Amendment 18 - From 1919 to 1933 Prohibition against drinking alcohol was tried. It didn’t work because gangsters were able to supply liquor and everyone wanted to have it.
During this time, many African Americans moved from the south to the north for better opportunities. The Harlem Renaissance was a writing and artistic movement to show case Black culture.
The Great Depression started in 1929. The stock market crashed (October 1929), banks went out of business and four out of every ten people were out of work. People stood in line for food and had no place to live.
Farmers were also very hard hit besides having their usual problems. There was a drought that turned the Midwest into the Dust Bowl. A million farmers left their homes with many going to California where they were still unable to find jobs.
President Hoover was blamed for the Depression and not doing enough to end it. Hoovervilles and Hoover Blankets were terms used to show Americans displeasure with him.
President F. D. Roosevelt called his program to get business going The New Deal. He passed many programs designed to give public work projects a chance to pick up the economy. Most of his programs did little good but made people feel better.
Roosevelt declared a Bank Holiday to restore public trust in the banking system.
An example of FDR’s programs was the Tennessee Valley Authority. This gave people jobs and helped meet the regional electrical needs.
The best program started by FDR was Social Security. This would ensure that people who retired had some income for their older years.
Because Roosevelt was having many of his programs declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, he decided to “Pack The Court” with more justices of his choice. ( 9 to 14) This too was declared unconstitutional.
The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) of 1935 gave labor unions the right to represent workers in collective bargaining.
The U.S. didn’t really get out of the Great Depression until World War II. Manufacturing and jobs became important to support the war.