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Politics of the 20's

Overview of major political themes of the 1920's

Jason Hollingshead

on 19 January 2012

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Transcript of Politics of the 20's

The Politics of the
Roaring Twenties

Nativism -prejudice against foreign-born people-sweeps nation
War leaves Americans exhausted;
debate over League of Nations divides them
Economy adjusting: cost of living doubles; farm, factory orders down
Soldiers take jobs from women, minorities
Farmers, factory workers suffer
Isolationism-pulling away from world affairs-becomes popular in the U.S.
Fear of Communism
Communism-economic, political system, single-party government
Ruled by dictator
No private property
1919 Vladimir I. Lenin, Bolsheviks, set up
state in Russia
Communist Party
forms; some Industrial Workers of the World join
Bombs mailed to government, businesses; people fear
Red conspiracy
The Palmer Raids
Palmer, J Edgar Hoover hunt down Communists, socialists, anarchists
Anarchists oppose any form of government
Raids trample civil rights, fail to find evidence of conspiracy
Sacco and Vanzetti
Red Scare feeds fear of foreigners, ruins reputations, wrecks lives
1920, Sacco and Vanzetti, Italian immigrants, anarchists, arrested
Charged with robbery, murder
Trial does not prove guilt
Jury finds them guilty; widespread protest in US, abroad
Sacco, Vanzetti executed 1927
Attorney General Mitchell A. palmer takes action
*A desire for normality after the war and a fear of communism and “foreigners” lead to postwar isolationism
Anti-Immigrant Attitudes
Nativists: fewer unskilled jobs available, fewer immigrants needed
Think immigrant anarchists and socialists are Communist
The Klan Rises Again
Bigots use anti-communism to harass groups unlike themselves
The Quota System
1919-1921, number of immigrants grows almost 600%
Quota system sets maximum number can enter US from each country
Sharply reduces European immigration
1924, European arrivals cut to 2% of number of residents in 1890
Discriminates against southern, eastern Europeans
Prohibits Japanese immigration; causes ill will between US, Japan
Does not apply to Western Hemisphere; many Canadians, Mexicans enter
KKK opposes blacks, Catholics, Jews, immigrants, unions, saloons
-1924, 4.5 million members
Klan controls many states’ politics; violence leads to less power
Postwar Labor Issues
Government doesn’t allow strikes in wartime; 1919 over 3,000 strikes
Employers against raises, unions; label strikers as Communists
The Boston Police Strike
Boston police strike over raises, right to unionize
Calvin Coolidge ends strike, replaces strikers with new policemen
The Steel Mill Strike
1919, steel workers strike; companies use force, later negotiate
Talks deadlock; Wilson appeals; strike ends
1923 report on conditions leads to 8-hour day
The Coal Miners’ Strike
1919, John L Lewis becomes head of United Mine Workers of America
Leads strike; defies court order to work; accepts arbitration
Miners receive 27% wage increase; Lewis becomes national hero
A Time of Labor Unrest
Labor Movement Loses Appeal
In 1920s, union membership drops from over 5 million to 3.5 million
Less than 1% of African Americans, just over 3% whites in unions
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