AQA History B Revision Notes

AQA History B (Modern History) Notes. Encompassing prosperity in the 1920s, Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression, the New Deal and Civil Rights in the USA. 

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Modern History: The Roaring 20s
Immigration and Isolationism
Between 1850 and 1914, over 40 million people (roughly 10% of Europe's population) left the 'Old World'
for America. The voyage lasted two weeks, and was often a hard one for the poor immigrants, who usually travelled
3rd class.
Before they could enter the USA, they had to go through immigration control at Ellis Island- also known as
the Isle of Tears. Here, they would await a series of tests. The most feared were the medical tests. Doctors would
look for physical and mental abnormalities,
and make chalk markings on the migrants' clothes-
'H' for heart problem, 'X' for mental illness and
so on.
USA
[Pull
Europe [Push Factors]
Factors]
Space Overcrowding
Natural Resources Lack of Opportunity
Economic Opportunity Unemployment
Wages Persecution
The Land of the Free
Who were the Americans?
Immigration had made America a mixed society. By 1920, there were 103 different nationalities living
there. The motto on the Great Seal of the USA is 'E pluribus unum', meaning: 'From the many: one'. The idea was
that America was somewhat like a melting pot- new immigrants lost their old identities and became Americans.
However, this was not how it always worked out. Many new groups were treated with suspicion. There was a definite
hierarchy in America- the white settlers who had arrived first dominated.
Old Immigrants · The first European settlers came largely from
Northern and Western Europe [e.g. Britain,
Germany and Scandinavia]. They were sometimes
referred to as WASPs [White Anglo-Saxon
Protestants].
Native American Indians · Originally lived across the entire continent, but
were gradually pushed back by invading settlers.
Black Americans · In the 18th and 19th centuries, millions of Africans
were brought to America to work as slaves. Slavery
ended in 1865, after the Civil War, and by 1920
there were some 11 million blacks living in the USA.
Southern and Eastern Europeans · In the late 19th to early 20th century, the majority
of immigrants were from Southern and Eastern
Europe [e.g. Russia, Poland and Italy]. They came to
America to avoid persecution and poverty.

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Hispanics · Many immigrants came from Mexico, Central
America and South America.
Asians · Particularly on the West Coast, there were
large populations of Chinese and Japanese.
Immigration Law 1917 Required that all immigrants must be able to read English, banned all immigration from
Asia, and charged an immigration fee of $8.…read more

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Republican Policies Lowered taxes- more money to invest in American goods.
Tariffs on imported goods. Laissez-faire- didn't
interfere in business.
Who didn't benefit from the boom?
Not everyone benefited from the prosperity of 1920s America. Farmers, textile workers, miners, new
immigrants and black share croppers families all got even poorer.
Farmers Some 30 million made a living through farming, but come
the 1920s, many farmers lost out to over production and
mechanisation. Over 3 million farmers ended up living on
less the $1000 a year.…read more

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Modern History: Depression and the New Deal
The Wall Street Crash
The Wall Street Stock Market was not regulated. Anybody was allowed to buy shares and they could also
be bought 'on the margin'. This meant people could buy, for example, $1000 worth of stock for only $100 and borrow
the rest. They would then sell the shares for a profit and easily pay back the loan.
By the summer of 1929 there were 20 million shareholders in America and the prices continued to rise.…read more

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Black' Thursday, 24th October 1929 12,894,650 shares traded. Prices fell so fast that panic
set in. Sometimes no buyer was found.
Friday, 25th October 1929 At mid-day,top bankers met and decided to support the
market. Prices steadied and even rose. Richard Whitney,
a broker for a large firm J.P. Morgan, bought shares for
above their current price.
Saturday, 26th October 1929 'The fundamental business of the country, that is the
production and distribution of commodities, is on a
sound and prosperous basis.…read more

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Employers paying low wages. Voluntary Agreements: Hoover
Workers have no money to buy encouraged employers to make agreements
goods. with their workers to keep wages up and
production steady.
[Didn't work as there was not enough
money.]
Businesses failing because the The Reconstruction Finance Corporation:
banks won't lend them money. Provided loans totalling $1500 million to
businesses, to help them get back on their
feet.
[Helped, as banks wouldn't lend money to
many businesses.]
Can't sell manufactured goods Hawley-Smoot Act, 1930: This
abroad.…read more

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In Hoover we trusted and who had ever cared for them, as he
now we are busted.' made efforts to get out to the people.
The Hundred Days
Roosevelt promised: 'Action, and action now.' He worked closely with a panel of experts called the 'Brain
Trust' to work on a series of new laws to help America out of the Depression. This was called the New Deal.
Congress realised that due to the dire state of the economy, drastic measures had to be taken.…read more

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Less Much of the waste produce that
produ the government bought was
ce destroyed. Only helped the
meant farmers, not the tenants or share
that croppers.
price
s
rose,
and
betwe
en
1933
and
1939,
farm
ers'
incom
e
doubl
ed.
The Unemployed The Civilian Conservation To
Corps/CCC provi
de
emplo
yment
for
single
men
under
the
age
of
25.
Gave Small wages [$1 a day].
the
men
food,
clothi
ng,
and a
sense
of
purpo
se.…read more

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Betw
een
1933
and
1942
nearl
y3
millio
n men
took
part.
The Civilian Works To
Administration/CWA provi
de
short-
term
jobs
to a
large
numb
er of
peopl
e.
4 -
millio
n
peopl
e got
short-
term
jobs
over
the
winte
r of
1933-
34.
Some
usefu
l
work
done
such
as
roads
built.
The Public Works To
Administration/PWA provi
de
long-t
erm
publi
c
works
of
lastin
g
value.…read more

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