Presentation on theme: "America 1920s Culture. RED SCARE Overview Fear of Radicalism Strikes 4 million workers Violence Red Summer Resulted in deaths of African Americans due."— Presentation transcript:
America 1920s Culture
Overview Fear of Radicalism Strikes 4 million workers Violence Red Summer Resulted in deaths of African Americans due to racial violence Oct 1917 Bolshevik Revolution Small communist parties (2) 70,000 members total Large Number of Strikes Wilson lifted price-controls Largest number of strikers in 1919 at 20% of workers Corporate leaders repudiated war-time concessions Veterans struggle Labor sacrifice in war is now paid back Believed labor troubles were due to Bolshevik
Seattle General Strike (January 1919) Most famous general strike 35,000 shipyard workers went on strike after they failed to get wage increase to compensate for inflation All unions in Seattle, 60,000 additional workers, demand higher pay for shipyard workers Peaceful and orderly strike Conservatives fears European-style labor takeover Seattle mayor called in federal troops to put off anarchy of Russia Labor turns to AFL, liberals, and socialists. Sought permanent federal ownership of railroads Board of directors would represent consumers and set policy, but workers would manage railroads Public and railroad workers would divide all profits Results Conservatives viewed this as a blow to representative government Voted down in Congress in August 1919.
Boston Police Strike September 1919 Over 70% of Boston's 1,500 police men went on strike Some worked between 73 to 98 hours per week with no pay Some hailed as another victory for Bolsheviks Coolidge (Governor) called out National Guard Refused Gompers offer to settle strike Demanded police had no right to form a union Became a national hero Results Most frightening strike in the minds of many Americans – Police went on strike in 37 other cities Police were fired and a new force was recruited from national guard. there was no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, anytime…
Steel Strike AFL attempted to organize steel industry in September 1919 MAJOR SHIFT: attempting to organize unskilled labor by industry Sought 8 hour work day 6-day week End to 224 hour shifts every 2 weeks Union recognition Judge Elbert H. Gary Head of USX refused to negotiate on grounds that representatives of AFL were not employees ½ of nations steel workers worked for USX Strike broken by January 1920 Failure of strike marked hardening of Americans on labor matters.
United Mine Workers of American Strike John L. Lewis Struck for shorter hours and higher wages on November 1, 1919 Attorney General Palmer obtained injunctions and the union called off the strike Wilson used WWI legislation that prohibited strikes in war industries An arbitration board later awarded the miners in wage increase.
Palmer Raids Mitchell Palmer $500,000 from Congress Identities of people who sent bombs never identified Radicals Bolsheviks Wobblies Terrorist bombing in 1919 and 1920 Wall Street (38 dead) Palmers Washington home Red Scare Teachers forced to sign loyalty oaths American Legion went after dangerous foreigners Jan 2, 1920, 5,000 suspected communist arrested in 33 cities Seized without warrants, attorneys, food, bathrooms etc.. Tear out the radical seeds that have entangled American ideas in their poisonous theories
Public Reaction Most condoned actions Began question the compromising of individual rights End Summer 1920 alleged May Day strikes never occurred Conservatives used red scare to break the backs of unions. Recession in 1921 weakened unions, prices fell faster than wages AFL will lose ¼ of its members
Sacco and Vanzetti 1921, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti charged and convicted of killing two people in a robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts. Italians Atheists Anarchists Draft dodgers Prejudice Jury and Judge Radicalism of defendants an issue Evidence conclusive Many believe sentence was unjust due to prejudice Judge Webster Thayer Motions for new trial denied by Thayer Massachusetts Supreme Court say no also 1927 sentenced men to death by electric chair
Results of Trial Attracted world attention Riots in Japan, Warsaw, Paris, and Buenos Aries after executions Class-Based? Upper class vs. Immigrants Americans protest Felix Frankfurter Albert Einstein George Bernard Shaw Italian community affected 1977 Gov. Michael Dukakis of Mass Vindicated both men claiming faults existed in the case… any stigma and disgrace should be removed from their names
Reaction to Red Scare and Americanism…
KKK Resurgence South, Southwest, and North Central States (Il, IN, OH) Spawned by 1915 movie Birth of a Nation: D.W. Griffith First blockbuster epic (3 hours) Based on 1905 book: The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the KKK, by Thomas Dixon More resembled Know-Nothings and American Protective Association than anti-black terrorist of Anti-foreign, Anti-Catholic, Anti-black, Anti-Jewish, Anti-pacifist, Anti- Communist, Anti-internationalist, Anti-evolutionist, Anti-bootlegger, Anti- gambling, Anti-adultery, Anti-birth control. Pro WASP and Pro-native Americans Demise David Stephenson: KKK leader in Indian Jail for 2 nd degree murder of a woman he kidnapped and abused. Led to downfall of influence of clan Klan claim as a protector of the virtue of white women compromised Embezzlement by Klan officials led to congressional investigation $10 to join
Closing Door on Immigration 1921 Immigration Act End open immigration with a limit and quota system 350,000 total per annum and no more than 3% of the people already in US: based on 1910 census Only 158,367 from countries other than N. and W. Europe
1924 National Origins Act (Immigration Act of 1924) Reduced immigration to 152,000 total per annum 3% down to 2%; 21, 847 from countries other than N. and W. Europe. Reduced numbers from E and S Europe as most had come in 1890s Poles, Italians, Russians seen as less American Asians banned completely Irish and Germans not as affected: discriminated against 1850s Canadians and Latin Americans exempt from this quota system Mexicans migrated to LA, San Antonio, and Denver in large numbers and held low-paying jobs and lived in barrios. Five years later the act of 1929, virtually cut immigration in half by limiting the total to 152, 574 per annum By 1931 more foreigners left than arrived Congress abolished the national origins quota system in 65.
