Published on February 20, 2014
Pro-Business • Many Americans became comfortable with the idea of large, successful businesses • Most products were offered at reasonable prices
Labor Unions • Fell out of favor • Connected to Red Scare & radicalism • Struck against industries necessary to keep industrial America running smoothly • Pushed for higher wages and safer work conditions in steel, coal, and RR’s: suppressed by feds • S.C. overturned minimum wage law for women • Nullified child labor restrictions
“A Return to Normalcy”
President Harding (19211923) • Formerly an Ohio Governor & US Senator • Surrounded himself with like-minded advisors • Problem: many of the advisors were corrupt! • Teapot Dome Scandal: oil companies bribed Sec. of Interior in order to drill on public lands • Supported anti-lynching laws • Tried to help farmers with $$ for farm loans • Harding died in office; heart problems
President Coolidge (19231929) • Former Governor of Massachusetts • “Silent Cal,” man of few word • Coolidge continued Harding’s conservative policies • Pushed for lower income-tax rates • This pro-business atmosphere led to a temporary decline in the popularity of labor unions, and membership dropped
“Keep Cool with Coolidge”
Welfare Capitalism • The concept that businessmen could dissuade workers from organizing and demanding concessions by giving them benefits • Pension plans, paid vacation, better pay, shorter hours, communal spirit at work! • New, important idea; but would not yet become widespread
Modern Culture • Automobile: became affordable to most middle-class families • Allowed people to move far away from city centers, allowing for the advent of suburbs • Roads had to be developed to accommodate the increase in autos on the road • Rise of auto affected countless other industries: • Motels, restaurants, tourism, entertainment, etc.
Cost of Model T’s
Modern Culture • Radio: 10 million families owned one • A good way to gather socially • Led to wanting other “electric and electronic goods” • More women entered working world, for financial reasons • “keeping up with the Jones’s” • 15% of women in work force • Women still earned much less than men
Other growth areas • Sports • Movies • Literature • Harlem Renaissance • Jazz Age • We will be researching much of this for the rest of the week!
Cultural Backlash • KKK grew to over 5 million members • Widened its targets: • Blacks, Jews, urbanites, anyone else whose behavior deviated from the Klan’s narrowly-defined code of “acceptable Christian behavior” • Anti-immigration groups grew, targeting specifically Southern and Eastern European immigrants • Sacco and Vanzetti
• http://chnm.gmu.edu/epis odes/the-birth-of-a-nationand-black-protest/
Emergency Quota Act • 1924 Act created to set quotas to pre-1890 standards, when levels of immigration were low • Set up to reduce “foreign influence” on the US
Scopes Trial • 1925 • Mass media coverage • Traditional beliefs vs. modernism • Teachers couldn’t teach evolution in TN • Went to court, high powered attorneys brought the case to national attention • Clarence Darrow and WJB • Bryan put on stand as “Bible expert” • Bryan died just a few days after the trial
Prohibition • Ban of manufacture, sale, or transport of alcoholic beverages • 18th Amendment outlawed above • Many began to resent the gov’t intrusion in private matters • Organized crime began to get involved in use and sale of alcohol • Speakeasies, bootlegging • Mobsters, Al Capone • Competition w/in cities, violence, “racketeering”
Al Capone, “Scarface”
Washington Naval Conference • 1921 attempt at arms reduction • Britain, US, Japan, Italy, France • Halt construction of large battleships for 10 years • Set limit on future shipbuilding • Use of ratio (will discuss this concept when we discuss foreign policy between wars later)
NYC in the 1920s • http://www.livingcityarchive.org/htm/decades/1920 .htm
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