Return to Normalcy



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Chapter 8 Lesson 1

The Harding Administration

    • Return to Normalcy” Harding campaigned on this slogan, which suggested a return to the American way of life before World War I. For Harding’s party, the Republicans, “return to normalcy” also meant turning away from Progressivism and toward a pro-business attitude with little corporate oversight, high protective tariffs, and tax cuts for the rich.

    • Unwise Appointments Harding’s appointment of friends and political allies to government positions resulted in corruption and graft on a large scale. Harding’s friends, known as the “Ohio Gang,” profited by selling government jobs and materials.

    • Scandals Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall secretly leased oil-rich lands to individuals. The so-called “Teapot Dome Scandal” resulted in Fall’s imprisonment. Charles Forbes, head of the Veterans Bureau, sold items intended for the military for a profit. Attorney General Harry Daugherty profited illegally by selling a German chemical company held by the United States after World War I.

    • Harding’s Death On a tour of the Western states in 1923, Harding died. Vice President Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office.

What do the events that occurred during Harding’s administration suggest about his leadership?

Policies of Prosperity

II. 1920s ECONOMIC POLICIES To build students’ understanding of the economic policies of the 1920s, project the image of Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon as you lecture on the topic. Then display the quote by Herbert Hoover. Ask discussion questions to assess students’ understanding.

Background on Economic Policies of the 1920s

    • Coolidge Policy Coolidge retained the most respected cabinet members, Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon and Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover.

    • Business Principles Mellon applied business principles to correct the nation’s budget deficit, reduce government debt, and cut taxes. He established the Bureau of the Budget and the General Accounting Office to track spending.

    • Trickle Down Mellon argued that lower tax rates would help the economy grow. Americans would earn more money, and the government would actually collect more taxes at the lower rate. This was known as supply-side economics, or the “trickle-down” theory.

    • Lower Taxes In 1920 most taxpayers paid 4 percent federal income tax, while wealthy Americans in the highest bracket paid 73 percent. By 1928 most Americans paid 0.5 percent and the wealthiest Americans paid 25 percent.

    • Hoover’s Beliefs Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover wanted businesses to form associations to share information with the federal government, what he called “cooperative individualism.”

Why do you think Mellon’s idea for growing the economy is called supply-side economics? How does Hoover’s concept differ from the idea of a “return to normalcy” put forth by Harding?

Predictable Misunderstanding
You might get the impression that the 1920s was a prosperous time for all Americans. In fact, although this era was one of economic boom, farmers in the 1920s suffered economically due to a lack of demand for crops after the end of World War I.

III. U.S. FOREIGN POLICY To help students understand how the growing power of the United States affected its international standing, lecture on trade and arms control. Use the interactive whiteboard activity “Trade and Arms Control” to categorize actions by the United States. Ask discussion questions to assess students’ understanding.

Trade and Arms Control

    • U.S. Policies Although it did not join the League of Nations, the United States became heavily involved economically with other nations. Under the Dawes Plan, American banks loaned money to German banks so the Germans could make reparations payments to European countries instead of defaulting on the money due. At U.S. urging, European countries agreed to accept lower payments from Germany. This allowed Britain and France to repay war debts and European countries to buy American exports. Peace was maintained through trade.

    • Arms Control Despite poor economies, European nations expanded their navies, which hurt their ability to pay their debts. This led to

      • The Washington Conference At this 1921 conference in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Charles Hughes proposed that each nation destroy some warships and halt the building of new ones for 10 years.

      • The Kellogg-Briand Pact This agreement was signed by 15 nations in 1928 to settle disputes by peaceful means instead of war. It had no binding force but was hailed as a victory for peace.

      • The London Naval Treaties In 1930 five naval powers met in London to reach agreement on the number of warships in their navies. This created a temporary halt in the arms race until the mid-1930s.

Chapter 8 Lesson 2

The Rise of New Industries

Background

    • Mass Production Ford produced large numbers of cars with an assembly line that broke down building a car into simple tasks repeated by workers. Before the assembly line, building a car took 12 hours. By 1925 a new car came off the assembly line every 10 seconds.

    • Social Effects The price for a Model T dropped from $490 in 1914 to $295 in 1924. Lower prices meant higher sales. Workers’ average yearly earnings grew 22 percent during the 1920s. Companies cut shifts to 8 hours. Workers had more money to spend and more time to spend it. Cars enabled people to live farther from work. Auto commuters could drive to work from the suburbs.

