America 1920-55

  • Created by: Han11
  • Created on: 19-06-19 15:27

1). Boom and crash 1920-29 = 

·     Prohibition- Congress passed 18thamendment 1917 to make ban on sale and manufacture of alcohol illegal. Anti-saloon league heavily supported by women. Claimed alcohol led violence, saloon bars encouraged men to not spend time with their family + spend all the money on alcohol. Did not end drinking, mid 20s 700 speakeasies. Illegal manufacture without regulation. Methyl could result in blindness in New York 30 people died a year. Activity + power of criminal gangs increased. Rival gangs fought each other hijacking others supplies + murdering opposition, police tuned a blind eye. Organised gangs made $2 billion out of the sale of illegal alcohol. 1929 Valentine’s day massacre, 6 killed Al Capone’s gang. Rise organised crime. Chicago between 1926 and 1927 130 gangland murders, no one was ever convicted. Bootleggers brought illegal liquor supplies into cities. Rum smuggled from West Indies, whiskey from Canada smuggled to Detroit. Alcohol still needed for industrial processes, government added poison, still stolen deaths alcohol poisoning increased from 98 1920 to 760 1926. 1925 Americans drank 200 million gallons of spirits, 118 million gallons of wine. There weren’t enough officials to enforce it, only 4500 prohibition agents.  

·     Jazz age- First played New Orleans, black musicians, Louis Armstrong. Racist violence caused moved to Chicago + New York. Played in speakeasies. Harlem renaissance. Great migration from south to the north. Problems overcrowding Harlem. 

·     Government- 1920s Republican, laissez faire. 

·     Tariffs- Fordney McCumber tariff 1922, raised tariffs. 

·      Cinema- 1920 20,000 cinema producing 800 films a year. 1930 110 million people going to cinema every week. The Birth of a Nation said to have revived KKK. Film studios centred in Hollywood. Big film companies developed, Warner Brothers + Paramount. First film with sound 1927. 

·      Spectator sports- Olympic records, Babe Ruth. 

·      Consumer goods- Increased. 1929 23 million cars on the road. 1930 30% people owned vacuum, 85% people had electricity. 

·      Henry Ford- 1913 adopted mass production technique. Price fell, production increased. Private police force + no unions, workers could not strike. Excellent safety records. $5 dollars a day encouraged workers. Assembly line sped up production, Highland Park Plant in Detroit. Three production teams working each day, reduced number of hours’ people worked. 1920 producing one car every 60 seconds. 

·      Red scare- Saw 6000 arrests of revolutionaries Palmer Raids 1920.

·      Immigration intolerance- Immigrants southern + Eastern Europe attacked by KKK. Quota Act 1924, restricted emigration from countries to 2% of 1890 level. 1924 Johnson Reed Act banned immigration from Japan. Sacco and Vanzetti trial 1921, Italian immigrants, arrested accused armed robbery, found guilty + executed even though little evidence against them. 

·      Religious intolerance- KKK harassed Roman Catholics. Monkey Trial 1925, John Scopes teacher Tennessee wanted to teach natural selection rather than Bible. Teaching Darwin became criminal offence. 

·      Suburbs


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