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					The Roaring 20s
  An era of prosperity,

   Republican power,

      and conflict
   1920's collectively known as the "Roaring 20's", or
    the "Jazz Age"
    – A period of great change in American Society - modern
      America is born at this time
    – For first time the census reflected an urban society - people
      had moved into cities to enjoy a higher standard of living
     Republican Power
 PresidentWarren
  G. Harding
 Elected 1920
 Legacy of
  – ―Teapot Dome‖
 Died   in office
         The 1920 Election: Meet the
   Warren G. Harding: Republican Party
    – From Ohio
    – Had originally made his mark as a newspaper editor and
      parlayed his success there into a seat in the Senate

   James Cox: Democratic Party
    – President Wilson wanted a third term despite his poor health
      and declining public appeal.
    – Party regulars, however, refused to accede to the president's
      wishes and succeeded in garnering the nomination for a
      political nonentity

   Eugene V. Debs: Socialist Party
    – Was then serving a 10-year prison term for antiwar activities
      in violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.
                    The 1920 Election
   Woodrow Wilson originally tried to run for a 3rd term
    – He lost the Democratic Party’s nomination
    – Wilson supported Democratic Candidate James M.
      Cox of Ohio
        » If Cox won, Wilson was convinced it would prove that
          Americans supported his vision of peace and the League
          of Nations
    – Election of Warren G. Harding served as the final
      rejection of the League of Nation
        » Harding ran on platform rejecting both Wilson’s idealism
          & joining the League of Nations
        » He campaigned on a ―Return to Normalcy‖
            The 1920 Election Results
   Harding proved to be a better judge of the electorate than
   Staging a sedate campaign from his front porch in
    Marion, Ohio, Harding stated,
    – "America's present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums
      but normalcy; not revolution but restoration...."
   In November, the voters overwhelmingly indicated their
    exhaustion with Wilson's idealism and a preference for
    Harding's return to normality.
    – Harding wins in a landslide
   Republicans also won majority in Congress, which
    proved Americans wanted to take a different path in
    foreign affairs and isolate themselves from European
The 1920 Election: A Return to Normalcy
Noteworthiness of the 1920 Election
    – For the first time in American history, election results
      were made available to the public by radio.
    – KDKA in Pittsburgh received polling information by
      telegraph and passed the information along to
      listeners in the eastern part of the country.
    – This election also marked the first time that women
      voted in a federal election, following the ratification
      of the Nineteenth Amendment in August of that
Scandal Rocks
 the Harding

                 TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL. Cartoon by Rollin
                 Kirby from the New York World, January 30,
                 1924, on the Teapot Dome investigations.
Teapot Dome Scandal: Background
   Refers to a bribery
    scandal of the White
    House administration of
    President Warren G.
   Teapot Dome is an oil
    field (picture bottom
    right) on public land in
    the U.S. state of
    Wyoming, so named for
    Teapot Rock (picture top
    right), an outcrop
    resembling a teapot
    overlooking the field.
              Teapot Dome Scandal
   In 1921, by executive order of President Harding, control of
    Naval oil reserves at Teapot Dome in Wyoming and at Elk
    Hills, California, was transferred from the Navy Department
    to the Department of the Interior.
   The oil reserves had been set aside for the Navy by
    President Taft.
   In 1922, Albert B. Fall, U.S. Secretary of the Interior,
    leased, without competitive bidding, the Teapot Dome fields
    to Harry F. Sinclair, an oil operator, and the field at Elk
    Hills, California, to Edward L. Doheny.
   These transactions became (1922–23) the subject of a
    Senate investigation conducted by Sen. Thomas J. Walsh.
      Teapot Dome Scandal Findings
   It was found that in 1921, Doheny had lent Fall $100,000,
    interest-free, and that upon Fall's retirement as Secretary of
    the Interior, in March 1923, Sinclair also lent him a large
    amount of money.
   The investigation led to criminal prosecutions.
    – Fall was indicted for conspiracy and for accepting bribes.
      Convicted of the latter charge, he was sentenced to a year in prison
      and fined $100,000. In another trial for bribery Doheny and
      Sinclair were acquitted, although Sinclair was subsequently
      sentenced to prison for contempt of the Senate and for employing
      detectives to shadow members of the jury in his case.
   The oil fields were restored to the U.S. government through
    a Supreme Court decision in 1927.
             TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL: 1924
   "Bargain Day in Washington": American cartoon, 1924, by Ellison Hoover on the
    political corruption of the Harding administration revealed by Teapot Dome.
              TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL: 1924
   American cartoon by Clifford K. Berryman, 1924, showing Washington officials
    racing down an oil slicked road to the White House, trying desperately to outpace
    the Teapot Dome scandal.
                                                President Warren
                                                 G. Harding Dies
                                               Summer 1923 Harding was on
                                                a speaking tour that went as
                                                far as Alaska
                                               He died on August 2, 1923 in
                                                California on from pneumonia
                                                & thrombosis on his way back
                                                from a speaking tour
                                                – Many say that he may have died
                                                  from a broken heart from
                                                  finding out his friends and some
DEATH OF HARDING, 1923. Front page of             cabinet members were disloyal
the Los Angeles Times, 3 August 1923,             (Teapot Dome Scandal)
announcing the death of Warren G.
Harding, 29th President of the United States.
              Coolidge Administration
   Few political pros in 1923 believed that
    Coolidge had any chance of being elected
    in his own right in the following year.
    – However, the president demonstrated great
      political skill by distancing himself from the
      Harding scandals and pursuing policies that
      enjoyed widespread support.
    – The thoroughly conservative Coolidge
      believed that those who had been tested in the
      business arena should be trusted with making
      decisions for the nation, once opining that
      "The business of America is business."
    – Little significant legislation was enacted
      during his administration because of his firmly
      held belief that government should interfere as
      little as possible in the lives of its citizens.
              Coolidge Administration
   Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office from his father, a justice of the
    peace in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, on the day following Warren
    Harding's death.
  Election of 1924 Party Platforms

