1920 40 review

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1920s/1930s : 

1920s/1930s 1918-1929/1930-1941

The End of the War: 

The End of the War Before the end of the war President Wilson formulated his Fourteen Points as the basis for peace Germany signed the armistice on November 11, 1918 mainly because of the potential of the American forces Wilson became a hero to the people of a liberated Europe During the war partisan politics did not afflict Congress as the country united behind the war effort In 1918 Wilson asked for a Democratic victory, but the Republicans ended up with a narrow advantage Wilson went to Paris for the peace talks and left the country in the hands of a Republican Congress


Wilson was the first president to travel to Europe but he alienated the Republicans by not inviting one republican to the Peace Conference The chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts was particularly angered Lodge and Wilson shared a mutual hatred The Paris Conference was dominated by the Big Four – Wilson, Lloyd George of Britain, Orlando of Italy, and Clemenceau of France The matter which caused the greatest concern was to stop the spread of Communism


Wilson’s main goal was to establish a League of Nations He imagined an organization of representative who would meet to discuss world problems Few, especially among the Republicans, shared his enthusiasm for a League of Nations The Republicans declared they would not approve the League in its current form Opposition from the Republicans weakened Wilson’s diplomatic power in Paris When he did return to Paris he found that the opinion of the major powers had become much more aggressive

The Versailles Treaty: 

The Versailles Treaty France was determined to occupy the German-Rhineland and the Saar Valley Wilson persuaded the French to accept occupation of the region by the League of Nations for 15 years France also received a security pledge from Britain and America – both countries promised to help if Germany re-armed The final treaty was given to the Germans to sign in June 1919


When the Germans saw the treaty they were shocked to see so few of Wilson’s Fourteen Points, which had been the basis under which they had surrendered Wilson had been forced to compromise his original ideals to keep the bickering Europeans happy As soon as he returned to America, Wilson was confronted with a hostile Congress Isolationists wanted no part of foreign treaties Some thought the agreement did not punish Germany enough for starting the war Irish-Americans, German-Americans and Italian-Americans all hated Wilson

The End of Wilson: 

The End of Wilson Wilson still felt confident the Versailles Treaty would be ratified. Even Lodge only wanted to make the treaty more “American” The Treaty became bogged down in Senate as Lodge examined every page Wilson set off around the country to muster public support – even though he was advised against such a move by his own physicians While in Colorado in September, 1919, Wilson collapsed from exhaustion He was quickly returned to Washington, but suffered a stroke only days later


Wilson remained out of circulation for over six months Lodge saw the opportunity to step up. Lodge had failed to get the Treaty amended but now was his chance Critics were especially annoyed over Article X which promised the United States would give aid to any country that faced external aggression Lodge attached a series of amendment to the original treaty so the Republicans could claim some of the credit Wilson told the Democrats to vote against the amended treaty


The treaty was defeated in the Senate The public was angry and upset that the Senate could not agree on a simple resolution and they demanded a second ballot The Democrats would have to accept the amended packet otherwise the whole treaty would fail Wilson refused to compromise and ordered the Democrats to once again vote against the amended treaty The treaty died in the Senate

The Election of 1920: 

The Election of 1920 The Republicans eventually selected Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio with Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge as his running mate Coolidge had made a name for himself by defeating the police strike in Boston Democrats nominated Governor James M. Cox of Ohio with Franklin D. Roosevelt as his running mate In the first election that included women, (Nineteenth Amendment – 1920) the Republicans won 404-127


Harding gained over 7 million more popular votes Socialist Eugene V. Debs ran as a Third party from the Atlanta penitentiary and gained almost 1 million votes The public had shown they were tired of Wilsonian politics and European affairs – they wanted what Harding promised – a return to normalcy Unfortunately Harding was a poor choice and proved to be an even worse president, mainly because of his poor choice of appointments

The Red Scare: 

The Red Scare In 1917 the Bolshevik Revolution forced Russia out of the war, changed the Russian government, created a small Communist party in America, and caused fear and concern among non-Communist nations In the wake of the war the country was gripped by a series of strikes Most people assumed the strikes were part of a Communist/Bolshevik plot The “red scare” of 1919 created political careers, ruined some lives, caused pain and anguish to anguish to many innocent people


In 1919 a bomb exploded at the home of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer (the Fighting Quaker) who had been leading the campaign against possible Bolsheviks The explosion caused Palmer to increase his efforts and gained him enormous public support In December 1919 the government deported 249 suspected aliens and Bolshevik sympathizers on the Buford The following year another bomb exploded on Wall Street and killed nearly forty people Many states joined together to pass “anti-red” legislation


Critics of the paranoia protested that basic American rights were been ignored But the red scare served the conservatives and businessmen well – they could now complain about troublemakers and unions and associate them with the Bolsheviks Unions found it hard to even exist. Any appeal for a union was seen as un-American The most notorious case of anti-foreign sentiment was the Sacco-Vanzetti case in Massachusetts