    • Rise of Industries As new industries such as the car industry developed, other industries rose to supply it. Among these were oil, rubber, and parts manufacturers.

Discussion: In what ways did the assembly line and the automobile industry contribute to the new prosperity?

Predictable Misunderstanding
You might think that Henry Ford invented the automobile and the assembly line. In fact, the automobile had actually been invented some 25 years earlier, and the assembly line had been used during the rise of industry in the late 1800s. Ford revolutionized the industry by integrating the moving assembly line into the automobile production process.


Discussion: How do you think appliances changed the way cooking and housework were done?

Why was government support important for the growth of the airline industry?

What would have made radio broadcasts more influential than movies, which became popular during the era?

The Consumer Society

Discussion: How did the availability of credit and expansion of advertising create a demand for products in the 1920s?

The Farm Crisis

QUESTION Why did farmers miss out on the prosperity of the 1920s?

Background

    • Welfare Capitalism African Americans and Native Americans were excluded from the economic boom. Nativism created strong anti-immigrant feelings among many Americans. Workers in these groups were offered the lowest-paying, most dangerous jobs—if they were offered jobs at all. They were rarely able to take advantage of welfare capitalism or union protection.

    • Farmers For most farmers, especially those in the Deep South, the 1920s were difficult:

      • Increased production of crops decreased prices.

      • Tariffs placed on imports created a backlash against American agricultural products in foreign markets.

      • President Coolidge did not support farmers. When Congress passed the McNary-Haugen Bill that allowed government to purchase surpluses to support farmers, Coolidge vetoed it. Unlike the airline industry, farmers received no government help.

  • I. A RESURGENCE OF NATIVISM To build students’ understanding of the environment immigrants faced in the 1920s, project the lecture slide “Resurgence of Nativism” and lecture on the topic. Then project the political cartoons on immigration and lecture on the topic. Ask the discussion questions to assess student comprehension.

Nativism and Immigration Policies

GUIDING QUESTION Why did nativism strengthen during the 1920s, and how did the government deal with the tensions?

LECTURE SLIDE Project the “Resurgence of Nativism” slide while lecturing on the topic.

Resurgence of Nativism

    • Nativism While the economy prospered in the 1920s, racial fears and ethnic intolerance grew. The aftermath of World War I saw prejudice toward Germans and Communists. Crime and other social problems were often blamed on immigrants. This led many Americans to support nativism—the belief that immigrants threatened the American way of life and that the United States must take steps to keep its culture, society, and people safe from outsiders.

    • Sacco and Vanzetti The murder trial of Italian immigrants Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti increased anti-immigrant sentiment. The men, who were anarchists, were found guilty and executed despite flimsy evidence.

    • KKK The Ku Klux Klan, which had sought to terrorize African Americans in the South after the Civil War, expanded in the 1920s to target Catholics, Jews, immigrants, and other “un-American” groups. Its goal was to preserve the United States as a nation they believed belonged to white Protestants.

Discussion Ask: Why might World War I have led to an increase in fear and intolerance? (The war was horrific, so feelings ran high against people who came from nations that had fought against the Allies. In addition, the Communist Revolution in Russia had created a tremendous fear, which made many Americans intolerant of immigrants from of eastern Europe.) Ask: How did the Ku Klux Klan take advantage of the public attitudes at the time to build wider support? (The KKK expanded its targets from African Americans to include Catholics, Jews, and immigrants—all groups that were “outside” the majority of Americans at that time.)

POLITICAL CARTOONS Project the “Immigration” political cartoons and lecture on the topic.

Discussion Ask: How do you think the economic needs of the United States play a role in immigration policies of the 1920s? (Students should infer that American workers did not want to compete for jobs with immigrants from eastern and southern Europe who would work for lower wages. At the same time, management feared the political leanings of these people. Thus, gaining support for quotas among legislators was relatively easy. On the other had, in the sparsely populated Southwest, workers were needed, so Mexicans were allowed to immigrate.)

ELL- Work with a partner to find the definition of nativism. Then have students brainstorm other –ism words that indicate a prejudicial point of view. (racism, sexism, etc.)

Chapter 8 Lesson 3

A Clash of Cultures

QUESTION Why do you think some Americans feared the “new morality”?

    • Suffrage Passage of the Nineteenth Amendment led women to push for social change in other aspects of American life. For example, changing attitudes toward marriage emphasized the romance, pleasure, and friendship between partners.

