Jolson Merchant

Document Sample
Jolson Merchant Powered By Docstoc

              The End of the War
• Before the end of the war President Wilson formulated
  his Fourteen Points as the basis for peace
• Germany signed the armistice on November 11, 1918
  mainly because of the potential of the American forces
• Wilson became a hero to the people of a liberated
• During the war partisan politics did not afflict Congress
  as the country united behind the war effort
• In 1918 Wilson asked for a Democratic victory, but the
  Republicans ended up with a narrow advantage
• Wilson went to Paris for the peace talks and left the
  country in the hands of a Republican Congress
• Wilson was the first president to travel to Europe
  but he alienated the Republicans by not inviting
  one republican to the Peace Conference
• The chairman of the Senate Committee on
  Foreign Relations, Henry Cabot Lodge of
  Massachusetts was particularly angered
• Lodge and Wilson shared a mutual hatred
• The Paris Conference was dominated by the Big
  Four – Wilson, Lloyd George of Britain, Orlando
  of Italy, and Clemenceau of France
• The matter which caused the greatest concern
  was to stop the spread of Communism
• Wilson’s main goal was to establish a League of
• He imagined an organization of representative
  who would meet to discuss world problems
• Few, especially among the Republicans, shared
  his enthusiasm for a League of Nations
• The Republicans declared they would not
  approve the League in its current form
• Opposition from the Republicans weakened
  Wilson’s diplomatic power in Paris
• When he did return to Paris he found that the
  opinion of the major powers had become much
  more aggressive
           The Versailles Treaty
•   France was determined to occupy the German-
    Rhineland and the Saar Valley
•   Wilson persuaded the French to accept
    occupation of the region by the League of
    Nations for 15 years
•   France also received a security pledge from
    Britain and America – both countries promised
    to help if Germany re-armed
•   The final treaty was given to the Germans to
    sign in June 1919
• When the Germans saw the treaty they were
  shocked to see so few of Wilson’s Fourteen
  Points, which had been the basis under which
  they had surrendered
• Wilson had been forced to compromise his
  original ideals to keep the bickering Europeans
• As soon as he returned to America, Wilson was
  confronted with a hostile Congress
• Isolationists wanted no part of foreign treaties
• Some thought the agreement did not punish
  Germany enough for starting the war
• Irish-Americans, German-Americans and
  Italian-Americans all hated Wilson
             The End of Wilson
• Wilson still felt confident the Versailles Treaty
  would be ratified. Even Lodge only wanted to
  make the treaty more “American”
• The Treaty became bogged down in Senate as
  Lodge examined every page
• Wilson set off around the country to muster
  public support – even though he was advised
  against such a move by his own physicians
• While in Colorado in September, 1919, Wilson
  collapsed from exhaustion
• He was quickly returned to Washington, but
  suffered a stroke only days later
• Wilson remained out of circulation for over six
• Lodge saw the opportunity to step up. Lodge had
  failed to get the Treaty amended but now was his
• Critics were especially annoyed over Article X
  which promised the United States would give aid
  to any country that faced external aggression
• Lodge attached a series of amendment to the
  original treaty so the Republicans could claim
  some of the credit
• Wilson told the Democrats to vote against the
  amended treaty
• The treaty was defeated in the Senate
• The public was angry and upset that the Senate
  could not agree on a simple resolution and they
  demanded a second ballot
• The Democrats would have to accept the
  amended packet otherwise the whole treaty
  would fail
• Wilson refused to compromise and ordered the
  Democrats to once again vote against the
  amended treaty
• The treaty died in the Senate
          The Election of 1920
• The Republicans eventually selected Senator
  Warren G. Harding of Ohio with Massachusetts
  Governor Calvin Coolidge as his running mate
• Coolidge had made a name for himself by
  defeating the police strike in Boston
• Democrats nominated Governor James M. Cox
  of Ohio with Franklin D. Roosevelt as his
  running mate
• In the first election that included women,
  (Nineteenth Amendment – 1920) the Republicans
  won 404-127
• Harding gained over 7 million more popular
• Socialist Eugene V. Debs ran as a Third party
  from the Atlanta penitentiary and gained almost
  1 million votes
• The public had shown they were tired of
  Wilsonian politics and European affairs – they
  wanted what Harding promised – a return to
• Unfortunately Harding was a poor choice and
  proved to be an even worse president, mainly
  because of his poor choice of appointments
                The Red Scare
•   In 1917 the Bolshevik Revolution forced Russia
    out of the war, changed the Russian
    government, created a small Communist party
    in America, and caused fear and concern
    among non-Communist nations
•   In the wake of the war the country was gripped
    by a series of strikes
•   Most people assumed the strikes were part of a
    Communist/Bolshevik plot
•   The “red scare” of 1919 created political
    careers, ruined some lives, caused pain and
    anguish to anguish to many innocent people
• In 1919 a bomb exploded at the home of Attorney
  General A. Mitchell Palmer (the Fighting
  Quaker) who had been leading the campaign
  against possible Bolsheviks
• The explosion caused Palmer to increase his
  efforts and gained him enormous public support
• In December 1919 the government deported 249
  suspected aliens and Bolshevik sympathizers on
  the Buford
• The following year another bomb exploded on
  Wall Street and killed nearly forty people
• Many states joined together to pass “anti-red”
• Critics of the paranoia protested that basic
  American rights were been ignored
• But the red scare served the conservatives and
  businessmen well – they could now complain
  about troublemakers and unions and associate
  them with the Bolsheviks
• Unions found it hard to even exist. Any appeal
  for a union was seen as un-American
• The most notorious case of anti-foreign sentiment
  was the Sacco-Vanzetti case in Massachusetts
             Sacco and Vanzetti
• Nicola Sacco a factory worker and Bartolomeo
  Vanzetti a fish seller were convicted in 1921 of
  murdering a Massachusetts paymaster and his
• The defendants were of Italian descent and