Sacco and Vanzetti: 

Sacco and Vanzetti Nicola Sacco a factory worker and Bartolomeo Vanzetti a fish seller were convicted in 1921 of murdering a Massachusetts paymaster and his guard The defendants were of Italian descent and known as anarchists and atheists The case lasted six years before both men were convicted and sentenced to death They were executed in 1927


Prohibition One of the greatest social experiments in American history was the attempt to prohibit alcohol in the 1920s The Eighteenth Amendment (1919) (and the Volstead Act) tried to abolish the manufacturing, sale, and transportation of alcohol The Act was very popular in the South and the West, but in the East there was strong opposition But the idea was flawed because many people, especially foreign-born Americans found ways around the law


The authorities had not really considered how to enforce a law that so many people opposed and that had been a large part of normal society Speakeasies with secret passwords and tiny windows sprouted in major cities Illegal alcohol was shipped from the West Indies or from Canada by gangsters determined to supply the thirsty market – and make a fortune Bootleggers produced homemade alcohol that often caused blindness or death But there were some benefits to the Prohibition era Absenteeism from work decreased and people saved more money The “noble experiment” failed because so many people simply refused to accept the law, even though most believed it would be permanent


Isolationism The large number of immigrants that were entering the country from Europe worried many people The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 was attempt to limit immigration by only allowing a certain quota from each country – 3% of that nationality living in America in 1910 Favored those from Southern and Eastern Europe Congress approved the Immigration Act of 1924 which cut the quota of foreigners from 3% to 2% and changed the date to 1890 from 1910


This new changed favored immigrants from Northern Europe at the expense of those from the South and East who called the legislation discriminatory Nativist believed a stronger, better America could be attained though people with light hair and blue eyes The Act also stopped completely the immigration of Japanese Exempt from the quota system were Canadian and those from Latin America – because they were needed to take the lowest paying jobs Act ended the belief that all were welcome

The Ku Klux Klan: 

The Ku Klux Klan Another element of the anti-foreign campaign was the reemergence of the KKK The KKK had been around since the middle of the nineteenth century, but after the Civil War it had become known as an antiblack movement In the 1920s, the new KKK reinforced the nativist spirit that was sweeping the country – they were anti-foreign, antiblack, anti-Jewish, anti-Communist, anti-Catholic, anti-international, anti-birth control, anti-drinking, and anti-gambling


They were pro-American, pro-Anglo-Saxon, pro-Protestant – they were ultra-conservative and dedicated to maintaining traditional American morals, standards, and culture The new KKK had a great deal of support, especially in the southern “Bible Belt” states At its height of popularity it claimed to have over 5 million members The organization collapsed in the late twenties when it was investigated for corruption and embezzlement The KKK was a realization of what can happen when people are confronted with social change

The Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922): 

The Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922) Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon also wanted higher tariffs The Fordney-McCumber Tariff increased tariffs against chemicals and metal products that were been imported from Germany During the war the United States had moved from a creditor to a debtor nation The tariff made it harder for European nations to sell in America and consequently prevented them from making money and repaying their war debt


Harding appointed Republicans dedicated to his ideals to all the main committees In 1923 news was leaked about members of the administration robbing the Veteran’s Bureau The official ran away to Europe Other cronies were charged with a variety of crimes The biggest scandal was the Teapot Dome scandal


Crime Prohibition created untold opportunities for criminals to make money In many major cities like Chicago, virtual gang wars erupted as rival crime bosses competed for the millions of dollars associated with alcohol The most famous crime boss was “Scarface” Al Capone who controlled a crime empire that was worth millions of dollars The gangsters were hard to catch and harder to prosecute Capone was eventual found guilty of tax evasion

The “Ohio Gang”: 

The “Ohio Gang” Many of Harding’s appointments were members of a group called the “Ohio Gang” Harding met with the “Ohio Gang” on a regular basis and often in places outside the White House They earned a reputation as drinking, women, and gambling even during a time of Prohibition Once in office the administration started dismantling Progressive legislation, especially the social reforms Harding was able to appoint four Supreme Court justices

McNary-Haugen Bill: 

McNary-Haugen Bill Farmers suffered in the post-war years as they could not sell their products Many looked to farmer cooperatives and associations to protect their interests and give them greater political leverage In 1924 Senator McNary and Representative Haugen introduced a bill to help the framers The idea was to dump surplus crop on the world market to raise domestic prices In 1927 and 1928 the bill passed both Houses but was vetoed by Coolidge


It was clear that the administration was pro-business Secretary of Treasury Mellon reduced government spending and lowered taxes mostly for the rich Mellon believed that by giving money to the rich they would have more to invest and that would stimulate the economy In 1921 he persuaded Congress to pass the Budget and Accounting Act, which created the Bureau of Budget The Revenue Act of 1926 lowered taxes even more for the rich

Teapot Dome: 

