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Chapter 20.  A desire for normality after the war and a fear of communism and “foreigners” led to postwar isolationism.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 20.  A desire for normality after the war and a fear of communism and “foreigners” led to postwar isolationism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 20

2  A desire for normality after the war and a fear of communism and “foreigners” led to postwar isolationism.

3  World War I had left much of the American public exhausted. ◦ The economy was in a difficult state of adjustment. ◦ Soldiers faced unemployment or took jobs away from women and minorities. ◦ Cost of living had doubled.

4  Many Americans responded to the stressful conditions by becoming fearful of outsiders.  Because of this, what are two ideas that influenced the U.S.? ◦ Page 618

5  A 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. ◦ The Red Scare: Panic in the U.S. began in 1919, after revolutionaries in Russia overthrew the czarist regime.

6  List the events that occurred in Russia which led to the Red Scare (619).

7  Palmer and his agents hunted down suspected Communists, socialists, and anarchists—people who opposed any form of government.  They trampled people’s civil rights, invading private homes and offices and jailing suspects without allowing them legal counsel.  Hundreds of foreign-born radicals were deported without trails.

8  Eventually, Palmer’s raids failed to turn up evidence of a revolutionary conspiracy.  Soon the public decided that Palmer didn’t know what he was talking about.  Did Palmer and his agents abide by the U.S. constitution?

9  The two most famous victims of injustice during the 20’s. ◦ Both were Italian immigrants and anarchists. ◦ Sacco was a shoemaker and Vanzetti was a fish peddler. ◦ Both had evaded the draft during WWI.

10  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 criminals appeared to be Italians. ◦ The accused asserted their innocence and even provided alibis. ◦ The evidence against them was circumstantial. ◦ The judge made prejudicial remarks. ◦ But, the jury still found them guilty and sentenced them to death.

11  Protests rang out in the U.S. Europe, and Latin America.  Many people believed the Sacco and Vanzetti were mistreated because of their radical beliefs or because they were immigrants.  The two men died in the electric chair on August 23 rd, 1927.  Before he was executed, Vanzetti made a statement: Page. 620

12  In 1961 new ballistic tests showed that the pistol found on Sacco was in fact the one used to murder the guard.  But, there still was no proof that Sacco had actually pulled the trigger.  What do you think? Do you think these two actually committed the murder? Do you think they were innocent or guilty? Why or why not.

13  “Keep American for Americans” ◦ Anti-immigrant attitudes had been growing in the U.S. since the 1880’s. ◦ New immigrants began arriving from Southern and Eastern Europe. ◦ Many of these immigrants were willing to work for lower wages in industries such as coal mining, steel production, and textiles.

14  After WWI, the need for unskilled labor in the U.S. decreased. ◦ Nativists believed that because the U.S. now had fewer unskilled jobs available, fewer immigrants should be let into the country.

15  As a result of the Red Scare and anti- immigrant feelings, different groups used anti-communism as an excuse to harass any group unlike themselves. ◦ The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was devoted to “100 percent Americanisn”. ◦ By 1924,KKK membership reached 4.5 million members.

16  From 1919 to 1921, the number of immigrants had grown almost 600%--from 141,000 to 805,000.  In response to nativist pressure, Congress decided to limit immigration from certain countries—mainly those in Southern and Eastern Europe.

17  The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 set up a quota system.  This system established the maximum number of people who could enter the U.S. from each foreign country. ◦ The goal of the quota system was to cut sharply at European immigrants to the U.S.

18  As amended in 1924, the law limited immigration from each European nation to 2% of the number of its nationals living in the U.S. ◦ The provision discriminated against people for Eastern and Southern Europe—mostly Roman Catholics and Jews who had started immigrating to the U.S. in large numbers. ◦ Also, the law prohibited Japanese immigration, causing much ill will btw the two nations.  Page 622

19  Another postwar conflict formed between labor and management. ◦ 1919 saw more that 3,000 strikes. ◦ 4 million workers walked off the job. ◦ Employers did not want to give raises, nor did they want employees to join unions. ◦ What did employers label striking workers as?

20  The Boston police had not been given a raise since the beginning of WWI.  Because of this and some other issues, they decided to unionize. ◦ When Reps asked for a raise, they were fired. ◦ The remaining police men decided to strike. ◦ Mayor Calvin Coolidge said: page 623

21  The strike ended, but union members were not allowed to return to work.  New police men were hired instead.

22  These workers wanted the right to negotiate for shorter working hours and a living wage.  They also wanted union recognition and collective bargaining rights. ◦ In September 1919 U.S. Steel Corporation refused to meet with union reps. ◦ In response over 300,000 workers quit. ◦ Steel companies hired “strikebreakers” and also used force against those on strike.  Striking workers were beaten by police, federal troops, and state militias.

23  The Steel Mill Strike ended in January 1920.  A report on the harsh working conditions in steel mills shocked the public.  The steel companies agreed to an 8- hour day, but the steelworkers remained without a union.


25  Membership declined from more than 5 million to 3.5 million. Membership declined for several reasons: ◦ Much of the workforce consisted of immigrants willing to work in poor conditions. ◦ Since immigrants spoke a multitude of languages, unions had a difficult time organizing them. ◦ Farmers who had migrated to cities to find factory jobs were used to relying on themselves. ◦ Most unions excluded African Americans.

