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Time between World Wars

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Time between World Wars Roaring 20 s and Great Depression After the end of World War I, the United States was again feeling very good about itself. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Time between World Wars


1
Time between World Wars
  • Roaring 20s and Great Depression

2
After the end of World War I, the United States
was again feeling very good about itself. While
the war had lasted four long, hard years in
Europe, once the US joined the war it was over in
about six months. This caused Americans to
believe that we were now one of the most powerful
countries on earth. A decade long celebration of
us began which would later be called The Roaring
Twenties. The 20s were marked by economic
growth, and lots of new leisure time activities.
3
One of the most important figures of the 20s was
Henry Ford. Ford changed the way that business
was done in America. As the leader of the Ford
Motor Company, he brought the assembly line and
mass production to the car industry. Fords
Model T could be produced in about 90 minutes and
cost the extremely low price of around 280.00.
This made travel easy and accessible to almost
all Americans. With easier travel, Americans
began to move to suburbs and drive to factory
jobs in the city.
4
Not only did Ford change the driving habits of
America, he also changed the work habits.
Because he wanted his employees to be more
productive and also to have more free time to
need a Model T, Ford introduced the 5 day work
week and the 8 hour work day. This system was
soon followed by other companies and the modern
work week was born. The shorter work week gave
workers more leisure time and led to a growing
entertainment industry.
5
With free time on their hands, Americans began to
go to the movies more. The old invention of
Thomas Edison became more popular and sound was
soon added to make them more entertaining.
Sports also became popular. Baseball, football,
horseracing, boxing, and golf had millions of
fans paying to watch. Music and dance clubs also
became popular. The only problem with the clubs
was that alcohol was illegal according to the
18th amendment, and people wanted to drink while
out partying.
6
Since people wanted their alcohol, an underground
crime organization developed around illegal
alcohol. Clubs, known as speakeasies, opened all
over the country so that people could meet to
drink and party. At the center of the alcohol
was the city of Chicago and the mob boss Al
Capone. Importing and selling the illegal drinks
were big business and led to murder, bombings,
and crime on a large scale until the 18th
amendment was ended with the passage of the 21st
amendment which made alcohol legal again.
7
While the economics of the country were booming,
there was an underlying problem that nobody
seemed to want to pay attention to. Many people
were buying on credit. Credit made it so
customers could take an item home today and not
actually pay for it until later. This allowed
many Americans to buy items that they could not
really afford. They also bought stocks in the
stock market on credit. Everything seemed great
until the stock market and credit bubble burst.
8
In October of 1929, the party of the Roaring 20s
ended. On days later known as Black Thursday and
Black Tuesday, the stock market crashed. For
unknown reasons, people began to doubt the safety
of the stock market and sold their stocks to take
their money out. The stock prices dropped
causing others to panic and sell their stocks
before they lost more money. In a vicious cycle,
more and more people sold their stocks and the
prices went lower and lower. Soon, the stock
market had lost over half of its value.
9
The stock markets were not the only area with
problems. As people lost money in the market,
they decided to take their money out of banks.
The banks did not have enough money on hand and
many of the banks had to close. People who had
not gotten their money out of the banks simply
lost their money as it vanished. Bank failures
led to business closings and people losing their
jobs. As more people lost their jobs, they could
not buy anything. This caused more businesses to
fail and more people to lose their jobs. The
cycle continued downward and life became worse
and more and more Americans lost their jobs.
Soon 1 of every 4 Americans was out of work.
10
President Herbert Hoover saw the economic
problems as just a temporary issue and believed
that if the government left things alone, it
would get better. It didnt happen. The economy
continued to get worse. Farmers lost their land,
workers lost their jobs, and families lost their
homes. Many people moved to areas where they
lived around other families out of the back of
their cars and covered with cardboard boxes or
bed sheets. These settlements became known as
Hoovervilles, because those who lived their
blamed President Hoover for their problems.
11
By 1932, Franklin Roosevelt was running for
President with the idea that the US government
should interfere to help people out. His idea
was called the New Deal. Roosevelt was elected
in a landslide. His New Deal plan was based on
the belief that the government should treat the
economy like an accident victim. The first
priority was to stop the bleeding. Something
had to be done to get people back to work. The
second job was to prevent the accident from
happening again.
12
To get people back to work, Roosevelt asked
Congress to create several new programs. The
Civilian Conservation Corps, the Public Works
Administration, and the Works Progress
Administration were designed to give people jobs.
The jobs may be digging ditches, cleaning trash,
painting murals, or other labor. The purpose
wasnt really to do the project, but to get
people working and making money again. By
getting people working it helped them feel better
about themselves. By giving them money, they
could now buy things and help other businesses
reopen or expand.
13
Roosevelt also closed all banks for a week. This
was done to stop people from taking their money
out of the banks. The Tennessee Valley Authority
was also created in the Southeast. The TVA built
dams in the south. The dams were built to
provide electricity to people in the south and to
help businesses grow in the region. They were
also built to prevent flooding and increase
usable land.
14
Another major confidence builder of Roosevelts
were his fireside chats. Every night families
would gather around the radio to listen to the
president speak. Roosevelt would discuss the
problems of the times but would also tell how he
planned to solve them. The purpose of the chats
was just to calm the people and reduce panic. As
Roosevelt said, The only thing we have to fear,
is fear itself.
15
Once some Americans were put back to work, the
bleeding had stopped. Roosevelt then wanted to
set up ideas to prevent other disasters in the
future. The Social Security Administration was
created to prevent mass job loss. The system
would pay those who were either temporarily
unemployed or those who were unable to work such
as the disabled, elderly, or children of disabled
or dead parents. The belief was, that by giving
unemployed people some money, they would still be
able to shop, and it would keep other people from
losing their jobs.
16
The next plan of Roosevelt was to create the
Federal Depository Insurance Corporation. The
FDIC says that the US government will insure any
bank account up to 100,000. This meant that is
a bank failed, people who had put money in the
bank would not lose everything. The government
would give them all of their money up to
100,000. The purpose of the FDIC was to give
people confidence in banks so they would not run
to withdraw all of their money in times of panic.
17
A final act of Roosevelt was the Fair Labor
Standard Act. This first established the minimum
wage and the maximum work hours someone could
work without being paid overtime. Roosevelts
plans were sometimes successful and sometimes
hurt the economy even more. The main thing he
did was give Americans confidence again by trying
something to help. The Great Depression actually
continued until the country was pulled out of it
by World War II. With the beginning of war, the
US manufacturing cranked up and most people were
put back to work.
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