1920 - Warren Harding elected president
1921 - Immigration Act
1923 - Calvin Coolidge becomes president after Harding's death
1924 - Dawes Plan
1925 - Scopes Trial
1927 - Sacco and Vanzetti executed
1928 - Herbert Hoover elected president
1928 - Kellogg-Briand Pact
1929 - Stock Market collapses (Depression)
Followed a brief postwar recession (1921)
US emerged from WWI as a creditor nation.
Industrial production rose dramatically because of new worldwide demand
Standard of living for the average American was higher than in any other nation.
Drew on tactics used by the Committee of Public Information (Creel, WWI propaganda)
Many families could afford cars (see Ford) and appliances
Refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, electric stones, irons etc.
Many consumers bought on credit to keep up with neighbors
By 1930 2/3 of homes had electricity and indoor plumbing was common.
World War I
Patriotism (united against an enemy)
Fighting for shared American ideals (Democracy, 14 Points)
Assimilation of immigrants
Radio and film industry
Connected Americans through common entertainment and evangelism
Celebrities became trend setters
Affordable automobiles (Ford)
Connected communities, reduced isolation, creation of suburbs
Cheaper consumer goods
Expensive goods (stoves, refrigerators etc. ) bought in installments
Presidents in the 1920s generally supported big business and laissez-faire.
Harding began 12 years of conservative Republican rule
WARREN G. HARDING (1921-1923)
Back to "normalcy" after World War I (see quote)
Ohio Gang/Poker Cabinet
Harding surrounded himself with his friends.
Andrew Mellon - Sec. of Treasury
Wall Street financier
Wanted to slash government spending, reduce national debt and cut income taxes - especially for the rich (first "trickle down")
Charles Evans Hughes - Sec. of State
Former Supreme Court Justice
Herbert Hoover, Sec. of Commerce
Former Head of Food Administration (WWI)
William Howard Taft, Supreme Court Justice
Albert B. Fall, Sec. of Interior
Harding presidency seen as most corrupt in history
Teapot Dome Scandal 1923
Sec. of Interior, Albert Fall and Attorney General Harry Daugherty
Secretly and illegally leased government oil reserves near Teapot Dome, Wyoming
To two businessmen who wanted to drill for oil on the land.
In exchange for bribes of cash and cattle
Fall, who took about $400,000 in bribes
Charged with fraud, served 1 year in prison
First cabinet official in history to be charged with a federal offenc
While on a goodwill tour of the Pacific Northwest, Harding died of pneumonia
Was popular as Massachusetts governor in 1919
Because he broke the Boston police strike
Won reelection in 1924
Against Dem. John Davis
And Progressive Robert La Follette ("Wisconsin Plan")
Coolidge believed silence was good politics.
Believed in limited government
Little was accomplished in the White House
Cut spending to the bone
Including cancelling bonuses for World War I vets
And vetoing the McNary-Haugen Bill of 1928
Would have helped farmers if crop prices fell
Favored business (see quote)
Sec. of Treasury , Andrew Mellon
Increased income through import duties (Fordney-McCumber Tariff,1922)
And excise taxes on new cars.
Govt. spending cut in half
By 1929 federal budget surplus was $600 million
War Labors Board
Gave workers the right to join unions
Union membership doubled
Employers cut wages
1919 - Rash of strikes
Seattle: 60,000 unionists joined shipyard workers in peaceful strike for higher pay
Boston Police strike
To protest the firing of a few police officers who tried to unionize.
Massachusetts Governor, Calvin Coolidge, sent in National Guard to break the strike
U.S. Steel Corporation strike, state and federal troops sent, violence
Strikes in 1919 caused businesses to be suspicious as ever of laborers.
1927, Gastonia, NC
Most famous strike of decade, 2,500 mill hands in Gastonia walked out.
Only 628 strikes, a record low for the nation.
Union membership shrank from 5 million (1921) to 3.5 million (1929)
National Association of Manufacturers (1921)
Launched "American Plan" to end "closed shops" (only union members are hired)
"Closed Shop" became illegal with Taft-Hartley Act in 1947
Instead forced workers to sign "Yellow Dog Contracts" (agreeing not to join union)
Refused to hire anyone who didn't sign them.
About 5% of employers began treating their workers well.
Mostly skilled workers (hardest to replace)
Gentler side of "American Plan" -- more socially conscious business leadership
Companies like GE and Bethlehem Steel
Pledged to take care of their employees
And give them incentives to work hard.
Built clean, safe factories
Presidents in the 1920s generally supported big business and laissez-faire.
Installed cafeterias, hired dietitians
formed baseball teams and glee clubs
Some allowed workers to buy company stock
Established company "Kiss Me" clubs
Offering health and safety insurance
A grievance procedure
Representation for African-Americans, women, immigrants
National Labor Relations Act (1935)
Created National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to reduce strikes
Borrowed idea of assembly line from meatpacking industry
Cut production time in half
Model T only in one color (black) (GM offered many types/colors)
Price of Model T dropped from $845 to $290 by 1925
"Doctrine of high wages"
Paid workers $5 a day (very high at the time)
And limited workweeks to 40 hours (not 48) and 5 days a week (not 6)
Ford also had spies, kept strict rules, visited employee homes
And Americanized the workforce
Hired 10,000 African-Americans
Consequences of car
Other industries involved (rubber, steel, service stations, roadside inns etc.)