The Republican platform
  endorsed the following:
   – support for tax reductions and
     the limitation on government's
     role in American society;
   – tariff protection for American
     industry, as provided in the
     recently enacted Fordney-
     McCumber Tariff;
   – U.S. participation in
     international arms reduction
     programs and membership in
     the World Court.
                                            Calvin Coolidge
                                      (Republican Party Candidate)
Election of 1924 Party Platforms
                               The Democratic platform
                                  – a graduated income tax;
                                  – tough enforcement of antitrust
                                  – public works projects to alleviate
                                  – farm relief with more accessible
                                    credit and crop price subsidies;
                                  – a tariff reduction;
                                  – Philippine Islands independence;
                                  – a referendum on the League of
      John W. Davis
(Democratic Party Candidate)
   Election of 1924 Party Platforms

                                The Progressive Party Platform:
                                   – public management and conservation
                                     of natural resources;
                                   – government ownership of the railroads
                                     and power-generating resources;
                                   – acknowledgement of workers' right to
                                     unionize and bargain collectively;
                                   – elimination of child labor;
                                   – dissolution of monopolies;
                                   – curbs on the use of injunctions to break
                                   – opposition to the conservative policies
                                     of Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon.
      Robert LaFollette
(Progressive Party Candidate)
Election of 1924 Results
   President Coolidge
“The business of America is business.”

