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National Crisis


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Title: National Crisis

National Crisis
  • Unit 7

The Great War / WWI
  • 4 Main Causes
  • 1. Militarism- the policy of building up armed
    forces in aggressive preparedness for war and
    their use as a tool of diplomacy
  • 2. Alliances- a union or association of nations
    formed for mutual benefit (economic, protective,
  • 3 Imperialism- policy of extending a nations
    authority over other countries by economic,
    political or military means. 4. Nationalism- a
    devotion to the interests and culture of ones

  • On June 28,1914, Austrian Archduke Franz
    Ferdinand and his wife were killed in Sarajevo by
    19 yr. old Gavrilo Princip, a member of the
    Bosnian terrorist group, the Black Hand.
  • Less than two months later, Austria-Hungary
    declared war against Serbia. Shortly after,
    Russia (Serbias ally) declared war on
  • On August 1, 1914, Germany (Austrias ally)
    declared war on Russia and France (old enemy)
  • The Great War began!

U.S. Involvement
  • Aug. 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declares
    U.S. neutrality in the war.
  • The U.S. instead opted to sell weapons and
    supplies to both the Allied Powers (France,
    Russia, England), AND the Central Powers
    (Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey), although
    Americas economic ties were much stronger with
    the Allies.
  • The U.S. shipped millions of dollars of war
    supplies and at one point experienced a labor
    shortage due to the massive production needs!

U.S. Involvement
  • The U.S. maintained its neutrality and Wilson
    pleaded for peace, but Germanys continued use of
    the British luxury liner the Lusitania (May,
    1915), the Arabic (Aug., 1915), and the French
    Sussex (March, 1916), pushed the U.S. to its
    breaking point.
  • Wilson won re-election in 1916, under the banner
    He kept us out of the war, but by 1917 it was
    apparent that neutrality was no longer an option

Breaking Point
  • In April, 1917, the U.S. began mobilizing for war
    against the Central Powers for 2 reasons
  • -to ensure Allied repayment of debts to the U.S.
    for supplies provided for the war effort
  • -to prevent Germanys continued UNRESTRICTED
    SUBMARINE WARFARE from threatening U.S. shipping.
  • With only 200,000 servicemen, the U.S. was
    unprepared for war. Congress passed the Selective
    Service Act to fill the need and 3 million men
    were called up

Fighting Over There
  • To counter German U-boat attacks at sea, the U.S.
    initiated the convoy system, in which
    destroyers/battle ships escorted merchant ships
    across the Atlantic.
  • On land, The American Expeditionary Force (AEF),
    led by Gen. John J. Pershing, included men from
    around the country as well as 400,000
    African-Americans serving in segregated units.
    None were prepared for the horrors of this new
    industrialized warfare

Fighting Over There
  • Following Russias exit from the war (due to a
    communist revolt back home), Germany shifted all
    troops to the Western Front trenches in France.
  • Fresh U.S. troops arrived just in time to relieve
    the war weary allies as Germany intensified its
  • New weapons led to horrific injuries and death,
    but by Fall, 1918, the tide had turned against
    the Central Powers. In Nov., 1918, they signed an
    armistice that ended the war.

Meanwhile, Back At Home
  • As the war raged in Europe, in the U.S., a wave
    of anti-immigrant (particularly German) hysteria
    swept the nation and fears of a
    socialist/communist takeover (like the one in
    Russia!) were rampant.
  • Many Americans with German names lost their jobs
    and were targets of violence. Libraries removed
    German books / hamburgers(Hamburg, Germany)
    were renamed Salisbury steak.
  • Those who spoke out publicly against the war
    (socialists / labor organizers) also became

Espionage Sedition Acts
  • Congress passed the Espionage Act (1917) and the
    Sedition Act 1918. Under these, a person could be
    fined up to 10,000 sentenced to 20 years for
    interfering / saying anything disloyal against
    the war effort.
  • This clearly violated 1st Amendment rights and
    led to 2,000 prosecutions/1,000 convictions.
  • It specifically targeted socialists and labor
    organizers. Socialist Eugene V. Debs (a
    presidential candidate a few years earlier) Was
    sentenced to 10 yrs for speaking out against the

The Red Scare
  • Mass fear spread throughout the nation as a
    Communist Party formed in the U.S. w/ a
    membership of 70 thousand. When mail-bombs were
    sent to govt offices, Attorney Gen. A. Mitchell
    Palmer initiated raids against rumored socialists
    anarchists (mostly east/south Euros
  • Italian anarchists Sacco Vanzetti fueled the
    hysteria when they were charged w/ robbery
    murder of a factory paymaster his guard.
  • This fear sparked a resurgence in increased
    racism/Klan activity nationwide. Emergency Quota
    Act was initiated to limit immigration in 1921.

