Presentation on theme: "Return to Normalcy Normalcy in Government The Fordney-McCumber Tariff raised tariffs to the highest ever at 60%. The tax meant to protect American business."— Presentation transcript:
Normalcy in Government The Fordney-McCumber Tariff raised tariffs to the highest ever at 60%. The tax meant to protect American business from foreign competition, but it made it impossible for Britain and France to sell enough goods to the U.S. to repay their debts to the U.S. The two countries looked to Germany for reparations payments. When Germany couldn’t pay, French troops marched into Germany and threatened another war. To stop this, American banker Charles Dawes lent $2.5 billion to Germany to repay France and Britain, who in turn paid the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. was repaid with their own money.
Labor Unrest -working conditions Strikes forbidden during war, but after, workers want shorter work days and better pay -wartime inflation Prices increasing, pay is not -technological unemployment Machines take jobs from people -strikes (blamed on Communists) Boston Police strike U.S. Steel strike Coal Miners Strike John L. Lewis – defied court order to help coal miners gain 27% raise -labor unions weaken Open Shop system – do not require people to join a labor union Welfare capitalism – workers happier As the American people cried out for normalcy, labor unions lost ground with their violent tactics. Most union strikes were not successful.
One perceived threat to American life was the spread of communism, an economic and political system based on a single-party government ruled by a dictatorship. In order to equalize wealth and power, communists would put an end to private property, substituting government ownership of factories, railroads, and other businesses—ending capitalism.
The Red Scare “In all my life I have never stole, never killed, never spilled blood…We were tried during a time…when there was hysteria of resentment and hate against the people of our principles, against the foreigner…I am suffering because I am a radical and indeed I am a radical; I have suffered because I was an Italian and indeed I am an Italian…If you could execute me two times, and if I could be reborn two times, I would live again to do what I have done already.” ~Bartolomeo Vanzetti~
“The blaze of revolution was sweeping over every American institution…crawling into the sacred corners of American homes,…burning up the foundations of American society.” A. Mitchell Palmer
In May 1920, Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested and charged with the robbery and murder of a factory paymaster and his guard in Massachusetts. Witnesses had said the criminals appeared to be Italians. The accused asserted their innocence and provided alibis; the evidence against them was circumstantial; and the presiding judge made prejudicial remarks. Nevertheless, the jury still found them guilty and sentenced them to death. Protests rang out in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. Many people thought Sacco and Vanzetti were mistreated because of their radical beliefs or because they were immigrants. The government let the executions go forward. The two men died in the electric chair on August 23, 1927. In 1961, new ballistics tests showed that the pistol found on Sacco was in fact the one used to murder the guard. However, there was no proof that Sacco actually pulled the trigger.
Funeral Procession of Sacco and Vanzetti August 1927 in Boston
Devoted to “100 percent Americanism,” Klan membership skyrocketed to over 4.5 million members in the United States during the 1920s. The new Klan was against everything that was not white Protestant American. Here, the Klan marches on Washington, D.C. in 1925.
Albert Fall secretly leased government land to private oil companies. Although he claimed these contracts were in the government’s best interest, he suddenly received more than $400,000 in “loans, bonds, and cash.” “I have no trouble with my enemies…But my…friends, they’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!” ~ Warren G. Harding~