           Fordney-McCumber
           Smoot-Hawley Tariff
           No help for farmers
           Foreign Policy
          Post-War Domestic Politics
   War Industries Board                Merchant Marine Act
    dissolved                            (1920)
    – Progressive hopes of               – Authorized Shipping Board
      continuation government              to dispense most of the 1,500
      regulation evaporated                vessels of war-time fleet at
                                           bargain-basement prices
   Esch-Cummins
                                         – Board operated the remainder
    Transportation Act (1920)
                                           of vessels
    – Government returned
      railroads to private ownership  La Follette Seaman’s Act
    – Encouraged private               (1915)
      consolidation of railroads        – American shipping couldn’t
    – ICC pledged profitability           thrive in competition with
    – New Philosophy: Save
                                            » Provided wretched food &
      railroads for the country               starvation wages to crews
           Post-War Domestic Politics
   Veterans Bureau (1921)                Veteran’s Demand Compensation
    – Operated Veteran’s Hospitals         – Former servicemen, the ―doughboys,‖
    – Created to provide vocational          wanted their ―dough‖—that is adjusted
      rehabilitation for the injured         compensation to make up for the money
                                             they lost while they served in the war
   American Legion
    – Founded in Paris (1919) by
                                          Bonus Bill (1922)
      Colonel Theodore Roosevelt,         – Passed in Congress, but Harding Vetoed
      Jr.                                   it.
    – Members met regularly to ―let       – Congress would try again in 1924.
      off steam‖ and renew old          Adjusted Compensation Act (also
      hardships                          known as the Bonus Army Bill)
    – Became distinguished for its       (1924)
      militant-patriotism, rock-ribbed
      conservatism, and zealous           – Congress passed law to give soldiers a
      antiradicalism                        paid up insurance policy due in 20 years,
                                            adding $3.5 billion to cost of WWI
    – Veterans aggressively lobbying
      for Veteran’s Benefits              – Coolidge vetoed bill, Congress overrode
                                            this veto
         Emergency Tariff Act (1921)
   Reversing the trend            The Emergency Tariff
    toward downward                 increased rates on wheat,
    revision established            sugar, meat, wool and other
    during the Wilson               agricultural products brought
    administration,                 into the United States from
    Republican leaders in           foreign nations, which
    Congress rushed                 provided protection for
    through a temporary             domestic producers of those
    measure to ease the             items.
    plight of farmers until a      This measure remained in
    more thorough measure           effect until the enactment of
    could be crafted.               the Fordney-McCumber
                                    Tariff in the fall of 1922.
      Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922)
   Republican leadership
    marshaled over their
    overwhelming majorities
    in both the House and
    Senate to return the
    nation’s tariff policy to
    – The Emergency Tariff Act
      of 1921 was designed to be
      only a temporary measure
      until a more comprehensive
      measure could be drafted.
                  TARIFF BILL, 1921. 'Cures All the Ills of Man or Beast.' Cartoon, 1921, by Rollin
                  Kirby commenting on the resurrection of the Fordney Emergency Tariff Bill, vetoed by
                  President Woodrow Wilson but signed, 1921, by President Warren G. Harding.
      Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922)
   Major new tariff legislation
    was guided through                    – (2) granting to the president
    Congress by Representative              broad powers to raise or
    Joseph W. Fordney of                    lower rates by as much as
                                            50 percent on items
    Michigan and Senator
                                            recommended by the Tariff
    Porter J. McCumber of                   Commission, a review
    North Dakota, and provided              body created during the
    for the following:                      Wilson administration;
    – (1) raising tariff rates to their   – (3) introducing the use of
      highest level to that time,           the ―American selling
      exceeding those provided by           price‖
      an earlier Republican                  » * as a means to increase the
      Congress in the Payne-                   protective nature of the tariff
      Aldrich Tariff (1909);                   without raising rates further.
    Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922)
   'Scientific tariff':        'American Selling Price': this
    this linked tariffs to       linked tariffs to the price of
    the wages in the             American goods, not to the cost
    country of                   of production.
    export. If wages in,        A German company might be
    say Italy, were very         able to produce, say, a certain
    low, then Italian            chemical for $60, but if the
    goods were given a           selling price in America was
    proportionately              $80, and the U.S. tariff was
    higher tariff.               50%, the tariff would be $40.
   This negated the             – This meant that foreign imports
    effect of lower                were ALWAYS more expensive
    wages in competitor            than American-produced goods,
                                   however cheaply they had been
    Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922)
                                                                    Act established the
                                                                     highest tariffs in
                                                                     history, with some
                                                                     duties up to 400% and
                                                                     an average of 40%.
                                                                    In the long-run, the act
                                                                     damaged the American
                                                                     economy, because other
                                                                     countries retaliated by
                                                                     putting up their duties
                                                                     and stopping American
                                                                    However, for the
                                                                     moment, America was
                                                                     a huge new country,
An anti-tariff American cartoon of the time, linking the tariff to   and there was plenty of
isolationism. The French man is saying: 'But Monsieur, where         demand at home.
does it end'.
Negative Effects of the Fordney-McCumber
               Tariff (1922)
 – As a matter of actual practice,
   the Republican presidents of
   the 1920s predictably ignored
   recommendations to lower
   tariff rates
    » regularly offered protection to
      American producers by raising
      rates when given the opportunity.
 – The impact of the Fordney-
   McCumber Act was
    » Rising tariff barriers in the U.S.
      made it more difficult for           TARIFF CARTOON, 1927. 'But, Monsieur,
      European nations to conduct trade    Where Does it Bend?' Cartoon commenting
                                           on the Fordney Emergency Tariff Bill by
      and, resultantly, to pay off their   Rollin Kirby from he New York 'World,' 4
      war debts.                           October 1927.
        Negative Effects of the Fordney-
           McCumber Tariff (1922)
   Further, the protective shield against foreign competition
    enabled the growth of monopolies in many American
   Predictably, other nations resented the American policy,
    protested without result, and eventually resorted to raising
    their own tariff rates against American-made goods, thus
    creating a significant decline in international trade.
      Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act (1930)
   Sometimes known as the Hawley-
    Smoot Tariff Act) was an act signed
    into law on June 17, 1930, that raised
    U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported
    goods to record levels.
   In the United States 1,028 economists
    signed a petition against this
    – after it was passed, many countries
      retaliated with their own increased tariffs
      on U.S. goods
    – American exports and imports plunged by
      more than half. In the opinion of most
                                                    HAWLEY AND SMOOT, 1929.
      economists, the Smoot-Hawley Act was a        Representative Willis C. Hawley (left)
      catalyst for the severe reduction in U.S.-    and Senator Reed Smoot, advocates of
      European trade from its high in 1929 to its   the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act.
      depressed levels of 1932 that accompanied     Photograph, 11 April 1929.
      the start of the Great Depression.
Demand to Slow Down Immigration
   Demand was growing,
    however, to slow down