The Great Migration
  • Between 1910 1930, hundreds of thousands of
    African-Americans in the South migrated to
    northern cities to escape Jim Crow
    segregation/the boll weevil and to take advantage
    of industrial jobs (Henry Ford opened his plants
    to Blacks in 1914).
  • The war caused a massive drop in Euro immigrants
    and left many jobs unfilled. Some industrial
    manufacturers sent recruiting agents to dist.
    rail passes.
  • Many migrated to northern cities like Chicago,
    Detroit New York.

The Harlem Renaissance
  • In 1917, the Great Migration fueled a growing
    African-American cultural boom in the New York
    neighborhood of Harlem.
  • The Harlem Ren. was a literary / artistic
    movement led by well-educated middle-class
    African-Americans who celebrated their culture.
    This movement gained momentum throughout the 20s

Harlem Renaissance Authors
  • Missouri-born poet, Langston Hughes used his
    writing to describe the difficult lives of
    working class blacks (see The Weary Blues
    Freedoms Plow)
  • Florida-born Zora Neale Hurston used prose to
    describe the hardships of black women poor,
    unschooled Southern blacks (see Their Eyes Were
    Watching God How It Feels to Be Colored Me).

Jazz / Blues Musicians
  • Jazz was born in New Orleans, but quickly spread
    to Kansas City, Memphis New York, where it
    fueled the Renaissance.
  • Artists like Louis Armstrong led the way for
    jazz/blues performers and band leaders like
    Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Billie Holliday
    Bessie Smith.
  • This musical explosion had a massive crossover
    appeal which influenced white jazz musicians and
    attracted many white fans as well.

18th Amendment
  • The 18th Amendment took effect in Jan. of 1920
    outlawed manufacture/sale of alcohol.
  • Proclaimed as a cure-all for social ills, led to
    bootlegging, home brewing and gangsters.
  • Speakeasies developed as the number of drinkers
    increased but the volume decreased...
  • Rum runners, Canadian Whiskey, Mexican Tequila,
    Bathtub gin and white Lightening all replaced
    legal booze.
  • Al Capone (Scarface) and many other gangsters
    made millions on illegal liquor and later drugs,
    prostitution, gambling etc.
  • The noble experiment was backfiring.

19th Amendment
  • After 72 years, the efforts of Carrie Chapman
    Catt, NAWSA, and womens role in WWI finally led
    to the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919,
    giving women the right to vote.
  • Women exercised this right in the presidential
    election of 1920.
  • Womens suffrage liberated most, particularly
    younger, women and paved the way for other
    advancements like better ed., jobs working
  • Women shoved their way into the public sphere as

Scopes Monkey Trial
  • Massive changes in Education in the US placed a
    greater emphasis on skills and science.
  • Fundamentalists attacked the new progressive
    attitudes in education.
  • Darwinism, they claimed, destroyed the Bible
    faith in God.
  • In Dayton Tenn. a sensational trial of a teacher
    named Scopes occurred in 1925 because he taught
  • It was evolution vs. fundamentalism as Scopes
    lost but Darwin won in the first broadcast trial

The Great Economic Experiment
  • Mass ProductionMass Consumption
  • New machines, oil fields, assembly-line
    techniques, consumer credit, trans. and comm. led
    to a huge econ. boom.
  • Advertising boomed with sports heroes (Babe
    Ruth) and sexuality.
  • Dollar down, Dollar a week made it easy to buy
    new goods.
  • This eagerness to extend and receive credit would
    contribute to the bust
  • Fords cheaper cars meant more sales as Americans
    took to the roads.
  • Assembly line produced 1 Model T every 15 sec.!

American Consumerism
  • Airplanes carried mail customers cross country.
  • Charles Lindbergh in 1927 became the 1st to fly
    solo trans-Atlantic. Lucky Lindy became world
  • New Radio (Marconi), brought long range comm.,
    news, weather, sports, advertising,
  • Silent films began to create heroes, sex symbols.
  • With more free time and disposable income,
    Americans sought entertainment spectacles in
    sports movies.
  • Advertisers sought sports stars endorsements and
    used them on the radio and billboards.

