Early 20th Century 1900-1945 - Mater Academy Lakes High School

Early Twentieth Century
Progressive Era & WWI
Populist Movement gives birth (in essence) to the Progressive Era
Opposition to monopolies, direct election of senators
Populist Movement  sought change through political action  Progressive Era
Contrasts: Populists  farmers that sought radical reform. Progressives middle class reformers,
increase role of government, capitalist economy.
Farmers had to struggle to make a living which typically meant no time for politics, had no funds to
continue support.
Progressives dominate first 20 yrs. of the 20th century, typically urban/ middle class, more economic
and political force, did not intensify class strife.
Roots: associations and organizations created at the turn of the century for the betterment of the
general public (typically those who were in need).
Mostly educated, well-off individuals who were offended by the way the poor were treated.
-National Women Suffrage Association
-American Bar Association
-National Municipal League
Progressive Movement….
Role of journalism:
Muckrakers (coined by Teddy Roosevelt)
Revealed how the poor lived- due to the greed of the rich (business owners)
Example: Upton Sinclair- The Jungle
Raised the moral stakes for Progressives
Campaigned for the change of attitudes towards education and government
Progressive “Activists”
*African American: W.E.B Du Bois – headed NAACP; racial justice
Eventually the fight was to much for him to handle, moves to Africa
*Women: Suffrage, feminist movement, Margaret Sanger (promotes contraceptives).
Movement’s greatest success: 19th Amendment
*State Leaders: Robert La Follette sought after & implemented plans for income
tax, direct primary elections & rail regulation.
-Extended greater power to the voters through the 1. ballot initiative 2. referendum
3. recall election
-Further success on the state level: work day limitations, minimum wage, child labor
laws, urban housing codes & income tax laws.
Progressive Leaders
President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt:
(R) expected to contend with McKinley's conservative agenda.
Most Prominent Progressive Leader
New Nationalism / Square Deal
Sherman Anti-Trust Act successfully against monopolies  Trustbuster (good v bad trust)
FDA – (The Jungle)
National Parks – overdevelopment protection
William Howard Taft:
Directed the drive for the 16th & 17th constitutional amendments  income tax and direct
election of senators
Went against monopolies even tougher than Teddy
Woodrow Wilson:
Ran against Teddy and Taft (1912)
New Freedom (in regards to his ideas and policies)
Democrats- NOW- federal government had to intervene over businesses to protect freedoms
All trusts were bad- committed to getting rid of monopolies & restoring competition
Wilson (Continued)….
Created the Federal Trade Commission: went after unfair business practices
Clayton Anti-trust Act (1914): Supported the Sherman Anti-trust Act, took out anticompetitive practices, allowed for businesses to sue other businesses if their businesses
had been “hurt” because of monopolies or trusts.
Federal Reserve System: gives government greater control over the nation’s finances
Progressive Era Ends
Lasts until the end of WWI.
Nation was weary from war
Influenza outbreak
Russian Revolution  “Red Scare”  divides leftists and moderates within the
Progressive coalition
Many of the movement’s goals had been achieved, many did not feel the need to
continue to fight
Brought to an end by it’s own success.
Foreign Policy & WWI
Teddy: devout imperialist
1903: Uses his “big stick policy” into getting Cuba to sign the Platt Amendment
U.S occupied Cuba for about 10 years, up until 1922
Anti-American rhetoric in Cuba
Central America: Panama Canal
would shorten the sea trip from East Coast to California
Congress approves plan while Panama still belonged to Columbia
Columbia asks a very high price of the U.S
U.S encourages and supports a revolt in Panama against Columbia
Panama, in turn, gave the U.S a much better deal
American commercial interests peak as the canal becomes a success
Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine: Latin America domestic instability would
cause a threat to U.S security  excuse for the strong U.S military presence in Panama for
the duration of the canal.
U.S foreign policy continued to follow Monroe’s Doctrine  U.S assumes role of an
international police force  intervene where necessary in Western Hemisphere
protect U.S
U.S wanted no part in European affairs or disputes. However, this will soon change.
