Decades Between War

Decades Between War
Unit 8
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The Roaring Twenties
After WWI, people in the United States
wanted a return to the security from
before the war.
 1920, they elected Warren G Harding
president of the United States.
 He wanted a “return to normalcy”
 The 1920s ended up being a decade of
great change and innovation
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Warren G. Harding
29th President; 1920-1923
Died from a heart attack
while in office
quoted as saying "I am
not fit for this office and
never should have been
Succeeded by Calvin
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Calvin Coolidge
 30th President of US;
 Republican
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“Red Scare” and Immigration
1917 – Bolshevik revolution in Russia
installed a socialist government.
 Socialism – the state owns most of the
property, regulates the economy, and runs
most major industry; individual freedoms
are not as important as the state.
 Bolshiveks followed the teaching of Karl
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Karl Marx and Communism
He believed that oppressed
workers should rise up and
throw out capitalism (an
economic system based on
free markets and private
 He advocated communism
– a system in which the
government own all
property mutually for the
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Red Scare
Bolsheviks believed that workers in other
countries should rise up and establish
socialist governments.
 This alarmed people in the US and led to a
period known as the “Red Scare” in which
people were fearful of anyone who might
be a communist or a threat to the US.
 Over 500 people were arrested and/or
deported because of it.
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Russian Flag
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Immigration Restrictions
The Red Scare and suspicions about
immigrants led to a new rise in nativism
(opposition to immigration)
 Citizens pressured Congress to place
restrictions on immigration.
 Racist in nature – allowing more western
Europeans than others. Did not address
Hispanic immigration, so there was an
increase in people from Latin America
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Henry Ford and the Automobile
Ford was the first to perfect
and successfully market the
 1907, He sold 30,000 Model T
 Mass production set Ford apart
from other manufacturers.
 Ford relied on the assembly
line to produce his cars
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Model T
Ford wanted his
employees to be able to
purchase an automobile
 Ford paid his workers $5
per day
 1907-1926, Ford sold half
of all cars in the world
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The Automobile
Greatly changed the face of US culture by
allowing people to become more mobile
 People could live further away from where
they worked – (suburbs)
 Cars along with public transportation
helped give rise to the new middle class.
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Cultural Influences
The 1920s were a time of tremendous
social and cultural change in the US
 Electricity allowed for new appliances like
refrigerators, sewing machines, vacuum
cleaners, and washing machines.
 These inventions greatly reduced the time
needed to do house work.
 Women were no longer bound to
traditional roles.
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Cultural Influences
Advances in transportation, more free
time, and the use of electric power gave
birth to a bustling nightlife.
 New mass media formed – radio
 National magazines allowed news stories
to reach people nationwide.
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Radio and the Movies
Before television, radio was the first
source of mass communications and
entertainment in people’s homes.
 It also transformed politics by giving
leaders direct access to large numbers of
 The movie industry developed with silent
movies first, and then with talkies
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Radio and Movies
People flocked to the big screen
 The fashions and lifestyles portrayed in
the movies helped to define a national
 People wanted to wear the clothes, drive
the cars, take part in fads, that they saw
in the movies
 As a result, movie stars became national
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Marx Brothers
Lillian Gish
Rudolf Valentino
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Jazz and The Harlem Renaissance
1920s saw great cultural achievements in
the Black community.
 Jazz became a popular form of music
 It faced paced rhythm inspired dances like
the “Charleston”
 The music crossed ethnic boundaries.
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Jazz and Harlem Renaissance
Louis Armstrong, A
trumpeter and singer
from New Orleans, He
was among the most
noted jazz musicians.
Langston Hughes, wrote
poetry, short stories and
Because much of this
movement took place in
Harlem (New York City),
it became known as the
Harlem Renaissance.
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Tin Pan Alley
As music continued to increase in
popularity during the era, musicians and
songs became famous.
 Tin Pan Alley grew to be an important
center for the music industry.
 “Tin Pan Alley” refers to the various music
houses in NYC
 Broadway and 6th Street in Manhattan
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Irvin Berlin
Famous musician from Tin
Pan Alley
 Composed over 3,000 songs
– White Christmas
– God Bless America
– There’s No Business Like Show
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Initial Prosperity
Under Harding, the economy had
remained strong and Coolidge came to
office and believed in laissez-faire
 Laissez-faire – the idea that government
should not regulate business or try to
manipulate the market, but rather let the
market take its natural course.
