Bad 1920s America

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  • The 1920s saw the end of the open door policy

  • In 1922 the Fordney – McCumber act placed tariffs on foreign goods

  • Both of these measures reflected an attitude which had occurred after WW1 many Americans felt it was time for the USA to withdraw from world affairs

  • This was called isolationism

  • Some Americans resented the number of immigrants in America and felt true American culture was being undermined

  • They also didn’t like the fact that 100,000 American soldiers had died on a “rescue mission” in Europe too save Britain and France from Germany

  • They only wanted the American Government to look after the American people and American economy

Rejecting the League of Nations

  • Because of Isolation Americans never joined the league of nations

  • Even though President Wilson had been the organisations most active supporter

  • In 1919 he found the senate wouldn’t agree to the treaty that he had given lots of work

  • People thought America would be the “world’s policeman”


  • About 25% of the American population were farmers and 50% of Americans lived out in rural America and depended on farming for money

  • When the price of agriculture fell in the 1920s millions of farmers were effected

  • Farmers did well during WW1, they expanded their farms to keep up with demands from Europe but after the war Europe’s farms recovered, farmers found themselves with more product than they could sell

  • Also Americans ate less starch, food could be kept for longer periods of time due to fridges, tractors were used instead of horses and American farmers could sell abroad due to high tariffs

  • Many farmers sold their farms and moved to the cities to find work, others were evicted for not keeping up payments

Employment of Black Americans

  • Many black Americans worked on farms, so when the income fell and or their employers moved away, they lost their jobs

  • During the 1920s ¾ of a million black people lost their jobs

  • In 1929 the wage in the north was $881 pa but in the south the wage was $365 so many blacks moved to the north to find work

  • Unfortunately they were still discriminated against they lived in poorer areas (slums)and had to compete for low paid jobs


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