                                     Emergency Quota Act
    immigration and there
    followed a number of
                                      – This stated that the number of
    laws to restrict
                                        immigrants from 'the eastern
    immigration:                        hemisphere' could not be more
   Immigration Law                     than 3% of the number already
    (1917)                              in America in 1910.
    – This required all               – It set the maximum number of
      immigrants to prove they          immigrants in any year at
      could read English,               357,000.
      banned all immigration
      from Asia, and charged
      an immigration fee of $8.
Demand to Slow Down Immigration
   Reed-Johnson Act
    – Maximum number of
      immigrants in any year
      at 154,000. Quota
      from eastern
      hemisphere reduced to
      2% of those already in
      America in 1890
    – The South and the East
      of Europe were thus
      only allowed to send
      20,000 immigrants per
      year, and non-
      Europeans only 4,000.
At the same time measures were taken
     to 'Americanize' immigrants:
 The Federal Bureau of Naturalization
  organized naturalization proceedings, and
  patriotic 'Americanization Day' rallies and
  Fourth of July celebrations.
 The Federal Bureau of Education organized
  courses on politics and democracy to prepare
  immigrants for the 'citizenship exam'.
 The courts clamped down harshly on political
  crimes by immigrants
   In the postwar period,             Budget &
    Republicans regained
    control of the White             Accounting Act
    House and Congress,
    and pursued their goal
                                 The overall aim of this
    of reducing the cost of
                                  legislation was to centralize the
    government and
                                  budget process. In the past,
    increasing its
                                  budget matters had been
                                  assigned to a variety of
   Warren Harding called         Congressional committees and
    a special session of          no central control existed.
    congress and urged,
    among other things,
    the passage of the
    budget bill.
   The measure gained Budget & Accounting
    approval in June,
    retaining the                 Act 1921
    provision opposed  – Required that the Director of the Budget
                         examine all budget requests from
    by Wilson, and       Congress, seek economies, and remove
    provided:            duplicates.
    – Created the Bureau         – Required the president to submit a
      of the Budget                budget proposal and a statement of the
        » Its director was to be   government’s financial condition to
          a presidential
                                   Congress annually.
                                  » The federal fiscal year was to run from July
        » The bureau was
                                    1 through June 30 of the following year.
          originally part of the
          Treasury Department, – Established the General Accounting
          but in 1939 it was     Office under the control of the
          transferred to the     Comptroller General.
                                  » The GAO's function was to conduct audits of
                                    government accounts.
   The immense cost of U.S.      Revenue Act 1921
    participation in World
                                      The Revenue Act of
    War I had necessitated a
                                       1921 highlighted an
    wide variety of new taxes
                                       enduring problem —
    and increases in existing
                                       attempting to balance the
                                       responsible position of
   When the conflict ended,           discharging the nation’s
    the nation faced two               obligations with the ever-
    choices:                           popular demand for
    – (1) Retain the high taxes        lowering taxes.
      and pay down the large
      debt accumulated during
      the war, or
    – (2) provide relief to
      taxpayers by reducing or
      eliminating taxes.
                       Judges Bill (1925)
   The U.S. Supreme Court labored under an increasingly heavy
    workload in the early 1920s as prohibition enforcement issues and
    residual matters from World War I demanded attention.
   In 1921, 3 Associate Justices accommodated Congress by drafting a
    measure tailored to limit the number of cases to be heard by the Court.
    – The basic thrust of the proposed legislation was to direct most of the appeals
      from the federal district courts to the federal courts of appeal, which had been
      created by Congress, in 1891.
   Chief Justice William Howard Taft left most of the overt lobbying to
    the other justices, but worked to build a coalition of supporters for the
    – Backing in Congress grew slowly, but achieved a majority in early 1925.
   The so-called ―Judges’ Bill‖ helped to change the role of the Supreme
    Court, making it largely an arbiter of questions of constitutional
    principle, while the appeals courts became the final authority on most
    appeals cases.
               Revenue Act (1926)
 Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon continued his
  drive toward the reduction of the size of government
  and the tax burdens it imposed on its citizens.
 Highlights of the 1926 law included:
    – the reduction of inheritance and personal income taxes;
    – the cancellation of many excise imposts (luxury or
      nuisance taxes);
    – the end of public access to federal income tax returns.
   The continuation of Republican tax reduction efforts
    would be evident again in the Revenue Act of 1928.
               Jones-White Act (1928)
   Often known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1928, this measure was
    evidence of an attempt by Congress to stimulate private shipbuilding
    in the United States and to assist in making the merchant marine
    competitive in the global market.
   Provisions of this law included the following:
    – A federal loan fund was increased to $250 million and enabled private
      shipbuilders to borrow up to 75 percent of their costs for new construction or
      reconditioning of existing vessels.
    – Authorization was given to allow the sale of surplus government vessels to
      private firms at bargain prices.
    – Long-term government contracts were authorized to hire private shippers to
      transport U.S. mail; ships engaged in this trade were required to employ one
      American-born male under 21 years of age for every 1,000 tons of gross weight
      and train those individuals in seamanship.
    Background: the Election of 1928
   In August 1927, incumbent
    President Calvin Coolidge
    announced to the nation:
    – "I do not choose to run for
      president in 1928."
   That blunt statement opened
    the doors to a number of
    Republican hopefuls, but none
    approached the public esteem
    enjoyed by Herbert Hoover,
    the current secretary of
    commerce and possessor of a     Herbert Hoover
    long record of humanitarian
Election of 1928: Herbert Hoover (R)
Republican Platform of 1928
 Claimed full credit for the
  nation's prosperity and
  pledged to:
   – continue opposition to the
     McNary-Haugen farm bill,
     favoring instead the creation
     of farmer-owned stabilization
     corporations as a means to
     increase farm prices;
                                    – maintain a high protective tariff
   – support the strict enforcement   for the benefit of American
     of the 18th Amendment            farmers and manufacturers;
                                    – carry on Coolidge-era foreign
                                      policy initiatives.
Election of 1928: Alfred E. Smith (D)
Democratic Platform of 1928
   a farm policy that would give
    American farmers government
    support commensurate with that
    provided to other industries,
    – avoided an endorsement of the
      contentious McNary-Haugen bill;
   enforcement of prohibition laws,
    but it was clear to all observers
    that the Democratic nominee was
    opposed to this position;
    – this effort to take both sides of a   opposition to the blanket use of
      nettlesome issue would cost the party injunctions and support for
      heavily in the Bible Belt;
                                          collective bargaining rights for
                                          American workers;
Election of 1928: Alfred E. Smith (D)
Democratic Platform of 1928
   a change in the heavy-handed
    Coolidge foreign policy and, in
    particular, the granting of
    immediate independence to the
   a transformation in government to
    escape the scandals of Republican
    leadership; the Democrats deftly
    avoided reference to the nation's
    prosperity and instead tried to
    dredge up memories of Harding's        Smith Quick Info:
    corrupt cronies.                        – He was a Catholic
                                            – Product of Tammany Hall
Election of 1928 Results
        Foreign Affairs in the 1920s
   Harding displayed some of his
    best instincts by his
    appointment of the
    distinguished Charles Evans
    Hughes as secretary of state.
    – Campaign equivocation was put
      aside and the administration
      boldly proclaimed its intention to
      steer clear of membership in the
      League of Nations — a clear step
      toward isolationism.
    – However, a meaningful step was       Charles Evans Hughes
      taken in the direction of
      international cooperation and
      arms reduction.
Isolates itself
from the Rest
 of the World
      WITH YOU”