  known as anarchists and atheists
• The case lasted six years before both men were
  convicted and sentenced to death
• They were executed in 1927
• One of the greatest social experiments in
  American history was the attempt to prohibit
  alcohol in the 1920s
• The Eighteenth Amendment (1919) (and the
  Volstead Act) tried to abolish the manufacturing,
  sale, and transportation of alcohol
• The Act was very popular in the South and the
  West, but in the East there was strong opposition
• But the idea was flawed because many people,
  especially foreign-born Americans found ways
  around the law
• The authorities had not really considered how to enforce
  a law that so many people opposed and that had been a
  large part of normal society
• Speakeasies with secret passwords and tiny windows
  sprouted in major cities
• Illegal alcohol was shipped from the West Indies or from
  Canada by gangsters determined to supply the thirsty
  market – and make a fortune
• Bootleggers produced homemade alcohol that often
  caused blindness or death
• But there were some benefits to the Prohibition era
• Absenteeism from work decreased and people saved
  more money
• The “noble experiment” failed because so many people
  simply refused to accept the law, even though most
  believed it would be permanent
• The large number of immigrants that were
  entering the country from Europe worried many
• The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 was attempt
  to limit immigration by only allowing a certain
  quota from each country – 3% of that nationality
  living in America in 1910
• Favored those from Southern and Eastern
• Congress approved the Immigration Act of 1924
  which cut the quota of foreigners from 3% to 2%
  and changed the date to 1890 from 1910
• This new changed favored immigrants from
  Northern Europe at the expense of those from the
  South and East who called the legislation
• Nativist believed a stronger, better America
  could be attained though people with light hair
  and blue eyes
• The Act also stopped completely the immigration
  of Japanese
• Exempt from the quota system were Canadian
  and those from Latin America – because they
  were needed to take the lowest paying jobs
• Act ended the belief that all were welcome
             The Ku Klux Klan
• Another element of the anti-foreign campaign
  was the reemergence of the KKK
• The KKK had been around since the middle of
  the nineteenth century, but after the Civil War it
  had become known as an antiblack movement
• In the 1920s, the new KKK reinforced the
  nativist spirit that was sweeping the country –
  they were anti-foreign, antiblack, anti-Jewish,
  anti-Communist, anti-Catholic, anti-
  international, anti-birth control, anti-drinking,
  and anti-gambling
• They were pro-American, pro-Anglo-Saxon, pro-
  Protestant – they were ultra-conservative and
  dedicated to maintaining traditional American
  morals, standards, and culture
• The new KKK had a great deal of support,
  especially in the southern “Bible Belt” states
• At its height of popularity it claimed to have over
  5 million members
• The organization collapsed in the late twenties
  when it was investigated for corruption and
• The KKK was a realization of what can happen
  when people are confronted with social change
   The Fordney-McCumber Tariff
• Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon also wanted
  higher tariffs
• The Fordney-McCumber Tariff increased tariffs
  against chemicals and metal products that were
  been imported from Germany
• During the war the United States had moved
  from a creditor to a debtor nation
• The tariff made it harder for European nations
  to sell in America and consequently prevented
  them from making money and repaying their war
• Harding appointed Republicans dedicated to his
  ideals to all the main committees
• In 1923 news was leaked about members of the
  administration robbing the Veteran’s Bureau
• The official ran away to Europe
• Other cronies were charged with a variety of
• The biggest scandal was the Teapot Dome
• Prohibition created untold opportunities for
  criminals to make money
• In many major cities like Chicago, virtual gang
  wars erupted as rival crime bosses competed for
  the millions of dollars associated with alcohol
• The most famous crime boss was “Scarface” Al
  Capone who controlled a crime empire that was
  worth millions of dollars
• The gangsters were hard to catch and harder to
• Capone was eventual found guilty of tax evasion
             The “Ohio Gang”
• Many of Harding’s appointments were members
  of a group called the “Ohio Gang”
• Harding met with the “Ohio Gang” on a regular
  basis and often in places outside the White House
• They earned a reputation as drinking, women,
  and gambling even during a time of Prohibition
• Once in office the administration started
  dismantling Progressive legislation, especially the
  social reforms
• Harding was able to appoint four Supreme Court
           McNary-Haugen Bill
• Farmers suffered in the post-war years as they
  could not sell their products
• Many looked to farmer cooperatives and
  associations to protect their interests and give
  them greater political leverage
• In 1924 Senator McNary and Representative
  Haugen introduced a bill to help the framers
• The idea was to dump surplus crop on the world
  market to raise domestic prices
• In 1927 and 1928 the bill passed both Houses but
  was vetoed by Coolidge
• It was clear that the administration was pro-
• Secretary of Treasury Mellon reduced
  government spending and lowered taxes mostly
  for the rich
• Mellon believed that by giving money to the rich
  they would have more to invest and that would
  stimulate the economy
• In 1921 he persuaded Congress to pass the
  Budget and Accounting Act, which created the
  Bureau of Budget
• The Revenue Act of 1926 lowered taxes even
  more for the rich
                Teapot Dome
• Oil reserves under the Teapot Rock in Wyoming
  had been set aside by Albert Fall of the Interior
  Department for the naval oil reserves
• Fall signed contracts with private companies
  letting them use the oil reserves
• Fall’s standard of living skyrocketed including a
  “loan” of $400,000 from the oil companies which
  was delivered in a bag
• Harding claimed to have had no knowledge of the
  extent of the scandals, but he obviously knew
  there was a problem
• In 1923 Harding went to Alaska Territory and on
  the way back he stopped in Seattle
• He suffered food poisoning and died
• The public was distraught as they didn’t know
  the extent of the problems
• Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as president