Teapot Dome Oil reserves under the Teapot Rock in Wyoming had been set aside by Albert Fall of the Interior Department for the naval oil reserves Fall signed contracts with private companies letting them use the oil reserves Fall’s standard of living skyrocketed including a “loan” of $400,000 from the oil companies which was delivered in a bag Harding claimed to have had no knowledge of the extent of the scandals, but he obviously knew there was a problem


In 1923 Harding went to Alaska Territory and on the way back he stopped in Seattle He suffered food poisoning and died The public was distraught as they didn’t know the extent of the problems Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as president Coolidge promised to return the White House to the Gilded Age philosophies Even more than Harding, “silent Cal” advocated supporting big business “the man who builds a factory builds a temple” He distanced himself from the scandals and became the Republican nominee for 1924

The Election of 1924: 

The Election of 1924 The Democrats were divided and nominated John Davis a Wall Street lawyer A farmer-labor coalition third party appeared The Progressive party led by Robert La Follette from Wisconsin was backed by the Socialist party and the American Federation of Labor Coolidge accused La Follette of wanting to turn America into a communist and socialist state Coolidge won easily with Davis only winning the South – the Progressives gained the most third party votes

Scope Monkey Trial (1925): 

Scope Monkey Trial (1925) By the 1920s many states required students to wait until they were 16 before graduating The type of education and the quality of education had changed dramatically as new philosophies swept the teaching field But there was always an issue about how to teach evolution Fundamentalists believed the one true way was to reinforce biblical teachings about creationism Science leaned more toward Darwin and evolution


Several states, including Tennessee, passed laws prohibiting the teaching of evolution In 1925, at Dayton Tennessee, a high school biology teacher, John T. Scopes was indicted for teaching evolution Scopes was defended represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and by famed trial lawyer Clarence Darrow an agnostic The Fundamentalists hired former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan to lead the prosecution Bryan defending creationism was made to look foolish in the cross examination


In the end Scopes was found guilty and fined $100 – the fine was eventually set aside on a technicality The Fundamentalists had won the case but in doing so they had weakened their own argument for teaching creationism

Foreign Policy: 

Foreign Policy Washington Naval Conference (1925) - attempted to prevent a naval arms race among United States, Britain, and Japan. Also included France, Italy, the Netherlands, China, and Portugal and created 3 treaties


1. The Five-Power Pact (1922) - U.S., G.B., Japan, Italy, and France agreed to build no more warships for 10 years. Also limited naval tonnage: 5 tons for U.S. and G.B. 3 tons for Japan 1.75 tons for France and Italy 2. Nine-Power Pact - Promised to maintain China’s territorial integrity and support the “open door” policy 3. Four-Power Pact - U.S., G.B., France, and Japan agreed to respect each other’s rights in the Pacific and promised to settle disputes through negotiations

Dawes Plan (1924): 

Dawes Plan (1924) After World War I the European nations owed $26 billion Hyperinflation in Germany (1923-4) caused them to default on their payments forcing other nations to default The French occupied the Ruhr - the Germans stopped working in protest American banker Charles Dawes negotiated large loans from American banks to help Germany Britain and France reduced the amount of reparations over 5 years


Geneva Naval Disarmament Conference (1927) - Initiated by Coolidge to construct smaller warships, but only attended by U.S., G.B., and Japan. No agreement was reached Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928) - Negotiated by French Foreign Minister Briand and Secretary of State Kellogg. It outlawed war as an instrument of national policy. Signed by 48 countries, but no means of enforcement Young Plan (1929) - Reworked the Dawes Plan to reduce the payments even more and allow Germany even more time


Consumerism Business and industry saw the election of Coolidge as a vindication of their practices The American economy changed dramatically as consumerism became the order of the day Leisure and advertising became huge enterprises as the economy moved from thrift and saving to spending and consumption


During the first part of the decade many people invested in real estate, especially in Florida People eager to make money gambled with property, but in 1926 the bubble burst Treasury Secretary Mellon reduced more taxes to keep the economy flowing People shifted their money to Wall Street and purchased stock on margin For a small payment investors could buy stocks with a promise of paying later Between 1927 and 1929 the number of broker loans doubled But consumption was reaching saturation point

The Election of 1928: 

The Election of 1928 Coolidge decided not to seek re-election in 1928 The Republicans nominated Herbert Hoover The Democrats nominated Governor Alfred Smith of New York Hoover represented big business and middle America Smith, the son of immigrants and a Catholic represented big cities Hoover won 444-87 in a vindication of Republicanism


1929 promised continued prosperity, but there were some signs of problems Also in 1929 Congress passed the Agricultural Marketing Act, which created the Federal Farm Board to allow loans to farmers The Hawley-Smoot Tariff of 1930 sent duties to an all-time high Over 1,000 economist petitioned Hoover to veto the bill as it would hurt consumers Hoover ignored the appeal

Life in the Roaring Twenties: 