    • Social Mores The automobile allowed young people to socialize in public rather than at home. Shorter “bobbed” hair and movie-star glamour changed fashion. Women known as flappers smoked cigarettes, drank liquor, and wore more revealing clothing.

    • Educated Professionals Increasing numbers of working-class married women worked to support their families. Single women entered the workforce to establish financial independence. Women’s earnings allowed them to become greater consumers. Women’s colleges encouraged their students to pursue careers and to challenge traditional ideas about women’s roles in society.

Discussion: How did the behavior of some young women in the 1920s represent a turning away from traditional values?

III. FUNDAMENTALISM AND PROHIBITION 

Fundamentalism

IV. The Fundamentalist Movement

A. Some Americans feared the new morality and worried about America’s social decline.

Many of these people came from small rural towns and joined a religious movement called Fundamentalism.



B. The Fundamentalists rejected Darwin’s theory of evolution, which suggested that humans developed from lower forms of life over millions of years. Instead, Fundamentalists believed in creationism—that God created the world as described in the Bible.

C. In 1925 Tennessee passed the Butler Act, which made it illegal to teach anything that denied creationism and taught evolution instead.

D. The debate between evolutionists and creationists came to a head with the Scopes Trial. Answering the request of the ACLU, John T. Scopes, a biology teacher, volunteered to test the Butler Act by teaching evolution in his class. After being arrested and put on trial, Scopes was found guilty, but the case was later overturned. After the trial, many fundamentalists withdrew from political activism. Scopes Trial Trial lawyer Clarence Darrow and former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan matched wits in the highly publicized 1925 Scopes trial over the teaching of evolution. Although the teacher, John Scopes, was convicted and fined $100, the court ruling was overturned, and the Fundamentalist movement suffered a set back

Discussion: How did the Scopes trial show the conflict between religion and science in the 1920s?

V. Prohibition

A. Many people felt the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment, which prohibited alcohol, would reduce unemployment, domestic violence, and poverty.

B. The Volstead Act made the enforcement of Prohibition the responsibility of the U.S. Treasury Department. Until the 1900s, police powers—a government’s power to control people and property in the public’s interest, had been the job of the state governments.

Temperance Some Americans supported a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol. Formed in the 1830s, the American Temperance Society spearheaded the Temperance Movement—as it was known—for religious and social reasons.



    • Enforcement Failures Passed in 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment, or Volstead Act, proved very difficult to enforce. Under the Volstead Act, U.S. Treasury personnel had authority to enforce the new law, but many Americans ignored it. In cities they bought alcohol in "speakeasies"; in rural areas, they bought it from bootleggers.

    • Organized Crime Organized crime flourished by smuggling and distributing liquor. Gangsters such as Al Capone paid off politicians and law enforcement officials to turn a blind eye to the illegal activity. The struggle by federal agents to enforce the law was a bloody one, claiming the lives of more than 70 agents. In 1933 the Twenty-first Amendment ended Prohibition.

Discussion: How might the growth of religious fundamentalism have encouraged the establishment of Prohibition?

Chapter 8 Lesson 4

Art and Literature

QUESTION How did many artists and writers of the time describe the 1920s?

Art and Artists of 1920s

    • Modern styles and artists

      • John Marin – One of the most influential early modern artists, he was best known for abstract landscapes and watercolors depicting cities as living landscapes.

      • Charles Sheeler – An artist who was among the first to incorporate photography into his work, Sheeler emphasized linear precision in his work.

      • Edward Hopper – A realist painter, Hopper’s work emphasized isolation across both rural and urban America.

      • Georgia O’Keefe – Mainly known for her naturalistic imagery, O’Keefe was chiefly responsible for legitimizing American art across the globe.

Discussion: Why did art become increasingly abstract?

Literature of the 1920s

    • Diverse writing styles

      • Carl Sandburg – Used poetry to glorify everyday life and common places

      • F. Scott Fitzgerald – Fostered a criticism of upper classes

      • Eugene O’Neill – Wrote to express realism and tragedy

      • Ernest Hemingway – Developed a literature of the postwar “Lost Generation”

II. POPULAR CULTURE AND SOCIETY 

Popular Culture

QUESTION Why did many Americans have more time for entertainment, and how did they spend their time?

Popularity of Movies, Radio, and Sports

Popular Culture

A. The economic prosperity of the 1920s afforded many Americans leisure time for enjoying sports, music, theater, and entertainment.

