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USA Revision 1919 - 1939

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Ian Carse

on 11 April 2011

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Transcript of USA Revision 1919 - 1939

Maybe he thought nobody would notice - he was photographed fishing! USA 1919 - 1939 In what ways did the economy boom? Company profits were HUGE! FAR higher than everage wages. There were 7000 new millionaires by 1928. New Industries boomed:
in 1919 there were 9 million cars, by 1929 there were 26 million
In 1920 there were 60, 000 Radios, by 1920 there were 10 million
The number of washing machines and vacuum cleaners trebled by 1929
Transport increased
The number of paved roads doubled
The number of trucks tripled
Their had been 162, 000 commercial flights by 1929 Construction boomed
New car showrooms, skyscrapers, banks and roads all had to be built. Advertising
Magazines, radios and posters all carried new colourful, snappy adverts Shopping
Chain stores, mass produced clothing (dress sizes), mail order (Roebuck and Co.), Department stores (Bloomingdales.) Entertainment
Tabloid newspapers (Daily News), more ‘fun’ magazines, spectator sports (e.g. baseball, boxing) Cinema
40 million tickets sold each week in 1920 – 100 million by 1929; First talkies (Jazz Singer), stars like Chaplin. Why did a boom occur? The US was abundant in natural resources - including land, coal, iron, oil and wood. WW1 Technology Mass Production Mass marketing Credit Confidence The policies of Republican Presidents Calvin Coolidge
1923 - 1929 Herbert Hoover
1929 - 1933 Who didn't benefit? Farmers: New machinery meant they were producing more than they could sell, especially once Europe started farming again after the war. Income dropped and so it was hard to pay mortgages. Many were evicted from their farms. New immigrants: Thought they were entering a ‘land of opportunity’ but often missed out on jobs or were paid very low wages. Blacks: Many black farm workers in the south lost their jobs (3 million.) many southern factories had an all-white policy to employment. Workers in old industries: Some older industries such as tin, copper and coal overproduced as new metals and fuels (steel, iron, gas, oil, electricity) were used instead. Mines and factories were closed and wages were cut. How was society changing? The car: Freedom to travel to see friends, people moved to the suburbs and travelled further to work, young people could escape their parents. Some worried it made crime to easy and gave the young too much freedom. Radio: KDKA was the first station. Americans had access to new music (jazz, dance bands) and listened to sporting events Jazz: Black music dominated and fed into dance halls, popular music and stage shows. Older people thought it was a bad influence on the young! Dancing: New dance clubs allowed less formal dances like the Charleston, which had a ‘sexual’ element to them. Again, people were worried of a moral decline! Sex and the cinema: Actors like Rudolf Valentino and Clara Bow (The It Girl) used sexuality to sell films. Sex outside marriage was becoming more common and contraception was available more openly. Some called for films to be censored. This didn’t happen but the length of kisses was restricted! Women: More women went to work (a 25% increase) especially in office work. Clothing changed to shorter (knee length!) skirts and short hair was in fashion – a sign of liberation. Women smoked, drove cars and wore more make up. Flappers were trendy urban women. Intolerance KU Klux Klan Believed in supremacy of WASPs
5 Million members by 1925
Prominent judges/politicians were members
Declined after 1925 scandals Black Americans Poverty (ghettos)
racism, discrimination, segregation
Jim Crow Laws John Scopes
'Monkey trial' The Red Scare Mitchell Palmer Sacco and Vanzetti But . . . Black 'Renaisance'
(Harlem Renaissance)
and political movements Duke Ellington Josephine Baker UNIA NAACP National Association for the Advancement of Coloured Persons Universal Negro Improvement and Conservation Association Collectively over one million members Why was prohibition introduced? 'Temperance' groups had argue for 100 years that drunkenness was against Christian values Other ‘dries’ argued that alcohol was a cause of poverty, poor work and crime. The Anti-Saloon League argued during World War I that drinking was ‘un-American' since most brewers were descended from Germans What were the problems with Prohibition? There were illegal speakeasies (15,000 in Detroit) Bootleggers would bring in rum from West Indies and whisky from Canada Bootlegging gangs became rich and powerful Illegal ‘stills’ made ‘moonshine’ from home often very dangerous Many Prohibition Officers were bribed or if they refused to cooperate were killed by gangsters Gangsters made $2billion a year from booze (e.g. Al Capone) Rival gangs fought each other to supply speakeasies (e.g. St Valentines Day Massacre) Government officials and judges were also bribed, as were policemen Why did Prohibition fail? •Lack of public support
•Problems of enforcement
•Organised crime
•Alcohol was profitable
•The Depression meant people wanted a ‘pick up’
•Dangerous How did the Crash happen? 19 Oct 1929: 3,000,000 shares were sold and prices started to fall
21 Oct : 6,000,000 shares were sold and prices fell again
23 Oct : 2,600,000 shares were sold and share prices fell massively
24 Oct : On Black Thursday 12,000,000 shares were sold. Panic selling led to a massive decrease in prices
25 Oct : Some bankers tried to buy shares to push the prices up
28 Oct : More shares were sold (9 million) at rapidly falling prices