   CHARLES EVANS HUGHES (1862-1948). American jurist. Cartoon by Rollin Kirby
    from the New York 'World,' 4 December 1923.
        Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
        Reconciliation with Columbia
   Background:
    – The administration of          – Thaddeus A. Thomson, an American
      Theodore Roosevelt               lawyer and diplomat from Texas,
      blatantly interfered in          negotiated a treaty in Bogotá:
      Colombian affairs in 1903 in      » awarded the government $25 million for
      order to secure land for the        the loss of Panama and included an
      construction of a canal             apology for the U.S. role in the affair.
      across Central America.
                                     – Senate friends of Roosevelt, who was
    – That event had soured
      relations between the two        still alive and actively critical of
      nations and made others in       Wilson, refused to consider the
      Latin America suspicious         matter, regarding it as an unjust
      about U.S. activities.           condemnation of the former
    – An effort was launched to        president.
      redress Colombian
                                        » Colombian resentment continued to
      grievances during the
                                          simmer beneath the surface.
      Wilson administration.
         Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
         Reconciliation with Columbia
   By 1921, conditions had changed.
                                              – The Thomson-Urrutia
   Roosevelt had died two years
                                                Treaty was a clear reversal of
    earlier and his supporters in the
                                                policy by the Republicans, as
    Senate seemed less concerned about
                                                the Democrats gleefully
    his memory than responding to the
                                                pointed out during the
    call of American businessmen who
                                                ratification hearings.
    had learned about the discovery of
    vast oil reserves in Colombia.            – In the end, the agreement was
     – The 7-year old reconciliation treaty     easily ratified by the Senate
        was dusted off and an offending         on April 20, 1921 and
        passage removed — that which            accepted by Colombia later
        expressed the United States’ ―sincere   that year.
      regret‖ for the Panamanian adventure.
    – The cash payment, however, was
          Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
               The World Court
   The idea of establishing a            Despite not being a member of the
    world judicial body was not            League, the United States sent the
    originated in Paris in 1919, but
                                           distinguished diplomat Elihu Root
    had been discussed on many             to assist in the drafting of the
    occasions, most recently at the        court’s protocol or constitution.
    Second Hague Conference in
    1907.                                 The expectation was that the U.S.
                                           would participate actively in the
   The Covenant of the League of          court.
    Nations called for the creation
                                           – A recommendation to that effect was
    of such a body with judges to            made by Secretary of State Charles
    be selected by the league’s              Evans Hughes, who urged President
    council and assembly from a              Harding to act favorably on the matter.
    list of nominees submitted by              » The League of Nations attempted to
                                                 smooth the way by making an exception to
    the Hague Court of                           its rules and allowing a non-member to
    Arbitration.                                 have a role in naming judges to the court.
          Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
               The World Court
   Despite the efforts of the forces       Both political parties gave support
    favoring American participation,         to those views in their platforms in
    isolationists in the Senate              1924.
    succeeded in blocking                   However, the Irreconcilables in the
    ratification of the court’s              Senate feared that cooperation with
    protocol.                                the court might be used as a
     – They feared that membership in the
                                             backdoor entry into the league,
       judicial body would be a first step
       toward membership in the League       and, indeed, many supporters of
       of Nations.                           the court hoped that to be the case.
   During the Coolidge                     On November 11, 1926, President
    administration, American public Coolidge, recognizing that the
    opinion continued to oppose any senate would not consider revising
    thought of membership in the             its reservations at that point,
    League of Nations, but favored           announced that the United States
    "adherence" to the World Court. would not join the court.
        Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
       Peace with the Central Powers
   The fighting in World          An effort to force the
    War I was halted by the         Senate’s hand by
    signing of an armistice         making the Election of
    on November 11, 1918.           1920 a referendum
   The United States, in a         on Wilson’s version of
    bitter struggle between         the peace failed
    President Wilson and            miserably and passed
    determined Senate               the question on to the
    leaders, refused to take        administration of
    the next step and ratify        Republican Warren G.
    the Treaty of Versailles,       Harding.
    which was concluded in
    June 1919.
         Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
        Peace with the Central Powers
   Harding had waffled                         In late August, separate treaties
    shamelessly on the Treaty issue              were concluded with Germany,
    during the campaign, but made                Austria and Hungary.
    it clear upon entering office that           – These agreements were promptly
    he would not seek membership                   ratified by the Senate, which
    in the League.                                 provided an official end to the
    – On July 2, 1921, Congress adopted            United States’ role in the conflict.
      a joint resolution declaring the war       – No accommodation was sought
      at an end.                                   with Bulgaria and Turkey because
    – The United States proclaimed its             the U.S. had not declared war on
      right to the privileges granted the          those nations.
      other Allied nations in the Treaty,
      but assumed no corresponding
           Foreign Affairs in the 1920s