B. Radio, motion pictures, and newspapers gave rise to a new interest in sports. Sports figures, such as Babe Ruth and heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey, were famous for their sports abilities but became celebrities as well.

C. Motion pictures became increasingly popular. The first “talking” picture, The Jazz Singer, was made in 1927. The golden age of Hollywood began.

D. The mass media—radio, movies, newspapers, and magazines—helped break down the focus on local interests. Mass media helped unify the nation and spread new ideas and attitudes.

    • Silent films and “talkies” took the nation by storm, creating a new breed of celebrity and entertainment.

    • Movie theaters became especially popular in Southern states like Florida because they provided air-conditioning.

    • Popularity of radio broadcasts increased as several powerful radio broadcasters developed.

    • Thanks to the new media technologies, sports such as baseball became more popular than ever.

Discussion: How would the experience of seeing a movie in the 1920s have contrasted with a movie theater experience today? How would it be similar?

Chapter 8 Lesson 5

The Harlem Renaissance

QUESTION What does the Harlem Renaissance reveal about African American culture in the 1920s?

The Writers

    • Claude McKay: Considered the first important writer of the Harlem Renaissance. Wrote about American racism in Harlem Shadows. Expressed both defiance and contempt for racism.

    • Langston Hughes: Writer of such works as Black Nativity and "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," among many others. Highly political in his writings.

    • Zora Neale Hurston: Wrote works featuring rural African American culture. Was the first major writer to have African American women as central characters.

Who do you think was the target audience for writers of the Harlem Renaissance?

Jazz, Blues, and the Theater

    • Jazz – an improvisational style of music championed by such musicians as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington who enjoyed wide celebrity across racial lines.

    • Blues – Coming out of African American spirituals, the blues was a way for African American culture to express the lows of oppression and poverty.

    • Theater – African American performers took to the stage, challenging racial stereotypes and showcasing a wide range of talent.

I. The Harlem Renaissance

A. The Great Migration occurred when hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the rural South headed to industrial cities in the North with the hope of a better life.

B. In large northern cities, particularly New York City’s neighborhood of Harlem, African Americans created environments that stimulated artistic development, racial pride, a sense of community, and political organization, which led to a massive creative outpouring of African American arts. This became known as the Harlem Renaissance.

C. Writer Claude McKay became the first important writer of the Harlem Renaissance. His work expressed defiance and contempt of racism, which were very strong writing characteristics of this time. Langston Hughes became the leading voice of the African American experience in the United States.

D. Louis Armstrong introduced jazz, a style of music influenced by Dixieland music and Ragtime. He became the first great cornet and trumpet soloist in jazz music.

E. A famous Harlem nightspot, the Cotton Club, was where some famous African American musicians, such as Duke Ellington, got their start.

F. Bessie Smith sang about unrequited love, poverty, and oppression, which were classic themes in blues style music. This soulful style of music evolved from African American spirituals.

Discussion: What did the writers and musical performers of the Harlem Renaissance have in common? How did the music of the Harlem Renaissance reflect different feelings and emotions of African Americans in this era?

African Americans and 1920s Politics

QUESTION How did African American leaders differ in their approaches to political actions during this decade?

African American Political Power

    • Northern Migration – Industrial jobs in the North and segregation in the South triggered a mass migration of African Americans beginning in World War I.

    • NAACP – Newly powerful organizations like the NAACP began to fight segregation and lynching.

    • Black Nationalism – Marcus Garvey and others promoted the ideas of black nationalism, elevating the notion of a separate and unique African American identity.

II. African American Politics

A. After World War I, many African Americans wanted a new role in life and in politics.

B. The Great Migration led to African Americans becoming powerful voting blocs, which influenced election outcomes in the North. Oscar DePriest was elected as the first African American representative in Congress from a Northern state after African Americans voted as a block.

C. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) battled against segregation and discrimination. The NAACP’s efforts led to the passage of anti-lynching legislation in the House of Representatives, but the Senate defeated the bill.

D. Jamaican black leader Marcus Garvey’s idea of “Negro Nationalism” glorified black culture and traditions. He founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which promoted black pride and unity. Garvey encouraged education as the way for African Americans to gain economic and political power; but he also voiced the need for separation and independence from whites.

E. Garvey’s plan to create a settlement in Liberia in Africa for African Americans caused middle class African Americans to distance themselves from Garvey. His ideas, however, led to a sense of pride and hope in African Americans that resurfaced during the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

How were the goals of the NAACP and Marcus Garvey similar and different? (


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