What was the USA like in the 1920s

  • Created by: debbz123
  • Created on: 14-05-15 15:59
Isolationist USA
Taking the US to war was controversial, 1919 Wilson tried to persuade people to join the LofN but Republican Harding won next election.
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Why Was There A Boom?
Industrial Strength, First World War, Republican Policies, New Methods and Industries, State of Mind
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Republican Policies
Laissez-faire the government should interfere as little as possible in the lives of people, Tariffs high import tariffs to protect USA, Low Taxation if people kept more money they would spend it, Trusts
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Industrial Strength
USA was rich in natural resources and lead the world in industries
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First World War
Lent money to the allies, sold munitions, took over exports and took over from Germany in chemical industries
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New Industries and New Methods
1913 production line in Ford factory, wartime propaganda meant they could advertise better, 1927 one car made every ten seconds, more than 15 million produced between 1908 and 1925, glass leather and steel needed for cars, one car to 5 people
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A State Of Mind
Most Americans thought they had a right to prosperity
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Problems in the Farming Industry
Total farm income dropped from $22 billion in 1919 to $13 billion in 1928. After the war Europe imported less food from America, struggling against Canadian wheat producers, falling population and overproduction. 1921 prices fell by 50%.
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Did All Americans Benefit From the Boom
Farmers didn't, workers in old industries eg coal didn't, unemployment remained a problem, same number unemployed in 1920 and 1929. 42% people lived under poverty line
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Radios became a thing, Jazz, Sport, Cinema - a hundred million cinema tickets sold each week
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Before WWI restrictive, few jobs available, housewives etc. 1920s recieved votes, got jobs, 1929 twice as many divorces, 24% more women in jobs in 1929 than 1920
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Prejudice and Intolerance
Immigrants at an all time high and Irish Americans, French Canadians and German Americans got the best jobs + housing and looked down on eastern European and Italian immigrants who looked down on African Americans and Mexicans
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Red Scare
USA scared of communist Russia (1917), in 1919 400,000 workers went on strike, Edgar Hoover purged and 10,000 individuals were deported, only 556 had basis
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Sacco and Vanzetti
Italian immigrants, arrested in 1920, shaky case against them, Judge was prejudiced. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in 1927
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The Ku Klux Kan
White supremacy movement, used violence to intimate African Americans, revived in 1915, thousands were lynched
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Improvements for African Americans
In the north they had a better chance of getting jobs, successful black capitalist movement, popularity of jazz helped people, National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People had 300 branches and 90,000 member in 1919
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Problems for African Americans
Failed to change the US drastically, life expectancy for African Americans was 48 in 1930 whereas white was 59.
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Native Americans
Vanishing, declining from 1.5 million to 250,000 in 1920, in 1920s government became concerned about them, 1924 they were granted citizenship and allowed to vote.
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The Monkey Trial
Rural Americans were fundamentalists, refused to accept or teach evolution - banned it, John Scopes broke the law to go to court - July 1925. Fundamentalists lost
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Why Was Prohibition Introduced
Anti-Saloon league and Women's Christian Temperance Union, 1916, 21 states banned saloons, January 1920 Volstead Act. Prohibition lasted from 1920 to 1933, levels of alcohol consumption fell by 30% in early 20s.
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Supply and Demand
Prohibition was impossible to enforce in in the cities. Not enough agents, Americans did not want to obey this law, bootleggers made lots. Al Capone made around $60 million a year from speakeasies, 1925 more speakeasies than were saloons in 1919
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Prohibition led to corruption, big breweries stayed in business, bribed prohibition officers and the police to leave them alone. One in twelve were dismissed for corruption
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Organised gangs made about $2 billion out of prohibition, generally came from immigrant backgrounds were poor but ruthless, St Valentine's Massacre 1929 seven of Bugsy Moran's gang were killed
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Why Was Prohibition Ended?
St Valentine's Massacre was a turning point, when Wall Street Crash happened there were economic reasons to reinstate it (jobs and taxes) repealed in December 1933
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Why Was There A Boom?


Industrial Strength, First World War, Republican Policies, New Methods and Industries, State of Mind

Card 3


Republican Policies


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Card 4


Industrial Strength


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Card 5


First World War


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