HIST 102 AMU week 4 lesson Managing the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the World At WarAmerican History since 1877 American Military university
The Roaring 20s, The Great Crash, Redefining Liberalism: The New Deal and the World at War
This lesson discusses America in the 1920s and 30s. You will learn about the business-government partnerships, the American culture, and the events leading up to the economic crash of the Great Depression. The lesson will describe Charles Lindbergh’s and Amelia Earhart’s flights to Europe and the impact of the flights on aviation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s programs of recovery and the Dust Bowl will be a focus of the lesson, and you will learn about the rise of Fascism (Hitler and Mussolini), and Imperial Japan in the 1930s, and their impact on events that lead to World War II. Finally, the lesson will discuss the entry of the United States into World War II, with a focus on the strategy, tactics, and key people involved in the North African, Italian, Northern Europe, and Pacific theaters of the war.
The topics covered will include:
- Legacies of World War I
- Culture Wars
- Intellectual Modernism
- The Economy of the 1920s
- Roots of the Depression
- Early Years of the Depression and Hoover’s Response
- New Deal
- Second New Deal
- New Deal and Society
- Roots of World War II
- American Involvement in the War
- Fighting the War
After World War I, millions of blacks began moving north to urban areas to obtain work and improve their lives. The Great Migration created racial tensions because the migrants found racial prejudices, poor housing, and unsatisfactory working conditions.
Racial violence erupted in Rosewood, a small central Florida town, when a group of whites attempted to capture the black man they believed to have sexually assaulted a white woman. Rumors spread and after two days of killing and destruction, the town became deserted. Only a few buildings of the town remained standing after the Rosewood massacre and the remaining black residents fled.
In June 1921, a race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, nearly destroyed an affluent black area of the town. Reports of what occurred between a black man and white woman riding together in an elevator in Tulsa’s business district were varied and conflicting, but the situation developed into a riot in the black business area. Much of the business district was destroyed and many people were killed in the Tulsa race riot.
In April 1918, President Wilson formed the National War Labor Board to coordinate efforts of business and labor. The board supported the growth of labor, an eight-hour work day, equal pay for women, and collective bargaining. It opposed strikes. The board was dissolved at the end of World War I.
After the war, a series of strikes in America threatened unrest. A general strike began in Seattle, in the shipyards, where workers wanted higher wages. Other strikes throughout the country affected the steel, coal, and meatpacking industries. In 1919, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Abrams v. United States, a case that involved an amendment to the Espionage Act. The high court upheld the amendment and decided it was a criminal offense to curtain the production of materials necessary to war production.
The practice of businesses providing welfare services to their employees is called welfare capitalism. Another name for welfare capitalism is industrial paternalism. After the 1919 strikes, businessmen began giving more benefits to workers. Some of the benefits were paid vacations, recreation facilities, and even housing. The Pullman Car Company (railroad sleeping cars) provided a village for workers to live in and company stores from which workers could purchase needed items.
Interior of a Pullman car.
The Red Scare
A Red Scare is the fear that communism will infiltrate homes, ways of life, and America in general. The first red scare occurred after World War I, when people feared the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks considered themselves the leaders of the working class. Lenin was one of the founders of the faction. They revolted against the rulers in Russia in 1917, were successful, and later changed the name of their group to Communists. It was feared that the group may later try to revolt in America.
In order to combat the fears, the U.S. Department of Justice, under the leadership of Attorney General Mitchell Palmer, led a series of raids to capture and deport radical thinkers, and especially anarchists, from America.
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italian-Americans and anarchists. They were accused of robbing and murdering a security guard and a payroll clerk at a shoe factory in 1921. They were convicted and sentenced to death. Their case is controversial, even today, as many of the charges have been disputed and some disproven. However, they were known anarchists, and their trial was held during the Red Scare.
Bartolomeo Vanzetti (left), handcuffed to Nicola Sacco (right).
Changes in the 1920s
In the election of 1920, Warren G. Harding campaigned for a return to normalcy—the return to life as it was before World War I. After he was elected to office, his administration was one of many scandals. The Teapot Dome scandal involved a lease of petroleum reserves (at Teapot Dome, Wyoming) and in California at low prices without going through the competitive process of bidding. Harding’s Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall, was convicted of taking bribes from petroleum companies in return for the lease.
Harding died of a heart attack before the end of his term, and was followed by Calvin Coolidge, his Vice-President. Coolidge’s goal was to restore the dignity and prestige of the office of the President.
The 1920s was referred to as the New Era and the Roaring 20s. Post-war prosperity continued as the automobile changed the people’s lives, and the reforms of the Progressive Era, such as prison and education reform, voting rights for women, and muckraking efforts to reform industry and big business were largely abandoned in the 1920s.
U.S. Marines with the captured flag of Augusto César Sandino in Nicaragua in 1932.
Dollar diplomacy is the effort by a country to use finances, foreign policy, and military efforts to protect that country’s interests in another country. After World War I, the U.S. became more entangled in foreign affairs, and increased its involvement in Central America and the Caribbean. This involvement generated criticism from some Americans. America made financial investments in El Salvador, an important coffee exporter. The Bolivian mining economy declined during this period, and the U.S. made loans to the country and received tax collections for repayment. U.S. military forces occupied Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti to protect economic interest in those countries, in what were called the Banana Wars. The wars began in 1912 and continued until the early 1930s. Warren Harding campaigned to remove the occupation forces, but the military occupation continued. There were also scandalous reports from Haiti that there was sexual exploitation of Haitian women by U.S. troops.
Religion in Politics
Religion played an important part in politics in the post-World War I era. Protestants supported Prohibition, despite the fact that Prohibition was largely ignored. Also, fundamentalists strongly disagreed with Charles Darwin’s theories.
Nativism and the Reborn Ku Klux Klan
The efforts to stop and/or restrict immigration increased during the 1920s. As a result, the country saw a reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan. Nativism is a policy of prejudice against immigrants that protects natives of a country, rather than a country’s immigrants. Nativists believed that immigrants would take Americans’ jobs and destroy the peace and unity of the country.
In 1924, Congress passed the National Origins Act that limited immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe. The law required immigrants to have a visa issued by an American consular office in the country they were leaving, before they could enter the United States. Asians could not become citizens, and the act prohibited immigrants who could not become citizens. The act limited yearly immigration and reduced the number of unskilled workers who could enter the United States.
The Ku Klux Klan
Birth of a Nation was a controversial 1915 silent movie that depicted two families who lived through the Civil War. The film showed life after the war and dramatized the founding of the Ku Klux Klan. It also depicted the group as heroic. As a result of the movie, the Ku Klux Klan was reborn. In addition to targeting African Americans, the group targeted immigrants, Catholics, and Jews.
The group advocated white supremacy and patriotism. To signify the rebirth, the person responsible for the rebirth of the organization burned a cross on a mountain top. The Klan had widespread political power. It also played a role in opposing the election of Alfred E. Smith, a Roman Catholic Democrat in 1928. In the 1920s, the group’s membership exceeded four million.
Social Theories and Critics
- HARLEM RENAISSANCE
- MARCUS GARVEY
After the Civil War, and especially in the period between 1910 and 1920, many black Americans left the South to migrate to the North and to urban centers for better jobs, to obtain housing, and to make a better life for themselves and their families. This period of movement from the South to the North was called the Great Migration.
New York City’s Harlem was the largest center of the Great Migration, and became a center for the renewal of African American arts. Major figures in the Harlem Renaissance were Langston Hughes, a novelist and poet, and Zora Neale Hurston, an anthropologist, author, and folklorist.