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While America fell into a period of isolationism, Americans at home began to indulge in new technologies and promiscuous lifestyles. The conflict between new and old (fundamentalism vs. modernism) proved to govern the social scene. Many believe that the apparent prosperity of the 1920s was similar to that of the Gilded Age, because of foreign relations, which revealed increasing tensions and the Great Depression, which was soon to follow..



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- Republican President
- “Dark Horse” candidate
- Conservativeà advocate of laissez-faire capitalism
- Vice President: Calvin Coolidge
- Secretary of State: Charles Evans Hughes
- Secretary of Commerce: Herbert Hoover
- Attorney General: General Harry M. Daugherty
- was in office from 1921-1923
- Harding was appealing physically to the people but he also had mediocre mind and did not like to hurt other people’s feelings.
- His cabinet was filled with corruption and people like Senator Albert B. Fall of New Mexico (Secretary of the Interior) and Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty were the most scandalous cabinet members.
- Teapot Dome Scandal:
o Most infamous of all the scandals
o Albert B. Fall leased land in Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, California to Harry F. Sinclair and Edward L. Doheny that was supposed to be reserved for the Navy in case of war
o The men used the land to search for oil
o However, Fall did not lease the land until he received a bribe of $100,000 from Doheny and about 300,000 from Sinclair
o All 3 men were charged with bribery and conspiracy
- Daugherty had his own scandals.
- He illegally sold liquor permits and pardons and after being accused of these scandals, he resigned 1924


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- Republican President
- serious, calm, only spoke when he needed to
- morally clean
- untouched by the scandals of Harding’s Presidency
- Vice President: Dawes
- Secretary of State: Frank Kellogg
- irony of the time: Coolidge was considered to be a traditional and boring President, although he was in office during a very radical time
- Kellogg-Briand Pact: a mutual agreement to end the use of war to achieve national ends


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- Republican President
- Vice President: Curtis
- Secretary of State: Henry L. Stimson
- Believed severely in laissez-faire capitalism
- had a philosophy of “rugged individualism”. He believed that people should “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps” or basically fend for themselves
- Hawley-Smoot Tariff of 1930- raised the tariff to an all-time high of 60%
- he was the President when the stock market crashed, which would signify the beginning of the Great Depression
- he unfairly received much of the blame for the Great Depression. However his rugged individualism hindered his ability from aiding the people as much as he could have
- However, towards the end of his presidency he began to pass public works programs
o The Hoover Dam of the Colorado River


- The 1920’s was a time in which racism/nativism dominated America’s social scene.external image smshcomm.gif
- 1919 – 1920 Red Scare, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer had a series of raids and arrested 600 suspected communists.
- Red Scare went out of control and started taking away people’s rights. For example, freedom of speech, and some states even made it illegal to advocate a coupe against the government for social change.
- This also provoked extreme prejudices in the case of Saccio and Venzetti, Italian immigrants and anarchists were convicted of murdering a Massachusetts paymaster and guard and were executed, without being proven beyond reasonable doubt.
-Herbert Hoover would later claim that the Bonus Expeditionary Force was led by the communists to discredit the veterans which ended up back firing.

external image kkk%201920's.jpg-Ku Klux Klan (KKK)

- A group of white supremacists who committed violent acts against any and all minority groups. They were firm believers in anti–foreign, anti-catholic, anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-communist, anti-internationalist, anti-revolutionist, anti-bootlegger, anti-gambling, anti-adultery and anti-birth control. In short, they were pro- white, anglo–saxon, and protestant. (WASP)

- Democrats voted by one to not condemn the KKK

!!Fun Fact!! What brought down the KKK was money fraud, apparently their extreme racism and violence was not a strong enough offense to bring them down.

- There was an influx of immigrants flowing into America. Many of these immigrants were from Asia and Southeast Europe, different from previous immigrants. Nativism was a popular mindset and with such many Americans were prejudice against these "new immigrants"

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- The 18th amendment, prohibition, adversely led to the rise of gangs who would fight with each other to distribute illegal alcohol.
- The most infamous gang wars took place in Chicago. Approximately 500 people were murdered. There were few prosecutions because gangs would provide false alibis for one another.
-One of the most notorious gangsters, Al Capone (a.k.a. "Scarface") led the St. Valentines Day massacre, in which seven people in the rival gang were killed
Al "Scarface" Capone.external image T040647A.jpg vs. external image bugsmoran3.gif George "Bugs" Moran

!!Fun Fact!! John May’s dog was the only survivor in the conflict. Police heard the dog howling and rushed to the scene to find the dog trapped under a beer truck. (Beer truck, during prohibition?)


- From 1920-1921 there was a recession but the tax policies of the Secretary of Treasury Mellon, relieved the tax burden from the rich and gave it to the middle class.
- These tax policies leaned towards quick expansion of capital investment.
- Effects of the Automobile
- Making transportation easier with new roads, six million people were able to find new jobs and the new gasoline industry was extremely lucrative.
- Even though the 1920s had a supposed thriving economy, many banks failed each year because their system was built on fragile credit. This would lead the stock market to crash on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929.
- President Harding was a firm believer in Laissez-Faire, under this policy, he did not acknowledge anti-trust laws which adversely allowed corporations to grow
- The first regulatory act in the United States led to the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), which regulated the railroad monopoly.
- The tariff steadily rose throughout the twenties. In the Fordney-McCumber Tariff law raised the tariff from 27% to 35%
- Harding and Coolidge, being advocates of big business, supported the rising tariffs.
- Hawley-Smoot Tariff in 1930 raised the tariff to 60%
- This would help lead to problems in the 1930s since Europe’s markets were blocked from selling to the U.S. and therefore America could not receive reparations from WWI. (Which was never actually repaid)

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This illustrates the Dawes plan which coordinated the payment of war reparations.
- In the post WWI America, there was a smaller demand for crops and a surplus of goods accumulated, causing the farmers to fall into a state of poverty.
- Capper-Volstead Act excluded farmers marketing cooperatives from antitrust prosecution.
- McNary-Haugen Bill- was intended to have the government buy up all the surpluses and sell them abroad, therefore keep the agriculture prices high.
- In 1929, Hoover past the Agricultural Marketing Act, which set up a federal farm board, and reflected Hoovers rugged individualism à was intended to help farmers help themselves.
- October 29, 1929 the stock market crashed because of over speculation and stock built on nonexistent credit. $40,000,000 was lost.
- This started the great depression and ended the prosperity of the 1920s.


