America in the 1920s and 1930s

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  • Created on: 28-04-16 19:03
After ww1, what did America never join?
The Leage of Nations
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Why did america not join the league?
many against joining the war in the first place. lots of american lives lost. didnt want to interfere in european conflicts and thought if they joined the would be obliged to.
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how did the usa gain from the war?
economy boomed. use exported weapons and food to europe. after war europe bought from usa with help of american loans.
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why were european imports seen as a threat?
they were cheap. unemployment was high in europe so workers were willing to pay for less.
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what would happen if consumers started buying european goods?
loss of american jobs. lower profits for us companies. less taxes for usa government.
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what did president harding do to protect US industry?
brought in emergency tariff act in may 1921- increased taxes on imported farm goods.
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what tariff was introduced in 1922 and what did it do?
Fordney McCumber tariff- allowed pres. harding to raise and lower taxes as he pleased.
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how did president harding use this?
he raised duties on both imported factory and farm goods.
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what happened to immigration control?
it increased after ww1
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why did immigration control increase?
WASPs called for the 'open door' policy to immigration to be closed as they were alarmed at the number of Aasian, catholic and jewish people entering the country. the believed 'anarchists' and communists would enter the country.
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in 1921 what was imigration reduced to?
no more than 3% was allowed.
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overall, what were the main causes of isolationism?
cheap imports led to taxes on foreign goods. america afraid of involvement in more wars. increased worries about immigration.
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3 causes of prosperity in 1920s america.
low inflation. low unemployment. low interest rates
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what did low unemployment mean?
people had more money to spend on 'luxury' items such as radios, washing machines and telephones.
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how did advertising help prosperity?
encouraged more spending and became a big business.
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what was hire purchase?
where people could buy expensive items such as cars by paying in installments. this also encouraged spending on luxury products.
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what did the republican government do?
reduced income tax and encouraged banks to lend money.
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what happened with the stock market?
it boomed as more people bought shares hoping to sell them at a profit/
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in the 1920s how many people bought shares?
1.5 million.
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how many workers were linked to car production?
1 in 12
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what other industries did car production boost?
rubber, steel, petrol
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what caused cars to become more affordable?
mass production- it took only 93 minutes to make a model T car and cost only $300 so the price could be reduced for consumers.
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what was mass production?
products made on a conveyer belt line which reduced the time they took to make.
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how did mass production contribute to the boom
it increased jobs so more people had the money needed to buy luxury items.
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what was poverty in the 1920s mainly due to?
an uneven distribution of wealth between the super rich and the poor.
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where was poverty mort common?
in urban areas.
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what did 'monopolies' do?
keep prices high and wages low.
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what kept many african americans in poverty?
due to prejudice and discrimination they were restricted to living in poorer districts.
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what kind of industries suffered?
'old' industries such as the coal indstry.
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why did the coal industry suffer?
there was compotition from the oil industry. efficiency in mining technology saw workers laid off.
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what was the reduction of coal mined?
10% less coal was mined in 1929 than in 1919
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what led to rural poverty?
problems on agriculture.
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what happened on farms?
they overproduced food which led to falling prices which led to falling profits.
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why didnt the republican government help?
they didnt believe in direct help to farmers.
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therefore what happened to american form population?
for the first time ever it began to decline.
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what did newer immigrant groups face?
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why were americans worried about immigrants?
they feared communist 'alligators' entering the country
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therefore what happened?
over 4000 immigrants were deported, mainly russians.
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what was set up in 1917 to control immigration?
a literacy test.
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what was the quota system (set up in 1921) replaced with?
in 1924 the national origins act was introduced which strictly limited immigration.
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who did the national origins act discriminate against?
immigrants from southern and eastern europe and asia.
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when was the kkk origionally formed?
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when did the kkk begin to regain popularity?
early 1920s
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what did the kkk oppose?
african americans being given more rights
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what methods did it use?
intimidation and violence.
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by 1925 how many members did it have?
4 million
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what happened in 1925 to lose the kkk significant support?
a scandal involving the indiana klan leader (allegations of kidnap and murder). afterwards the kkk never regained as much cultural and political power.
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what were racist laws commonly known as?
'jim crow laws'
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what did these laws do?