   WARREN G. HARDING, 1921. President Harding signing the Congressional
    Resolution ending the state of war with Austria and Germany at the country
    home of Senator Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, July 1921.
   Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
Washington Naval Conference (1921)
   Known as the International Conference on Naval Limitation, this
    disarmament effort was occasioned by the hugely expensive naval
    construction rivalry that existed among Britain, Japan and the United
   Senator William E. Borah, Republican of Idaho, took the lead on this
    matter and urged that the major Allied nations from the recent war
    gather in an effort to slow the arms race.
   The proposal was not met with initial enthusiasm by the Harding
    administration, but it became a political imperative when it was
    portrayed as a Republican alternative to League of Nations’ peace
   Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
Washington Naval Conference (1921)
   The Four-Power Pact, signed by the United States, Great
    Britain, Japan, and France on Dec. 13, 1921
    – stipulated that all the signatories would be consulted in the event of
      a controversy between two of them over ―any Pacific question.‖
    – An accompanying agreement stated they would respect one
      another’s rights regarding the various Pacific islands and mandates
      that they possessed.
    – These agreements ensured that a consultative framework existed
      between the United States, Great Britain, and Japan
   Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
Washington Naval Conference (1921)
   The Five-Power Naval Limitation Treaty, which was signed by the
    United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, and Italy on Feb. 6, 1922,
    grew out of the opening proposal at the conference by U.S. Secretary
    of State Charles Evans Hughes to scrap almost 1,900,000 tons of
    warships belonging to the Great Powers.
    – The treaty halted the post-World War I race in building warships and even
      reversed the trend; it necessitated the scrapping of 26 American, 24 British, and
      16 Japanese warships that were either already built or under construction.
    – The contracting nations also agreed to abandon their existing capital-ship
      building programs for a period of 10 years, subject to certain specified
      exceptions. Under another article in the treaty, the United States, Great Britain,
      and Japan agreed to maintain the status quo with regard to their fortifications
      and naval bases in the eastern Pacific.
    – The Naval Limitation Treaty remained in force until the mid-1930s.
         Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
           Collection of War Debts
   The desire of the United       Even before peace had
    States to secure                formally been concluded,
    repayment for cash loans        various Allied nations began
    and goods extended to           to press the United States to
    European Allies during          scale back or cancel entirely
    and after World War I           these obligations.
    was a highly publicized        Indeed, there was some
    issue during the 1920s.         justification for reconsidering
   The stance did much to          the entire debt issue:
    destroy the loyalties and
    goodwill that had
    developed during the
          Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
            Collection of War Debts
                                             Further, the U.S., insulated by wide
  COLLECTION OF WAR                           oceans, had entered the war late
  DEBT                                        and allowed the European allies to
     – (1) Most of the borrowed money
                                              do most of the fighting and dying.
        had been spent in the United
        States for supplies and war          (3) It was unlikely that the
        matériel, and had provided a          Europeans would be able to repay
        tremendous stimulus for the           their obligations in gold, as the
        American economy, which was
                                              U.S. wanted, because that
        then the envy of the world.
                                              commodity was needed to back up
     – Many Europeans believed that the
        U.S. had already been repaid.         their faltering currencies.
   (2) Some of the debtor nations argued     – The other payment alternative would
    that the war had been a common              have been to send European goods to
    cause and that one victorious power         America and build a trade surplus, but
    should not profit at the expense of         U.S. protective trade policies made
    others.                                     this nearly impossible.
         Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
           Collection of War Debts
   The Harding                In February 1922, Congress established the
    administration made it      World War Foreign Debt Commission to
    clearly understood that     negotiate repayment plans with the debtor
    the United States had       nations.
    no interest in              – The Commission eventually concluded 15
    cancellation.                 agreements that contained terms based upon the
    –   This position was         debtors’ abilities to pay.
        widely supported by the – In aggregate, a final principal amount of $11.5
        public, which felt that   billion was accepted, to be paid off over 62
        those who incur debts     years with interest rates averaging slightly
        should repay them.        above two percent.
    –   This tight-fistedness   – If paid in full, this would have yielded more
        was not well received     than $22 billion.
        in Europe, where the  Allied recipients of the reparations
        image of Uncle Sam      payments were unable to pay the U.S. after
        slowly gave way to
        ―Uncle Shylock.‖        the German default on their payments.
   Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
Central American Conference (1922)
   The 1920s saw a continuation of endemic political instability in
    Central America and many parts of the Caribbean.
    – Despite the trappings of democracy, dictatorships prevailed in most of these
      nations and a progression of corrupt regimes continued to oppress the working
   In 1922, the U.S. invited Central American nations to a conference in
    Washington for the specific purpose of trying to heal a bitter dispute
    between Honduras and Nicaragua.
    – U.S. delegates failed to ignite interest in the formation of a Central American
      union, an idea that had been planned a number of times previously, but had
      never succeeded. However, the conference was able to reach agreement on the
        » the establishment of a Central American Court of Justice
        » the negotiation of a treaty of neutrality
        » preliminary planning on an arms limitation agreement.
   Foreign Affairs in the 1920s:
Central American Conference (1922)
   Over the next few years, a number of Central American nations
    ratified these agreements, but no effort was made to implement their
   The United States was unable to exert effective leadership because it
    was viewed with suspicion, if not hatred, by many Latin nations.
   The U.S. had a history of supporting dictatorships that were friendly
    to American business interests and repeatedly intervened when it was
    felt that conditions were spiraling out of control.
    – This pattern continued in the 1920s, when Nicaragua, Haiti and Cuba were
      occupied by American forces to protect lives and investments.
                     Dawes Plan (1924)
   In 1921, the international                       An international
    Reparations Commission was                        committee was formed
    established to determine the scope of             with two representatives
    damages caused by Germany during                  each from Britain, France,
    World War I.                                      Italy, Belgium, and the
    – An unrealistically high total of $33            United States.
      billion was forced on the defeated
      nation, but it managed to make an initial      The American delegates
      installment payment in September 1921.          were financier Charles G.
   However, dire economic conditions                 Dawes, who headed the
    in Germany led to default and the                 effort, and financier Owen
    imposition of a moratorium by the                 D. Young.
    creditor nations, which hoped that a
    temporary cessation of payments
    would allow the German economy to
    recover so that payments could be
                      Dawes Plan 1924
   A report was issued in April 1924 that
    called for the following:
    – A series of financial reforms was to be
      implemented in Germany, including the backing
      of the mark with gold reserves as a means to
      stabilize the currency;
    – a variety of new taxes was to be introduced in
    – the reparation payment schedule was reworked
      to require annual installments that would
      increase from one billion gold marks due in
      1924, to two and a half billion marks due four
      years later;
    – a massive series of loans was to be extended to
      Germany, many of them from the U.S.;
                                                        Charles G. Dawes
    – France agreed to evacuate its forces from the
            Geneva Conference (1927)
   In February 1927, President Coolidge issued a call to the Big Five
    Powers to meet in Geneva to confront the issue of naval rivalries.
    Britain and Japan accepted the invitation, but France and Italy
    declined, citing their current involvement in League of Nations
    disarmament efforts.
   Big navy advocates in the U.S. read the failure at Geneva to mean that
    further arms limitation could be accomplished only by resuming the
    naval construction race.
   If Congress would fund a new building program and be willing to
    outspend the others, then the rivals would be forced to seek an
   In early 1929, Congress provided funding for 15 new cruisers and an
    additional aircraft carrier, which effectively put Britain on notice that
    the United States was serious about reestablishing naval parity.
          Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928)
   Relations between the United States and France had cooled
    in the aftermath of World War I. A number of issues had
    driven the former allies apart, including:
    – residual tensions from hard bargaining and perceived double-
      dealing at Versailles;
    – the continuing effort of the U.S. to collect the full amount of war
      debts incurred by hard-pressed France;
    – the embarrassment felt by France because of being assigned a
      lesser naval role at the Washington Conference (1921);
    – the recent failure, regretted by both nations, of the Geneva
      Conference (1927).
          Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928)
   The Kellogg-Briand Pact provided for outlawing war as an
    ―an instrument of national policy,‖ and was further notable
    for the following:
    – No enforcement mechanism was provided for changing the
      behavior of warring signatories.
    – The agreement was interpreted by most of the signatories to permit
      ―defensive‖ war.
    – No expiration date was provided.
    – No provision existed for amending the agreement was included.
   Despite these shortcomings, the pact was signed in August
    1928 by 15 nations. In the following months, more than 60
    countries joined in this renunciation of war.
Briand Pact
   'Having an
   insurance policy
   doesn't mean you
   can do without fire
   American anti-
   pacifist cartoon,
   1929, on the need
   for an adequate U.S.
   naval force to back
   the Kellogg-Briand
                   Clark Memorandum
                   (December 17, 1928)
   During the late 1920s, a number of American foreign policy leaders
    began to argue for a softer tone in U.S. relations with Latin American
    nations, which had been chafing under decades of intervention by the
    colossus to the north.
   Undersecretary of State, and later Ambassador to Mexico, J. Reuben
    Clark (1871-1961) held these conciliatory views and completed work
    on the hefty Memorandum on the Monroe Doctrine late in the
    Coolidge administration. Clark argued the following:
    – The Monroe Doctrine was not solely concerned with inter-American relations.
    – The Doctrine states a case of the United States versus Europe, not of the United
      States versus Latin America.
    – The primary purpose of the Doctrine was to protect Latin American nations
      from intervention by European powers.
    – The Roosevelt Corollary was not part of the Monroe Doctrine.
                     Young Plan (1928)
   German reparation payments stemming from World War I had been
    modified by international agreement under the terms of the U.S.-
    inspired Dawes Plan in 1924.
    – By late in the decade, however, it was becoming increasingly difficult for the
      defeated nation to meet its obligations.
   The United States, which was not a direct recipient of reparations,
    again dispatched an expert to help salvage the threatened payments
    and avert an international crisis.
   The Young Plan won approval shortly before the beginning of the
    great world economic crisis of 1929, but Germany was able to make
    payments into 1931 before defaulting.
   President Hoover attempted to salvage the situation by arranging
    another moratorium in 1931-32, but the rise of Adolf Hitler in 1933
    was quickly followed by his repudiation of the reparation obligation.
   In all, more than $4.5 billion in reparations was collected by the Allies
    from Germany.
                     Young Plan (1928)
   Owen D. Young, an American financier, headed a committee that
    tried to remove ambiguities from the existing system. The following
    recommendations were made:
    – The amount of the annual payment demanded from Germany was reduced
      sharply to $473 million, a portion of which could be postponed with prior
    – the total amount due was set at $26.36 billion or 121 billion Reichsmarks,
      payable over a term of 58 and a half years;
    – new tax programs were to be introduced in Germany as a means to generate
    – a bank for international settlements was to be established to collect and disburse
      reparations payments;
    – other forms of Allied control over the German economy were to be removed;
    – further reduction of the German obligation was held out as a possibility if the
      United States were to agree to the scaling back of war debts owed to it by its
      former allies.
       Age of Prosperity
   Economic expansion
   Mass Production
   Assembly Line
   Age of the Automobile