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Initial Prosperity
Coolidge said, “the business of the
America people is business”
 For most of the 1920s, Coolidge was right.
 The economy boomed during the 1920s
 To take advantage of the prosperity,
people bought stock on speculation
(making high risk investments in hopes of
making large profits
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Initial Prosperity
Many investors also engaged in something
called buying on the margin.
 Investors would buy stock by making a
small down payment and borrowing the
balance of the cost.
 The gamble was that the price of the
stock would rise faster than the amount of
interest they were paying on the load.
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Technology was transforming production
of consumer goods- making them more
 Consumerism is the practice of people
buying and consuming products.
 People were spending more than they
were saving.
 The economic times seemed good!?
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Manufacturers produced goods faster than
people could consume them.
 This is called overproduction.
 Consumer reluctance to buy all that has
been produced is called underconsumption.
 Combining these two things leads to
falling prices, raises unemployment and
hurts the economy.
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Farmers did not enjoy the same prosperity
as the rest of the country in the 1920s
 New machinery allowed farmers to
produce more – an increase in production
caused agricultural prices in drop
 Coolidge vetoed attempts to raise prices of
farm goods.
 Many farms went into foreclosure.
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Farm Economy
The farmers had used poor farming
techniques and combined with massive
droughts left much of the mid-western soil
dry and it was easily swept up by high
 These conditions created a disaster known
as the “Dust Bowl”
 These dust storms would blanket entire
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Dust Bowl
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Herbert Hoover
 31st President of the
United States; 19281932
 Republican
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Beginning of the Great Depression
Hoover was opposed to government
interference in the economy
 Oct. 29, 1929, a date known as Black
Tuesday, the stock market crashed.
 Those who bought stock on margin and
speculation lost everything.
 This disaster marked the beginning of the
Great Depression.
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Causes of the Great Depression
Overproduction and under-consumption
that led to falling prices
 Consumerism
 Buying risky stocks on Speculation
 Stock market crash of 1929 (Black
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The Great Depression
Following the stock market crash of 1929,
the US economy unraveled.
 People rushed to withdraw money from
the banks, causing them to close (govt.
did not insure deposits them)
 People stopped investing in stocks causing
prices to further drop
 One out of four people did not have jobs
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The Great Depression
Many people had to rely on soup kitchens
and breadlines for food.
 People lost their homes and had to live in
makeshift shacks.
 These makeshift villages became known
as Hoovervilles.
 In the 1932 election, the nation needed
leadership and direction
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Franklin D Roosevelt
 32nd President; 19321945
 Democrat
 Elected to serve four
terms 32,36,40,44
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FDR Confronts the Nation’s Crisis
FDR elected by an
overwhelming majority.
Became the first president to
effectively use radio to his
advantage – speaking directly
to the American people in a
series of ‘fireside chats’
He instilled confidence and even
convinced people to redeposit
their money in banks.
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believed the
government needed to
provide direct relief –
federal help to those
hurting from the
financial crisis.
FDR Takes Over
Roosevelt was willing to engage in deficit
spending (govt. spending of borrowed money)
to help get the US economy moving.
 Introduced a number of programs known
collectively as the “New Deal”
 The period from FDR’s inauguration through
June became known as the first hundred days.
 During this time he pushed through program
after program in an effort to provide relief.
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Roosevelt’s First New Deal
Roosevelt introduced his New Deal in two
parts. The following were part of the First
New Deal:
– Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
– Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA)
– The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
– National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)
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Civilian Conservation Corps
"The slogan of the
Civilian Conservation
Corps is 'We can take it!'
Building strong bodies is
a major CCC objective.
More than half the
enrollees who entered
CCC the last year were
seventeen years of age.
Work, calisthenics,
marching drill, good food,
and medical care feature
the CCC health program."
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Civilian Conservation Corps
1933; provided employment for unmarried
men between 17-23
 Worked in national parks installing electric
lines, building fire towers, planting new
 Eleanor Roosevelt saw to it that some
programs were created for women as well.
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Agricultural Adjustment Act
1933; approved loans to farmers and paid
farmers NOT to grow certain crops in
order to increase the price of agricultural
 Agricultural subsidies still used today to
regulate prices of commodities.
