced the quota to 2% & set the date back to 1890

The Immigration Act 1929- reduced the number to 157,000 immigration from Asia was blocked.