29 Oct : 16 million shares were sold. No buyers could be found. The market had crashed! Why did the crash happen? Overproduction: American industry had simply made too many goods. They were running out of buyers. So as profits started to go down, people wanted to sell their shares, which started to pull the price down. Less people wanted to buy shares in the companies as they were making less profits No market for American goods abroad: American goods were more expensive than European goods. Europeans couldn’t afford them, as they were already paying back war loans to the USA How was society changing? Many groups could not afford to buy goods: (e.g. blacks, farmers) which made it harder for industry to sell their goods. Speculators were playing the market: Share prices had risen through the 20s, so people had been buying shares just to resell them quickly for a profit. They even took out loans to buy shares (buying ‘on the margin.’) This led to ridiculous, inflated prices which were bound to drop eventually. Panic selling of shares: As soon as shares started to drop a little bit (which hadn’t happened for years, but was bound to happen at some point) people went over the top and panicked. They sold too fast, panicked others to sell too and this forced the prices down. Did the Crash lead to the Depression? In the countryside farmers were producing too much, so prices fell. They grew even more to make anything they could, and prices fell even more. Eventually farmers couldn’t pay their mortgages and so banks took their farms away. In the cities American factories couldn’t sell all their goods to Americans. So they cut wages and cut their work force. Many company bosses who had lost everything almost overnight committed suicide by jumping from the top of the newly built skyscrapers In business the Wall Street Crash hit the banks. They had invested people’s money into shares and lost a fortune. They called in loans from their customers, but many people couldn’t pay back and others needed to take their savings out of the banks. The banks went bust, and the companies went bust without their loans. So more factories had to close, leading to more unemployment. Effects of the Depression Unemployment: 1.6 million in 1929, 14 million by 1933; Car production was down by 80%. Homelessness: People could not pay mortgages or rents and were homeless. Many ended on the streets or in shanty towns (Hoovervilles.) Public relief: There was no unemployment benefit. Wealthy individuals helped out with soup kitchens and cheap meal centres. The countryside: The Dust Bowl was an area that also suffered serious drought, and had already been over-farmed – previous farmland turned to desert. Other farmers may have had farmland but no-one could afford to buy their crops and so prices fell so low they were evicted from their farms. Banking and loans: There were numerous 'runs' on banks as confidence collapsed. Banks recalled loans that could not be paid closing more banks. Credit and loans became almost nonexistant. 1932 Election Why did FDR win the election? His ideas: FDR promised a New Deal for the American people, including relief for the poor and measures to provide work and revive industry and agriculture His public speaking: He worked hard and travelled the country talking to people while Hoover concentrated on radio and newspaper interviews His background: People were impressed by the way he had overcome polio – he had a fighting spirit, and had already helped people as Governor of New York He won by the biggest landslide ever - 7 million votes more than Hoover! Hoover’s unpopularity: People blamed Hoover for the Depression and wanted a change. Hoover was seen as uncaring. Roosevelt would end Prohibition and Americans wanted a drink to cheer themselves up! What happened during the 100 days? Roosevelt promised ‘action and action now’ and so called Congress for a 100 Day sitting to pass emergency laws. His New Deal had 3 aims: relief, recovery and reform He used fireside chats to talk directly to the people via radio He sorted out the banks by closing them for 4 days, and then only allowing the most honest banks to re-open. He then leant them money and assured people it was ok to use them. $1billion was reinvested in banks soon after. He created the Alphabet Agencies. He ended Prohibition. What were the alphabet agencies? The AAA helped farmers by paying them to produce less food so prices went up. Meat was destroyed and ploughed land was dug up. The CCC helped young men by giving under 25s a job. They lived in govt. camps and did jobs like planting trees. Their small wages were sent to their families to spend on goods. 3 million men took part. The PWA was a public work scheme with $7billion spent to employ skilled men to make dams, schools, bridges, houses, hospitals etc. The CWA gave short term employment (4 million in the winter of 1933) to get some money in people’s pockets. People were payed to sweep up leaves in parks, entertain people in free shows, anything to get them working. FERA spent $500million to provide clothing, food and schools for the poorest Americans of all. The HOLC loaned money to over a million people to prevent them losing their homes. The NRA improved work conditions by increasing workers’ wages, increasing the prices of factory goods and improving working conditions. Only businesses that followed the NRA’s rules would get the ‘blue eagle’ sign – a sign of quality, that people could trust. The TVA developed Tennessee Valley. This vast area was poverty stricken with flooding problems. The TVA built new dams and improved the soil quality to allow farming. Power stations were built at the dams, making Tennessee Valley America’s biggest electricity producer. Industries moved into the areas. Thousands of jobs were created and new health and welfare facilities were created. The Social Security Act brought in pensions and unemployment benefits. Who opposed the New Deal? Republicans: Claimed FDR was acting like a dictator and making the government too powerful. They claimed FDR was making the American people lazy, and that the New Deal was too costly. Business: Business did not like FDR interfering in their affairs and supporting some industries in preference to others (e.g. in the TVA) The rich: Some wealthy Americans objected to paying high taxes to pay for the New Deal. Huey Long and Father Coughlin: Both men felt the New Deal was not doing enough – it should help the poor more with a minimum wage, higher taxes on the rich and free education for all. The Supreme Court: In 1935 and 1936 the Supreme Court declared that the NIRA and AAA were unconstitutional. FDR hit back and wanted to appoint new judges to the Supreme Court who would support him. This alarmed many Americans who thought he wanted too much power – this was the kind of thing a dictator would do. FDR’s plan was rejected – although soon after some judges retired and their replacements were more sympathetic to the New Deal. A SUCCESS
- There were hardly any bank failures
- There were far less businesses going bankrupt
- America’s production was increasing, although it slowed down
- Unemployment fell
- Americans were more optimistic about the future
- Unemployment in 1939 was still higher than it had been in 1929
- America’s production was going down until WWII started
- Many farmers did no better
- There was still widespread racism and discrimination against blacks
- Few New Deal measures helped women Was the New Deal a success? Hoover's reaction? 1932 'Bonus March'
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