• Coolidge promised to return the White House to
  the Gilded Age philosophies
• Even more than Harding, “silent Cal” advocated
  supporting big business “the man who builds a
  factory builds a temple”
• He distanced himself from the scandals and
  became the Republican nominee for 1924
           The Election of 1924
• The Democrats were divided and nominated
  John Davis a Wall Street lawyer
• A farmer-labor coalition third party appeared
• The Progressive party led by Robert La Follette
  from Wisconsin was backed by the Socialist party
  and the American Federation of Labor
• Coolidge accused La Follette of wanting to turn
  America into a communist and socialist state
• Coolidge won easily with Davis only winning the
  South – the Progressives gained the most third
  party votes
      Scope Monkey Trial (1925)
• By the 1920s many states required students to
  wait until they were 16 before graduating
• The type of education and the quality of
  education had changed dramatically as new
  philosophies swept the teaching field
• But there was always an issue about how to teach
• Fundamentalists believed the one true way was to
  reinforce biblical teachings about creationism
• Science leaned more toward Darwin and
• Several states, including Tennessee, passed laws
  prohibiting the teaching of evolution
• In 1925, at Dayton Tennessee, a high school
  biology teacher, John T. Scopes was indicted for
  teaching evolution
• Scopes was defended represented by the
  American Civil Liberties Union and by famed
  trial lawyer Clarence Darrow an agnostic
• The Fundamentalists hired former presidential
  candidate William Jennings Bryan to lead the
• Bryan defending creationism was made to look
  foolish in the cross examination
• In the end Scopes was found guilty and fined
  $100 – the fine was eventually set aside on a
• The Fundamentalists had won the case but in
  doing so they had weakened their own argument
  for teaching creationism
                  Foreign Policy
• Washington Naval Conference (1925) - attempted to
  prevent a naval arms race among United States, Britain,
  and Japan. Also included France, Italy, the
  Netherlands, China, and Portugal and created 3 treaties
• 1. The Five-Power Pact (1922) - U.S., G.B., Japan, Italy,
  and France agreed to build no more warships for 10
  years. Also limited naval tonnage:
  5 tons for U.S. and G.B.
  3 tons for Japan
  1.75 tons for France and Italy
• 2. Nine-Power Pact - Promised to maintain China’s
  territorial integrity and support the “open door” policy
• 3. Four-Power Pact - U.S., G.B., France, and Japan
  agreed to respect each other’s rights in the Pacific and
  promised to settle disputes through negotiations
               Dawes Plan (1924)
• After World War I the European nations owed $26
• Hyperinflation in Germany (1923-4) caused them to
  default on their payments forcing other nations to
• The French occupied the Ruhr - the Germans stopped
  working in protest
• American banker Charles Dawes negotiated large loans
  from American banks to help Germany
• Britain and France reduced the amount of reparations
  over 5 years
• Geneva Naval Disarmament Conference (1927) -
  Initiated by Coolidge to construct smaller warships, but
  only attended by U.S., G.B., and Japan. No agreement
  was reached
• Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928) - Negotiated by French
  Foreign Minister Briand and Secretary of State Kellogg.
  It outlawed war as an instrument of national policy.
  Signed by 48 countries, but no means of enforcement
• Young Plan (1929) - Reworked the Dawes Plan to reduce
  the payments even more and allow Germany even more
• Business and industry saw the election of
  Coolidge as a vindication of their practices
• The American economy changed dramatically as
  consumerism became the order of the day
• Leisure and advertising became huge enterprises
  as the economy moved from thrift and saving to
  spending and consumption
• During the first part of the decade many people
  invested in real estate, especially in Florida
• People eager to make money gambled with
  property, but in 1926 the bubble burst
• Treasury Secretary Mellon reduced more taxes
  to keep the economy flowing
• People shifted their money to Wall Street and
  purchased stock on margin
• For a small payment investors could buy stocks
  with a promise of paying later
• Between 1927 and 1929 the number of broker
  loans doubled
• But consumption was reaching saturation point
           The Election of 1928
• Coolidge decided not to seek re-election in 1928
• The Republicans nominated Herbert Hoover
• The Democrats nominated Governor Alfred
  Smith of New York
• Hoover represented big business and middle
• Smith, the son of immigrants and a Catholic
  represented big cities
• Hoover won 444-87 in a vindication of
• 1929 promised continued prosperity, but there
  were some signs of problems
• Also in 1929 Congress passed the Agricultural
  Marketing Act, which created the Federal Farm
  Board to allow loans to farmers
• The Hawley-Smoot Tariff of 1930 sent duties to
  an all-time high
• Over 1,000 economist petitioned Hoover to veto
  the bill as it would hurt consumers
• Hoover ignored the appeal
      Life in the Roaring Twenties
• Life in the twenties was based on a fast-paced,
  big city mentality. Living in small towns with
  small town values was frowned upon
• In 1920 Sinclair Lewis wrote Main Street about
  the cramped life of a prairie town
• F. Scott Fitzgerald dubbed the twenties the Jazz
  Age symbolized by experimentation with music
  and sexuality
• African and European music blended to form
  jazz which became popular with the younger
• New music meant new dances and the gyrations
  of the Charleston and the Black Bottom became
  all the rage
• The development of the radio allowed people all
  over the country to be connected
• Now ideas from one area could be spread almost
  immediately across the country
• People listened to jazz and rag time, but even
  more popular were sporting events
• The movies became the entertainment of choice
  as people thrilled at action on the big screen
• In 1927 the introduction of sound increased the
  popularity of movies
• One of the biggest changes witnessed during the
  decade came from a shift in morality
• Traditional values of what was acceptable were
  cast aside as the twenties created a “new woman”
• Novels, magazines, and the movies quickly
  showed the public what life was going to be like
  for these independent females who wore make
  up, smoked, drank, and were often kissed in
• At the start of the decades skirts were expected to
  be just off the ground. By 1927 skirt length was
  at the knee.
