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Transcript of Chapters 20-21
The Spanish Flu
Return to Normalcy
The Roaring 20's
The Business of America
The Spanish Flu
Pandemic hit in 1918
Spread rapidly through armies and into the general population
500 million people infected worldwide
Estimated death toll was between 50-100 million
3-5% of the world's population died from this strain of the flu
Coupled with war casualties, nearly 250 million people died between 1914-1919
Surrounded by Death
By the time 1920 arrived, what do you think the mood of the country was?
80 million per week going to the movies
Americans sought entertainment and escape more than ever before
Jazz music and speakeasies
U.S. in the World
After the war, the U.S. was the last standing economic power
The U.S. was supplying the world in the first part of the decade
Money was being made, the economy was humming
In 1923, Warren Harding dies of a heart attack
Calvin Coolidge becomes President
"The business of America is business"
Forerunner of the credit card
1920s estimates of what was being bought on installment plans
75% of automobiles
85% of furniture
80% of phonographs
75% of washing machines
65% of vacuum cleaners
25% of all jewelry
$140 M worth of clothes
The wealthiest people
1921: 21 with incomes more than one million dollars
This wasn't true for everyone
The income gap between the richest and poorest became the widest it had ever been in the U.S.
By 1929, the share of the national income of the wealthiest 5 percent of American families was more than that of the bottom 60 percent
Approximately 40% of the population lived in poverty
Due to mechanization, number of manufacturing jobs declined 5 percent
The Republican Era
1919-1932: All Republican Presidents following eight years of Woodrow Wilson (Democrat)
The 1920s Republican Party was not the same as that of Theodore Roosevelt 20 years earlier
Roosevelt (Progressive) saw government intervention as necessary; 1920s Republicans saw government intervention as interfering in the marketplace
1920s saw government regulation decline allowing the market to operate freely
Culture Wars in America
Some Americans bemoaned the influence of music and movies
Adopted the Hays Code: No nudity, long kisses, adultery, portrayal of clergy negatively or criminals positively
These battles over culture erupt in various places: Movies, music, religion, politics
Modernists vs. Fundamentalists
According to fundamentalists, modernists were attempting to integrate modern society with science and Christianity
According to modernists, fundamentalists did not want to adpapt to the real world but live in the past
Fundamentalists: Literal interpretation of the Bible
Modernists: Saw the Bible as more open to interpretation
The Scopes Monkey Trial
Dayton, Tennessee: John Scopes arrested for violating a state law that forbade teaching of evolution
Fundamentalists and modernists saw this case as a battleground over American culture
Clarence Darrow volunteered to defend Scopes; William Jennings Bryan (former Presidential candidate) volunteered to assist the prosecution
Inherit the Wind
Ku Klux Klan
Reemerges in the early 1920s
Not just in South, but all parts of the country
Opposed to blacks, immigrants (especially Jews and Catholics), feminism, unions, immorality, giant corporations
Who Is An American?
Redefining 'Who is An American?'
Women have the right to vote
Cable Act of 1922: Overturned law that said an American woman who married a foreigner assumed the citizenship of her husband (except for Asians)
1924: All Indians born in the United States are officially citizens
America Closes Its Doors
1924: Congress permanently limits European immigration to 150,000 per year
Barred entry for all those ineligible to become citizens - the entire population of Asia
Law excluded restrictions on immigrants from the Western Hemisphere - those from Latin America
Large farms in the west needed workers and Mexico and other Latin American countries provided those
U.S. creates Border Patrol to enforce immigration laws and prevent 'illegal aliens' from entering the country
Emergence of Ethnic Culture
With various restrictions, ethnic groups asserted their cultural diversity and toleration of different people as the true essence of freedom
Meyer vs. Nebraska, 1923: Supreme Court struck down Nebraska law that required all teaching to be done in English
"The protection of the Constitution extends to all, to those who speak other languages as well as to those born with English on the tongue"
As a result, emergence of a new description of American society - pluralism
Huge black population increases in northern cities due to the Great Migration
Harlem, N.Y., becomes the center of the new African-American culture
In addition to southern blacks, 150,000 from the West Indies immigrated in the 1920s - they were more educated, white collar workers
Harlem creates a vibrant place for the emergence of black writers, poets, musicians, artists and they began being published by previously whites-only publishers
Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Florence Mills, Ethel Waters, Bill Robinson
All is going well. Then comes 1929...
A Quick Review...
The U.S. entered World War I in 1917, suffering far fewer casualties than other countries.
The Treaty of Versailles was the official settlement of World War I.
Terms of the Treaty of Versailles...
1. Germany must accept blame for World War I
2. Germany must pay reparations ($32 billion)
In today's dollars, that would equate to $393.6 billion
3. Germany could have no submarines and no air force. Their army was limited to 100,000 soldiers. Germany was not allowed to place troops in the Rhineland.
4. Germany lost territory in Europe. All of Germany's colonies were given to Great Britain and France.