U.S & G.B slowly but surely becoming allies
G.B didn’t get in the way of the U.S’s intervention in Central & Latin America 
trying to line up an alliance with the U.S as tensions between G.B & Germany were
heating up.
WWI & the U.S
1912: Three Way Race between Teddy, Taft & Wilson
Wilson wins  with the mentality of staying neutral (especially with tensions heating up in Europe)
1914: War breaks out in Europe and Wilson immediately declares U.S policy of neutrality (hoped that
the U.S would actually play a part in settling the conflict)
Issues: U.S close relationship with G.B, many on Wilson’s advisory board openly favored entering the
More complications:
- England imposes a blockade on shipments leaving U.S & headed to Germany, G.B confiscated U.S
ships but paid for the cargo to avoid U.S trying to counter the blockade
- Germany counters with the use of U-boats, however, broke the international law of the time (must
give a warning when firing on civilian ships prior to attacking)
Germans announce they would attack ANY such ship
Doesn’t satisfy Wilson
Germans sink Lusitania (1915) killing 128 American passengers
Turns public attention against the Germans  cease using U-boat warfare temporarily
Continued… WWI’s Aftermath
1916: Wilson campaigning for his re-election “he kept us out of war”
Germany sinks another ship the Arabic  Wilson asks congress to put the military into
a state of “preparedness”  popular support of war starts to grow.
1917: Zimmerman telegraph intercepted  U.S declares war on Germany
Government role expands  controls telephone, telegraph & rail industries
War Industry Board  guaranteed U.S & allies would be well supplied
Civil liberties curtailed  Espionage Act (1917) & Sedition Act (1918)
Schenck v. United States (Supreme Court upholds Espionage Act)
Socialist and critic of U.S capitalism who printed leaflets urging men to resist the draft
(Selective Service Act of 1918)
Inhibited anyone who voiced unpopular ideas  “Red Scare”
Inhibiting freedoms:
Russian Revolution  “Red Scare  Radical labor unions considered enemies (leaders
thrown into jail)
Eugene Debs (socialist leader) also imprisoned for criticizing governmental decisions of entering war.
F.B.I created to prevent radicals taking over (J. Edgar Hoover)
Business gain more power, unions lost power  use forceful tactics to break strikes
Palmer Raids  government’s help in ending strikes
Union halls, pool halls, social clubs and residences  arrested 4,000 (some had committed no crime at
Committee on Public Information  Wartime Propaganda
Lectures, movies, newspapers, magazines
Created an “anti-German” rhetoric in the U.S during WWI
Sauerkraut  liberty cabbage
Violence against German immigrants or anyone with German ancestors
WWI, New Opportunities
Women: Number of women in workforce doesn’t increase dramatically in this World
War  type of job performed changes (factories)  war efforts  helped in
achieving their right to vote  veterans return & women return to their domestic
role (very similar to WWII)
African Americans: Great Migration  join army in hopes to social equality (doesn’t
happen until WWII)  Army segregation (menial labor)  assigned to French
Many of these social changes- civil rights movements – don’t take place until after
WWII and for more or less the same reasons.
WWI Continued
Two years after U.S joins war, Germans ready to sign peace treaty.
Wilson’s Fourteen Points (initial negotiations)  plan delivered to congress before
war’s end  ending of colonialism (self-determination)
League of Nations (blue print for today’s U.N)  called for cooperation among
nations through equality (very “idealistic”)
European allies wanted tougher punishment for Germany  Treaty of Versailles
Germany cedes colonial territories to the Allies
Admit total fault
**Helps sets stage to WWII
WWI Continued
Creates League of Nations and Wilson hopes would remedy the Treaty’s many flaws
Wilson returns to the U.S & Senate opposes entering the League (principles of
separation of powers)  many believed it would limit the U.S’s power to declare war.
