AQA GCSE History Paper 2 - USA

Notes on all the USA. I got an A so i hope they help.

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  • Created on: 31-01-10 12:41
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History Paper 2 ­ USA 1919 ­ 1941
American reactions to the end of WW1
Most Americans were not keen on the League of Nations. They did not want their country
involved in disputes taking place far away. They believed the USA would have to bear the
cost of keeping peace.
The USA now followed a policy of isolation in foreign affairs which applied to trade and
1) Tariffs against foreign goods ­ the government did not want foreign goods to compete
with home produced goods so they passed the Fordney McCumber tariff which put tax on all
foreign goods making them more expensive than American goods. This intended to protect
the American industry and worked well in the 1920's (creating the BOOM conditions). It was
not so good in the long run as it encouraged foreign governments to retaliate and put
taxes on American goods.
2) Immigration ­ there were fears of immigrants as they provided cheap labour and
competition for jobs. Also people feared they would bring new political ideas, such as
Communism from Russia which would threaten American democracy. Immigrants were
often not treated well. They got low-paid jobs and lived in poor housing. Immigrant
ghettos began to appear where crime and violence were high.
3) The Sacco and Vanzetti case ­ these were Italian immigrants who were known as
anarchists who hated the USA system of government. In 1920, they were charged with the
murder of 2 guards during an armed robbery. 61 eye witnesses identified them as killers.
However the defence found 107 witnesses (mostly Italian immigrants) who swore to seeing
the men elsewhere. The 2 men were found guilty and were executed in 1927. In 1977, the
verdict against the men was declared unjust because the judge was prejudice against the
men's political views.
The economic boom in the 1920's
Impact of WW1
The USA came out of WW1 well. It supplied Europe with many goods and had taken over
European overseas markets. In some areas US industry was the world leader e.g. chemicals.
The USA had a good store of resources like wood, iron, coal and minerals. These helped it
become a great industrial power by the 20th century.
The Policies of the Republican Presidents
They lowered taxes giving wealthy people more chance to invest in industry, and people to
invest in goods. They put tariffs on imported goods making them more expensive than
American goods, therefore helping American producers. They also didn't interfere with
businesses or put any controls on them.
Confidence during this period of time was sky high, meaning there was confidence to buy
goods, invest in companies and try out new ideas.

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The growth of credit made it much easier for people to buy goods even though they did not
have enough cash to pay for them on the spot. Firms arranged for customers to pay by
instalment or hire purchase.
Mass Production
New techniques meant that goods could be produced much more cheaply on a larger scale.
Henry ford pioneered mass production by introducing an assembly line. He made cars so
cheaply that thousands of ordinary Americans could afford them.…read more

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Also, radios quickly became part of daily life
and a national habit of listening to sporting events was created.
After WW1 women were given the vote in the USA. At the same time, they gained greater
freedom by working and earning their own money. A symbol of this new independence was
the flappers ­ independent new women named after their short skirts. However, most
women still stayed at home as housewives like they had always done.…read more

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SHORT TERM CAUSES ­ Many people bought and sold shares to make quick profits instead
of investing their money in the same business for some time. Companies were by
shareholders to pay out profits to shareholders instead of reinvesting the profits.
Americans borrowed money on credit to buy their shares.
On Black Thursday share prices plummeted
On Thursday 24th October 1929 over 13 million shares were sold. Confidence in the value of
shares began to be lost. Panic selling led to further falls.…read more

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Americans what he was doing and why in his fireside chats (radio broadcasts) which
brought trust and confidence in his measures.
Banks were closing because investors withdrew money, people couldn't pay back their
loans, and investments had become worthless in the Wall Street Crash. In order to restore
confidence in the banks Roosevelt introduced an Emergency Banking Act that closed all
banks for four days. The accounts of the banks were inspected and any in serious financial
difficulties were permanently closed.…read more

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HOLC Home Owners Loan Helped people who might be evicted because they
Corporation were struggling to pay their mortgages by
providing money at low interest rates.
they were unhappy about the regulations on working conditions, the growth of trade
unions and their increasing power, the huge costs of the welfare programmes (which came
from taxes paid by Americans).
Politicians ­ Republicans bitterly opposed the Democrat Roosevelt. Some radicals believed
the New Deal did not go far enough.…read more


The Girl andThe Big WideWorld

thanks a lot it is has been extremely helpful :)


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