Life in the Roaring Twenties Life in the twenties was based on a fast-paced, big city mentality. Living in small towns with small town values was frowned upon In 1920 Sinclair Lewis wrote Main Street about the cramped life of a prairie town F. Scott Fitzgerald dubbed the twenties the Jazz Age symbolized by experimentation with music and sexuality African and European music blended to form jazz which became popular with the younger crowd


New music meant new dances and the gyrations of the Charleston and the Black Bottom became all the rage The development of the radio allowed people all over the country to be connected Now ideas from one area could be spread almost immediately across the country People listened to jazz and rag time, but even more popular were sporting events The movies became the entertainment of choice as people thrilled at action on the big screen In 1927 the introduction of sound increased the popularity of movies


One of the biggest changes witnessed during the decade came from a shift in morality Traditional values of what was acceptable were cast aside as the twenties created a “new woman” Novels, magazines, and the movies quickly showed the public what life was going to be like for these independent females who wore make up, smoked, drank, and were often kissed in public. At the start of the decades skirts were expected to be just off the ground. By 1927 skirt length was at the knee.


The women who wore these short skirts were called “flappers” and they came to represent the new feminism of the twenties The most controversial issue of the 1920s was birth control Margaret Sanger promoted the use of birth control in 1912. Sanger opened the first family- planning clinic in New York in 1916 by asking women if they could afford to keep having large families? By 1920 women found themselves able to gain access to contraception In 1921 she started the American Birth Control League

Women’s Right: 

Women’s Right Women had supported the plight of emancipation and rights for the former slaves and many were disappointed when they were not included in legislation The women’s suffrage movement which had started much earlier became a focal point in the years prior to the 1920s In 1912 Alice Paul became the head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s Congressional Committee Paul was very militant and urged woman to go on the offensive for their rights


Carrie Chapman Catt became the head of the National Suffrage Association in 1915 In 1916 Alice Paul helped create the Woman’s party which copied the tactics of British suffragettes In 1917 Paul and some followers were arrested for picketing the White House. In prison they went on hunger strike President Wilson avoided the issue until 1916 when he supported women’s suffrage as part of the Democratic platform In 1918 the “Anthony Amendment” passed the House but failed in the Senate by 2 votes


Eventually it was passed in 1919, but was not ratified as the Nineteenth Amendment for another 14 months In 1919 the League of Women Voters was formed After attained the franchise many women stopped working for more rights Paul and the Woman’s party introduced an Equal Rights Amendment into Congress in 1923, but her amendment would not be adopted until 1972

African Americans: 

African Americans Starting in roughly 1915 thousands of African Americans migrated north to the cities to work in the factories With the sudden and large increase in African Americans there were some noticeable changes in society, particularly in politics Blacks felt more inclined to participate in the political process in the North In addition to an economic and political change there was a social change


The Harlem Renaissance was a rebirth of the black cultural spirit Claude McKay wrote Harlem Shadows (1922)was one of the first writers to participate in the Renaissance spirit James Weldon Toomer and Langston Hughes became widely read black authors There was also a new spirit of “Negro nationalism” which allowed people like Marcus Garvey to express the importance of black culture and the uniqueness of being black Garvey formed the Universal Negro Improvement Association in 1916


Garvey told blacks to liberate themselves from the whites and his words found a receptive audience in the racially-heated twenties Not all black leaders agreed with Garvey’s rhetoric – W.E.B. DuBois called Garvey an enemy of the Negro race Garvey spoke at the UNIA convention in 1920 and told blacks that their best hope was to leave America and move back to Africa He was found guilty of mail fraud and sentenced to prison in 1925 where he stayed until President Coolidge pardoned him in 1927 and sent him to Jamaica


The organization Garvey started would reemerge much later in the form of the Black Power Movement A more influential organization was the National association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) which was founded in 1910 The organization focused on getting public attention on the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments – the Amendments intended to allow the black man to vote Gradually through the work of the Supreme Court the NAACP was able to make significant changes to the voting laws

The Automobile: 

The Automobile The policies of Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon favored those who were willing to invest and invest heavily Capitalists looked for industrialists and industrialists looked for a product and a market The greatest symbol of American ingenuity was Henry Ford’s assembly line which turned out a new car every 10 seconds Perhaps nothing symbolizes the 1920s and the new culture of America than the automobile


By the middle of the decade Ford’s Model T (the Tin Lizzie) was cheap enough that most workers could afford one By the end of the decade there were almost 30 million automobiles in the United States Thousands of new jobs were created to accommodate the new automobile industry Production of rubber, glass, and steel all increased dramatically – roads had to be laid – motels appeared by the side of the road as did gas stations Demand for oil was gripped the nation Once a luxury, the automobile became seen as a necessity


On a weekend American families would climb into their cars and visit the countryside No longer were city dwellers confined to the cities Great areas of the country suddenly became popular as tourism became a major industry Workers no longer had to live in the cities they could travel to work, so living in the suburbs became fashionable