Democrats, Republicans and Reservationists (Henry Cabot Lodge  Lodge
Reservationists)  Wilson very stubborn on his stance of not compromising
United States never joins the League (envisioned by an American President)
U.S public  weary of war  isolationism (didn’t want to get involved in foreign
Wilson attempts to campaign for support for U.S entry but unfortunately suffers a
stroke during his travels and passes away.
Some historians believe that if the U.S would have entered the League, WWII may
have been avoided.
List of Reservations
Reservation One[The United States reserves the right to determine when it can withdraw from the League of Nations.
Reservation Two Nothing compels the United States to ensure border contiguity or political independence of any nation, to interfere
in foreign domestic disputes regardless of their status in the League, or to command troops or ships without Congressional
declaration of war.
Reservation Three The United States retains sole control over foreign issues.
Reservation Four The United States is not to be questioned about the Monroe Doctrine, or Its interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine.
Reservation Five The United States reserves the right to take either side if China and Japan start a war against each other.
Reservation Six Congress will elect U.S. Representatives in the League of Nations and have total control over any representatives.
Reservation Seven Trade between Germany and the United States can only be interfered with approval from Congress.
Reservation Eight The United States is not obligated to pay any money to the League of Nations.
Reservation Nine If the United States builds down its military might because of an order by the League of Nations, it can at any time,
without warning, build up again if threatened.
Reservation Ten The United States reserves the right to allow peoples of states which break the Treaty of Versailles who live in the
United States to continue their lives in the United States.
Reservation Eleven Nothing in the Treaty of Versailles shall approve of anything illegal or compromise the rights of US Citizens.
Reservation Twelve The United States will not be bound by any vote in the League of Nations in which a nation has voted twice.
Neither will it be bound by a vote which concerns and affects a voting party
Answer the following question:
Roaring Twenties & Great Depression
Right after WWI, U.S economy goes into a quick plummet but then rises up into a
1922: New peaks of prosperity  invention of the electrical motor (kind of like the
light bulb and the internet later in the 1990s)  essential at work and home
(automobiles and new appliances for the home)  positively effects other industries
Pro Business Republican Administrations:
U.S more comfortable with bigger businesses that offer conveniences to the general
public (as well as affordability)  department stores & automobile industry
Government  Pro- Business (war efforts) labor unions continue to receive
negative sentiments (strikes now suppressed by federal troops)  Supreme Court
overturns minimum wage and child labor laws
Republican Administrations, Continued
Era’s Presidents: Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Hebert Hoover
Was not a strong minded President, unable to make decisions & several of his
advisors were corrupt
Teapot Dome Scandal (Albert Fall, Teapot Dome in Wyoming)
Liberal on civil liberty issues: against lynching , helped farmers (more $ for loans)
Died in office  Calvin Coolidge
Coolidge “Silent Cal”:
Coolidge Prosperity
Followed Harding’s conservative economic agenda
Pushed for lower income-tax rates
Continued…. And Modern Culture
Prosperity and pro-business rhetoric leads to a decline in labor unions throughout the decade.
Welfare capitalism: business owners provided employees with benefits such as pension plans, profit
sharing, company parties  communal vibe at work
Modern Culture:
Henry Ford  assembly line  Automobile  suburbs
Radio  owned by ~ 10 million families  soap operas/ comedies
Electric power  household appliance sales soar
Advertisement industry
Single women (15%) enter workforce (in an effort to be able to buy)  pink collar jobs
Women  flappers (Sigmund Freud)  smoking, drinking (prohibition), dancing (jazz- African
Movies  typical message (Superman, Snow White, Tap Dance- escapism (Great Depression)
Sports  Babe Ruth
Literature  F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Eugene O’Neil
Harlem Renaissance  Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen Zra Neale , Jazz  Louis Armstrong
Continued… Backlash
Ku Klux Klan – continued to grow (over 5 Million members)- ironically they were “anti”
EVERYTHING that was not Christian.  attacked blacks, Jews, immigrants, urbanites.
