USA 1919-1944

Boom, Bust, Society and New Deal

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  • President- elected every 4 years
  • Supreme Court- nine judges chosen by president 4 years
  • Congress- make law, declare war, tax. Two Houses ->
  • House of Representatives- 435 congress men elected every 2 years
  • Senate- 100 senators elected every 6 years

Democrats- Left Wing.

Believe in higher taxes and  help in the war. The government should play a key role in the economy.

Republicans- Right Wing.

Believe in lower taxes and rugged individualism. People are rewarded for their success and benefits the rich.

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Why Did People Move To USA?


  • space (over crowding)
  • Natural resources
  • More economic opportunities
  • Higher wages
  • Free practise of religion
  • 'The Land Of The Free'


  • escape over crowding
  • lack of land
  • lack of opportunities
  • unemployment
  • escape persecution 

USA had: White settlers, Hispanics, EU immigrants Asian immigrants, Black Africans and Native Americans.

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Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) - President 1913-1921 - Democrat

Warren Harding (1865-1923) - President 1921-1923 - Republican

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) - President 1923-1929 - Republican

Herbert Hover (1874-1964) - President 1929-1933 - Republican

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) - President 1933-1945 - Democrat

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Emerging From World War 1

American Economy Improved

More Exports

Problems with Unemployment- Ex-Soldiers

1919 prices doubled violent strikes broke out 

blacks were being attacked by whites.

Went back to Isolationism

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Causes of the Boom

Confident - to buy goods, invest in companies and try out new ideas.

WW1 - supplied EU markets, didn't suffer from war

Resources - iron, coal, minerals, oil and land. Great industrial power.

Technology - more household products, developing electricity.  

Mass Production - produced cheaply and on a large scale. created jobs. 

Mass Marketing - encourage people to buy fridges', vacuums, radios etc. 

Credit - people could borrow money from banks to buy products. 

Republican economical Policies ->

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Republican Economic Policies

1. Low Taxation -

motivation  to work hard and earn money.

2. Trust -

allow rich men to control industries. Businessmen not government to control businesses.

3. Tariffs - 

put taxes on foreign produces to encourage people to by home grown products

4. Laissez-Faire - 

leaving businesses alone and not to inter-fear. 

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Henry Ford

  • One of the first involved in mass-production.
  • Influenced others to get involved.
  • Made Cars.
  • Provided jobs.
  • Americans could explore and travel.
  • Ordinary people could have one.
  • Increase tourist industries. 

Cycle of Prosperity

More money available to send to consumer goods ->

Increase demands ->

Increase Production ->

Increase Employment ->

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Who Didn't Benefit?

Black People

  • Discrimination.
  •  60%women were in low paid domestic work. 3/4 million lost jobs in 1920.  

New Immigrants

  • Discrimination.
  • Unemployment rates rises. 4% pay rise because its cheap labour.


  • Competition. Too much for and not enough buyers.
  • Manifestation required fewer people to work.

Industrial Workers

  • Over Population. Longer Working Hours.
  • 600,00 miners went on strike in 1922.
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How Wide Spread Was Intolerance In The 1920's?

  • Established Americans felt more people only added to Americans Problems. Diluted Americans Anglo-Saxon Nature. 
  • Reds were active due to 3600 Strikes during 1919-1921.
  • Consequences of Red Scare was: 'Palmer' Raid 4000 were arrested over 36 Cities and 556 immigrants were deported.

How did Immigration Policies Change in the 1920's?

  • New Immigrants were allowed in a fraction of the number of people of the same nationality who had been in America In 1910.
  • Didn't want over population
  • Foreign Criminals.
  • America was supposed to be Free and Equal.
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  • Form of gambling, they didn't intend to keep their shares for long. 
  • Pay 10% of shares, borrow the rest, sell the shares off and make a quick profit.
  • Stocks- supply of goods kept on hand for sale to customers
  • Shares- the full proper portion belonging to an individual or group. 
  • Stock Exchange/ Stock Market- place were stocks were bought and sold.
  • On the Margin: drifting towards one or the other side
  • Wall Street- New York Stock Market. 
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The Crash October 1929

19 -> 3,488,100 shares changed hands. Heavy trading as prices began to fall. 

20 -> Markets Closed.

21 -> 6,091,871 shares changed hands. Prices fluctuated.

23 -> In last hours 2.6 million stocks changed hands. Many people bowed out. People tired to reduce loans.

24 -> 'Black Thursday' 12.8 million stocks changed hands.Panic set in.

25 -> bankers met to discuss support. 

26 -> Herbert Hoover made a speech.

28 -> 9.2 Million shares changed hands rapidly.

