Politics of the 20s


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Politics of the 20s

  1. 1. Politics of the Roaring 20s
  2. 2. The Roaring 20’s 1920-29• Post War Issues – Economy – had to adjust from making guns to making butter again • Cost of living had doubled – Harding campaigns for President “Return to Normalcy” – Labor troubles • Jobs taken away from women and African Americans – given back to returning GIs
  3. 3. Isolationism• Did not want to get involved in another war like WWI – pulled away from world affairs – Feelings of nativism (prejudice against foreign born people) increased
  4. 4. Communism• Russian revolution – Lenin’s Bolsheviks overthrew tsar - established communist government
  5. 5. Red Scare• Fear of Communism led to the Red Scare – Palmer Raids – suspected communists hunted down • Rights were taken away • Not one single credible threat was found – Young J Edgar Hoover predicts May 1, 1920 Communist Rebellion in US – nothing happens
  6. 6. Sacco and Vanzetti• Italian anarchists• Charged with robbery and murder – convicted even though evidence was circumstantial• Executed• Example of discrimination against radical beliefs during the Red Scare
  7. 7. Ku Klux Klan• Grows over Red Scare and anti-immigrant feelings• By 1924, the Klan had 4.5 million members• Didn’t like; – foreigners, – immigrants, – unions, – Catholics, – Jews, – or alcohol
  8. 8. Eugenics• A pseudoscience that claimed to improve society through selective breeding• 60,000 people were forcibly sterilized (“feeble minded, epileptic, insane, inebriate, blind, deaf, deformed, orphans, tramps, homeless, paupers”)• 28 states made interracial marriage illegal
  9. 9. Better Baby Contestshttp://www.eugenicsarchive.org/eugenics/topics_fs.pl?theme=43&search=&matches=
  10. 10. Congress Limits Immigration• Limited immigration from southern and eastern Europe• The Emergency Quota Act of 1921• In 1924 amended – groups were limited to 2% of their US pop. In 1890
  11. 11. Race in the 1920’s – Who is “white?” Ozawa v. U.S.• A Japanese immigrant, Takeo Ozawa, attempted to become a full U.S. citizen, despite a 1906 policy limiting naturalization to whites and Africans.• Rather than challenging the constitutionality of the statute himself (which, under the racist Court, would have probably been a waste of time anyway), he simply attempted to establish that Japanese Americans were white. The Court rejected this logic.
  12. 12. United States v. Thind 1923• An Indian-American U.S. Army veteran named Bhagat Singh Thind attempted the same strategy as Takeo Ozawa• His attempt at naturalization was rejected in a ruling establishing that Indians, too, are not Caucasian.• Three years later he was quietly granted citizenship in New York; he went on to earn a Ph.D. and teach at the University of California at Berkeley. http://www.bhagatsinghthind.com/about.html
  13. 13. Warren G. Harding Administration– Kellogg-Briand Pact - renounced war as a means of national policy– Tariffs raised - made it hard for foreign countries to sell in U.S. (will contribute to Great Depression)– Reduces taxes on Americans– Dawes Plan - solved problem of post-war debt - provided loans to Germany to pay France/Britain who then paid the U.S
  14. 14. TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL• government set aside oil-rich public land in Teapot, WY• Secretary of Interior Albert Fall secretly leased the land to two oil companies• Fall received $400,000 from the oil companies and a felony conviction from the courts
  15. 15. THE BUSINESS OF AMERICA • Coolidge - “The chief business of the American people is business . . .the man who builds a factory builds a temple – the man who works there worships there”President Calvin Coolidge 1924-1928
  16. 16. Life in the 1920s• Age of consumption• Increased production efficiency (like assembly line) leads to…
  17. 17. Automobile• Henry Ford’s Model T• altered American landscape and society• 80% of all registered motor vehicles in the world were in the U.S.• Urban sprawl – people could live farther from work
  18. 18. AMERICAN STANDARD OF LIVING SOARS• Americans owned 40% of the world’s wealth• The average annual income rose 35% in 1920’s• Discretionary income increased
  19. 19. MODERN ADVERTISING EMERGES• Ad agencies no longer sought to merely “inform” the public about their products• They hired psychologists to study how best to appeal to Americans’ desire for youthfulness, beauty, health and wealth• “Say it with Flowers” slogan actually doubled sales between 1912-1924
  20. 20. A SUPERFICIAL PROSPERITY• Many during the 1920s believed the prosperity would go on forever• Wages, production, GNP, and the stock market all rose significantly• But. . . .
  21. 21. PROBLEMS ON THE HORIZON?• Businesses expanded recklessly• Iron & railroad industries faded• Farms were overproducing• Too much was bought on credit (installment plans) including stocks