Flight In 1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright created a plane that stayed in the air for 12 seconds – the door to air travel had been kicked open During the First World War airplanes were commonly seen above the battlefields – although they were poorly used and referred to as “flying coffins” After the war private companies started offering travel by airplane and the first commercial flights from New York to San Francisco started in 1920


In 1927 Charles Lindbergh became the first man to fly west to east across the Atlantic Ocean His plane the Spirit of St. Louis flew from New York to Paris in a little over 33 hours – Lindbergh was able to claim the $25,000 prize


Sports In the 1920s baseball became America’s game Babe Ruth, who had been sold by the Boston Red Sox, became a living legend in New York playing for the Yankees Yankee Stadium became commonly known as the “house that Ruth built” In 1921 Jack Dempsey knocked out Georges Carpentier in front of the first crowd to pay a million dollars to see a fight

The Arts: 

The Arts The first real movie was The Great Train Robbery, made in 1913 and shown in theaters called “nickelodeons” because they charged five-cents D. W. Griffith produced The Birth of a Nation in 1915 about the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction was one of the first full-length movies The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson was the first talkie Southern California quickly became the center of the movie making business

The Wall Street Crash: 

The Wall Street Crash By 1929 many advised caution but making money seemed almost too easy The president even urged the Stock Market to discourage speculation The Federal Reserve Board raised the interest rate but with no effect In September prices dropped but it was seen as a slight adjustment and not a problem October 29 became the most devastating single day for the market People unable to meet their margin were forced to sell at a loss


During October over a third of the value was lost In September the New York Times stock average was 452, in July 1932 it was 52! As prices fell companies started laying people off and increasing unemployment Without work there was no income Banks started to close, farmers went bankrupt, and factories closed The crash did not cause the Great Depression but the policies of the government and the reluctance of the administration to interfere with business practices prevented any form of recovery

The Great Depression: 

The Great Depression 1929-1941

Stock Market Crash (1929): 

Stock Market Crash (1929) In the days prior to the crash there were some warning signs – but most people ignored them and continued speculating In October the British raised their interest rates in an attempt to regain some investment money lost to America Investors started to dump their investments and look for something more secure On October 29, 1929 “Black Tuesday” people sold over 16 million shares in an attempt to salvage some money


Stockbrokers sold stock they held for buyers who could not meet their margin calls President Hoover tried to calm the people by saying everything was fine In a few months stockholders had lost over $40 billion By 1930 over 4 million were out of work; banks collapsed; people lost their savings; farms were foreclosed The crisis seemed to feed on itself as more and more people lost their jobs Most people were saved from starvation by soup kitchens

Causes of the Crash and Depression: 

Causes of the Crash and Depression 1. The country had been producing more than it could sell 2. Profits had gone to a small, wealthy group and not to the workers who would have spent the money and probably prevented the crisis 3. Credit was too easy to obtain and for too little security 4. The Hawley-Smoot Tariff of 1930 5. In 1930 a terrible drought ruined many farmers


By 1933 over 13 million were out of work, others worked for reduced wages and/or shorter hours People created shelters called “Hoovervilles” People made shelters from cardboard and used newspapers “Hoover blankets” to keep themselves warm Many just abandoned everything, became hobos and traveled the country by “riding the rails” Treasury Secretary Mellon and Hoover both believed the economy would cure itself Both asked business owners to keep factories open


Gradually Hoover realized more needed to be done – he rushed through government contracts However local governments cut back on spending Hoover asked the Federal reserve to make credit more available, while Congress passed a small tax cut The Hawley-Smoot Tariff (1930) raised duties to an all-time high to protect American manufacturers – but other nations retaliated and it ultimately hurt the economy Economist asked the president to remove the tariff, but it was an election year so he refused


In 1931 the failure of Austria’s largest bank put even greater pressure on European economies and even less likelihood for the payment of war debts In 1932 Congress established the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to allow loans to banks, mortgage associations, railroads, and insurance companies In the first six months they issued $1.2 billion in loans

Bonus Army March (1932): 

Bonus Army March (1932) In some areas farmers took the law into their own hands and formed the Farmers’ Holiday Association calling on farmers to strike and block delivery of farm products There was even some talk of revolution In the Spring of 1932 over 15,000 veterans formed the Bonus Expeditionary Force and marched on Washington demanding payment of a war bonus approved in 1924 The House passed the bill, but when the Senate refused most marchers went home


Those that stayed camped near the Capitol Congress offered to pay their fare home if they left – some did In a scuffle in July a policeman opened fire and killed two veterans Hoover ordered General MacArthur aided by Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton to disperse the crowd The soldiers forced the veterans to leave, but injured many and killed one (an eleven year-old boy) The administration claimed the Bonus Army was full of Communists and troublemakers intent on revolution

The Election of 1932: 