Anti-immigration groups – unspeakable violence against the “new immigrants”
(Germans and specifically, Italians)  Sacco & Vanzetti  charged with murder
Emergency Quota Act (1924): reduce foreign influence
Scopes Monkey Trial (1925): Tennessee John Thomas Scopes, Clarence Darrow,
William Jennings Bryan  tradition V progress
Prohibition (roots in 19th century)  18th Amendment  organized crime  gangster
era  Al Capone  speakeasies
Answer the following question:
Hebert Hoover, Great Depression
1928- predicted that no American would live in poverty (under his administration)
October 1929- Black Tuesday  Stock Market crashed (one of the reasons, but not the
MAIN reason for the Depression)  Hoover underestimated damage  buying on
margin  Banks and corporations involved  unable to pay employees or guarantee
bank deposits
Other factors:
WWI  other nations also face depression
Domestically  overproduction  factories lay off workers  too many goods
available but the public unable to afford (supply exceeded demand)
Government negligence in regulating business  $$ in the hands of a few  their
businesses failed  people left without work
Horrible effects:
Many lost their jobs, employers went bankrupt or laid off in an effort to avoid
Many lost their life savings (many banks failed- lost people’s money)
Unable to afford living in their homes  homeless  Hoovervilles
Farmers  overproduction & environment (dust bowl)
Farmer’s response: attacked those who enforced eviction- sold items at auctions at very low prices (this
would be returned to the original owner), Farmer’s holiday Association  demonstrations  walkout
Hoover’s Response: Initially opposed intervention
Trickle Down Economics, Hoover Dam, Grand Coulee Dam, Hawley-Smoot Tariff (worsened
Bonus March (Bonus Expeditionary Force)  General Douglas MacArthur (killed 100 people
& 2 babies)
News of the Bonus Army March destroyed any little hope Hoover may have had in the next
Needless to say, the U.S wanted to return to simpler times  FDR
New Deal & WWII (1934-1945)
Declared “war on depression”  asks congress to grant him the same type of power
Rallied the public’s confidence: “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”
First New Deal: Relief, Recover Reform
First 100 Days: Emergency session of Congress
Emergency Banking Relief Bill: controlled by the Treasury Department (government control)
Fireside chats
Banking Act of 1933  FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)  guarantee bank deposits
Relief for the farmers
Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA)
Farm Credit Act (loans to those in danger of foreclosure)
Government Control of Industry:
National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA): regulated businesses  eliminate
Other New Deal Programs
Public Works Administration (PWA): Government provided $3million to create jobs:
building roads, public housing units, other civic necessities
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC): Job Corps  provided grants to the states
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA): most daring moves  expands electricity  now
available to farmers
June 1933 – First 100 days ends
1934: National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) mediated labor disputes
1934: Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates stock market
First New Deal  Major Success
Second New Deal
FDR faced major opposition: Conservatives, Leftists, Socialist
1935: Supreme Court starts to dismantle some of the programs of first New Deal
Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States: supposed to be congressionally controlled
but was controlled by executive branch
FDR’s Response: Court packing (from 9 to 15 judges)
Continues with new legislation: Second New Deal
Established Emergency Relief Appropriation Act Works Progress Act (WPA)
1935 “Second 100 Days”  Strengthens the NLRB (Warren Act) democratized
unions, punishes businesses who refuse to hire union members
Social Security Act
New Deal Coalition Forms (FDR/ New Dealers)  changes voting patterns  1936
Troubled Second Term
FDR drafted Judicial Reorganization Bill  for every judge age 70 and up, FDR would
name a new federal judge (packing the courts with judges that would be in favor of
FDR’s policies)
1937: Economy goes into a recession  due to some success, FDR had cut back some of
the New Deal programs at the same time that the Federal Reserve decided to tighten
credit supply to slow down the inflation  increase in unemployment
1938: Evident that Europe would/ may soon be at war again  FDR withdrew New Deal
money  military buildup
Passes Fair Labor Standards Act (1938)  Minimum wage, 40 hr work weeks, child labor
Do YOU think the New Deal was successful? Why or why not?
