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The Roaring 20s

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by

Joe McCarty

on 15 October 2015

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Transcript of The Roaring 20s

The Roaring 20s
A Clash of Cultures
Main Ideas
How did the manufacture and use of cars transform America?
The Monkey Trial
The Red Scare
Restricting Immigration
Prohibition
Racial Strife
Americans feared that the Bolshevik Revolution would spread to America
"(a bolshevik) is a guy with a face like a porcupine and a breath that would scare a pole cat... If I had my way, I'd fill the jails so full of them that their feet would stick out the window"
-Billy Sunday
Attorney General Mitchell Palmer led a crusade against radicals in America
"I believe we should place the reds all on a ship of stone, with sails of lead, and that their first stopping place should be hell."
-Arthur Guy Empey (author)
In December of 1919, 249 radicals were deported to Russia
Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death because they were Italians, atheists, anarchists, and draft dodgers who were wrongfully accused of murder
The KKK rose again with the nativist sentiment of WWI
They were so much more than the anti-black, anti-republican KKK of Reconstruction
By the mid-1920s, they had 5 million members
Between 1920-1921, 800,000 new immigrants came to America
Mostly Southern Europeans
The Emergency Quota Act of 1921
Each nationality was restricted to 3% of their people living in the US
Immigration Act of 1924
Quota was reduced to 2% of the 1890 census, not the 1910 census
That means the UK could send 65,721 and Italy could send 5,802
We also banned Asian immigration
Canadians and Hispanics were exempt
In 1830, Americans over the age of 15 drank 88 bottles of whiskey/year
Americans spent more than the expenditures of the federal budget on alcohol
In 1919, the 18th Amendment was ratified
It went into effect on January 18th, 1920
It banned the manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages
It was enforced with the Volstead Act
Defined an intoxicating liquor as .5% alcohol
Drinking alcohol itself was not illegal
It would not take away alcohol that was purchased before the law
The Yale Club in NYC stockpiled 14 years worth of alcohol
You could also receive a prescription for alcohol (over 6 million were handed out)
Even President Harding drank Whiskey in the White House
Prohibition led to the rise of organized crime
The mob ran alcohol illegally, Al Capone was the most famous gangster
Capone earned $100 a minute
Bootleggers illegally produced alcohol
By 1930, illegal alcohol production and distribution brought in as much $18 billion/year
Prohibition was a failure:
Only 1,500 Agents to cover the country, 1 for every 70,000 Americans
Prohibition ended in 1933, in order to increase federal tax revenue
In 1925, Tennessee passed the Butler Act which prohibited the teaching of evolution in public schools
The ACLU challenged the law in Dayton, Tenn. with John T. Scopes
Scopes was defended by the well-known Clarence Darrow
The prosecution was William Jennings Bryan (who died 5 days after the trial)
It became a national media frenzy and became known as the Monkey Trial
Scopes was found guilty and fined $100 (which was later overturned)
The case, seemingly insignificant, represented the battle between Traditionalism and Modernity as well as Fundamentalists and Science
Consumer Culture
"Buy now pay Later"
Americans began buying on credit to get the luxury goods the desperately wanted, like:
Vacuums, Cars, Refrigerators, Phonographs, Radios, etc.
By the end of the 1920s, Americans owned 23 million cars (1 car for every 5 people), this was 80% of the cars in the world.

The Auto Industry helped strengthen the economy by boosting the steel, petroleum, chemical, rubber, and the glass industry (creating 3.7 million jobs).
By 1929, Henry Ford was producing a Model T every 10 seconds

In 1929, Hoover exclaimed "We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land." -
A few months later the Great Depression began.
The Republican 20s
After two decades of progressive presidents, America began to turn back to limited government.
Harding died of a heart attack in 1923 - "Silent Cal" took over
Calvin Coolidge proclaimed, "the business of America is Business."
In 1920, Republican Warren Harding won on the idea of returning to "normalcy."
Harding's administration was marred by scandal
His Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall, was convicted of taking $300,000 in bribes during the Teapot Dome Scandal.
Harding let his cabinet control the country
On the surface American seemed to be isolationists, but in reality we were economically involved with many countries.
We occupied Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Haiti

Race riots in Chicago during the summer of 1919 set off the Red Summer
Tulsa, Oklahoma - June 1921, White mobs grew angry over (false) accusations of Rape
The mob along with National Guardsmen stormed the black neighborhood of Greenwood and burnt down 35 blocks, killing dozens of blacks

The Case of Will Brown
Riots broke out in September of 1919 in Omaha.

White mobs stormed and burned the Courthouse
Then they hung, shot, dragged, and burned Will Brown
The Harlem Renaissance
Pop Culture
Jazz
Flappers
Speakeasies
Radio
Hollywood
Celebrities
Cars
Planes
Lost Generation
Pole Sitting?!?
The largest African American community developed in Harlem, with over 200,000 people
Artists, actors, musicians, and writers celebrated African American Culture
Artists such as: Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Claude McKay
Marcus Garvey
Started the United Negro Improvement Association
He advocated black separatism, economic self-sufficiency, and even moving back to Africa
Foreign Policy
Washington Conference (1921)
World powers sought disarmament
5 Power Treaty - 5 largest naval powers agreed to the ratio of 5:5:3:1:1
4 Power Treaty - Respect for Pacific territory
9-Power Treaty - Belgium, China, France, UK, US, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and Portugal agreed on an Open Door Policy in China
Why did Americans disagree about birth control, civil rights, prohibition, and evolution?
What were the long term or short term consequences of these cultural clashes?
They were now anti-catholic, anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-foreigner, anti-communist, anti-modernism, etc.
Basically anyone not WASP
America was a nation of drinkers:
Kellogg-Briand Pact
Over 60 countries signed the act to renounce aggressive use of force
Full transcript