• The women who wore these short skirts were
  called “flappers” and they came to represent the
  new feminism of the twenties
• The most controversial issue of the 1920s was
  birth control
• Margaret Sanger promoted the use of birth
  control in 1912.
• Sanger opened the first family- planning clinic in
  New York in 1916 by asking women if they could
  afford to keep having large families?
• By 1920 women found themselves able to gain
  access to contraception
• In 1921 she started the American Birth Control
              Women’s Right
• Women had supported the plight of
  emancipation and rights for the former slaves
  and many were disappointed when they were not
  included in legislation
• The women’s suffrage movement which had
  started much earlier became a focal point in the
  years prior to the 1920s
• In 1912 Alice Paul became the head of the
  National American Woman Suffrage
  Association’s Congressional Committee
• Paul was very militant and urged woman to go on
  the offensive for their rights
• Carrie Chapman Catt became the head of the
  National Suffrage Association in 1915
• In 1916 Alice Paul helped create the Woman’s
  party which copied the tactics of British
• In 1917 Paul and some followers were arrested
  for picketing the White House. In prison they
  went on hunger strike
• President Wilson avoided the issue until 1916
  when he supported women’s suffrage as part of
  the Democratic platform
• In 1918 the “Anthony Amendment” passed the
  House but failed in the Senate by 2 votes
• Eventually it was passed in 1919, but was not
  ratified as the Nineteenth Amendment for
  another 14 months
• In 1919 the League of Women Voters was formed
• After attained the franchise many women
  stopped working for more rights
• Paul and the Woman’s party introduced an
  Equal Rights Amendment into Congress in 1923,
  but her amendment would not be adopted until
            African Americans
• Starting in roughly 1915 thousands of African
  Americans migrated north to the cities to work in
  the factories
• With the sudden and large increase in African
  Americans there were some noticeable changes in
  society, particularly in politics
• Blacks felt more inclined to participate in the
  political process in the North
• In addition to an economic and political change
  there was a social change
• The Harlem Renaissance was a rebirth of the
  black cultural spirit
• Claude McKay wrote Harlem Shadows (1922)was
  one of the first writers to participate in the
  Renaissance spirit
• James Weldon Toomer and Langston Hughes
  became widely read black authors
• There was also a new spirit of “Negro
  nationalism” which allowed people like Marcus
  Garvey to express the importance of black
  culture and the uniqueness of being black
• Garvey formed the Universal Negro
  Improvement Association in 1916
• Garvey told blacks to liberate themselves from
  the whites and his words found a receptive
  audience in the racially-heated twenties
• Not all black leaders agreed with Garvey’s
  rhetoric – W.E.B. DuBois called Garvey an
  enemy of the Negro race
• Garvey spoke at the UNIA convention in 1920
  and told blacks that their best hope was to leave
  America and move back to Africa
• He was found guilty of mail fraud and sentenced
  to prison in 1925 where he stayed until President
  Coolidge pardoned him in 1927 and sent him to
• The organization Garvey started would reemerge
  much later in the form of the Black Power
• A more influential organization was the National
  association for the Advancement of Colored
  People (NAACP) which was founded in 1910
• The organization focused on getting public
  attention on the Fourteenth and Fifteenth
  Amendments – the Amendments intended to
  allow the black man to vote
• Gradually through the work of the Supreme
  Court the NAACP was able to make significant
  changes to the voting laws
              The Automobile
• The policies of Treasury Secretary Andrew
  Mellon favored those who were willing to invest
  and invest heavily
• Capitalists looked for industrialists and
  industrialists looked for a product and a market
• The greatest symbol of American ingenuity was
  Henry Ford’s assembly line which turned out a
  new car every 10 seconds
• Perhaps nothing symbolizes the 1920s and the
  new culture of America than the automobile
• By the middle of the decade Ford’s Model T (the
  Tin Lizzie) was cheap enough that most workers
  could afford one
• By the end of the decade there were almost 30
  million automobiles in the United States
• Thousands of new jobs were created to
  accommodate the new automobile industry
• Production of rubber, glass, and steel all
  increased dramatically – roads had to be laid –
  motels appeared by the side of the road as did gas
• Demand for oil was gripped the nation
• Once a luxury, the automobile became seen as a
• On a weekend American families would climb
  into their cars and visit the countryside
• No longer were city dwellers confined to the cities
• Great areas of the country suddenly became
  popular as tourism became a major industry
• Workers no longer had to live in the cities they
  could travel to work, so living in the suburbs
  became fashionable
• In 1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright created a
  plane that stayed in the air for 12 seconds – the
  door to air travel had been kicked open
• During the First World War airplanes were
  commonly seen above the battlefields – although
  they were poorly used and referred to as “flying
• After the war private companies started offering
  travel by airplane and the first commercial
  flights from New York to San Francisco started
  in 1920
• In 1927 Charles Lindbergh became the first man
  to fly west to east across the Atlantic Ocean
• His plane the Spirit of St. Louis flew from New
  York to Paris in a little over 33 hours –
  Lindbergh was able to claim the $25,000 prize
• In the 1920s baseball became America’s game
• Babe Ruth, who had been sold by the Boston Red
  Sox, became a living legend in New York playing
  for the Yankees
• Yankee Stadium became commonly known as the
  “house that Ruth built”
• In 1921 Jack Dempsey knocked out Georges
  Carpentier in front of the first crowd to pay a
  million dollars to see a fight
                    The Arts
• The first real movie was The Great Train