Answer the following question
Foreign Policy  WWII
Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928)
Good Neighbor Policy (1934)  misleading because U.S would continue to have a
presence in some Latin American countries but came up with a way to have a less
threatening military presence in some Latin American areas, paid for maintaining
military basis in the area, trained the nations’ National Guard.
Platt Amendment repealed
Asia: Japan invades Manchuria (1931) (violated the Kellogg-Briand Act) and goes to war
against China in 1937  U.S sold arms to China and sets an embargo on arms sales to
1920s: high tariffs: protectionism  FDR’s method for using tariff’s as economic
leverage  Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act  most favored nation (MFN) trade
Isolationists Sentiment rose with the findings of the Nye Commission  revealed
unpleasant U.S activities during WWI.
Congress responds by passing Neutrality Acts of 1935: bans sale of arms and Second
Neutrality Act forbade loans to belligerents
FDR put money into the military just in case and tries to repeal the Neutrality Acts
which would allow him to support the Allies without actually having to become a
belligerent country  3rd Neutrality Act  allies would have to pay cash for their
weapons and come to the U.S to pick up
The chance that U.S would more than likely enter war convinces FDR to run a 3rd term
Worked to assist allies (within limits)
Lend-Lease Act
Atlantic Charter Conference: war goals  security system
1940: Tripartite Pact: Alliance between Germany, Italy & Japan
G.B to busy fighting Hitler, couldn’t focus on Japan’s expansion (French Indochina 
Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos )  U.S responds by setting embargo against Japan
November 1941: Peace talks between Japan & U.S
FDR advised to wait for Japan to strike first
Dec. 7, 1941  attack on Pearl Harbor
Complicated military strategy and the outcome of key battles  big part of WWII
Allies: U.S, G.B, France & Soviet Union
Big Three: Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill
Soviet Union alliance held together by a common enemy  Stalin grew impatient 
wanted to open up a second front in Europe.
Tehran Conference: November 1943  discuss D-day invasion (Normandy in France)
S.U had paid a huge price in material & human loss and wanted to occupy Eastern
Europe to make up for losses.
Allies eventually win war against Germany and war in Japan is won by dropping the
atomic bombs.
Government Expands:
War Production War: mobilization
Sponsored scientific research  radar, a-bomb (Manhattan Project)
Labor Disputes Act (1943)  government takeover of business (necessary for security)
Propaganda  Hollywood  films to encourage support on the home front and boost
Selective Training and Service Act of 1940  First peacetime draft
WWII affects every aspect of life
New opportunities and tensions
African Americans  over 1 million served in U.S Army (Tuskegee Airmen)  still living
in segregation  prompts Civil Rights Movements  Army desegregates in 1948 with
Women  Rosie the Riveter  symbolizes role of women  played a vital part in the
war efforts
Restricting civil liberties  Japanese Internment Camps (1942 until the end of war) 
Korematsu V U.S (1944)  reparations in 1988
End of War…
February 1945- Yalta Conference  discuss fate of post war Europe (divided into 4)
essentially “changes the world map”
Stalin  buffer zone between W. Europe & S.U  promised free elections  satellites
states (Red Army)  Iron Curtain (metaphor  divides Eastern & Western Europe) 
origins for Cold War before WWII even ended
Created United Nations  nation cooperation
Allies meet again in Potsdam (new big three)  decide how to implement Yalta
decisions  differences between U.S and S.U were growing more and more
Many speculations as to Truman’s “real reasons” for dropping bomb
Japanese fought a very stubbornly and remained powerful  if U.S would invade
Japan, U.S casualties estimated up to 500,000
August 1945  atomic bomb is dropped in Hiroshima and three days later in Nagasaki
Answer the following question:
Analyze the home front experiences of the African Americans and Japanese
Americans during WWII.
Reflection Activities
Pg. 209-210