29 -> 16.4 million shares changed hands. Worst day in stock market history. Shares lost Value. every one involved was hit badly. THE MARKET HAD CRASHED

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What Caused The Crash?

Long Term:

  • Over production of consumer goods.
  • Poverty/unequal distribution of wealth.
  • Less overseas trade.
  • People had borrowed money.
  • Money wasted on advertising.
  • 500 banks failing each year in 1920's.

Short Term:

  • Prices started falling -> Panic Selling.
  • Speculation -> Driven prices high. 
  • People buying 'On The Margin' were in debt.
  • Media hype cause panic.
  • Lack of Confidence
  • Banks decided not to help.
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Effects Of The Depression and Help Available

  • Unemployment Levels Rose. 
  • Factories Closed Down.
  • People tried to get jobs by advising, protesting, visiting agencies.
  • Hoover-ville - Shanty Town
  • Soup Kitchens - food for homeless people.
  • Hobo - Homeless people
  • White Collar Worker - an educated worker who performed semi-professional tasks. 
  • Bakeries gave old bread
  • Homeless Shelters.
  • Unmarketable food was given to poor. 
  • Manual Labour.
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The Dust Bow

  • Between 1930-1931.
  • Farmers suffered from depression.
  • The South and Mid-west suffered from a serious drought.
  • Land that had previously been used for animals were used for food in WW1 which continued afterwards. 
  • Land had been over farmed and lost its fertility. 
  • Years of hot summers, winds, little rain.
  • 20 million hectares of land became desert.
  • Thousands of farmers were ruined. 
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Society in the 1920's

The Car

  • freedom to travel
  • moved to suburbs
  • opportunities (e.g. sexual freedom)

The Radio

  • access to music and dance


  • black music - arrived by great immigration to northern cities
  • for young people

Sex and Cinema

  • Cinema 2-3 times a week
  • fortification and lifestyle of stars 
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Women in the 1920's

  • More Comfortable Clothing
  • Work
  • Gained Vote
  • Drove Car
  • Fashionable (hair, heels, no waist line)
  • Flappers


  • Paid less
  • Pressure/ Encouragement on traditional rolls
  • ******* Pregnancies
  • Laws against some fashion
  • Women could instigate divorce (men got children)
  • Different Factory Conditions
  • Farmer Wives couldn't keep up on fashion.
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Red Scare

  • 1917 communist revolution in Russia
  • Russians moved to USA, fears of bringing communism with them.
  • Series of strikes in 1919 by workers looking for better working conditions. 
  • Bombs planted in 1919 to make people scared.
  • Bombs targeted the home of Palmer.
  • Police arrested 6000 people and 556 people were deported.
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Sacco and Vanzetti

15 April 1920: Two men opened fired on a bank and stole $ 15,000. Manager described seeing two dark haired men with olive skin. 

5 May 1920: Two Italian men Nicola Sacco and Bartholomew Vanzetti were arrested with murder.

14 July 1921: Found Guilty of Murder. 

24 July 1921: Death by Electric Chair.

1970's: Pardoned on the grounds that a mis-trail had taken place.

Executed because - 

  • Dark hair and skin.
  • Publicly criticized Capitalism and American system.
  • Vanzetti had criminal record
  • Both found with guns 
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Ku Klux Klan

  • Founded in 1800's
  • 5 million members in 1920's

Superior to Criminals, Drug dealer, alcoholics, adulterers, wife-beaters, politicians, Catholics, Jews and Blacks. 

People Joined because

  • They could express racist views.
  • Children joined because of parents.
  • High Profit.
  • God intended it.

KKK still exist today be less so  because of laws and they cannot claim that the government is doing anything. 

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Jim Crow Laws

  • After abolition of slavery in 1862
  • Segregated blacks from whites.
  • Applied in schools, parks, hospitals, swimming pools, fountains, cinemas, buses and cafes.
  • Less funding given to black schools. 
  • Many Blacks moved to escape segregation in southern cities.  
  • Black Musicians made Jazz, white people didn't notice blacks suffering. 

UNA -  Universal ***** Improvement and Conservation Associates.

NAACP - National Association for the Adverseness of Coloured People.

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The Monkey Trial

  • In 1920s Christianity was very important to many people. 
  • In Southern states (Tennessee)  passed law banning umbilical teaching in schools (e.g. evolution and contraception)
  • John Scopes, science teacher decided to challenges anti-evolution law and taught it. 
  • He was charged with breaking the law.
  • Although he lost his trial it made people more aware of Darwin's Theory.
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Native American Indians

Born in USA as full Americans. 1920's white authorities tried to destroy their culture and tradition.