- Entertainment

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- The radio became a primary source of entertainment and could be found in many American homes.
- it brought families back together in the home.

external image jazz-singer.jpg The Jazz Singer Featuring Al Joison

external image movies1.gifMovies
- The first talkie movie was the Jazz Singer with Al Joison.
- More movies were to follow and external image HollywoodSign2.JPG was established as the home of the movie industry.
- Movies started displaying nudity which reflected the new moral gender codes and began censorship so that movies would be more family suited.

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- Sports became more popular with idols such as baseball hero George "Babe Ruth" Herman, the homerun hero and boxers Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier.

external image Satchmo's%20Jazz.JPGJazz
- The jazz music rose during this time period and gave rise to the flapper movement.
- Flappers started dancing to the risqué Charleston which reflected the "wild and crazy" attitudes of a new generation.
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- Blacks like W.C. Handy and "jellyroll" Morton were the fathers of jazz.

external image books.gifBooks
- More modern principles of this time could be found in novels such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels This Side of Paradise and The Great Gatsby. These novels conveyed both the positive and negative aspects of the 20’s.
- Earnest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Farewell To Arms became a voice for the post World War II generation (a.k.a. the lost generation)

- Gender Roles
- In the 1920’s the youth began their accelerated divergence from old styled fundamentalist ideals and sparked the notion for a more vibrant modernist generation.
- The most prevalent of the movement were women. After such, the flaming young women with such radical lifestyles became known as flappers.
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Flappers- women who wore dresses with shorter hemlines, shorter hair styles as bobs, and brazen as they smoked, drank and swore in public. SCANDALOUS!
- The birth control movement, led by Margaret Sanger, shows the plight for the promiscuous actions and lives led by both sexes. (Revolution of Morals – revolt against sexual taboos)
- Women began working and were added to the labor force. They worked mainly in cities and were normally found as clerks, nurses, teachers and domestics and received usually received lower wages.
- The legalization of divorce was momentous and increased the rate of divorce rapidly.
- In 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified. It provided that neither the individual states of the United States nor its federal government may deny a citizen the right to vote because of the citizen's sex. On February 27, 1922, a challenge to the 19th Amendment was rebuffed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Leser v. Garnett.
- The National Women’s party began in 1923 which pushed for an equal rights amendment.
- Sigmund Freud, who had numerous psychological theories claimed that sexual repression was responsible for society’s downfalls. He claimed that pleasure could not be gained without such sexual gratification.

- Consumerism
- Henry Ford’s assembly line created mass production of the Model T allowing for the widespread distribution to numerous families.
- In 1929 there was 1 car for every 4.9 Americans.
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!!Fun Fact!! Henry Ford – "You can have any color [car] you want, as long as it is black."

)-: Not So Fun Fact :-( More people died in car accidents than all of America’s previous wars combined.

- Advertisement used sex appeal to promote multiple products which shows the growing reliance on the seductive appeal of women in this time period.
- Bruce Barton promoted his philosophy on sales by teaching how "Jesus was the perfect salesman."

Learn to Charleston!!


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- After WWI, America regressed to isolationism and denounced foreign ideas and anything that was not traditionally "American".
- Anti-Foreignism/Nativism reigned supreme
- This could be seen through America’s attitude towards immigrants. The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 which restricted the quota to 3% of the population of each individual’s nationality.
- This was further reduced to 2% by the Immigration Act of 1924.
- This act was discriminatory especially against Japanese.
- Merchant Marine Act of 1920 authorized the shipping board and reduced the size of the navy.
- Since Congress never ratified the Treat of Versailles, it was still technically in WWI, it signed another treaty in 1921 which ended war with Germany.
- Holding true to isolationism, America never joined the League of Nations.
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- Washington "Disarmament" conference of 1921-1922 established a plan to keep a 5:5:3 ratio of ships for America, Britain, and Japan, respectively.
- The Five Power Naval Treaty of 1922 gave compensation to the Japanese, decreasing their ratio.
- The Four-Power Treaty, preserved the status quo in the pacific between Japan, France, and the U.S
- The Nine-Power Treat of 1922 maintained the open door in China.

- However, all of these did not place a limit on smaller ships and congress only approved the Four Power Treat only under the condition that the U.S. was not bound, which rendered it useless.
- As a result of WWI, no nation wanted to enter a new war, so the Kellogg Briand Pact was past, which stated that war was not to be used as tactic of aggression.
- Latin America began to resent their American dominance, and in the late 1920s, the deficit in Americans economy made it impossible for America to continue to dominant Latin America and began to relinquish some of the power.
- Reparation Payments from WWI were past around in one big circle from U.S, Germany, Britian, France, and back to the U.S. In short, America was never repaid for their WWI loans.
- This also caused the U.S. to gain enemies in France and Britain since they were aggravated with America’s selfishness.