CHAPTER 20-21 --> LIFE IN THE 1920s

THE ROARING 20s


          

CHAPTER 20 - SUMMARY

American society changed in many ways following World War I, as the jazz age introduced a variety of new styles, tastes, and manners. Conflict arose between Americans ready to adopt these new manners and new ways and Americans who tried to resist the forces of change. The 1920s were a time of rapid social change, in which many young people, particularly young women, adopted new lifestyles and attitudes. As its rural population decreased, the United States became an urban nation, and traditional values were increasingly challenged. In the 1920s, the mass media provided information and entertainment as never before. The decade was an especially creative period for music, art, and literature. Rapid social change after World War I caused conflicts among people with differing beliefs and values

CHAPTER 21 - SUMMARY

Coming out of World War I, Americans were focused on returning to normal life and improving the nation's economy. Through three one-term presidencies, the country saw an economic boom, labor troubles, and the seeds of an economic disaster that loomed as the decade ended. Republican administrations of the 1920s pursued pro-business economic policies and an isolationist foreign policy. During the 1920s, new products and the power of Americans to purchase them grew rapidly, producing a decade of enormous business growth. During the 1920s, rising wealth and a booming stock market gave Americans a false sense of faith in the economy. In reality, there were signs that the economy was in trouble.

Go Online Activities

  • Section 1 Writing a Biography: Republican Presidents of the 1920s
  • Section 2 Writing a Summary: Scientific Developments from the 1920s
  • Section 3 Creating a Diagram: The Economy of the 1920s

PERSONAL PROFILES
PRESIDENCY OF WARREN G. HARDING
Harding, Warren Gamaliel 1865–1923, 29th President of the United States (1921–23). After study (1879–82) at Ohio Central College, he moved with his family to Marion, Ohio, where he devoted himself to journalism. He bought the Marion Star, built up the newspaper, and became a member of the small group that dominated local affairs. He entered Ohio Republican politics and was (1899–1903) a member of the state legislature. Harding served as lieutenant governor (1904–5), but he was defeated (1910) as Republican candidate for governor. His talent for public speaking and his affable personality won Harding the support of the political leaders as well as of the people and enabled him to rise into national politics; he was picked to nominate William Howard Taft at the convention of 1912, and he was elected (1914) to the U.S. Senate. His six-year stay in the Senate was undistinguished, for he followed the party whips on domestic legislation and Henry Cabot Lodge on issues concerning the peace. In 1920, Harding was nominated for the presidency, largely through the efforts of a group of Senators, after successive balloting for Gen. Leonard Wood and Frank O. Lowden had deadlocked the Republican convention. His vague pronouncements on the League of Nations and his noncommittal utterances in the campaign helped him to win the election, defeating the Democratic candidate, James M. Cox, by an impressive majority. The administration that followed was marked by one achievement, the calling of the Washington Conference (see naval conferences). Harding, conscious of his own limitations, had promised to rely on a cabinet of “best minds,” but unfortunately he chose—along with more capable advisers—men who lacked any sense of public responsibility. At the time of the legislative deadlock of 1923 came rumors of scandals in the Veterans' Bureau, in the Office of the Alien Property Custodian, and in the departments of the Interior and Justice. In the midst of these rumors, Harding died suddenly (Aug., 1923) in San Francisco on his return from a journey to Alaska. Thus he was not troubled by the exposure of the Teapot Dome scandal and was spared the humiliation of seeing his appointees Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall and Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty brought to the bar of justice. Lesser scandals were also exposed, and Harding's administration has been stigmatized as one of the most corrupt in American history. 