  Robbery, made in 1913 and shown in theaters
  called “nickelodeons” because they charged five-
• D. W. Griffith produced The Birth of a Nation in
  1915 about the Ku Klux Klan during
  Reconstruction was one of the first full-length
• The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson was the first talkie
• Southern California quickly became the center of
  the movie making business
         The Wall Street Crash
• By 1929 many advised caution but making money
  seemed almost too easy
• The president even urged the Stock Market to
  discourage speculation
• The Federal Reserve Board raised the interest
  rate but with no effect
• In September prices dropped but it was seen as a
  slight adjustment and not a problem
• October 29 became the most devastating single
  day for the market
• People unable to meet their margin were forced
  to sell at a loss
• During October over a third of the value was lost
• In September the New York Times stock average
  was 452, in July 1932 it was 52!
• As prices fell companies started laying people off
  and increasing unemployment
• Without work there was no income
• Banks started to close, farmers went bankrupt,
  and factories closed
• The crash did not cause the Great Depression but
  the policies of the government and the reluctance
  of the administration to interfere with business
  practices prevented any form of recovery
The Great Depression

          Stock Market Crash (1929)
• In the days prior to the crash there were some
  warning signs – but most people ignored them
  and continued speculating
• In October the British raised their interest rates
  in an attempt to regain some investment money
  lost to America
• Investors started to dump their investments and
  look for something more secure
• On October 29, 1929 “Black Tuesday” people
  sold over 16 million shares in an attempt to
  salvage some money
• Stockbrokers sold stock they held for buyers who
  could not meet their margin calls
• President Hoover tried to calm the people by
  saying everything was fine
• In a few months stockholders had lost over $40
• By 1930 over 4 million were out of work; banks
  collapsed; people lost their savings; farms were
• The crisis seemed to feed on itself as more and
  more people lost their jobs
• Most people were saved from starvation by soup
   Causes of the Crash and Depression
• 1. The country had been producing more than it
  could sell
• 2. Profits had gone to a small, wealthy group and
  not to the workers who would have spent the
  money and probably prevented the crisis
• 3. Credit was too easy to obtain and for too little
• 4. The Hawley-Smoot Tariff of 1930
• 5. In 1930 a terrible drought ruined many
• By 1933 over 13 million were out of work, others
  worked for reduced wages and/or shorter hours
• People created shelters called “Hoovervilles”
• People made shelters from cardboard and used
  newspapers “Hoover blankets” to keep
  themselves warm
• Many just abandoned everything, became hobos
  and traveled the country by “riding the rails”
• Treasury Secretary Mellon and Hoover both
  believed the economy would cure itself
• Both asked business owners to keep factories
• Gradually Hoover realized more needed to be
  done – he rushed through government contracts
• However local governments cut back on spending
• Hoover asked the Federal reserve to make credit
  more available, while Congress passed a small
  tax cut
• The Hawley-Smoot Tariff (1930) raised duties to
  an all-time high to protect American
  manufacturers – but other nations retaliated and
  it ultimately hurt the economy
• Economist asked the president to remove the
  tariff, but it was an election year so he refused
• In 1931 the failure of Austria’s largest bank put
  even greater pressure on European economies
  and even less likelihood for the payment of war
• In 1932 Congress established the Reconstruction
  Finance Corporation to allow loans to banks,
  mortgage associations, railroads, and insurance
• In the first six months they issued $1.2 billion in
          Bonus Army March (1932)
• In some areas farmers took the law into their
  own hands and formed the Farmers’ Holiday
  Association calling on farmers to strike and block
  delivery of farm products
• There was even some talk of revolution
• In the Spring of 1932 over 15,000 veterans
  formed the Bonus Expeditionary Force and
  marched on Washington demanding payment of
  a war bonus approved in 1924
• The House passed the bill, but when the Senate
  refused most marchers went home
• Those that stayed camped near the Capitol
• Congress offered to pay their fare home if they
  left – some did
• In a scuffle in July a policeman opened fire and
  killed two veterans
• Hoover ordered General MacArthur aided by
  Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton to
  disperse the crowd
• The soldiers forced the veterans to leave, but
  injured many and killed one (an eleven year-old
• The administration claimed the Bonus Army was
  full of Communists and troublemakers intent on
             The Election of 1932
• Hoover had won the election in 1928 by
  promising a “chicken in every pot”
• The Republicans re-nominated Hoover for 1932,
  but he had little interest
• The Democrats nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt
  (a distant cousin of Theodore)
• Roosevelt was well-educated and well-spoken, he
  had also held many important positions in past
  administrations, but had suffered from polio
  which left him wearing leg braces
• During the campaign Roosevelt promised a New
  Deal for America, but did not elaborate
• He blamed Hoover and the Republicans for the
  Depression and gradually elaborated on his New
  Deal – a balanced budget, regulation of utilities
  companies, and a promise to repeal Prohibition
• Roosevelt won the election 472-59
• In the Winter of 1932-3 the situation continued to
  get worse
• At the inauguration in March the people
  expected action
• Roosevelt claimed “the only thing to fear is fear
• The first plan was to relieve the conditions of the
• Second part was to stimulate industry
• Third part was pay farmers for reducing their
  crops which would ultimately raise the price of
• Roosevelt called Congress to meet for a special
  session and then closed the banks for a four day
• Immediately Congress passed the Emergency
