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Politics and a Thin Prosperity


Politics and a Thin Prosperity A Slipping economy – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Politics and a Thin Prosperity

Politics and a Thin Prosperity
  • A Slipping economy

Americans Confront Postwar Controversy
  • 1919 Boston Police go out on strike
  • No wage increased
  • Cost of living had doubled
  • Appealed to the Police Commissioner who promptly
    fired them all
  • No police protection
  • Looting / gambling became commonplace
  • Governor Cal Coolidge called out the National
    Guard to restore peace
  • Coolidge said, There is no right to strike
    against the public safety by anyone, anywhere,

The Boston Police Strike (1919)
  • The police commissioner fired all of the police
    officers who lobbied for a raise.
  • Those police officers who were not fired chose to
    go on strike.
  • As the strike ended the police commissioner
    refused to rehire the striking police officers
  • The newly hired officers received everything the
    strikers asked for

Russian Revolution (1917)
  • A civil war occurs to gain power over Russia.
  • The Whites (supported by the US who actually
    sends troops) are defeated by the Bolsheviks
    (Reds) who change their name to Communists
  • Russia became known as the Union of Soviet
    Socialist Republics (USSR) or Soviet Union with
    Vladimir Lenin as their leader.

The Red ScareFear of a communist workers
  • 1919 saw over 3,000 strikes
  • Was it the beginning of a Communist workers
  • Since the Russian Revolution, many Americans were
    afraid a Bolshevik revolution could happen here
  • Reality of the Strikes
  • Wages had not kept up with prices
  • Employers would not give workers a pay raise
  • Returning war veterans had difficulty finding

The Red Scare
  • There were about 70,000 people who joined the
    Communist party in the U.S. shortly after the
    Russian Revolution.
  • Most had ties to labor unions like the Industrial
    Workers of the World.
  • Despite the small number, some Americans became
    very fearful of a communist revolution in the

The Red Scare
  • People feared that if communism came to the U.S.,
    it would mean the government abolishing private
    property government ownership of factories,
    railroads, all other businesses.
  • People feared that reds or communists would
    violently takeover the U.S.

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Political Cartoon
A. Mitchell Palmer Attorney General
  • Palmer Raids against alleged communists and
  • Anarchists-those who oppose all forms of
  • Civil liberties were often violated during the

The Palmer Raids
  • Under Palmers leadership, government agents were
    allowed to use tactics that went beyond the
  • Agents invaded private homes, meeting halls, and
    private offices without using search warrants.
  • Suspects were jailed for weeks without being
    allowed to see their lawyers.
  • Visitors of jailed suspects were arrested.
  • Hundreds of suspects (immigrants) were deported
    without the benefit of a trial.

After a Palmer Raid
The Ku Klux Klan Resurges in the Twenties
  • The Ku Klux Klan claimed to be devoted to 100
    percent Americanism.
  • Its members claimed to be white male persons,
    native-born, gentile citizens.
  • The Klans social positions were
  • Anti-Black
  • Anti-Immigrant or Foreigner
  • Anti-Labor Union
  • Anti-Catholic
  • Anti-Jew
  • Anti-Urban Intellectual
  • Anti-Evolution
  • Anti-Wet (Wets were people who drank).
  • Pro-Prohibition
  • Pro- Fundamentalist Protestant Christian

Xenophobia fear of foreigners
The Ku Klux Klan Resurges in the Twenties
  • Anti-Immigrant feelings in the 1920s refueled the
    Ku Klux Klan membership.
  • The Great Migration of African Americans that
    began during World War I continued in the 1920s
    also led to the KKK reaching its highest
    membership numbers in Northern states.
  • In fact, Indiana had more KKK members in the
    1920s than any other state in the Union.
  • Even Indianas governor had KKK ties.

The Ku Klux Klan Resurges in the Twenties
  • KKK Grand Wizard Hiram Evans described his
    members as plain peoplethe everyday, not
    highly cultured, overly intellectualized, but
    entirely unspoiledcitizens of old stock.
  • Klan members felt very threatened from the
    changes that started to occur during World War I
    and continued in to the 1920s.
  • They did not like the new job opportunities that
    African Americans gained during World War I.
  • They worried about immigrants taking their jobs.
  • They worried that foreigners threatened the
    American way of life.
  • They felt that urban intellectuals threatened
    their values.

The Ku Klux Klan Resurges in the Twenties
  • The Klan expressed their view with parades and
    racial violence
  • The Klan embraced racial violence and often
    committed violence and murder without being
  • Many Klan led lynching's occurred with no arrests
    or convictions.

The Ku Klux Klan Resurges in the Twenties
  • This picture was taken in 1925 when almost 60,000
    Ku Klux Klan members marched down Pennsylvania
    Avenue in Washington, D.C.

