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Notes by Thomas Heissenberger. Feel free to edit or submit notes. 2/14/2011

Booming Business, Ailing AgricultureEdit

  • Recession struck America after the end of the war (post 1920)
  • However despite this recession, the economy quickly recovered, unemployment fell low and GDP rose by 143%.'
  • Homes became more up to date, 60% had electricity.
  • By the mid 1920s, over 60% of people also had Automobiles, along with this came the booming auto industry.
  • Americas contention of a agricultural country now shifted to auto and manufacturing,
  • Stock market rose so rapidly and so did stocks, this increase outran it's actual value, leading stocks to rise to an all time high which would result in a horrendous collapse of the economy.
  • The auto industry was led by Ford and GM which were supplied by Latin America countries.
  • America erected high tariffs on these countries imports mostly as the result of American nationalism, these tariffs were...
    • The Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922)
    • Smoot-Hawley Tariff (1930)

New Modes of Producing, Managing and SellingEdit

  • New assembly techniques boost output by 140%
  • Worker satisfaction deeply dropped due to the repetitiveness of the labor. This system became known as Fordim which was the synonym for worldwide American industrial might, especially in the auto industry.
  • Business consolidation roared after the war, companies merged both horizontally and vertically.
  • U.S. capitalism matured as well and corporations began separate divisions which invested their time and money on a specific focus.
  • Companies soon realize to refuel their system, they should pay their workers to buy their stuff. Henry Ford is the first man to pay his workers over 5$ an hour.
  • They also invested time and money into advertising, in 1929 they spent over 2$ billion USD in advertising.
    • Advertising spurred skeptical reaction, critics often reacted in books or newpaper articles.

Women in the New Economic EraEdit

  • Women workers faced wage discrimination. Angered women unions.
    • However, they also had a rising popularity in executive administrative jobs such as secretary's and clerks.
  • Handful of educated women of the time led the driving force being the Progressive Era feminist movement.

Struggling Labor Unions in a Business AgeEdit

  • Labor unions had a massive decline in members during the 1920s.
    • Several factors such as as wage rages
    • management hostility, thugs hired to deter unions.
    • Strike violence was a big issue of the time, many incidents have cases where people were severely injured or killed.
    • American public had created an antiradical mood, often labeling unions as communists.

Standpat Politics in a Decade of ChangeEdit

  • Republicans attracted farmers on their side
  • Political parties used post-war scare to their benefits.
  • Warren G. Harding nominated for President by Republicans.
    • Wins, public viewed him as a good relief however he made some bad political manager appointments.
      • Harry Daugherty
      • Albert Fall
      • Charles Forbes
        • Corruption rumor
    • Harding unexpectedly dies of a heart-attack.
      • Corruption is exposed! Forbes stole from veterans bureau funds
        • Calvin Coolidge takes over as president, used a good outlook on media strategy for public opinion.

Republican Policy Making in a Pro-business EraEdit

  • Congress lowered income taxes on the wealthy
  • Taft in the supreme court OVERTURNS A federal ban on child labor!!!
  • 1927 created torrential rains down south, farming went to shit. --> Erosion and massive flooding.
    • Government did not care to help or assist anyone in the south during the incident.
  • McNary-Haugen Bill was a price support plan which was promoted by the government to purchase surplus farm commodities and then sell these abroad. Coolidge vetoed this bill but this angered farmers which in result made them mostly vote democrat.

Independent InternationalismEdit

  • US refused to join League of Nations
  • Harding had created the Washington Naval Arms Conference.
    • Discussed Navy regulations for countries of the world, including limiting size and halting construction. Surprisingly Great Britain, Japan, Italy and France accepted. (Germany dodged it, and lied about their ships later in the preludes of World War 2)
  • United States and France sign the Kellogg-Briand Pact which outlawed war.
  • Hitler rejects Germany repayment fees in 1933.
  • US attempts to regain oilfields in Mexico, but the Mexican president is shot.

