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St 7.3

Social Conflict of the 1920s

Adam Powley

on 22 March 2012

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Transcript of St 7.3

Standard 7.3 - Causes and effects of Social Conflict in the 1920s
The 1920s were viewed as a carefree boom time. Everyone was prosperous and
participated in the consumer culture
not everyone was able to participate
Social Conflict Causes
Unions knocked down
Work conditions still poor
Still resentment over work issues
Concern over radicals
Political Machines
Ethnic Neighborhoods
Traditional Conservativism
Emphasis on Science
Experiences with the war years
Is this Progress?
No more Rations!
Hey, we might die anyway...
Industrial Efficiency
Increasing evidence for Evolution
Role of Women in the 1920s
The Red Scare and Xenophobia
Sacco and Vanzetti
Resurgence of the KKK
The Scopes (Monkey) Trial
Before WWI women were to be in the home.

They were mothers, protectors of the home providing a safe home for the men as they go out into the dangerous and sinful world
This changes somewhat during the 1920s
Women stepped into men's jobs when they went to fight WWI
Most went back to the home when the men returned
Women didn't really win any new opportunities
most stayed concentrated in the few positions they had access to since the Civil War.
also domestic servants, factory workers, sweatshop labor
BTW, women made less money than men, even when they did the same job
Inherit the Wind
Drummond = Darrow
Brady = W.J. Bryan
Bryan was a "fundementalist" who believed in the literal understanding of the Bible. Darrow was defending a science teacher that taught the theory of evolution in Tennessee which was in violation of a state law.
In the film, the court audience illustrates the tension of a traditional town in the face of science that challenges their beliefs.

We can also see the tension caused by first amendment rights issues such as seperation of church and state.

Scopes was found guilty and the outcome was never in doubt but it proved to be the opening battle between traditionalists and more modern liberals. Traditionalists tended to be rural & religious fundementalists and the liberals tended to be urban & believed in the value of science.
an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange.
Women's efforts in WWI reflected a long tradition of women's rights efforts
Seneca Falls Convention (1848) and the Declaration of Sentiments
blamed men for the problems & called for rights, especially suffrage
women gained suffrage rights state by state, mostly out west.
the 19th Amendment gave women suffrage throughout the United States
unfortunately,women tended to vote the way their husbands did which meant they did not live up to their promise to clean up society.
Movement to cities during WWI, new attitudes towards sex, the mixing of races in places like Harlem and women like the "Flappers" led to concerns over morality in the 1920s
this anxiety played into the overall tensions of the 1920s based on class issues, religion v. science and xenophobia
Began with the temperance movements of the progressives
A ban of alcohol
anti-German sentiment and the grain shortages during WWI helped further the cause
The goal was to preserve american culture in the face of immigrants.

Also pushed by women as a way to "protect" the home from abuse and wasteful spending.
The 18th Amendment prohibited the sale and distribution of alcohol
but not its consumption
Whether you complied (followed) the law was largely based on your class, ethnic background and religion.
The government tried to make a good show of enforcing the prohibition, but neither state nor federal government had the manpower to stop the illegal trade in liquor.
illegal sources (gansters like Al Capone) smuggled booze to speakeasies in the cities and ethnic neighborhoods.
Modern Scientific Liberalism
WWI propaganda for "100% Americanism" led to Xenophobia
Pre-WWI tendency to distrust foreigners as potential Commies and Anarchists also fed the Xenophobia
Post-WWI period saw high inflation, high unemployment (returning vets), and an end to WWI labor concessions
This led to labor unrest which led to strikes
Strikes and unrest led middle and upper class Americans to fear potential socialist movements that were already taking place in Europe
In 1919 anarchists blew up 8 bombs in US cities. Evidence suggested it was a much larger conspiracy.
The Fear of Strikes, Socialism, Bolshevism, Foreigners and bombs led to The Red Scare
The Red Scare was a key element of "The Palmer Raids"
US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer was hoping to run for election in 1920
Palmer directed a series of raids (The Palmer Raids) to deport or arrest known communists and dangerous foreigners
Led by J Edgar Hoover, the Federal Government arrested 4,000 alleged Communists that were held without bond
600 were later deported
Palmer was discredited after predicting attacks that did not happen, but he fed into the system of fear and further distrust of foreigners
This Fear/Xenophobia/Nativism helped lead to the Trial of Sacco and Vanzetti
Sacco and Vanzetti were anarchists accused of robbing and killing an guard on an armored car
Liberals and Civil Rights advocates claimed these men were only being prosecuted for being immigrants and having radical views.
Evidence suggested that they were Not Guilty but they were found guilty anyways and executed
This Fear/Xenophobia/Nativism helped lead to the Resurgence of the KKK
Birth of a Nation and other mass media aroused racism against African-Americans
Red Scare, Sacco and Vanzetti also led the KKK to add radicals, immigrants and Catholics to their list of undesirables.
KKK began to use advertising and business style organization to increase membership
The KKK became a national organization
The strongest following was in the midwest and South
The KKK saw themselves as moral regulators that targeted bootleggers and gamblers as well as those listed above
KKK tactics included lynchings, cross burnings and public beatings
The downfall of the KKK was that the leadership became involved in sex scandals and corruption
This Fear/Xenophobia/Nativism helped lead to Immigration Restrictions
based on ideas of Social Darwinism and Anglo-Saxon superiority
the National Origins Act of 1924 led to severe limitations on Eastern and Southern Europeans
The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the National Origins nearly banned all Asian immigration
Remember -Progressive middle class was for prohibition and the immigrant working class typically disregarded the laws...

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