Presentation on theme: "Republican Decade Business Boom The Economy in the late 1920’s."— Presentation transcript:
Republican Decade Business Boom The Economy in the late 1920’s
Many Americans feared that there was a threat of the United States becoming communist The Russian Revolution Went from being controlled by Czars to a communist society Government owned all land and property A single political party controlled the government The needs of the country always took priority over the rights of individuals Russia wanted to spread communism to over countries Series of Strikes Americans called for communists to be jailed on driven out of the country
Charles Schenk was jailed for breaking the Espionage Act wartime law that aimed at spies and people who opposed the war He mailed letters to drafted soldiers asking them to not report for duty. He appealed saying it was freedom of speech. Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. stated that the government was justified because there was a "clear and present danger"
New York convicted Bernard Gitlow for "Criminal anarchy". Gitlow published calls to overthrow the government by force. He appealed on the basis of freedom of speech. Supreme court stated the Bill of Rights only protects at the federal level. The court upheld the conviction.
Bombs were set off in several cities including the house of A Mitchel Palmer. He headed the department of justice and set up special forces to conduct raids and arrest "subversives" Communists, Socialists, and anarchists were targeted. Jan 2, 1920 agents in 33 cities arrested thousands of suspected radicals without evidence. They were charged with anarchy. Many were completely innocent. Others were deported back to their home country. Palmer stated that on May 1 that there would be bombings and a labor strike. This never happened and the press turned on Palmer.
April 15, 1920 two gunmen robbed and killed a guard at a shoe factory. Two men were arrest for the crime Sacco and Vanzetti. Guns were found on the men as well as the same kind that was used in the crime. Many Americans believed that the men were innocent and only being tried because they were immigrants and political beliefs. Italian immigrants and anarchists. They were convicted guilty. Their lawyers tried to appeal the case many times but they were sentenced to death and died in the electric chair in 1927.
Boston police had not received a raise since before the war. They organized a union Although not allowed to have unions. After 19 officers were fired for union activity. The entire force voted to strike. Riots broke out hours after they left work. Volunteer police helped stop the riots the Massachusetts governor stated there was no right to strike against public safety. None of the police were rehired and a new force was hired.
Steel workers of the United States Steel Corporation went on strike 8-hr day 48 hr work week. 350,000 workers walked off the job. US steel claimed that this was the work of communists hired a private police force killed 18 strikers and beat many more. African-Americans were brought from the south to work. After 10 Weeks AFL called off the strike and steel workers went back to work.
Coal miner signed a no strike guarantee during the war. After the war they said the guarantee was over Coal miners went on strike demanding higher wages. Wilson said the no strike guarantee was still intact. miners stayed out of work. When a coal shortage hit the miners received a 14% raise.
Americans felt that Republicans were more likely to restore stability 1920 election- republicans dominated all three branches Between 1921 and 1933 republicans controlled the government Generally favored business and sought social stability
Harding’s Appeal “Normalcy” The Ohio Gang Cronyism “the Teapot Dome Scandal” An Undignified Exit Died on western trip, Aug 1923 Self-Doubts confirmed Our worst President?
“The Business of America is Business” Return of Laissez-Faire Contrast with Harding Wise appointments Andrew Mellon Herbert Hoover Popular Policies Balanced Budget Supply-Side Economics Cooperative individualism
Consumer economy- Economy dependant of the spending of consumers Average wage rose 28% Millionaires doubled People used to only buy what they needed now began to buy luxuries Higher wages Advertising New products Lower costs Availability of credit
Installment plans - paying little by little until all debt was paid off Advertising made this possible 1929- items paid with installment plans 60% of cars 70% of furniture 80% of vacuum, radios, and refrigerators 90% of washing machines
Need for electricity increased from 16-63% General Electric became one of the largest companies in the world Advertising changed to show how a product would enhance a customer’s image Gross National Product (GNP) - the total number of goods and services a country produces Grew at an average rate of 6% per year
Wanted to sell more cars than other companies and make cars affordable for the average man Adapted the assembly line Was able to produce cars much faster than other companies. 1914- sold model T at $490 1915- sold model T at $390
Growth of automobile helped other industries grow Steel making, oil refinery New business emerged Garages, gas stations, car dealership, motels, camp grounds, restaurants Air transportation (mail, goods, and passengers) increased
Lack of government regulations helped companies expand Most Americans would benefit with the economic boom, some did not Unskilled laborers- faced low wages and poor working conditions Farmers struggle because of plummeting prices of products Had to buy equipment on credit and went farther into debt Demand for certain goods decreased after the war and could not find new markets Railroad companies suffered from lower demand, mismanagement, competition from trucking firms, and labor unions that fought against wage cuts and layoffs
1925- stock values at 27 billion by 1929 at 87 billion Unemployment was below 4% Belief that everyone should be rich by saving and investing money Welfare capitalism- employers raised wages and provided benefits Paid vacations Health plans Recreation programs English classes for immigrants Caused organized labor to loose members
The rich got richer while the poor stayed poor 0.1% of families made more than $100,000 and 34% of the countries savings 71% of individuals made less than $2,500 80% of families had no savings Many people were buying on credit Radios, vacuum cleaners Refrigerators “get rich quick” attitude was popular in the 1920’s Many people invested in high risk investment in hope to get a large return-speculation
Before the war only wealthy Americans bought stock. In the 1920’s many people spent their savings in the stock market Buying on margin- allowed investors to only pay for a portion of the investment and borrow the rest Interest rates were high
Late 1920’s warehouses were stocked but people weren’t buying. Items were being produced so quickly on the assembly line But people still couldn’t afford them The Auto industry slowed after 1925 Industries that depended on it declined also Steel, rubber, glass Housing construction dropped 25% from 1928- 1929
Many farmers were loosing money Prices of crops were falling Farmers could not pay their loan on the land and machinery Often lost their farms Congress responded by passing a bill that would increase prices for farmers President Coolidge vetoed it (3 times) Factory workers also faced hardships While companies were doing well the workers struggled Worked long hours for low pay Ex. Textile mills, 56 hrs/week 16-18 cents/hr, $10/week