26  Main Idea: The Harding administration appealed to America’s desire for calm and peace after the war but resulted in scandal.  Why it matters now: We learned that the government must guard against scandal and corruption to merit public trust.

27  After WWI, problems surfaced relating to arms control, ward debt, and the reconstruction of war torn countries.  In 1921 President Harding invited several major powers to the Washington Naval Conference. ◦ At the conference Secretary of State, Charles Hughes suggested that the 5 major naval powers— U.S. Britain, Japan, France, and Italy scrap many of their battleships, cruisers, and aircraft carriers.

28  This conference wanted powerful military nations to agree to disarm.  In 1928, 15 countries agreed to sign the Kellogg-Briand Pact which renounced war as a national policy.  However the was futile because it provided no means of enforcement.

29  When it came time for Britain and France to pay back the 10 million dollars they borrowed from the U.S.—they could do this in 2 ways: ◦ 1. Selling goods to the U.S. ◦ 2. Collecting reparations from Germany.

30  In 1922, America adopted the Fordney- McCumber Tariff, which raised taxes on U.S. imports to 60%--the highest level ever.  The tax protected U.S. businesses—especially in the chemical and metals industries—from foreign competition.  But, it made it impossible for Britain and France to sell enough goods in the U.S. to repay debt.

31  What plan did the U.S. devise in order to fix the debt?

32  Harding favored a limited role for government is business affairs and in social reform.  He set up the Bureau of the Budget to help run the government more efficiently.

33  Charles Hughes appointed as Secretary of State.  Herbert Hoover- Secretary of Commerce  Andrew Mellon- Secretary of the Treasury and set about drastically cutting taxes and reducing the national debt.  *Ohio Gang: Who are they?!

34  Harding’s administration began to unravel as his corrupt friends used their offices to become wealthy through graft. ◦ Charles R. Forbes: Head of Veterans Bureau was caught illegally selling government and hospital supplies to private companies. ◦ Thomas A. Miller was caught doing what:


36  Amidst rumors of corruption throughout his administration, Harding died.  Calvin Coolidge became President.

37  Main Idea: ◦ Consumer goods fueled the business boom of the 1920’s as America’s standards of living soared. Why it Matters Now: Business, technological and social developments of the 1920s launched the era of modern communism.

38  Coolidge and Hoover favored to keep government policies that would keep taxes down and business profits up, and give businesses more available credit to expand.  Their goal was to keep government interference in business to a minimum and allow private businesses to flourish.

39  For most of the 1920’s, this approach seemed to work.  High tariffs were placed on foreign imports which helped American manufactures.  Reducing income taxes meant that people had more money in their pockets.  Wages and productivity were also rising.

40  By the late 1920’s about 80% of all motor vehicles in the world were in the U.S.  The automobile changed: ◦ America’s landscape  Paved roads *Route 66 Chicago to Cali ◦ Housing Styles  Garages, People could live farther away, more independence  *Urban Sprawl ◦ Economic Growth  Gas stations, repair shops, shopping centers

41  The Auto industry symbolized the success of the free enterprise system and the Coolidge era.  Nowhere else in the world could people with little money own their own automobile. ◦ 1 automobile to 5 people

42  This industry grew and flourished as well.  Planes carried the nations mail, and passenger service was introduced.

43  The years from 1920 to 1929 were prosperous ones for the United States. ◦ Americans owned around 40% of the world’s wealth and that wealth changed the way in which most Americans lived. ◦ The average annual income rose more than 35% from $522-$705. ◦ People found it very easy to spend the extra income and more!

44  Previously electricity had been found in in central cities. Now, it spread to suburbs. (most farms still lacked electricity)  By the 1920’s most homes had electrical appliances like—radios, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners.  These appliances helped to change the face of America. ◦ Housewives jobs were made easier, giving them more free time. ◦ Women worked outside of the home.


46  Advertising agencies no longer just informed the public about products and goods. Now, they hired psychologists to study how to appeal to people’s desires for: ◦ Youthfulness, beauty, health, and wealth  What are some examples? Page 631

47  The prosperity that businesses were generating seemed unstoppable!  National Income rose from $64 billion in 1921 to $87 billion in 1929.  This growth produced problems though!

48  1 st, the business scene was not completely healthy. ◦ As workers produced more in the same number of hours, businesses expanded, sometimes producing more goods than they could even sell.  Chain stores spread throughout the nation.  But, with this growth the difference in income btw managers and workers grew. ◦ Also mining companies, railroads, and farms were suffering.

49  2 nd, consumer debt rose to alarming levels.  Businesses helped promote consumer spending by allowing customers to buy “on credit”. ◦ By making payments low and spreading them over a long period of time, businesses made it easy for consumers to decide to purchase all the goods that businesses were producing, but not always ready to pay for it.

50  During this era, most Americans focused their attention on the present. ◦ They had very little concern for the future.  The decade of the 1920s’ had brought about many technological and economic changes.  Life “seemed” easier for most Americans. ◦ An emphasis was placed on “enjoying” life.

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