The "Roaring Twenties"

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14 Feb 2011
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HIS271 The โ€œRoaring Twentiesโ€February 9th 2011
๎€What did the major debates/conflicts of the turn of the decade reveal about deeper
social and cultural divisions of the 1920s?
๎€Why do you think this decade has been characterized as exciting, modern, expansive,
creative, and liberating? Do you think this is an apt characterization?
๎€What tensions existed between modernity and tradition in this period?
๎€Below the surface of unity and patriotism, there was a great deal of conflict
๎€The inability of the war to resolve these conflicts left many Americans disillusioned
after 1918
๎€So, the result of the 1920s was a turning inward both in foreign policy and
domestically
๎€In many cases there was a move away from the reform spirit
โ€ขInfluenza Pandemic
๎€1918-1919
๎€It hit communities so hard and so fast that it crippled their infrastructure and
inhibited their ability to alert and record the characteristics of it
๎€Three waves of the flu hit, and around 20 million people died worldwide
๎€In the US, around 700,000 people died, more than twice the casualties of their WWI
contribution
๎€The event of this flu, directly following the war, was stressful and caused anxiety
โ€ขEconomic Unrest
๎€There was also economic turmoil
๎€During the war, the US made quite a bit of money, especially in the agricultural
sector
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HIS271 The โ€œRoaring Twentiesโ€February 9th 2011
๎€Because much of the European farms were destroyed because of the war, American
farmers were making a fortune shipping their produce
๎€When the war ended, though, this ended as well
๎€Labour regulations and higher wages during the war also disappeared
๎€The cost of food and clothing more than doubled after the war
๎€The agricultural sector was probably the hardest hit; more than half a million
farmers lost their land
๎€This was made worse because many farmers had taken out loans to buy more land
during the war and now they couldnโ€™t pay those loans back
๎€This was made worse by the rise in labour unrest
๎€Corporations tried to stabilize the economy in a variety of different ways;
consolidation
๎€Businesses introduced welfare capitalists, which envisioned the business owner as
the guardian of the welfare of the workers
๎€ All of this was in the hope that workers would identify more personally with their
employer
๎€Other corporations implemented the โ€˜open shopโ€™ system, promising that no worker
would be required to join a union, but in the end this was used to undermine unions
๎€Although many of these reforms were supposed to be for the โ€œbenefitโ€ of the workers,
they actually undermined their ability to organize
๎€Union membership dropped 65% during this period
๎€Employers introduced new workplace hierarchies, introducing distinctions between
blue and white collar work
๎€Issues of race and ethnicity were also issues which prevented workers from
organizing
๎€Another problem facing labourers was a general distaste for union radicalism
๎€General distaste for radicalism
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HIS271 The โ€œRoaring Twentiesโ€February 9th 2011
โ€ขRed Scare
๎€Often time, labour unrest was linked with socialism
๎€So this general distaste for radicalism found an outlet in the spectre of the
fear/hatred of communism
๎€Between 1900-1914, the support for socialism was at its peak in US
๎€Americans increasingly began to link labour unrest and any kind of radicalism with
the socialist impulse
๎€This fear was used as a broader tool to put down dissent in the US
๎€What followed was a campaign to weed out radicals in the US
๎€There were numerous attacks on the IWW and unions of Russian workers
๎€A number of states ratified wartime sedition acts
๎€Anyone promoting radicalism or revolution of anytime were punished ranging from
deportation to jail time
๎€The federal government a series of raids was conducted across the US which saw
thousands arrested and hundreds deported
๎€What made these fears all the more significant was the way they were tied to other
issues
โ€ขStemming the Flow of Immigration
๎€Anti-socialism was very closely linked to anti-immigration
๎€There were a variety of laws passed with the intention of limiting immigration
๎€In 1921, they pass the Quota Act, setting strict limits on the number of immigrants
arriving from specific regions
๎€The Immigration Act of 1924 cut the Quota from 3% to 2% and the base of that
percentage was moved to 1890, meaning that the first wave immigrants were
privileged over newer waves of immigrants coming from places like southern and
eastern Europe
๎€The act also cut off all immigration from Japan
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Document Summary

below the surface of unity and patriotism, there was a great deal of conflict. The inability of the war to resolve these conflicts left many americans disillusioned after 1918. so, the result of the 1920s was a turning inward both in foreign policy and domestically. In many cases there was a move away from the reform spirit. It hit com munities so hard and so fast that it crippled their infrastructure and inhibited their ability to alert and record the characteristics of it. Three waves of the flu hit, and around 20 million people died worldwide. In the us, around 700,000 people died, more than twice the casualties of their wwi contribution. The event of this flu, directly following the war, was stressful and caused anxiety: economic unrest. during the war, the us made quite a bit of money, especially in the agricultural sector www. notesolution. com.

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