1 in 5 workers were employed to service car industry
Caused urban sprawl (and moves to suburbs)
Ended isolation = standardization of dialects, manners, tourism
Not much immigration during war
But influx of immigrants (many from Eastern Europe) after the war.
Dillingham Commission Report, 1911
Commission to study immigration.
Concluded that immigration from southern and eastern Europe posed a serious threat to American society and culture and should be reduced.
Recommendation: literacy test to limit undesirable immigration
Sacco and Vanzetti
Arrested in 1920 for robbery and murdering two men
Jury found them guilty anyway
Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in 1927
Illustrated America's intolerance for foreign ideas and individuals
1921 (Emergency Quota Act)
Limit of 3% from each national group in the U.S. based on 1910 census
358,000 total immigrants
1924 (National Origins Act/Asian Exclusion Act)
Limit of 2% from each group based on 1890 census
When there were more western Europeans than eastern Europeans.
154,000 total immigrants
Severely restricted immigration of Africans
Banned immigration of Arabs and Asian
No alien ineligible to become a citizen could be admitted (Chinese and Japanese
Ku Klux Klan
Based in South and West
In cities in north as well as south
Targeted Catholics, Jews, immigrants, anarchists, communists and others.
Won political power.
Three million members (including many women)
Birth of a Nation
Movie that glorified Reconstruction-era Klan
Shown in the White House under Woodrow Wilson
New KKK declined nationally after 1925
Russian Revolution, 1917
Bolsheviks under Lenin had taken over the Russian government.
Set off fears of Communists taking over America
Especially with rise in labor strikes.
Also resulted in fear of anarchists and foreigners.
Palmer Raids 1919
In 1919, 30 letter bombs were sent to prominent government officials were found
Letters came from followers of anarchist Luigi Galleani (Galleanists)
Second wave of letter bombs sent
Included one to home of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer in Washington DC
In reaction, Palmer decided to create a special office under J. Edgar Hoover.
President Wilson had had a stroke and didn't participate
To gather information on radicals
The organization later became FBI
Palmer Raids (Nov. 1919 - Jan. 1920)
Palmer also ordered mass arrests of anarchists, socialists and labor agitators
Over 6,000 people arrested - based on limited information.
Most of the suspects were foreign born who had no legal protection.
500 of them (including radical activist Emma Goldman) were deported.
Palmer warned that a huge riot would take place on May Day 1920
It didn't, causing people to focus concerns on the loss of civil liberies
During and after World War a wave of black migrants moved from South to North
Less discrimination in the north, war jobs available
And fewer immigrants to fill the jobs
The migration of black families to northern ities during the war increased racial tensions.
Whites resented increased competition for jobs and housing.
1917 East St. Louis, Illinois
1919 Riots around the country
Worst one was in Chicago: 40 killed, 500 injured
Even black WWI soldiers in uniform were killed
In 1910, Harlem, in upper Manhattan, New York, was an upper-middle class white community
By 1925, it became a mecca for the "New Negro"
Oasis of permissibility, races could mingle
Zora Neale Hurston
Collected folktales, songs, prayers of black southers
Founded Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
Dedicated to black self-determination and self pride
And repatriation to mother Africa
Created a shipping company (Black Star Line)
Oversold stock options through the mail
Garvey was convicted of mail fraud - prison 5 years.
Manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol prohibited
Private possession and consumption was allowed.
Set down methods for enforcing the 18th Amendment
Defined which intoxicating liquors were prohibited and which were exclusion for medical or religious perpuses
Called the "Noble Experiment"
Alcohol consumption dropped in rural areas but rose in urban areas.
Illegal drinking establishments.
At first bootleggers and speakeasies were tolerated.
Changed with gangster violence (in 1929, 64 gang-related murders)
Al Capone ("Scarface")
Italian immigrant who grew up in Brooklyn, NY
Called "Scarface" because his faced by slashed by the brother of a woman he insulted while working as a bouncer.
Took over from his boss, Johnny Torrio in 1925.
In Chicago, Capone ran 10,000 speakasies, gambling, prostitution rings
Known for ruthlessly killing competitors
Profits - $60 million a year by 1927
St. Valentine's Day Massacre, February 14, 1929
Chicago bootlegging gang associated with Capone disguised as police officers
Faked a police raid in order to gun down rival gang members (George "Bugs" Moran)
Resulted in violence on St. Valentine's Day (7 killed)
Al Capone was generally believed responsible
Capone was arrested by FBI agent Elliott Ness and his "Untouchables"
For tax evasion in 1931
Sentenced to 11 years in Alcatraz but let out because of Syphilis.
Prohibition was finally repealed in 1933 (21st Amendment)
Because of the difficulty of enforcing it.
World War I
Young couples got married or engaged in sex before men sent off to war.
Women worked abroad as nurses
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), 1919
Members included Jane Addams
REaction to brutality of war.