PRESIDENCY OF CALVIN COOLIDGE 
Coolidge, Calvin, 1872–1933, 30th President of the United States (1923–29). Calvin Coolidge was a graduate of Amherst College and was admitted to the bar in 1897. He practiced (1897–1919) law in Northampton, Mass., entered state politics as a Republican, and rose steadily in the party. He served (1910–11) as mayor of Northampton, was a member of the Massachusetts state senate from 1912 to 1915 (its president after 1914), and was (1916–19) lieutenant governor before serving (1919–21) as governor. Coolidge rose to national prominence when he used the militia to end the Boston police strike in 1919. In 1920 he was nominated as Republican candidate for the vice presidency and was elected with Warren G. Harding. After Harding died, Coolidge took (Aug. 3, 1923) the oath of office as President. Untouched by the scandals of the Harding administration, he was easily elected to a full term in 1924. His personal honesty and New England simplicity appealed to the American people, and his unquestioning faith in the conservative business values of laissez faire reflected the national mood. Coolidge's policies were aggressively pro-business. Through his appointees he transformed the Federal Trade Commission from an agency intended to regulate corporations into one dominated by big business. He twice vetoed (1927, 1928) the McNary-Haugen bill to aid agriculture and pocket-vetoed (1928) a bill for government operation of the Muscle Shoals hydroelectric plant. The presence in his cabinet of Herbert C. Hoover and Andrew W. Mellon added to the business tone of his administration, and Coolidge supported Mellon's program of tax cuts and economy in government. Through his public statements he encouraged the reckless stock market speculation of the late 1920s and left the nation unprepared for the economic collapse that followed. Coolidge chose not to seek renomination in 1928. After leaving office he retired to Northampton to write newspaper and magazine articles and his autobiography (1929, repr. 1989). As first lady, his wife, Grace A. Goodhue Coolidge, was much admired for her poise and charm.

PRESIDENCY OF HERBERT HOOVER 
As Secretary of Commerce (1921–29) under Presidents Harding and Coolidge, Hoover reorganized and expanded the department, sponsored conferences on unemployment, fostered trade associations, and gave his support to such engineering projects as the St. Lawrence Waterway and the Hoover Dam. Hoover gained great popular approval, and he easily won the Republican nomination for President in 1928 and defeated Democratic candidate Alfred E. Smith. In the first year of his administration Hoover established the Federal Farm Board, pressed for tariff revision (which resulted in the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act), and appointed the National Commission on Law Observance and Law Enforcement, with George W. Wickersham as chairman, to study the problem of enforcing prohibition. The rest of his administration was dominated by the major economic depression ushered in by the stock market crash of Oct., 1929. Hoover, believing in the basic soundness of the economy, felt that it would regenerate spontaneously and was reluctant to extend federal activities. Nonetheless he did recommend, and Congress gave the funds for, a large public works program, and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation was created (1932) to stimulate industry by giving loans unobtainable elsewhere. Congress, which had a Democratic majority after the 1930 elections, passed the Emergency Relief Act and created the federal home loan banks. As the Great Depression deepened, veterans demanded immediate payment of bonus certificates (issued to them in 1924 for redemption in 1945). In 1932 some 15,000 ex-servicemen, known as the Bonus Marchers, marched on Washington; Hoover ordered federal troops to oust them from federal property. In foreign affairs Hoover was confronted with the problems of disarmament, reparations and war debts, and Japanese aggression in East Asia. The United States participated in the London Conference of 1930 (see naval conferences) and signed the resulting treaty; it also took part in the abortive Disarmament Conference. In 1931, Hoover proposed a one-year moratorium on reparations and war debts to ease the financial situation in Europe. The administration's reaction to the Japanese invasion (1931) of Manchuria was expressed by Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson, who declared that the United States would not recognize territorial changes achieved by force or by infringement of American treaty rights. Hoover ran for reelection in 1932 but was overwhelmingly defeated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

DAILY HOMEWORK

DUE NOV. 18th
Plan you time accordingly. These assignments, along with the PPT notes posted below, will provide all of you with the content needed to take and pass the unit exam that will occur after presentations and group work. 
You must complete the following reading packets and graphic organizers by the due date posted above:
- POST WAR 20s - READING
- FLAPPERS - READING
- SOCIAL - READING
- HARDING - READING
- COOLIDGE - READING
- HARLEM - READING
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