The Roaring 20’s (1920-1929)

Main Ideas:

1.      US became isolated from Europe (1918-1949) and re-established nativist policies

2.      Increased production during WWI led to an economic boom in the urban areas

3.      The federal government returned to laissez faire policy – “return to normalcy”

Material Covered:

1.      Social impact of the war: on gender roles, on African-Americans (Great Migration)

2.      1920’s social issues: real or false prosperity

a.       Mass consumption and credit culture; “bull” stock market, margin, installment buying

b.      Automobile and its impact: jobs, suburbs

c.       Farmers and other minorities struggle

3.      Social Issues

a.       Revolution in morals, manners, & ideology

                                                                           i.      Evolution v creationism, Scopes trial

b.      Changing roles of women: flappers, in labor force, as voters; growing leisure time

c.       Growing nativism and immigration restriction

d.      Harlem Renaissance

e.       In Literature; expatriots

4.      Constitutional and Legal Issues

a.       Civil Liberties under fire: Red Scare, Ku Klux Klan, Sacco & Vanzetti

b.      Prohibition (18th amendment): Volstead Act, growth of crime, speakeasies, repeal (21st amendment)

c.       Science, religion, and education: the Scopes trial

d.      Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1924


The Great Depression & the New Deal


Main Ideas:

1.      Overproduction, over speculation, little government involvement, and credit led to the Great Depression.

2.      Under FDR’s New Deal, the government assumed responsibility for the human condition increased its involvement in the economy

3.      WWII completed economic recovery of America

Material Covered:

1.      Long Range causes of the depression

2.      The stock market crash: national and global repercussions

3.      Hoover’s response: “rugged individualism”, RFC and “trickle down”

a.       Public Reaction to Hoover’s inaction: Bonus Army, “Hoovervilles”

4.      FDR’s New Deal

a.       Three R’s” Relief, Recovery, reform

b.      Challenges to the New Deal and Reform

                                                                           i.      Labor: CIO formed

                                                                         ii.      Supreme Court: US v Butler, Schechter Poultry v. US, court packing scheme

                                                                        iii.      TVA: creeping socialism?

                                                                       iv.      Third term controversy; 22nd amendment

                                                                         v.      Al Smith, Norman Thomas, Huey Long, Father Coughlin, Dr. Townsend

                                                                       vi.      Deficit Spending

c.       Culture of the Depression: Steinbeck and Hughes, jazz & swing; WPA, Hollywood, comic books

d.      The Human Factor: fireside chats, role of the First Lady, the Dust Bowl, women in government (Frances Perkins), African-Americans support FDR, Indian Reorganization Act