The Election of 1932 Hoover had won the election in 1928 by promising a “chicken in every pot” The Republicans re-nominated Hoover for 1932, but he had little interest The Democrats nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt (a distant cousin of Theodore) Roosevelt was well-educated and well-spoken, he had also held many important positions in past administrations, but had suffered from polio which left him wearing leg braces


During the campaign Roosevelt promised a New Deal for America, but did not elaborate He blamed Hoover and the Republicans for the Depression and gradually elaborated on his New Deal – a balanced budget, regulation of utilities companies, and a promise to repeal Prohibition Roosevelt won the election 472-59 In the Winter of 1932-3 the situation continued to get worse At the inauguration in March the people expected action Roosevelt claimed “the only thing to fear is fear itself”


The first plan was to relieve the conditions of the unemployed Second part was to stimulate industry Third part was pay farmers for reducing their crops which would ultimately raise the price of commodities Roosevelt called Congress to meet for a special session and then closed the banks for a four day holiday Immediately Congress passed the Emergency Banking Relief Act which allowed sound banks to reopen and provided managers for those in trouble

Fireside Chats: 

Fireside Chats On March 12, Roosevelt talked to the nation in the first of his “fireside chats” He told the people to keep their money in the banks and reassured the nation that he was working to solve the problem Congress passed the Economy Act which granted the president power to cut federal salaries and they passed the Beer-Wine Revenue Act which amended the Volstead Act and permitted the sale of low levels of alcohol The Twenty-First Amendment was passed in December ended Prohibition

The Hundred Days: 

From March 9 to June 16 was known as the Hundred Days Congress received and enacted 15 major pieces of legislation After solving the banking problems the administration focused on helping the farmers and homeowners Roosevelt created the Farm Credit Administration to consolidate all farm credit agencies and to offer refinancing at lower interest rates The Hundred Days

Financial Help (1932): 

Financial Help (1932) In April the country abandoned the gold standard The Federal Securities Act required full disclosure of information about stocks and bonds The Home Owners’ Loan Act allowed homeowners to refinance mortgages at lower rates The Glass-Steagall Banking Act created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to guarantee bank deposits up to $5,000. It also increased the power of the Federal Reserve to regulate credit

Relief for the People: 

Relief for the People Congress created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) which was intended to create work for the unemployed and unmarried men between 18 and 25. The program employed nearly 3 million young men The workers were paid about $30 a month and spent their time building roads, campgrounds, and planting trees The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) sent money through state agencies in the form of grants to create education programs as well as direct cash payments to individuals


The first federal attempt at work relief was through the Civil Works Administration – the CWA provided federal jobs for those who could not find work. The CWA was dissolved in the spring of 1934, but immediately afterwards the number of unemployed skyrocketed Roosevelt advocated giving people jobs as opposed to financial hand-outs In 1935 Roosevelt asked Congress for $4.8 billion in the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act to pay for the programs Congress created the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to manage the programs

Relief for Farmers: 

Relief for Farmers With the drop in the price of farm commodities in the late 1920s, many farmers could not afford to plant crops The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 planned to pay farmers to destroy their crops in an attempt to raise prices The decline in supply did increase the prices, but the shortage was as much due to the “dust bowl” which wiped out many farms on the Great Plains between 1932 and 1935


In 1936 the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Butler the AAA’s tax on food processors as unconstitutional Congress responded by passing the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act which removed quotas, but still provided funds for farmers who took land out of production In 1938 Congress passed the Second Agricultural Adjustment Act

Industrial Relief: 

Industrial Relief The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) The act had two parts: one dealt with economic recovery, the second created the Public Works Administration (PWA) The NIRA also created the controversial National Recovery Administration (NRA) to help businesses by setting wages and prices and to create more jobs The symbol of the NRA was the “Blue Eagle” and the words “We do our part” started to appear in windows and on products


In response the NRA changed to allow workers to form unions Problems started when larger companies began to dominate industries and eliminated competition The legislation was terminated by the Supreme Court in 1935 because it was deemed unconstitutional in the Schechter Poultry Corporation v. United States case Although the act was a failure it did establish the forty-hour work week and ended child labor

The Tennessee Valley Authority: 

The Tennessee Valley Authority One of the largest and most successful programs was the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) The Tennessee Valley was a very underdeveloped and impoverished area The idea was to build a series of dams on the Tennessee River. The result would be more industry, better schools and libraries, and cheap hydroelectric power

New Deal Critics: 

New Deal Critics Not everyone approved of the New Deal legislation and attacks from all sides H. L. Mencken complained that Roosevelt was creating a welfare state Father Charles Coughlin “the radio priest” preached to millions every week via his radio show. In initially he supported the New Deal and blamed the Depression on wealthy bankers, but by 1934 he had turned against Roosevelt – calling the president a liar