  Banking Relief Act which allowed sound banks to
  reopen and provided managers for those in
                Fireside Chats
• On March 12, Roosevelt talked to the nation in
  the first of his “fireside chats”
• He told the people to keep their money in the
  banks and reassured the nation that he was
  working to solve the problem
• Congress passed the Economy Act which granted
  the president power to cut federal salaries and
  they passed the Beer-Wine Revenue Act which
  amended the Volstead Act and permitted the sale
  of low levels of alcohol
• The Twenty-First Amendment was passed in
  December ended Prohibition
               The Hundred Days
• From March 9 to June 16 was known as the
  Hundred Days
• Congress received and enacted 15 major pieces of
• After solving the banking problems the
  administration focused on helping the farmers
  and homeowners
• Roosevelt created the Farm Credit
  Administration to consolidate all farm credit
  agencies and to offer refinancing at lower interest
             Financial Help (1932)
• In April the country abandoned the gold
• The Federal Securities Act required full
  disclosure of information about stocks and bonds
• The Home Owners’ Loan Act allowed
  homeowners to refinance mortgages at lower
• The Glass-Steagall Banking Act created the
  Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to
  guarantee bank deposits up to $5,000. It also
  increased the power of the Federal Reserve to
  regulate credit
             Relief for the People
• Congress created the Civilian Conservation
  Corps (CCC) which was intended to create work
  for the unemployed and unmarried men between
  18 and 25. The program employed nearly 3
  million young men
• The workers were paid about $30 a month and
  spent their time building roads, campgrounds,
  and planting trees
• The Federal Emergency Relief Administration
  (FERA) sent money through state agencies in the
  form of grants to create education programs as
  well as direct cash payments to individuals
• The first federal attempt at work relief was
  through the Civil Works Administration – the
  CWA provided federal jobs for those who could
  not find work. The CWA was dissolved in the
  spring of 1934, but immediately afterwards the
  number of unemployed skyrocketed
• Roosevelt advocated giving people jobs as
  opposed to financial hand-outs
• In 1935 Roosevelt asked Congress for $4.8 billion
  in the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act to
  pay for the programs
• Congress created the Works Progress
  Administration (WPA) to manage the programs
               Relief for Farmers
• With the drop in the price of farm commodities
  in the late 1920s, many farmers could not afford
  to plant crops
• The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933
  planned to pay farmers to destroy their crops in
  an attempt to raise prices
• The decline in supply did increase the prices, but
  the shortage was as much due to the “dust bowl”
  which wiped out many farms on the Great Plains
  between 1932 and 1935
• In 1936 the Supreme Court ruled in United States
  v. Butler the AAA’s tax on food processors as
• Congress responded by passing the Soil
  Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act which
  removed quotas, but still provided funds for
  farmers who took land out of production
• In 1938 Congress passed the Second Agricultural
  Adjustment Act
                Industrial Relief
• The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)
• The act had two parts: one dealt with economic
  recovery, the second created the Public Works
  Administration (PWA)
• The NIRA also created the controversial National
  Recovery Administration (NRA) to help
  businesses by setting wages and prices and to
  create more jobs
• The symbol of the NRA was the “Blue Eagle” and
  the words “We do our part” started to appear in
  windows and on products
• In response the NRA changed to allow workers to
  form unions
• Problems started when larger companies began
  to dominate industries and eliminated
• The legislation was terminated by the Supreme
  Court in 1935 because it was deemed
  unconstitutional in the Schechter Poultry
  Corporation v. United States case
• Although the act was a failure it did establish the
  forty-hour work week and ended child labor
       The Tennessee Valley Authority
• One of the largest and most successful programs
  was the creation of the Tennessee Valley
  Authority (TVA)
• The Tennessee Valley was a very underdeveloped
  and impoverished area
• The idea was to build a series of dams on the
  Tennessee River. The result would be more
  industry, better schools and libraries, and cheap
  hydroelectric power
               New Deal Critics
• Not everyone approved of the New Deal
  legislation and attacks from all sides
• H. L. Mencken complained that Roosevelt was
  creating a welfare state
• Father Charles Coughlin “the radio priest”
  preached to millions every week via his radio
  show. In initially he supported the New Deal and
  blamed the Depression on wealthy bankers, but
  by 1934 he had turned against Roosevelt – calling
  the president a liar
• Dr. Francis Townsend suggested that all people
  over 60 receive $200 a month, the money could be
  raised through a sales tax. The plan was for the
  older people to spend the money in the same
  month and thereby generate far more purchasing
• Needless to say the plan attracted plenty of
• The most vocal critic was Huey Long, once
  governor and senator of Louisiana
• Long was nicknamed the modern-day Robin
  Hood for his “share our wealth” plan
• Long proposed to make “every man a king” by
  limiting the amount of money the wealthy could
• The government would take control of all
  incomes over $1 million and estates over $5
  million. This money would then be distributed to
  the less fortunate
• Long and Coughlin both appealed to the mass
  through populist movements that feed on
  dissatisfaction and disappointment
• In 1935 Long was assassinated and while the
  movement continued it did not thrive without
• The Communist party attacked the New Deal for
  being too conservative
• In 1934 the muckraker Upton Sinclair was
  nominated as the Democratic candidate for
  governor on a platform of “End Poverty in
  California” – Sinclair lost
• Membership in the Communist party increased