   Ailing Agriculture…
   An agricultural depression in
    early 1920's contributed to this
    urban migration
   U.S. farmers lost agri. markets
    in postwar Europe
   at same time agri. efficiency
    increased so more food
    produced (more food = lower
    prices) and fewer labourers
   Farming was no longer as
    prosperous, and bankers called
    in their loans
    – Foreclosures on farms and farms
   American farmers enter the
    Depression in advance of the
    rest of society
 Black Americans in
  this period
  continued to live in
 Sharecropping kept
  them in de facto
 1915 - boll weevil
  wiped out the cotton
 White landowners
  went bankrupt &
  forced blacks off
  their land
   Blacks moved north to take
    advantage of booming wartime
    industry (Great Migration) - Black
    ghettoes began to form, i.e. Harlem
   Within these ghettoes a distinct
    Black culture flourished
   But both blacks and whites wanted
    cultural interchange restricted
   Marcus Garvey (Jamaican born
    immigrant) established the
    Universal Negro Improvement
    – believed in Black pride
    – advocated racial segregation b/c
      of Black superiority
   Garvey believed Blacks should
    return to Africa
   He purchased a ship to start the
    Black Star line
    – Attracted many investments:
      government charged him with
    – He was found guilty and
      eventually deported to Jamaica,
      but his organization continued to
Consumer Economy
Culture of the Roaring 20’s
              KDKA Pittsburgh
           GE, Westinghouse,& RCA
                 form NBC