Dr. Francis Townsend suggested that all people over 60 receive $200 a month, the money could be raised through a sales tax. The plan was for the older people to spend the money in the same month and thereby generate far more purchasing power Needless to say the plan attracted plenty of followers The most vocal critic was Huey Long, once governor and senator of Louisiana Long was nicknamed the modern-day Robin Hood for his “share our wealth” plan


Long proposed to make “every man a king” by limiting the amount of money the wealthy could possess The government would take control of all incomes over $1 million and estates over $5 million. This money would then be distributed to the less fortunate Long and Coughlin both appealed to the mass through populist movements that feed on dissatisfaction and disappointment In 1935 Long was assassinated and while the movement continued it did not thrive without Long


The Communist party attacked the New Deal for being too conservative In 1934 the muckraker Upton Sinclair was nominated as the Democratic candidate for governor on a platform of “End Poverty in California” – Sinclair lost Membership in the Communist party increased during the Depression. While it communism never really attracted a mass appeal it did became especially appealing to Hollywood people

The Second New Deal: 

The Second New Deal With opposition from Congress and the Courts Roosevelt launched his Second New Deal in which he demanded legislation must be passed Congress passed the legislation, but some of it proved very controversial The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) gave workers the right to negotiate through unions of their choice. It also prevented employers from interfering with union activities The Social Security Act (1935) included pensions for retired workers


Starting in 1937 workers would contribute money from their payroll The act also created a federal-state unemployment insurance program These programs initiated the belief that the federal government is responsible for the welfare of those people who can not be employed A major problem was the Social Security payroll tax was regressive – a fixed fee was paid by all, regardless of earnings. The tax also took money out of circulation The Revenue Act (1935) raised taxes on incomes over $50,000

The Election of 1936: 

The Election of 1936 By 1936 the New Deal and its supporters held the advantage The Republicans had trouble finding anyone who even wanted to run for president. They ended up with Alfred Landon of Kansas Landon was a moderate and even approved of some of the New Deal legislation Roosevelt won in a landslide (523-8)

The Court-Packing Plan: 

The Court-Packing Plan After winning the election, Roosevelt believed he had a mandate for his New Deal Many of his plans had been thwarted by the Supreme Court – none of whom had been appointed by Roosevelt, six were older than 70 Roosevelt couldn’t wait for time to change the Court Roosevelt asked Congress to allow him to appoint an extra Justice for each one who was over 70 who would not retire. (But never more than 15)


Roosevelt claimed the Court needed new blood and help with extra cases Congress, and the nation immediately rebuked the president for trying to “pack” the Supreme Court Many accused the president of trying to create a dictatorship After the court-packing scheme the Court became more sympathetic to New Deal legislation Ironically, before he left office Roosevelt was able to appoint nine Justices Attempts to pack the court seriously backfired on the president and cost him a great deal of support

The End of the New Deal: 

The End of the New Deal In 1937 the short-term benefits of the New deal were disappearing as the country faced another severe economic downturn Early indications had seemed to promise recovery as unemployment declined and industrial output increased, but so did the deficit To help stop the deficit Roosevelt cut back on federal spending, which precipitated a new recession Nearly 4 million workers lost their jobs – causing heated debate in the administration about how to cure the problem


The debate was over either limiting regulation on businesses and cutting spending or increase government control through regulation Eventually Roosevelt decided to use consumer spending to end the Depression His ideas came from the book The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936) written by British economist John Maynard Keynes The main idea was that government should spend its way out of a depression regardless of trying to maintain a balanced budget Roosevelt increased spending but recovery was still slow


The public turned against Roosevelt and the Democrats Roosevelt made matters worse when he promised to rid the party of those who opposed the New Deal – the Republicans made huge gains in the 1938, midterm election By the end of 1939 the New Deal was practically dead as people demanded a more conservative approach However, events in Europe were about to shape the next period of American history

Foreign Policy: 

Foreign Policy During the 1930s the nations of western Europe the United States were too busy with their own problems to interfere with the political events in Germany or China. The Americans adopted a policy of increasing isolationism In 1931 the Japanese occupied Manchuria and made it a puppet state The occupation violated the Nine-Power Treaty and the Kellogg-Briand Pact. When China asked the League of Nations for help they received nothing


In 1932 Secretary of State Henry Stimson issued the Stimson Doctrine: the United States refused to recognize any treaty, or agreement that violated American treaties or the Open Door policy with China – the doctrine had no effect on the Japanese 1933 Japan withdrew from the League of Nations Soviet Union - In 1933, forced by the need to increase trade, America recognized the Soviet Union. In return the USSR promised not to interfere in American affairs


In November 1933 the United States formally recognized the Soviet Union and renewed diplomatic relations In 1934 the Platt Amendment was repealed. The navy kept a base at Guantanamo Bay Buenos Aires Conference (1936) - American states promised to consult each other if threatened or remain neutral if aggression was between any two of them The Neutrality Act of 1935, signed by Roosevelt it promised to keep America out of any wars and it prohibited the sale of weapons and ammunition to all warring nations