  during the Depression. While it communism
  never really attracted a mass appeal it did
  became especially appealing to Hollywood people
            The Second New Deal
• With opposition from Congress and the Courts
  Roosevelt launched his Second New Deal in
  which he demanded legislation must be passed
• Congress passed the legislation, but some of it
  proved very controversial
• The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act)
  gave workers the right to negotiate through
  unions of their choice. It also prevented
  employers from interfering with union activities
• The Social Security Act (1935) included pensions
  for retired workers
• Starting in 1937 workers would contribute
  money from their payroll
• The act also created a federal-state
  unemployment insurance program
• These programs initiated the belief that the
  federal government is responsible for the welfare
  of those people who can not be employed
• A major problem was the Social Security payroll
  tax was regressive – a fixed fee was paid by all,
  regardless of earnings. The tax also took money
  out of circulation
• The Revenue Act (1935) raised taxes on incomes
  over $50,000
             The Election of 1936
• By 1936 the New Deal and its supporters held the
• The Republicans had trouble finding anyone who
  even wanted to run for president. They ended up
  with Alfred Landon of Kansas
• Landon was a moderate and even approved of
  some of the New Deal legislation
• Roosevelt won in a landslide (523-8)
           The Court-Packing Plan
• After winning the election, Roosevelt believed he
  had a mandate for his New Deal
• Many of his plans had been thwarted by the
  Supreme Court – none of whom had been
  appointed by Roosevelt, six were older than 70
• Roosevelt couldn’t wait for time to change the
• Roosevelt asked Congress to allow him to appoint
  an extra Justice for each one who was over 70
  who would not retire. (But never more than 15)
• Roosevelt claimed the Court needed new blood
  and help with extra cases
• Congress, and the nation immediately rebuked
  the president for trying to “pack” the Supreme
• Many accused the president of trying to create a
• After the court-packing scheme the Court
  became more sympathetic to New Deal legislation
• Ironically, before he left office Roosevelt was able
  to appoint nine Justices
• Attempts to pack the court seriously backfired on
  the president and cost him a great deal of support
          The End of the New Deal
• In 1937 the short-term benefits of the New deal
  were disappearing as the country faced another
  severe economic downturn
• Early indications had seemed to promise
  recovery as unemployment declined and
  industrial output increased, but so did the deficit
• To help stop the deficit Roosevelt cut back on
  federal spending, which precipitated a new
• Nearly 4 million workers lost their jobs – causing
  heated debate in the administration about how to
  cure the problem
• The debate was over either limiting regulation on
  businesses and cutting spending or increase
  government control through regulation
• Eventually Roosevelt decided to use consumer
  spending to end the Depression
• His ideas came from the book The General
  Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money
  (1936) written by British economist John
  Maynard Keynes
• The main idea was that government should spend
  its way out of a depression regardless of trying to
  maintain a balanced budget
• Roosevelt increased spending but recovery was
  still slow
• The public turned against Roosevelt and the
• Roosevelt made matters worse when he promised
  to rid the party of those who opposed the New
  Deal – the Republicans made huge gains in the
  1938, midterm election
• By the end of 1939 the New Deal was practically
  dead as people demanded a more conservative
• However, events in Europe were about to shape
  the next period of American history
                  Foreign Policy
• During the 1930s the nations of western Europe
  the United States were too busy with their own
  problems to interfere with the political events in
  Germany or China. The Americans adopted a
  policy of increasing isolationism
• In 1931 the Japanese occupied Manchuria and
  made it a puppet state
• The occupation violated the Nine-Power Treaty
  and the Kellogg-Briand Pact. When China asked
  the League of Nations for help they received
• In 1932 Secretary of State Henry Stimson issued
  the Stimson Doctrine: the United States refused
  to recognize any treaty, or agreement that
  violated American treaties or the Open Door
  policy with China – the doctrine had no effect on
  the Japanese
• 1933 Japan withdrew from the League of Nations
• Soviet Union - In 1933, forced by the need to
  increase trade, America recognized the Soviet
  Union. In return the USSR promised not to
  interfere in American affairs
• In November 1933 the United States formally
  recognized the Soviet Union and renewed
  diplomatic relations
• In 1934 the Platt Amendment was repealed. The
  navy kept a base at Guantanamo Bay
• Buenos Aires Conference (1936) - American
  states promised to consult each other if
  threatened or remain neutral if aggression was
  between any two of them
• The Neutrality Act of 1935, signed by Roosevelt it
  promised to keep America out of any wars and it
  prohibited the sale of weapons and ammunition
  to all warring nations
• Weeks after the treaty was signed Italy invaded Ethiopia
• Mussolini did not need to buy arms but he did need oil,
  which was not part of the Neutrality Act
• In 1936 Adolf Hitler ordered German troops into the
  Rhineland in violation of the Versailles Treaty
• Also in 1936 General Franco led an uprising in Spain
• In 1937 Congress passed another Neutrality Act –
  prohibited Americans from traveling on ships of nations
  at war, prohibited the sale of arms and loans, and
  prohibited the arming of American merchant ships
  trading with warring nations
• By 1939, with help from Hitler and Mussolini,
  Franco had established a fascist dictatorship in
• In 1937 Japan and China embarked on a full-
  scale war. Japan also joined Germany and Italy
  in the Anti-Comintern Pact
• In December 1937 Japanese planes attacked and
  sank the American gunboat Panay which had
  been anchored in the Yangtze River, China.