make it difficult for african americans to vote.
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give on way how this was done.
in some states it became law that in order to vot you had to give proof that yur granfather voted. this was difficult for african americans as many of their grandfathers had been slaves who were not allowed to vote.
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what other racist law was inplace in the 1920s?
segregation laws. facilities were meant to be 'seperate but equal' but facilities for black people were significantly worse than those for whites.
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how long had some christian groups been campaigning for prohibition laws?
since 19th century
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what did these groups claim alcohol do?
led to violence, immoral behaivous and breakdown family life.
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what did bisuness men claim it do?
made workers unreliable.
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who opposed prohibition?
urban areas and northern states
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what did prohibition do?
closed down saloons. decreased alcohol consumption as illegal alcohol was expensive. 2800 agents were hired to enforce 'dry' laws.
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who took over the distribution of alcohol?
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what kind of crime increased?
gang crime
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who were bootleggers?
people whosold on redistilled industrial alcohol.
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who were hijackers?
people who stole smuggled alcohol
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what was moonshine?
homemade alcohol made in peoples bathtubs etc.
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what were speakeasies?
illegal drinking clubs- e.g. 21 club, new york
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who were rum-runners?
people who smuggled alcohol into america from mexico, canada and europe.
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how many gang murders was there?
between 1926-1929 there was 1300 murders
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who was al capone?
a gang leader who made $60 million a year from selling illegal alcohol
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what was the st valentines day massacre?
7 members of al capone's rival gang (led by bugs moran) were murdered. they were tricked into thinking there was a trade deal and were shot dead by 2 members of al capone's gang dressed as police officers. bugs moran was ment to be the but wasn't.
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what did he eventually go to prison for?
tax evasion.
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when did prohibiton end?
december 1933
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why did it stop?
stopping alcohol consumption was impossible as there was still a public demand for it. the 'agents' set up also became corrupt as they too bribes from gangsters.
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in 1932, whose presidential campaign promised to repeal prohibition?
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what industries 'boomed' in the 1920s?
film, radio, advertising
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how many americans went to the cinema?
by 1929, 110 million americans went to the cinema weekly
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how many people had a radio?
by the end of the 1920s, 50 million people had a radio set
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what was the NBC?
national broadcasting company which started on radio.
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when was the nbc set up?
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in 1929 how much had the nbc made in advertising?
$150 million
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what was changing about young people in 1920s?
manners and morals
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what did young people enjoy?
smoking, drinking, dancing
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who were flappers?
young women who wore lipstick, short skirts and high heels
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what fell ing the 1920s?
church attendence
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what increased in the 1920s?
divorce rates
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what did women gain?
more freedom and independence
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what did some feminists encourage?
liberation, but they only had limited success
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what else were women encouraged to do?
gain economic independence- this meant getting a job
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what jobs did women do?
some learned to trade, trained as secretaries, worked in the new office jobs available
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what did household gatgets provide women?
relief from house work
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what rose among women?
high school and college attendences so more women were educated
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what views on women still carried on?
they were still expected to be home makers, there was still discrimination against women in employment, they were still seen as inferior to men
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when was black thursday?
thursday 24th october, 1929
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what happened on black thursday?
confidence in shares were lost so 13 million were sold in a panic
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what happened on the 28th and 29th?
a series of sharp falls began in the values of shares
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what did some major stocks lose?
3/4s of their value
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how much of the stock market's value had been lost at the lowest point?
in 1933, 83% of the stock markets value had been lost
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who were most early losers?
large-scale speculators
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how did people try to resolve the problem?
leading financiers met to pool $240 million and used it to buy shares in attempt to restore confidence and stop panic. however this failed
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what did panic selling lead to?
further falls in prices
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why did the banks go bust?
people rushed to withdraw their savings from banks
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what also contributed to the crash?
underlying economic problems
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what were some underlying economic problems?
people having large debts from continuous spending, uneven distribution of wealth, over production, banks largely unregulated, people buying shares with loans, couldn't sell goods in europe
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why did overproduction lead to the crash?
more products were being made than sold so stock built up. less product needed to be made so less workers were needed. this meant people were laid off, increasing unemployment. they therefore had no money to spend on products