Weeks after the treaty was signed Italy invaded Ethiopia Mussolini did not need to buy arms but he did need oil, which was not part of the Neutrality Act In 1936 Adolf Hitler ordered German troops into the Rhineland in violation of the Versailles Treaty Also in 1936 General Franco led an uprising in Spain In 1937 Congress passed another Neutrality Act – prohibited Americans from traveling on ships of nations at war, prohibited the sale of arms and loans, and prohibited the arming of American merchant ships trading with warring nations


By 1939, with help from Hitler and Mussolini, Franco had established a fascist dictatorship in Spain In 1937 Japan and China embarked on a full-scale war. Japan also joined Germany and Italy in the Anti-Comintern Pact In December 1937 Japanese planes attacked and sank the American gunboat Panay which had been anchored in the Yangtze River, China. They also attacked 3 American oil tankers The Japanese government apologized and paid reparations Declaration of Lima (1938) - 38 American nations would resist threats to their peace


1938 Hitler forced the Anschluss (union) with Austria. Later the same year he invaded the Sudeten region of Czechoslovakia Still support for isolationism was strong Roosevelt became openly supportive of European nations fighting fascism and asked to be able to sell material to Britain and France on a cash-and-carry basis. His request was refused When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Roosevelt called a special session of Congress and asked to amend the Neutrality Act

Aid to Britain: 

Aid to Britain The Neutrality Act of 1939 allowed Britain and France to send their own planes to the United States to pick up supplies that had been purchased with cash By 1940 only Britain remained free from German control and the while Winston Churchill promised to never surrender they did need supplies Roosevelt order an increase in military production

Undeclared War: 

Undeclared War In 1940 Roosevelt created the National Defense Research Committee to coordinate the war effort and examine the possibility of developing atomic weapons Britain negotiated a secret deal with the United States in which they would receive 50 “old” destroyers in return for a 99 year lease on bases in various locations Congress also authorized the first peacetime conscription which required all men between 21 and 35 to register for service

The Election of 1940: 

The Election of 1940 The Republican choice was Wendell Wilkie, a former Democrat, who supported aiding the Allies Roosevelt probably would not have wanted a third term but when war broke out he felt he had no other choice. He kept silent about his intentions to join the fight Roosevelt won a third term (449-82), but it was the closest margin of all his victories


Lend-Lease Britain informed the United States that they were running out of money, but they still needed the supplies The Johnson Act of 1934 prohibited loans to belligerent nations – Roosevelt needed another way to keep Britain supplied but not violate any laws In a fireside chat he told the American people of the Lend-Lease Bill that had been introduced into Congress America was to be the “Arsenal of Democracy”


The Bill authorized the president to sell, transfer, exchange, lend, or lease any equipment necessary to continue the defense the United States The Bill was hotly contested for several months before being passed By 1941 the Germans and their allies had taken invaded Greece, Yugoslavia, and Egypt Hitler now seemed destined to gain the whole Middle East region In the summer of 1941 the Germans suddenly invaded Russia, in violation of their non-aggression pact with the Soviets

Atlantic Charter (1941): 

Atlantic Charter (1941) In August 1941 Churchill and Roosevelt met at Newfoundland to issue the Atlantic Charter: It called for self-determination for all people equal access to raw materials freedom of the seas economic cooperation By September 15 nations endorsed the Charter On September 4, the first attack on an American ship took place. The destroyer Greer was attacked by a German submarine – Roosevelt ordered American ships to shoot any German or Italian ships

Pearl Harbor (1941): 

Pearl Harbor (1941) In September 1940 Germany, Italy, and Japan signed the Tripartite Pact – each nation promised to declare war on any other nation that declared war on any of the three The Germans wanted the Japanese to attack Russia from Manchuria, but in 1941 the Japanese signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union The Japanese were more interested in the natural resources of the Pacific – especially oil, rubber, and iron


In July 1941 the Japanese declared a protectorate over all of French Indochina Roosevelt: A) froze Japanese assets b) restricted oil exports to Japan c) joined the army of the Philippines with the United States army under the command of General MacArthur The Japanese, desperate for oil, formulated a plan to capture Dutch and British colonies in the Pacific The Japanese underestimated the determination of the United States, a move that eventually cost them the war


The Japanese planned a surprise attack on the American base at Pearl Harbor – the purpose was to sink the aircraft carriers Even while both nations negotiated the Japanese prepared for war On the morning of December 7, 1941 the Americans decoded a Japanese message ordering the diplomats to break off negotiations at exactly 1 p.m. Eastern time (7:30 a.m. Honolulu time). The message was not received in Hawaii in time Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor for almost two hours with little resistance Over 2,400 servicemen and women were killed


Fortunately the American carriers were all at sea and so they remained in tact Now there was no issue of neutrality The next day Roosevelt asked Congress for a war resolution against the Japanese December 7, he said would be “a date which will in infamy” On December 11, Germany and Italy both declared war against the United States

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