Politics of the Roaring Twenties

Politics of the Roaring
Chapter 12
Section 1: Americans Struggle with
Post War Issues
 Post War Trends:
 Nativism- prejudice against foreign-born
 Isolationism- policy of pulling away from
involvement in world affairs
Fear of Communism
 Communism- economic and political
system based on a single-party
government ruled by a dictatorship
Post War Trends
 The Palmer Raids: August 1919 Palmer
appointed Hoover and they hunted down
suspected Communist, socialists, and
anarchists (people who opposed any form of
government). This stepped on peoples rights
and soon people realized that Palmer did not
know what he was talking about!
 Sacco and Vanzetti: Arrested and charged with
murder of factory pay master. The only witness
said he saw two Italians. The judge made
prejudicial remarks and the jury found them
guilty and sentenced them to death although
they had alibis and the evidence was
Limiting Immigration
 “Keep America for Americans”
 The Klan Rises Again: 100% Americans and
liked no one else. 1924 the Klan had 4.5
Million members. Klan dominated state
Politics but decreased in power by 1930
 The Quota System- B/t 1919-1921 the
number of immigrants had grown 600%.
 The Emergency Quota Act of 1921: System
established a maximum number of people who
could enter the US (max number 150,000 per
A Time of Labor Unrest
 Labor and Management Conflict
 During war AFL (American Federation of
Labor) pledged to avoid strikes
 1919 more than 3,000 strikes (4 million
workers walked off)
The Boston Police Strike
 The Boston Police strike: No raise since
WWI, Not allowed to Unionize, Asked for
a raise and were fired! Calvin Coolidge
Mass governor called the National Guard
and many people thanked him for saving
Boston. Coolidge then became VP to
Warren G Harding in the 1920 election.
 The Police were not allowed to return to
their jobs
The Steel Mill Strike
 Workers wanted shorter working hours,
better wages, the right to unionize, and
collective bargaining rights.
 September 29th 1919- Steel Corporation
refused to meet with Union reps and
300,000 workers walked off.
 Hired strike breakers but ended in a
deadlock and Wilson made a written plea to
 Strike ended 1920 and steel companies
agreed to an 8 hour work day but workers
remained without a union.
The Coal Miners Strike
 John L Lewis- leader of United Mine
Workers (UMW) proposed higher
wages and shorter work days and
went on strike
 Wilson appointed an judge to put an
end to the dispute and the coal
miners received a 27% increase in
wages but not a shorter workday.
 John L Lewis became a national hero!
Labor Movement Loses Appeal
 1920’s hurt the labor movement badly
 Union membership declined by 1.5 million
 Immigrant willing to work in harsh conditions
 Language barriers with in Unions and
 Farmers used to relying on themselves when
moved to work in the factory in the city
 Most Unions excluded African Americans
Section 2: The Harding Presidency
 Warren G Harding was described as a
good-natured man who “looked like a
president ought to look”.
 Harding struggles for Peace:
 Problems surfaced relating to arms
control, war debts, and the
reconstruction of war torn countries
Washington Naval Conference
 Charles Evans Hughes: Sectary of State
urged that no more warships be built for 10
 Russia was left out of conference because
of Communist Government
 The five major Naval Powers (Italy, United
States, France, Great Britain, and Japan)
scrap many of their largest warships
 Kellogg Briand pact- pact renouncing war
as a national policy
 15 countries signed but it was futile and
provided no means of enforcement
High Tariffs and Reparations
 France and Britain owed US 10 Billion
 1922- Fordney-McCumber Tariffraised taxes on imports to 60%
(highest ever)
 France turned to Germany to give
them money and when that failed
Charles Dawes sent out negotiation
loans to avoid world conflicts
Scandal Hits Harding’s
 Hardings OHIO GANG (Poker-playing buddies) were in
the cabinet
 Harding did not understand the issues so his
administration and friends were corrupt.
 Charles R Forbes (head of Veterans Bureau was
caught illegally selling government and hospital
supplies to private companies
 Colonel Thomas W Miller (head of Office of Alien
Property) was caught taking a bribe
THE TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL: Oil-rich lands set aside
for the US Navy. Albert B Fall (Secretary of Interior)
secretly leased the land to private oil companies and
received more that 400,000$.
Shortly after Harding died of a heart attack or stroke Aug
2nd 1923!
The Public lost respect for the Republican Party and the
Section 3: The Business of America
 American Industries Flourish: