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HST210 – WWI, 1920s and Depression.docx

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HST 210
Jenny Carson

HST210 – US History 1877 to Present Lecture #9 – WWI, 1920s and Depression - U.S. declared war on Germany on April 16, 1917. o Continuation of unrestrictive German warfare  Sinking of the Lusitania o Zimmerman telegram  Central powers requesting Mexican alliance o Economic interest  US lent the allies shit tons of money - Germans plan a major offensive for the spring of 1918, hoping to defeat the Allies before the arrival of American troops o Launched in France and make it within 15 miles of Paris o In 1917 has 400,000 men in the US army/navy  Wilson asks for volunteers but doesn't have enough Conscription - Selective Service Act (May 1917) o All men bow 21-30 have to register with their local draft corps > later expanded to 18-45 - 24 million men register for service and 2.8 million were drafted and fought alongside 2 million volunteers. - Women barred from the Army but joined the Navy and Marines o Did primarily clerical work o "Too radical to enlist women" o Worked as nurses (mostly for Red Cross) African Americans and WWI - 400,000 African Americans serve in the war. - Serve in segregated units under the command of white officers. - Excluded from the Marines and limited to food service in the Navy. o They don't get to fight > black men aren't brave enough, etc. - Croix de Guerre o The French rewarded the AAs with the award for courage War - American troops pour into France in the spring of 1918. o By the end of the war, there’s 2 million American soldiers in France - Allies turn back a series of German assaults in July 1918. - Germany seeks an armistice and fighting ends Nov. 11, 1918 Mobilizing Public Opinion - Continued to be some opposition to the war - Wilson created the Committee on Public Information to mobilize support for the war. o Floods country with press releases/war movies portraying the war as a patriotic duty - "He who is not with us is against us and should be treated as an alien enemy" -- Wilson - Advertisements portray dissent as unpatriotic and a threat to national security Espionage and Seditions Acts - Prescribed a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 20 years' imprisonment for obtaining information regarding national defense with the intent to use the information to injure the US. - AND the acts criminalized criticism of the war. o The sedition act made it a crime to criticize by speech or writing the US government/armed forces or the war effort - Anti-war protestors are sent to jail o 900 people sent to prison under espionage act Civil Liberties? - Supreme Court held that freedom of speech (First Amendment right) was not absolute; it could be violated if the speech in question posed a clear and present danger to the nation Wilson's Post-War Vision - Fourteen Points - set of principles Wilson hoped would secure an equitable peace for all nations and prevent future wars. o Goal is to prevent another world war o Open communication o No more secret alliances o General disarmament o Dismantle the imperial order > opening up colonies to self rule o Create an international body to implement his vision (League of Nations) o Cautioned against being overly punitive against Germany - Allies didn't respond well to Wilson's points > Britain/France didn't want to let Germany get away with everything - Calls for open communication, end of colonial holdings, disarmament, free trade and a League of Nations to implement these principles and resolve future disputes Treaty of Versailles - Allies reject Wilson’s Fourteen Points and impose a punitive peace on Germany (guilt clause, heavy reparations). o Germany takes full responsibility for starting WWI o Germany has to pay full reparations to the Allies ($33M) o Germany had to give up colonies to Allied victors - League of Nations is established. - U.S. Senate refuses to ratify the Treaty or join the League of Nations o Wilson underestimated how important it was to get the Senate on his side > Senate has the sole power to ratify treaties o Republicans control the Senate (Wilson is a Democrat) o Wilson had been secretive about negations in Paris o Wilson excluded Republicans > they were pissed o Americans don't want to get drawn into European wars > League of Nations would draw them in o Treaty could undermine American sovereignty First Red Scare - Bolshevik/ Communist Revolution in Russia (1917) under Lenin. o Russians overthrow the government, and set up a new government under the Bolsheviks - Communist goal is to create a centrally planned economy with government control over the means of production. o Resources to be owned publicly for the benefit of all, rather than the benefit of a few - Classless society based on the common ownership of land and capital o Elimination of private property Communists - Soviet government creates the Communist International (Commenter) to promote/export communist revolutions worldwide. - Communist Party USA formed in 1919, primarily by European immigrants - Bolsheviks were expansionists o Disturbing to Americans  BC of atheism in communism - There’s a link in the minds of Americans between communists and Americans >especially Jews - Ideological differences between Americans and Communist Russians Post-War Labor Unrest - Workers across the nation go out on strike as the economy contracts after the war and the cost of living rises. o Conditions are shit o War orders end and industries shut down over night o Wages slashed - Leads to fears that radicals have infiltrated the working class to foment a socialist revolution (fears that are exploited by capital) o Strikes are a prelude to a communist revolution Bomb Scare - Bombs are mailed to American politicians and businessmen, including Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer & Rockefeller - June 2nd, bombs go off in several cities o Some guy accidentally blew himself up in front of Palmer's house - Palmer launches a series of raids against suspected radicals (Nov. 1919-Jan. 1920). - Immigration Act (1918) o Allows government to deport any immigrant who advocates overthrowing the government o Close to 600 immigrants deported - Bombs were actually mailed by anarchists (not communists) - Red scare fades away > to be reignited later - 1920s - The "roaring" twenties - Decade of consumerism - Divide b/w urban/rural life - Jazz, speak easies, flappers - Prosperity wasn't evenly distributed - During the 1920s America becomes much more of an urban industrial and consumer oriented society - 1920s Economy - Manufacturing output increases by 64% (automation, mass production). - The automobile industry (assembly line and Taylors). o Allows workers to do one job all day o So cars can be produced much quicker and more cheaply - Ford and the $5.00 day (helped grow the middle class) and the Sociological Department o In 1929 - the auto industry employed 1 out of every 12 American workers > lots of them for Ford o Ford was first industrialist to pay his workers more than a living wage > average wage had been $2.34 but ford promised to pay at least $5 a day o To improve worker loyalty > wasting money training new workers o By paying the workers more, he could turn them into consumers that would buy his car o Sociological department in Detroit to monitor workers > to see where workers were spending money, what they were doing, etc. Corporate Growth - Through product diversification, aggressive advertising campaigns, corporate mergers, and offering customers goods on installment, corporations grow in the 1920s. o Producing things that aren't necessities o Advertising emerges o Encouraging people to buy products on credit - Emergence of national chain stores and the oligopoly o Oligopoly: a few giant terms control an entire industry > auto industry controlled by Ford, Chrysler - Huge corporations displaces small businesses Harding in Power - Warren Harding considered to be unqualified o Promised to return country to normalcy > old ways of laissez faire - Proponent of laissez-faire economics - Massive corruption in his administration (Teapot Dome Scandal) o Gave out jobs to friends who were corrupt - Harding’s Secretary of Interior, Albert Hall, is convicted of taking bribes from Big Oil in return for leases on federal oil reserves - Calvin Coolidge - Small government conservative o Favors little government regulation of big business - Revenue Acts of 1924 and 1926 reduced taxes on the wealthy. - Workers and farmers struggle (Open Shop drive destroys many unions) - Hard for workers to unionize durin
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