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									A Turbulent Decade
US Policy: 1920-1932
    DMA: Do you agree or disagree? Support your point of

       The fear of radicalism in the United States causes many
        Americans to sacrifice personal liberties for a sense of

       Government policies that encourage economic growth can
        also lead to social instability

       Restrictions on immigration hurt a country more than they
        help in the long run.
Section 1: Postwar Troubles

       What were some of the economic outcomes of
       What were the main causes of the strikes of 1919,
        and how did most Americans react to the strikes?
       What caused the public hysteria of the Red Scare?
       Why did the Sacco and Vanzetti trial arouse public
Demobilization Leads to
• World War I had created great
  economic prosperity in the US
• The government, however, was not
  prepared to convert to a postwar
   o   100s of factories that had produced war
       materials closed
   o   Crop prices fell as overseas demand
   o   By 1920, 5 million Americans were out of
Businesses Return to Prewar Labor Practices
 • During World War I, the government encouraged
   businesses & labor to cooperate
• When the war ended, workers struggled to keep the gains
  they had made in the war years
• Businesses, however, reduced wages & paid less
  attention to employee safety
   o   Some even tried to increase the average workday from 8 hours to
       12 hours
Workers Respond by Organizing
• Many Americans responded to
  businesses by joining a union for
  the first time
   o   American Federation of Labor –
       Concentrated on improving wages &
       working conditions
   o   Industrial Workers of the World – Saw
       socialism as the solution to workers’
Workers Respond by Striking
• In 1919, unions staged more than 3,600 strikes across the
   o   1 out of every 10 workers walked off the job at some point that year

• The most controversial strike involved the Boston police
   o   City officials had cut their wages & refused to negotiate
   o   At first, the people of Boston sympathized with the police
   o   The city, however, lapsed into anarchy
   o   Governor Calvin Coolidge called in the National Guard to keep order
Unions Lose Public Support
• Overall union membership
  declined in the 1920s
   o   People began to see them as a
   o   Strikes failed to achieve many of
       the workers’ goals
   o   Many unions excluded women,
       blacks, & most immigrants
• Supreme Court decisions
  further weakened unions
   o   The Court rejected child labor laws,
       minimum wage for women, etc.
A Bomb Scare Fuels Fear
• In April 1919, 2 government officials received packages
   containing bombs
   o   34 more bombs were eventually discovered

• Many Americans saw the bomb scare as a sign that
  radicalism was on the rise
   o   Socialists – Called for public ownership of land & factories
   o   Communists – Wanted a classless society brought about through a
       working class revolution
   o   Anarchists – Opposed all systems of government
Red Scare Leads to Raids
• The postwar fear of radicals
  became known as the Red Scare
• The Red Scare intensified when in
  June 1919, 8 bombs exploded in 8
  cities at the same time
   o   One target was Attorney General
       Mitchell Palmer’s house
   o   As a result, Palmer conducted searched
       places he thought might house radicals
   o   These Palmer Raids were conducted
       without warrants
Civil Liberties Suffer
 • The fear of radicalism led people
   to react
    o   30 states passed sedition laws
    o   Books considered to be offensive
        were removed from libraries
• Palmer hoped to use his notoriety
  to help him win the presidency
    o   He announced that a plot to
        overthrow the government would
        begin in NYC on May 1, 1920
    o   When nothing happened, his
        ambitions were ruined
     Reasons for public interest in the Sacco and
                      Vanzetti trial
Section 1: Postwar Troubles
   • Americans were deeply divided over the trial.
   • Some believed that Sacco and Vanzetti deserved
   • Others thought that they were convicted only
     because they were immigrants and radicals.


•If you had been running for
 president in 1920, what platform
 would you have adopted to win?
Section 2: The Republicans in Power
    • How did Republican policies encourage economic growth
      in the 1920s?
    • How did the Harding administration’s pro-business
      policies affect the U.S. economy?
    • Why did the movement to pass the Equal Rights
      Amendment fail?
    • How did the Republican Party overcome the political
      scandals of the Harding administration?
    • What issues affect the outcome of the 1928 election?

   Harding’s Fiscal Policy
• Harding was committed to the
  free enterprise system
  o   Characterized by private ownership
      of property, including land &
  o   Relies on competition for profits &
      the forces of supply & demand to
      determine what goods & services
      should be produced & at what price
                The Postwar Recession Ends
• Harding worked with Congress to cut taxes and control
  o   Repealed taxes meant to fund WWI
  o   Reduced spending by $1 billion
  o   Used the surplus to pay down the national debt

• Harding’s policies brought renewed prosperity to the US
  o   Prices plunged, allowing people to afford more
  o   Unemployment dropped from 12% (1920) to 2% (1923)
The Teapot Dome Scandal
• Harding’s cabinet, the “Ohio
  Gang,” brought scandal to
  the White House
   o   Harding gave Albert Fall
       control over national oil
   o   Fall leased those reserves to
       2 companies that had paid
       him $360,000 in bribes
   o   Fall resigned when the
       scandal went public
   o   Harding stood by Fall until
       own death in 1923
 Coolidge Promotes Business
• As president, Coolidge
  worked to cut taxes &
  control spending
  o   Pushed for reductions in
      corporate, income, & inheritance
  o   Cut the White House budget