The KKK Yesterday and Today
Sacco Vanzetti
  • At the height of the Red Scare in April of 1920,
    the Sacco Vanzetti case revealed the fear of
    foreigners (xenophobia) immigrants that was
    resurging in the 1920s.
  • Nicola Sacco Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italian
    immigrants who were anarchists draft evaders.
  • The two men were accused of shooting killing a
    factory paymaster in Braintree, Massachusetts
    running off with 15,000.
  • Circumstantial evidence
  • Judge not impartial
  • Found guilty and sentenced to death

Warren G. HardingPresident 1920 1923
  • Ohio politician not well respected
  • Return to Normalcy and Isolation
  • No government interference with business
  • No social welfare programs
  • US did not join League of Nations
  • Made questionable political appointments
  • Ohio Gang his poker playing Ohio buddies given
    political positions
  • Scandalous and corrupt Administration
  • Died of a heart attack in 1923
  • I have no trouble with my enemiesbut my
  • damn friends, theyre the ones that keep me
  • walking the floor at night Harding

Cal CoolidgePresident 1923 1928 Republican
  • The chief business of the American people is
    business Coolidge
  • Hardings vice-president
  • Silent Cal a simple and honest man
  • Kept taxes down and business up
  • Keep Cool with Coolidge campaign slogan in 1924
  • Business boomed
  • Many new consumer goods which used electricity
  • People bought on credit using installment plans
  • Banks provided low interest loans

The Business of America is Business
  • Planned obsolescence
  • It wont last so youll have to buy more!!
  • Assembly line mass produced goods revolutionized
  • Advertising was used to sell products you didnt
  • Overproduction occurred huge overstock of goods
  • Installment plan buying due to easy credit
  • Speculating (making risky investments) on the
    stock market by the average guy
  • Farmers already feeling the coming depression
  • Farmers had borrowed heavily during WW I to
    produce more food and already had huge debts

Selling new productsAdvertising
Henry Ford revolutionized the way we produced
goods in America
New Products in a modern society
Appealing to the public
These products made life easier and more
The changing kitchen
Edisons phonograph Everyone loved it
Labor Movement Struggles in the Twenties
  • Although labor union membership rose during the
    World War I era, labor unions were outlawed from
    striking, greatly limiting the power of labor
  • The government threatened workers to either work
    or fight.
  • Immediately following World War I, strikes
    broke-out in great numbers.
  • There were over 3,000 strikes in 1919, but
    striking and union membership declined after

Labor Movement Struggles in the Twenties
  • During World War I continuing into the 1920s,
    wages had not kept up with prices.
  • Employers tried to avoid wage increases tried
    to discourage labor unions.
  • Many employers tried to stir up rumors that union
    members were planning revolution.
  • Newspapers published fearful headlines like
  • Crimes Against Society
  • Conspiracies Against the Government.
  • Plots to Establish Communism
  • The picture shows an IWW labor union office that
    was raided by federal authorities searching for
    communist revolutionary activities.

President Wilson deals with labor strikes in 1919
  • The Steel Strike
  • Difficult and dangerous working conditions
  • Seven days a week, 12 hours a day
  • US Steel refused to meet with Union reps so they
    walked off the job
  • They demanded the right to shorter working hours
    and a living wage
  • US Steel hired non-union workers or
    strikebreakers (scabs) and used force
  • Propaganda campaign against the strikers
  • 18 workers were killed and wounded or beat
    hundreds more
  • In 1923 a Protestant interfaith committee
    published a report documenting the dire labor
  • The report did pressure U.S. Steel to give steel
    workers an 8 hour workday, but the steel workers
    did not regain its union.

The Coal Miners Strike (1919)
  • John L. Lewis became the new leader of the United
    Mine Workers of America in 1919.
  • When John L. Lewis called for a strike on
    November 1, 1919, Attorney General A. Mitchell
    Palmer got a court order demanding that the
    strikers return to work.
  • Lewis declared the strike over but quietly gave
    the order to continue the strike
  • An arbitrator was appointed
  • The miners received a 27 pay raise
  • A shorter work day and week will be achieved in
    the 1930s

Labor Movement Loses Appeal
  • Many believed labor unions fostered communism
  • Many immigrants had no choice but to work in poor
    labor conditions
  • Immigrants spoke many languages making them
    difficult to organize
  • Farmers who moved to cities were difficult to
    organize because they were use to relying on
  • Blacks were excluded from joining many unions

Black Tuesday - October 29,1929 The American
start of the Great Depression
Causes of this worldwide depression
  • Uneven distribution of income few rich, many
  • Easy credit and the installment plan personal
    debt - too many people owed money
  • Speculating - buying stock on margin put 10
    down borrow the rest of the money from a
    stockbroker. Hopefully you can sell, make a
  • Imbalance of foreign trade we were not trading
    with foreign countries due to tariffs (tax on
    imported foreign goods)
  • Mechanization of industry machines doing the
    job of people

Politics of the 1920sOur return to normalcy!
  • Isolationism The US will stay out of world
  • Nativism prejudice against immigrates and
  • The threat of communism and anarchists
  • Political conservatism
  • No more progressive reforms like helping
    workers, the poor and regulating businesses
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