Denounced imperialism, proposed social justice
Came under attack because of Red Scare (some members were socialists)
Women received right to vote in 1920
National Woman Suffrage Assoc. disbanded.
League of Women Voters
Founded in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt
6 months before 19th Amendment ratified
Encouraged women to vote.
Women in politics
Miriam "Ma" Ferguson - Governor of Texas
Nellie Ross - Governor of Wyoming
Jeannette Rankin - First woman in Congress, HOR (1917-1919 and 1941-1943)
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), 1923
Alice Paul, founder of the National Woman's Party
Persuaded congress to consider an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
State that "men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States.
Women won rights to more easily divorce.
Bobbed hair, smoked, danced
Clothing: short skirts, flattened breasts
"New Women" hung out in speakeasies
Pre-Prohibition saloons didn't allow women to enter
Flappers (named for the dance that looked like birds flapping wings.
Women were freed from drudgery of housework
Smaller apartments = less housework
Appliances (washing machines, electric irons etc.)
More bakeries, delicatessens, laundries etc.
Women wanted to work to have money to buy goods
Women more concerned by appearance (beauty parlors)
SCOPES MONKEY TRIAL 1925
Tennessee law prohibited the teaching of evolution
John T. Scopes
He was arrested
ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)
Formed in 1920 to "defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States"
Hired Clarence Darrow to represent Scopes in the trial
William Jennings Bryan
Popular because of "Cross of Gold Speech"
Represented fundamentalist Christians
Used the Bible to demonstration
Modernists v. Fundamentalists
Liberal Protestants who applied science to evangelical Christianity
From book "Fundamentals" (1910-1915)
By oil tycoons, Lyman and Milton Stewart
Going back to the "fundamentals" of belief
Virgin birth, resurrection of Jesus, literal Bible
Movement grew in 1920 as counter to "Modernists"
Religious revival made full us of radio.
Leading radio evangelists
Former baseball player
In 1880s became evngelist
Attacked drinking, gambling, dancing
Aimee Semple McPherson
Founded Foursquare Church
Pioneer in use of modern media - used radio
Sermons at Angelus Temple
In Los Angeles, one of the first megachurches
In 1926, she was purportedly kidnapped from Venice Beach (CA)
Possibly a hoax
Most publicized Christian evangelist, surpassing Billy Sunday
Most movies were made in California (sunshine year round)
Gave the New Woman notoriety
Theda Bara (anagram of Arab Death) appeared in The Blue Flame in 1920.
First "Vamp" - epitome of sex, wickedness and evil
Hollywood set standards of physical attraction, fashion etc.
Appealed to masses because no literacy was needed.
Short movies for a nickel
The Great Train Robbery (1903)
First feature-length film
Attracted middle-class audience.
By 1926, 20,000 movie houses, 50 cents or less.
Established first amateur radio station in his home in 1919
Transmitted phonograph music and baseball scores to local wireless operators.
Local department stores advertised wireless sets to receive Conrad's transmissions
Realized commercial value of radio
Opened first licensed broadcasting station, KDKA in 1920
Aired results of Hardin-Cox presidential election
Radio Act 1927
Defined radio broadcast as public utility that required government supervision
Since it was in people's homes
Federal Radio Commission
Precursor to Federal Communications Commission, FCC)
Empowered to give and deny licences to radio operators.
Obscenity and profanity was forbidden.
Washington Naval Conference, 1921
International conference called by the U.S. to limit the naval arms race
And to work out security agreements in the Pacific area.
Four-Power Pact (U.S., GB, Japan, France), 1921
All would be consulted if a controversy arose over any Pacific question.
Five-Power Naval Limitation Treaty (U.S., GB, Japan, France and Italy), 1922
Grew out of a proposal by US Sec. of State Charles Evans Hughes
To scrap almost 190,000 tons of warships belonging to the Great Powers.
Halted post-WWI race in building warships
First disarmament treaty in modern history.
Dawes Plan, 1924
Treaty of Versailles
Germany had to pay France and Great Britain $33 billion in reparations.
Germany fell behind
France occupied Ruhr Valley (Germany's most concentrated industrial region)
Germany printed money causing inflation
Britain and France agreed to reduce reparation
If Coolidge persuaded U.S bankers to forgive some of the debts they owed the US
Brokered agreement to get French out of Ruhr
And reschedule payments
By pledging American loans to Germany.
Created circular flow of money that benefited American bankers
Money was loaned to Germany
Germany used the money to pay reparations to France and Britain
France and Britain used money to pay back American bankers.
Kellogg-Briand Pact, 1928
Major nations of the world (excluding the USSR) outlawed war
ELECTION OF 1928
Coolidge decided not to run for reelection.
Republicans chose Herbert Hoover
Not a politician but an administrator.
Secretary of Commerce
"Republican prosperity" made it difficult for any Democrat to win
Split between rural supporrers in South and West, ethnic laborers and urban Northeast
Dems. chose NY governor Al Smith
Smith had NY accent
Pledge to enforce Prohibition
Was a Catholic
Appealed to immigrants but many Protestants were prejudiced against Smith.
Use of newspaper advertisements and radio spots.
Democrats created first public relations department.
Deterioration of party loyalty.