       Silent Movies
       Charlie Chaplin

       The Jazz Singer
       Starring Al Jolson

       Mary Pickford
       “America’s Sweetheart”
Babe Ruth &Ty Cobb

                     Charles Lindbergh
                     The Spirit of St. Louis

   Jack Dempsey
       The 20s is The Jazz Age
                      The Flappers
                        make up
                       short skirts

    Writers                            Musicians
F. Scott Fitzgerald                   Louis Armstrong
Ernest Hemingway                       Duke Ellington
1920's also brought about
great changes for women...
   1920 - 19th Amendment
    gave them the federal vote
   After 1920, social
    circumstances changed too
    as more women worked
    outside the home
   More women went to
    college and clamoured to
    join the professions
   Women didn't want to
    sacrifice wartime gains -
    amounted to a social revolt
     – Characterized by the
       FLAPPER/ "new
        » (bobbed hair, short dresses,
          smoked in public...)
         A Society in Conflict
   Anti-immigrant
    – National Origins Act
    – Nativism
    – Discrimination
    Sacco-Vanzetti Trial
    – Italian immigrants
    – Unfair trial
   For immigrants – the point of origin
    had shifted to South & Eastern
    Europe and new religions appeared:
    Jewish, Orthodox, Catholic
   Northern European immigrants of
    early 19th century feared this shift
    and felt it would undermine
    Protestant values
    – This fear was known as NATIVISM
   Many wanted Congress to restrict
    immigration, leading to a quota
    system that favoured northern areas
    of Europe
   Fear of immigrants (from SE Europe)
    led to a sentiment known as the Red
    Scare (fear of communism post-
    Bolshevik Revolution)
    – Basic communism advocates a
      international revolution by the proletariat
      workers - fears that this ideology could
      find its way into the U.S.
   At this time,
    President Wilson
    was gravely ill
    following a stroke
    – His Attorney
      General, A.
      Mitchell Palmer,
      wanted to take a
      shot at the
      presidency - he
      used fears of both
      immigrants and
      communism to his
   He had J. Edgar
    Hoover round up
    radicals, many of
    which were
    deported (Palmer
            The Ku Klux Klan
Great increase                  Anti-black
  In power                     Anti-immigrant

Anti-women’s suffrage

   Scopes “Monkey”                         Trial
Evolution vs. Creationism
                              Science vs. Religion

Famous Lawyers                   Dayton, Tennessee

                                   John Scopes
                            High School Biology teacher
            Prohibition Volstead Act
              18th Amendment

Al Capone
   PROHIBITION - on manufacture,
    sale, & consumption of alcohol
    – Adopted in 1919 - 18th AMENDMENT
    – An outgrowth of the long time
      temperance movement
   In WWI, temperance became a
    patriotic movement
    – drunkenness caused low productivity &
      inefficiency, and alcohol needed to treat
      the wounded
    – a difficult law to enforce... organized
      crime, speakeasies, bootleggers were on
      the rise
   Al Capone virtually controlled
    Chicago in this period - capitalism
    at its zenith…
   Prohibition finally ended in 1933 w/
    the 21st Amendment
    – forced organized crime to pursue other