Progressive Stirrings, Democratic Party DivisionEdit

  • Congress created even bigger tax cuts for the rich
  • Congress creates the Federal Radio Commission
  • 1924 democratic convention, delegates defeated a resolution condemning the Ku-Klux-Klan.
  • Coolidge wins landslide.

Women and Politics in the 1920s: A Dream DeferredEdit

  • Women's committee backed the Sheppard-Towner Act which funded rural prenatal and baby care centers staffed by nurses.
  • Women being able to vote had little impact on political shift of the time, the women movement lost focus.
  • The Sheppard-Towner act eventually expired in 1929 because it was severely criticized by physicians and also the American Medical Association for creating a uncounterable monopoly.

Cities, Cars, Consumer GoodsEdit

  • Urban population was beginning to surpass the rural. --> leads to becoming an urbanized nation.
  • 12 million blacks lived in cities.
  • City life meant easier housework for women, also was helped by the technical modernization such as gas stoves, electricity, refrigerators and washing machines etc...
    • However, nothing came close to the Automobile which was the driving spirit behind America at the time.
      • Sexism with women drivers was mostly drawn from this era.
  • Tractor was invented and allowed farmers better farm productivity out in the South, however they bought this on credit... slowly the rural debt was increasing into a pool of loans...

Soaring Energy Consumption and a Threatened EnvironmentEdit

  • Electricity became in heavy demand, over 20 million cars on the road now.
    • Creates a demand in gas
  • Wilderness preservation became an issue
  • Herbert Hoover was a pro preservation for the wilderness, however American attention was not at all focused on the environment.

Mass-Produced EntertainmentEdit

  • Magazines became a popular pasttime such as the Saturday Evening Post and the Reader's Digest
  • Radios and movies offered another great alternative pasttime
    • Radio became extremely popular, was also used for campaigning.
      • Radio fever spreads across America, thousands of Americans tuned to Radio shows on popular networks such as the NBC and CBS
        • Radio became a big source for fueling advertisements into the American public.
    • Movies became an issue of morally screening and keeping suggestible for a general audience.
    • Tech innovations kept people interested in the entertainment of the time such as the introduction of sound in movies.
      • Animation.. Warner Bros, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer


~~Hydral1k 02:22, February 15, 2011 (UTC)

The notes get pretty sketchy here, I had a severe migrain as i was writing and this section seriously lacks detail. any help would be nice...


Celebrity CultureEdit

  • American celebrities became famous american icons such as Babe Ruth, or Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney who were heavyweight fighters
  • Charles Lindbergh a stunt pilot who flew solo across the Atlantic in his small airplane. Media saw this as an opportunity to gain attention and create prizes, kinda liek media sponsored campaigns.poop

The Jazz Age and the Postwar Crisis of ValuesEdit

  • Postwar created the jazz age where the freedom and open mindedness flocked bars and jazz clubs.
  • America had an open taboo of discussing sex more freely while being immorally biased.
  • Some females encouraged sexual activity because they felt a temperance from males, this was the same with smoking.

Alienated WritersEdit

  • Some writers found the cultural mix of the 1920s energizing, some wrote about corporate smugness while others wrote about wide fictions such as Babbitt which was a mythic large city about a tale of a character called George.
  • H.L. Mencken a journalist and editor and cirtic created a new magazine aimed at the young partion of america. it was an instant success

Architects, Painters, and Musicians Confront Modern AmericaEdit

American cities boasted a total of 377 buildings over 22 stories tall. America had entered the age of the skyscrappers.

  • Equally disliked the moralistic pieties of the old order and the business pieties of the new
  • Sinclair Lewis – satirized the smugness and cultural barrenness of a fictional Midwestern farm in Main Street (1920), and wrote about a real estate agent trapped in middle-class conformity in Babbitt (1922)
  • Henry L. Mencken – launched The American Mercury magazine in 1924 (the bible of alienated intellectuals) – ridiculed small-town America, Protestant fundamentalism, middle class “Booboisie,” and all politicians

The Harlem RenaissanceEdit

  • Harlem was a black suburb in New York that featured Black culture
  • Many arts and contributuions came from this neighborhood including composers such as William Grant Still, sculptors, black authors and also host wrtiers and poets and so on...
    • White entertainment takes notice, jazz spreads across over to europe too.