  • They were forced to go to boarding school
  • Kids from same tribes were kept apart.
  • Kids speaking own languages were beaten.
  • Taught to make fun of parents values.
  • Tribes converted to Christianity.
  • Traditions were banned : Sun Dances, Boys having long hair, Clothing.
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Law forbidding the sale, transportation, creation and consumption of any alcoholic beverages. (also means the act of forbidding, inhibiting or prohibiting)

  • People started to realise that alcohol was bad for you. People suffered from sclerosis.
  • Workers were regularly drunk, they were less efficient.
  • Alcohol came mainly from Germany.
  • People voted for politicians who promise to back up prohibition. 
  • Men were wasting money on beer instead of providing for their families.
  • Reduce Crime Rates 

This lead to an illegal market and industry's failing. Death statistics dropped by 1/3.

It failed because crime for illegal consumption rose,government failed to in force law, AAPA (Association Against the Prohibition Amendment.)

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Al Capone (Scarface)

  • Most famous gangster (Chicago)
  • 1920's $60 million and $100 million a year thought fear trade.
  • He owned banks, restaurants and businesses, prostitutes and own private army. 
  • Employed 1000 people
  • People payed protection money.
  • A fight took place on 14th February 1929 no one was convicted.
  • He was finally imprisoned inn 1931 for not paying taxes. 
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The Lame Duck Months

  • Four months period between the election of a new president.
  • November 1932-March 1933
  • Hoover cut taxes, government spending by $800 Million, reorganised banking system and he cut money on weapons.


  • Roosevelt became president in March 1933. He asked congress for emergency power for 100 days. They were usually passed only in war time. 
  • 13 new laws were passed between 18th March 1933 - 16th June 1933.
  • Relief - extreme poverty, feed starving, stop people loosing homes.
  • Recovery - revive economy by getting industry and working. 
  • Reform - unemployment insurance, old-age pension and help for sick, disabled and needy. 
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  • Farm Credit Administration - helped farmers - they made loans to a fifth of all farmers so that they would not lose their farms. 
  • Civilian Works Administration - helped unemployed - short-term scheme to give work BOONDOGGLE JOBS.
  • Federal Emergency Relief Administration - helped homeless and unemployed - $500 Million given to feed, clothe, and provide employment schemes. 
  • Home Owners Loan Corporation - helped people who could lose their homes - loaned money to over a million people.
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  • Emergency Banking Act - helped bankers and investors - government only allowed good banks to remain open.
  • Agricultural Adjustment Agency - helped farmers - paid farmers to reduce less food by taking lout out of production prices went up.
  • Civilian Conservation Corps - helped single men and unemployed - gave jobs to single men under 25 $1 a day was sent to help parents.
  • Public Works Administration - helped unemployed - $7 billion was spent on building dams, bridges, sewage systems and houses. 
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  • National Recovery Administration - helped workers - Trade unions were set up, minimum wage and forbade child labour. 
  • Beer - helped everybody -  ended prohibition, alcohol industry was restored. 
  •  Public Works Administration - helped unemployed - spent $7 billion building dams, bridges, sewage systems and houses. 
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  • The Works Progress Administration (WPA) 1935 - helped unemployed and general public - built roads, buildings, school, break trees 16600km long to stop future dust bowl.
  • The Social Security Act 1935 - help sick, old and unemployed - created benefits. 
  • The Wagner Act 1935 - helped workers - formed Unions.
  • The Resettlement Admin 1935 and The farm Security Admin 1937 - helped farm workers and share croppers. 
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The Tennessee Valley Authority

  • During spring the area around Tennessee and nearby states flooded destroying farm areas.
  • In Summer Tennessee would suffer from drout. Roosevelt saw that the biggest problem was the river.
  • Effected Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina. 
  • They Built 21 dams over 10 years.
  • Made cheap electricity, transport carrying steel, coal etc. turbines built.
  • Poverty gradually disappeared by 1940 it was Roosevelt's Pride of the New Deal. 
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Supreme Court and New Deal

  • The supreme court was full of old republican judges. They were biased against the changes. Roosevelt was aware hist idea went against republican ideas (laissez-faire and individualism) 
  • Supreme Court ruled that some laws were unconstitutional: firstly, the president was not allowed to control businesses and secondly, some laws were only for individual states. 
  • The 'Sick Chicken' a poultry company was found to have sold rotten chickens. the supreme court said that the president could not interfere with trade. 
  • Roosevelt wanted 6 new judges to replace oldest of judges, Congress refused and Roosevelt accused them of being dictators. Some judges decided to resign. 
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Megan Whitworth


I found these very helpful I'm looking to get a B in my America exam this year but find it hard to break down all the informantion so thank you for these!

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