Fundamentalism Believed teaching of evolution was destroying faith in God and the Bible Contributing to the moral breakdown of youth in the jazz age Attempt to pass laws prohibiting the teaching of evolution
THE RISE OF SCIENCE IN 20 TH CENTURY FOR MANY TRUTH COMES FROM SCIENCE. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD: OBSERVATION HYPOTHESIS EXPERIMENTATION VALIDATION SCIENTIFIC TRUTH
FUNDAMENTALISM VS MODERNISM FAITH VS SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE FUNDAMENTALIST BELIEVE THAT THE BIBLE IS LITERAL TRUTH. GOD SPOKE TO PROPHETS OF THE BIBLE. THE BOOK OF GENESIS DESCRIBES CREATION.
MODERNISTS MODERNISTS SEE THE BIBLE A TRUE, BUT NOT LITERALLY TRUE. THEY TRY TO RECONCILE RELIGIOUS FAITH WITH THE FINDING OF MODERN SCIENCE. THEY SEE THE BIBLE AS SIMPLY PLEASANT POETRY. IT PROVIDES RELIGIOUS AND MORAL TRUTH, BUT THE STORIES ARE ALLEGORIES.
Scopes Trial… Introduction 1925 Dayton eastern Tennessee High-school biology teacher John Scopes indicted for teaching evolution Tennessees Butler Law of 1924 banned any teaching of theories that contradicted the Divine Creation of man as taught in the bible (Book of Genesis) ACLU wanted to fight the case and ran ad in the NY times asking for teacher to volunteer to be arrested for violating the Butler Law Scopes volunteered Case attracted huge following: broadcast over radio!
Clarence Darrow: defended Scopes William Jennings Bryan was the prosecutor: Presbyterian Fundamentalist Fundamentalism on trial Darrow put Bryan on the witness stand the last day to defend a literal interpretation of the Bible Bryan asked at length about his literal biblical beliefs: Did he think the earth was created in 6 days? Bryan: not six days of 24 hours Scopes found guilty Violating Butler Act Fined $100 SC of Tennessee set aside the fine on technicality Fundamentalism suffered a set back Bryan was aware of his contradictions and died less than a week after the trial due to a stress-caused stroke
Last Progressive reform 18 th Amendment ratified by sates in 1919 Supported by churches and women Heavy support in Mid-west Southern whites eager to keep stimulants from blacks Volstead Act 1919 Implemented the amendment Opposed in larger eastern cities where colonies of wet foreign-born peoples
Problem with Enforcement Federal authorities had problems enforcing a law where majority of people were hostile to it Most drinkers ignored dry laws Lack of enforcement officials Alcohol could be sold by doctors prescription Alcohol was necessary for industrial uses (poison was supposed to be added to it to prevent consumption) Alcohol could be manufactured in small amounts almost anywhere Near Beer was legal (1/2 of 1% of alcohol)
Results Rise in Organized Crime Huge profits from bootlegging became foundation for corruption Al Capone- most powerful gangster John Dillinger – gangster Increase in gang violence: about 500 gang members killed in Chicago during 1920s Officials accepted bribes and did not enforce prohibition Organized crime spread prostitution, gambling, and narcotics. Speakeasies Secret bars operated by bootleggers Women can now drink in a saloon Disappearance of saloons US accustomed to casually breaking the law Prohibition repealed in 1933
Mass Business, Mass Consumption
Glorification of Business The Man Nobody Knows by Bruce Barton Called Jesus the first modern businessman Businessmen considered the people that ruled the nation Picked up 12 men from the bottom of society and forged an organization that conquered the world.
Economy Brief Depression Andrew Mellons trickle down tax policies favored the rapid expansion of capital investment Buying on credit became another innovative feature of the postwar economy 1922 to 1928: industrial productivity rose 70% New Technology New Industries Inventions Construction Medical Breakthroughs Corporate Revolution