Immigration RestrictionEdit

  • The National Origins Act of 1924 was a revision of the immigration law, the goal was to reduce immigration due mostly in part to a sense of nationalism.
  • Immigration falls to just 1.2 million in 1924. The law restricted asians and Southern asians entirely.
  • Ozawa vs. United STates was a supreme court case where a Japanese man from a uni in cali was rejected citizenship.

Needed Workers/Unwelcome Aliens: Hispanic NewcomersEdit

  • Immigration from Latin America soared due to all the immigration restrictions on Europe.
  • Stereotypical mexicans come to America and take the jobs of cheaper jobs.
    • Form unions to represent who they are.

Navism, Antiradicalism and the Sacco-Vanzetti CaseEdit

  • Immigration restriction created a deeply resented turmoil for some Americans.
  • Anti-semitic propaganda rises.
  • Sacco-Vanzetti case was a murder case where robbers shot a guard at a shoefactory. They were italian immigrants.

Fundamentalism and the Scopes TrialEdit

  • Science was on the rise after the war. Americans welcomed the growing science, however some religious people found it threatening.
    • Liberal Protestants accepted the ideals of science.
    • Evangelical believers did not.
      • They created a movement known as Fundamentalism --> They targeted Darwin's Theory the most.
      • Some schools began to censor the material taught in school, mostly in the South.
      • Tennessee legislature barred the teaching of evolution.
        • ACLU counters by encouraging teachers to fight this case.. eventually John T. Scopes accepts.
  • Scope's Trail, he decided to teach a class a summary of Darwin's theory.
    • Arrested, creates a media sensation.
    • Was found guilty
    • The prosecutor convicting him ironically dies of a heart attack.
    • The trial was important because it exposed a tension in society.
      • Southern and Western states were mostly against evolution and science growth.

The Ku Klux KlanEdit

  • Ku Klux Klan was resurrected, remained mostly obscure until 1920.
    • Used a mafia like organization of bosses, captains, sergeants etc... you get the idea..
    • Accused blacks, catholics, Jews, and foreign aliens.
    • Began in the south and spread Midwest all the way along the East.
    • Klan wanted to restore nations purity ---> Nationalists.
    • Had a 10$ membership fee
    • The group also had some heavy political influence in some parts of the United States.
  • Clan collapsed in 1925 after the leader was arrested. This arrest revealed a mass corruption scheme in Indiana and the group is instantly defamed.

The Garvey MovementEdit

  • Marcus Garvey creates the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in 1914.
    • HQ is located in the Harlem neighborhood, NYC.
    • Encouraged an ideal of returning to "mother Africa"
      • This agitated some other prominent black leaders who believed their future lay in America, not Africa.
    • Movement showed Tension between the Jamaicans and Caribbeans
  • Convicted of fraud with the managing of his "Black Star Steamship Line". He was deported from America and the UNIA then died.

Prohibition: Cultures in ConflictEdit

  • Banning alcohol did not go as planned. NY repealed it's prohibition laws as early as 1923.
  • Rum-Runners would smuggle liquor from Canada. (Most Mafia alcohol did indeed come from Canada such as whiskey or malt.)
  • Organized Crime played a huge role in the distribution of alcohol (MAFIA!)
    • Notorious Mafia Leader, Al Capone
    • Created organized crime mostly based in Chicago.
  • The "drys" who were mostly protestant appraised the law of prohibition.
  • The "wets" were liberals, jazzy age rebels or big city immigrants who condemned the prohibition as moralistic and meddling.
  • Influenced the 1928 election campaign.
    • Al Smith campaigned to remove it.
    • Herbert Hover liked it but had mixed feelings about it.

75.68.136.134 22:02, February 28, 2011 (UTC)

To be continued.