• Under Coolidge, the nation
  continued to prosper
 Hoover Promises to End Poverty
• Like Harding & Coolidge,
  Hoover believed in promoting
  o   Wanted industry leaders to work to
      together to improve economic
  o   Hoped that as businesses
      flourished, poverty would
  The US Economy Booms
• Under the economic
  policies of Republican
  presidents, the postwar
  recession faded away
  o   Productivity increased
  o   Unemployment dropped
  o   Wages rose to double what they
      had been before the war
The Age of Mass Production
• The automobile industry
  led this new age of
  o   By 1929, at least half of all
      American families owned a car
  o   Made possible by Henry Ford’s
      moving assembly line which
      allowed him to increase wages
      & cut prices
  New Industries Arise
• The growth of the
  automobile industry
  fueled new industries as
  o   The steel, rubber, & oil
      industries expanded
  o   Highway construction
  o   Restaurants & hotels sprang
      up along roads
  o   Service industries, such as
      gas stations & repair shops,
      were created
Businesses Get Bigger
• During the 1920s,
  businesses grew due to
  a wave of consolidation
  o   Harding, Coolidge, &
      Hoover ignored anti-trust
  o   Allowed businesses to
  o   Led to the rise of the Big 3
      automakers in the US
  o   Created chain stores in the
      grocery industry, etc.
   Stock Investment Grows
• During the 1920s, stock
  ownership spread to the
  middle class
  o   The Dow Jones Industrial Average
      doubled between May 1928 &
      September 1929

•Cite historical reasons for
 hostility toward migrants
 and immigrants.
Section 3: A Nation Divided
    • Why did many Americans support the Ku Klux Klan, and
      why did that support decline?
    • How did African Americans combat discrimination and
    • Why did many Americans demand restrictions on
    • Why did Mexican immigration increase during the 1920s?
    • What actions did American Indians take to protect their

The Revival of Nativism
 • After World War I,
   immigration into the US
   o   Many feared that these
       immigrants would never
       become 100% American
   o   This triggered a resurgence
       of nativism & calls for
       restrictions on immigration
New Laws Restrict Immigration
• 1921 – Emergency Immigration Act
   o   Set the maximum number of immigrants allowed in the US each year
       at 375,000 people
   o   Introduced a quota system limiting the number of immigrants from
       each country to 3% of its residents in the US in 1910
• 1924 – Immigration Act of 1924
   o   Reduced the number of immigrants allowed in to the US each year to
   o   Cut quotas to 2% of a country’s residents in the US in 1890
   o   Banned all immigration from Asia
The KKK Targets “Alien” Influences
 • The Ku Klux Klan was reborn in
   Atlanta, GA in 1915
   o   Restricted its membership to native-
       born white Protestants
   o   Targeted Africans Americans,
       immigrants, Catholics, & Jews
   o   William Joseph Simmons, the founder
• By the early 1920s, the Klan had 3-
  4 million members
   o   Lawmakers supported by the Klan won
       control of state legislatures in Oregon,
       Oklahoma, Texas, & Indiana
   o   Klan members held marches in
       Washington, DC & other major cities
                  Fall of the Klan
Section 3: A Nation Divided

    • decrease in Red
      Scare tension
    • publicity about
      the Klan’s
    • corruption and
      scandal within the
      Klan                           30
Americans Face Discrimination
 • Asian immigrants faced severe
   legal discrimination
   o   Barred from becoming citizens
   o   Could not own land or marry a white
       person in many states
• African Americans faced
  continuing discrimination as well
   o   In some places, lynching made a
   o   During the Red Summer of 1919,
       tensions erupted in race riots
   o   Led to support for Marcus Garvey’s
       Back-to-Africa movement
           African American response to
            discrimination and violence
Section 3: A Nation Divided
    • The National Association for the Advancement of
      Colored People (NAACP) organized an
      antilynching campaign.
    • A. Philip Randolph established the Brotherhood of
      Sleeping Car Porters in 1925 to improve working
    • Marcus Garvey supported black nationalism and
      founded the Universal Negro Improvement
      Association (UNIA.)
Catholics & Jews Fight Prejudice
• The increase in Jewish immigrants
  stirred up anti-Semitism
   o   Gave birth to the Anti-Defamation
       League to protect the rights of Jews
• Catholics were also targets of
  religious prejudice
   o   1928 – Democratic Party nominated NY
       Governor Al Smith, a Catholic for
   o   Soon there were rumors that if Smith
       was elected, the pope would run the
     Actions by American Indian
• organized to stop
  administration from
  buying back all tribal
• organized to fight the
  Barsum Bill
• built inter-tribal
  support under
  leadership of the
  Pueblo tribes

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