  They also attacked 3 American oil tankers
• The Japanese government apologized and paid
• Declaration of Lima (1938) - 38 American nations
  would resist threats to their peace
• 1938 Hitler forced the Anschluss (union) with
  Austria. Later the same year he invaded the
  Sudeten region of Czechoslovakia
• Still support for isolationism was strong
• Roosevelt became openly supportive of European
  nations fighting fascism and asked to be able to
  sell material to Britain and France on a cash-
  and-carry basis. His request was refused
• When Germany invaded Poland on September 1,
  1939, Roosevelt called a special session of
  Congress and asked to amend the Neutrality Act
                 Aid to Britain
• The Neutrality Act of 1939 allowed Britain and
  France to send their own planes to the United
  States to pick up supplies that had been
  purchased with cash
• By 1940 only Britain remained free from German
  control and the while Winston Churchill
  promised to never surrender they did need
• Roosevelt order an increase in military
               Undeclared War
• In 1940 Roosevelt created the National Defense
  Research Committee to coordinate the war effort
  and examine the possibility of developing atomic
• Britain negotiated a secret deal with the United
  States in which they would receive 50 “old”
  destroyers in return for a 99 year lease on bases
  in various locations
• Congress also authorized the first peacetime
  conscription which required all men between 21
  and 35 to register for service
             The Election of 1940
• The Republican choice was Wendell Wilkie, a
  former Democrat, who supported aiding the
• Roosevelt probably would not have wanted a
  third term but when war broke out he felt he had
  no other choice. He kept silent about his
  intentions to join the fight
• Roosevelt won a third term (449-82), but it was
  the closest margin of all his victories
• Britain informed the United States that they were
  running out of money, but they still needed the
• The Johnson Act of 1934 prohibited loans to
  belligerent nations – Roosevelt needed another
  way to keep Britain supplied but not violate any
• In a fireside chat he told the American people of
  the Lend-Lease Bill that had been introduced
  into Congress
• America was to be the “Arsenal of Democracy”
• The Bill authorized the president to sell, transfer,
  exchange, lend, or lease any equipment necessary
  to continue the defense the United States
• The Bill was hotly contested for several months
  before being passed
• By 1941 the Germans and their allies had taken
  invaded Greece, Yugoslavia, and Egypt
• Hitler now seemed destined to gain the whole
  Middle East region
• In the summer of 1941 the Germans suddenly
  invaded Russia, in violation of their non-
  aggression pact with the Soviets
            Atlantic Charter (1941)
• In August 1941 Churchill and Roosevelt met at
  Newfoundland to issue the Atlantic Charter:
  It called for self-determination for all people
  equal access to raw materials
  freedom of the seas
  economic cooperation
• By September 15 nations endorsed the Charter
• On September 4, the first attack on an American
  ship took place. The destroyer Greer was
  attacked by a German submarine – Roosevelt
  ordered American ships to shoot any German or
  Italian ships
              Pearl Harbor (1941)
• In September 1940 Germany, Italy, and Japan
  signed the Tripartite Pact – each nation promised
  to declare war on any other nation that declared
  war on any of the three
• The Germans wanted the Japanese to attack
  Russia from Manchuria, but in 1941 the
  Japanese signed a non-aggression pact with the
  Soviet Union
• The Japanese were more interested in the natural
  resources of the Pacific – especially oil, rubber,
  and iron
• In July 1941 the Japanese declared a protectorate
  over all of French Indochina
• Roosevelt:
  A) froze Japanese assets
  b) restricted oil exports to Japan
  c) joined the army of the Philippines with the
  United States army under the command of
  General MacArthur
• The Japanese, desperate for oil, formulated a
  plan to capture Dutch and British colonies in the
• The Japanese underestimated the determination
  of the United States, a move that eventually cost
  them the war
• The Japanese planned a surprise attack on the
  American base at Pearl Harbor – the purpose
  was to sink the aircraft carriers
• Even while both nations negotiated the Japanese
  prepared for war
• On the morning of December 7, 1941 the
  Americans decoded a Japanese message ordering
  the diplomats to break off negotiations at exactly
  1 p.m. Eastern time (7:30 a.m. Honolulu time).
  The message was not received in Hawaii in time
• Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor for
  almost two hours with little resistance
• Over 2,400 servicemen and women were killed
• Fortunately the American carriers were all at sea
  and so they remained in tact
• Now there was no issue of neutrality
• The next day Roosevelt asked Congress for a war
  resolution against the Japanese
• December 7, he said would be “a date which will
  in infamy”
• On December 11, Germany and Italy both
  declared war against the United States

Description: Jolson Merchant document sample