Bull Market / Dawes Plan
  • Land speculation, stock speculation, consumer
    credit schemes etc. drove the Bull.
  • Buying hot tips on margin fueled the
    speculative fire.
  • The US attitude toward the Allies was pay up on
    the WWI debt.
  • This forced France and England to insist on
    Germany paying their reparations on time.
  • VP Dawes hatched a scheme in which the US would
    loan Germany the money to pay the Allies and the.
    Allies would ,in turn, pay the US.

Warning Signs
  • Farmers increasingly became their own worst enemy
    with over production of crops. (Dust Bowl).
  • With protected European markets for American
    food, the situation grew worse.
  • Over-speculation in the stock market and buying
    frenzies on margin inflated prices.
  • Consumer credit was out of control as the
    faddish Americans had to have one of

Causes of the Depression
  • 7 Billion in unpaid Allied investments from WWI.
  • Overproduction / underconsumption Industrial
    agricultural sectors dont slow
    hyper-production from war.
  • Excess speculation on Wall Street Many
    amateurs were buying stock w/o really knowing
    how the market worked. As long as profits soared,
    no one cared about actual value of a particular
  • Buying stock on margin By mid-1929, 7 Billion
    in outstanding loans from brokers.
  • Bank panic following crash only made things

Black Tuesday
  • The Great Bull Market of the 20s ended on Oct.
    29, 1929.
  • Black Tuesday led by massive selling as stocks
    hit their ceiling and caused a catastrophic loss
    of 40 billion in paper wealth almost
  • 5,000 banks collapsed in the US, the life savings
    of millions was lost, unemployment shot up to
    25, soup kitchens and bread lines formed quickly
    while the Govt did nothing.
  • The Great Depression was on

Hoovers Failure
  • Pres. Hoovers 1st response to the depression was
    to lower taxes (very little), but he refused
    direct govt intervention (welfare / deficit
    spending). He was a firm believer in laizee faire
    (to leave alone) econ.
  • He instead asked wealthy corporations to keep
    wages high for employees in hopes that it would
    keep consumption high as well.
  • The econ. will heal itself Prosperity is just
    around the corner and the Rugged
    individualism of Americans will prevail
  • In the 1930s, Hoovervilles (shantytowns) formed
    coast to coast in cities of the United States.

FDRs New Deal
  • FDR (Dem.) wins a landslide, 472-59 over HH.
  • I pledge you, I pledge myself, a New Deal for
    the American people- FDR (PS)
  • New Deal - 3Rs Relief (people), Recovery
    (business), Reform (economic system).
  • The first 100 Days were critical as FDR sought
    immediate changes and legislation.
  • Relief included repeal of 18th Amendment
    (Prohibition) by the 21st, Unemployment Relief
    Act, Ag. Adjustment Act (AAA) for farmers.
  • Recovery included a Bank Holiday, abandoning Gold
    standard, NRA (Natl Recovery Act), Glass
  • Reform included TVA (Tenn. Valley Auth.), Social
    Security (Socialist idea).

Works Progress Administration
  • The WPA was the largest New Deal agency,
    employing millions to carry out public works
    projects, including the construction of public
    buildings roads.
  • Operated large arts, drama, media and literacy
    projects. Fed children and redistributed food,
    clothing and housing. Almost every community in
    the United States had a park, bridge or school
    constructed by the agency
  • Especially benefited rural and Western
    populations. Expenditures from 1936 to 1939
    totaled nearly 7 billion.

Tennessee Valley Authority - TVA
  • TVA developed fertilizers, taught farmers how to
    improve crop yields, and helped replant forests,
    control forest fires, and improve habitat for
    wildlife and fish. The most dramatic change in
    Valley life came from the electricity generated
    by TVA dams.
  • Electric lights and modern appliances made life
    easier and farms more productive. Electricity
    also drew industries into the region, providing
    desperately needed jobs.

Social Security
  • The Soc. Sec. Act provided many much needed
    social benefits such as Unemployment insurance,
    security for old age, the blind, physically
    handicapped, orphans, and others.
  • Payroll taxes on workers and employers were used
    to finance the reforms.
  • The infamous SS was created