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what did banks do because they were unregulated?
gambled money on the stock market
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why did buying shares with loans cause an economic problem?
brokers provided expensive loans to buy shares but when the stock market crashed people didn't have the money to pay them back
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why couldn't american goods be sold in europe?
usa put high tariffs on european goods as part of their isolationism policy. however in return europe put high tariffs on american goods. also european countries had suffered economically after the war so couldn't provide a good market to sell on
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how many were unemployed as a result of the crash?
by 1933, 13 million were unemployed
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how much did the price of agriculture fall?
fell 60% due to declining demand
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what did national income fall to?
in 1933 national income was only $40 billion
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how many banks folded?
in 1932, 5000 banks folded
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the crash caused mass poverty, what did poverty lead to?
undernourishment- soup kitchen set up, thousands homeless, people moved to find work- some fathers abandoned their families to find work, increase in migrant workers, birth rate fell
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what were some attempts to help?
hoover introduced economic policies such as 'emergency relief and construction act'
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what did the 'emergency relief construction act' do?
it established the reconstruction finance corporation which provided loans to help businesses. this was so successful it continued under rooservelt's presidency
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what measures made by hoover were not so successful?
federal farm board- set up to help farmers work together to stabalise crop prices but didn't stop overproduction so prices stayed low. smoot-hawley tariff saw US exports to europe more than halve between 1929 and 1932
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how did many people see hoover's efforts?
'too little, too late'.
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why was hoover so unpopular?
he still believed in 'rugged individualism'- people getting themselves out of poverty. he refused any financial relief to individuals
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when was rooservelt (FDR) elected?
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what help did rooservelt have in the election?
he was supported by wealthy bankers
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what were FDR's 3 main aims?
relief- to improve the lives of people. recovery- to rebuild industry and trade. reform- to change conditions to ensure future progress
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what had to be restored in banking and finance?
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how did rooservelt do this?
had a 4 day bank holiday. only healthy banks reopened, weak banks were reorganised under federal supervision. laws introduced to insure deposits and limit speculation. stock market monitored carefully. usa taken off 'gold standard'
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what did this lead to?
bank failures fell and deposits rose. confidence begining to return
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what were launched in rooservelts first term in office?
federal agencies (alphabet agencies)
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what was FERA?
federal emergency relief administration
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what did FERA do?
$500 million available to state governments for emergency relief aid- gave direct assistance to the poor such as dole payments and soup kitchens
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who did FERA help?
poor and unemployed
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what was CCC?
civilian conservation corps
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what did CCC do?
provided work for unemployed men in forestry, soil and water conservation projects.
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who did CCC help?
unemployed young men
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what was PWA?
public works administration
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what did PWA do?
provided work building roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and housing
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what was AAA?
agricultural adjustment administration
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what did AAA do?
paid farmers to limit food production. this raised prices and increased incomes
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who did AAA help?
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what was NRA?
national recovery act
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what did NRA do?
drew up codes on fair competition, set minimum wages and a maximum 8 hour day. encouraged trade unions
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what was a problem with NRA?
it relied on voluntary agreements by businesses
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who did NRA help?
poor however not unemployed
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what was TVA?
tenessee valley authority
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what did TVA do?
brought construction projects to the poorest regions in the country.
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what did TVA build/plant?
dams to conserve water and stop flooding. planted trees to stop soil erosion. built power stations to bring electricity to poor areas. this provided thousands of jobs and agriculture started to prosper
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who did TVA help?
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what was HOLC?
home owners loan corporation
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what did HOLC do?
helped people in danger of having their homes reposessed by providing long-term loans
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the economy strenghtened but what problems remained?
some agencies gave money out too slowly. strict reculations on wages, hours and child labour hurt farmers and small businesses. opposition to federal control. servere drought led to soil erosion and 'dust bowl' in mid-west
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why was there opositions to federal control?
groups such as liberty league thought federal control was too communist
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despite criticism howeverwhat happened?
employment rose and the measures were very popular
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Card 2


Why did america not join the league?


many against joining the war in the first place. lots of american lives lost. didnt want to interfere in european conflicts and thought if they joined the would be obliged to.

Card 3


how did the usa gain from the war?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


why were european imports seen as a threat?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


what would happen if consumers started buying european goods?


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