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Federal Deposit Insurance
1933; insured bank deposits up to $5,000
in case of a bank failure
 Intended to prevent people from
withdrawing their money in a panic,
 Today, deposits are insured up to
$100,000 per account.
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Public Works Administration
Paid people to work in construction
 PWA built a number of bridges, dams,
 Provided people with jobs instead of a
government handout.
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Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
1933; built hydroelectric dams to create
jobs and bring cheap electricity to parts of
the south that had been without power.
 The Southern Appalachians were
historically one of the poorest regions in
the nation.
 This program brought prosperity to the
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Roosevelt’s Critics
FDR’s reforms created controversy
 Some thought that he was giving too
much control over business and the
economy to the government.
 One of his harshest critics was Senator
Huey P. Long of Louisiana.
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Huey P. Long
Senator and former governor of
Louisiana who had a ruthless
political machine
He advocated redistribution of
wealth (taking money away from
the wealth and giving it to the
Wanted to guarantee a $2,000 per
year income for every U.S. family
and limit anyone from making over
$1 Million a year, by taking the rest
in taxes.
Before he could run for president,
he was assassinated.
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Second New Deal
FDR choose to launch a bold new set of
programs that came to be known as the
Second New Deal:
– National Labor Relations Act
– Social Security Act
– Revenue Act of 1935
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National Labor Relations Act
Known as the Wagner Act
 Set up a board to regulate unfair
management practices
 Protected the rights of employees to join
unions, engage in collective bargaining
 Moved Federal government to the side of
employees and made FDR very popular
with workers
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Social Security Act
Established retirement income for all
workers once they reach the age of 65
 The only New Deal program that is still
around today.
 Overseen by the Labor department –
Frances Perkins was the first woman to
serve in a presidential cabinet position
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Revenue Act of 1935
The law raised taxes on those making
above the $50,000 per year, as well as,
corporate, and estate taxes.
 It was nicknamed “soak the rich tax”
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The Court-Packing Scheme
The US Supreme Court had been a source of
resistance to Roosevelt’s New Deal Programs.
 Since the Constitution does not specify the
number of Justices on the court, he proposed
increasing the number of judges to as many as
fifteen (from 9)
 This would allow him to “pack” the court with
Justices that agreed with him.
 Fierce opposition to this idea – defeated in
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Effects of the New Del
The New Deal failed to end the Great
 On the eve of WWII, much of the nation
was still unemployed and the economy
was still hurting.
 WWII caused the economy to boom in the
1940s and ended the Great Depression
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The New Deal helped the labor Movement
with the Wagner Act which forced
businesses to recognize workers’ rights
 Unions today are consistently supporters
of the Democratic Party.
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Women and Minorities
Women and minorities did not benefit
from the New Deal as much as white men.
 Men were given preference because they
were the bread winners of the family.
 Federal govt. allowed businesses to pay
women less than men.
 New Deal did not regulate domestic work
which was the largest female occupation
of the time.
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Women and Minorities
Minorities worked as farmers and migrant
workers – as a result, their were no payroll
records which excluded them from programs like
Social security
 New Deal programs sanctioned racial
segregation, saying it was okay to treat
minorities differently than whites.
 Most jobs that Blacks received were through
FDR’s programs – as a result the Black
community turned from the Republican party of
Lincoln to the Democratic Party of FDR
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FDR and International Concerns
The New Deal contributed to the
worldwide depression!
 We raised our tariffs to protect our
industries and foreign nations did the
 Eventually this economic crisis led to the
WWII – which ironically ended the
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The Neutrality Act
Militaristic dictators rose in Europe and Japan,
but America continued its isolationism.
 Americans wanted our government to fix
problems at home; not overseas.
 Congress passed the Neutrality Act of 1935
 It prohibited the sale of weapons to warring
nations and prevent the US from forming
alliances with any country.
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Eleanor Roosevelt
One of the most important
First Ladies in US History
 Fought for the rights of
working women, public
housing, presented herself
as the supporter of the
common citizen.
 Upon her efforts, the CCC
provided programs for
women as well as men.
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Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
Roosevelt was partially
paralyzed from polio as a
young man and spend much
of his time in a wheelchair.
 FDR attempted to keep his
condition a secret to
maintain his image as a
strong leader.
 Eleanor would often travel
in his place to events
around the country.
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