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” s going down a push people today. We re taking a look at politics of of the 1920s and we re also going to start the great depression. So if re studying either of those topics. This video is going to help you out politics of the 20s was defined by really kind of the opposite of the progressive era.
The progressive era reforms of the previous period. The administration s of roosevelt taft and wilson are going to be pretty much abandoned in the 1920s. You re not going to see the power of the presidency being used to try to reform society. Instead you re going to see business and government are going to be intimately linked during the 1920s in fact all three presidents of the 20s are republicans and they tend to be relatively conservative in 1920.
With the election of warren g. Harding. During his campaign. He promises voters a return to normalcy.
The country. Had just finished world war one. We had the red scare and just kind of wants to get the country back to normal. We re also going to meet calvin coolidge.
Today. Herbert hoover and all of these guys are going to be republicans and a key part of their presidency is handling business in fact these. Republican presidents favor high tariffs throughout the decade and not just high tariffs but other pro business policies cutting of corporate tax rates and the taxes on the wealthy will be lowered there s going to be a lack of enforcement of progressive era. Antitrust laws.
One of the first thing harding does as president early on is the increase of the tariffs in 1922 and all of these especially. Calvin coolidge and herbert hoover are going to favor an economic theory called trickle down economics and we ll talk about that in just a few more minutes in response to the high us tariffs of the decade europe reacts and raises their own tariffs and this basically slows down global trade. Because countries are basically having tariff wars with one another reducing the amount of trade going on between nations. This close.
Relationship with business led to some scandals and corruption and most famously under the administration of warren g. Harding. The teapot dome scandal occurs under harding. And his secretary of the interior albert fall.
Accepted bribes in exchange for leasing government land to oil companies. So he s profiting by giving away government land to these oil companies. Unfortunately for warren g. Harding.
His administration was plagued with a lot of corruption. Even though he himself was not corrupt and in august of 1923. He dies while in office calvin coolidge becomes president quick little story about calvin coolidge. His nickname was silent cow.
One person came up to him once and said..
Mr. Coolidge. I ve made a bet against a fellow who said. It was impossible to get more than two words out of you and coolidge replied you lose get it two words.
Quick rundown of calvin coolidge and herbert hoover. Calvin. Coolidge continued the pro business policies of harding in fact one of the most remarkable things about coolidge is that campaign sign not much else is happening under coolidge his famous quote. The business of america is business.
He also is the guy who signs the national quota act of 1924. Which keeps out immigrants from southern and eastern europe. He easily wins the election of 1924. However you ll notice in the green.
There is a third party robert lafayette runs as a progressive party candidate and he does surprisingly well. Especially. Amongst. Farmers and workers so there is some frustration from voters over these conservative economic times.
Coolidge will not run again in 1928 choosing to step aside. But it s important you keep in mind that the decade of the roaring 20s did not roar. Economically for all groups especially when it comes to farmers and unions in fact union membership declined throughout the 1920s workers wages did rise. But union membership declines and really.
This is a result of many companies favoring an open shop. Which means jobs are open to non union workers. There was a general anti union sentiment throughout the 1920s events such as the red scare. The palmer raids had turned public opinion further against labor unions.
Some companies practice. What was known as welfare capitalism. Where they were voluntarily offering higher wages and benefits in the hopes that this would reduce the interest of workers in joining a union. Henry ford.
Famously used this approach. Farmers are also having a difficult time especially once world war one ends because following world war one there was less demand for crops from not only domestic markets. But also international markets. The farmers were growing a huge amount of stuff during the war taking out loans to increase production in when the war ends.
That demand. Shrinks advances in technology also caused problems for farmers. Because as technology became more efficient. This led to a huge increase in production and if you have too much supply.
It leads to lower prices and farmers throughout the decade are going to be deeply in debt as a result hoover is a key figure in the 1920s he runs in the election of 1928 as calvin coolidge steps aside the republican party nominates hoover if you recall he was the guy during world war one he ran the us food administration and he served under not only the administrations of wilson..
But also harding and coolidge. He runs against a democrat from new york. The governor of new york. Alfred smith and smith had a few things going against him.
One was his religion his religion plays a role in the campaign and in this cartoon. You could see that people are afraid that the pope would have some sort of influence over american politics. So there was open prejudice during the campaign among some protestants because of alfred smith s religion. Smith also opposed prohibition.
Which made him popular amongst immigrants. But also people in urban areas. But it did not matter because in 1928 hoover easily wins the presidency another important thing to keep in mind in the 1920s is international affairs and there s this perception that the united states because we said no we rejected the league of nations that somehow we were completely isolationist and this is not entirely true in the 1920s the us. Does not entirely withdraw from world affairs.
Many people in america were disillusioned with world war one it seemed like a pointless war. But america is still going to pursue american interests in the world. Where they see fed one of the most significant kind of foreign policy events of the 1920s is the washington naval arms conference in 1921. And this agreement between different nations.
Was calling for the reduction of naval battleships in the world. And there s two goals here one to promote peace especially in the pacific in asia. But also there s a need or a desire rather to reduce defense spending especially amongst conservative republican presidents there s a series of treaties there s the five power treaty the for power treaty and the nine power treaty. You can hit pause and kind of read what they do but just know they all come out of this naval arms conference.
The kellogg briand pact is kind of one of these silly things that gets agreed upon in 1928. And basically what this is is many nations sign this agreement. Which outlaws war. However there are some problems here one you can t really enforce it into it allowed for defensive wars.
So the chances of this thing actually working are not very good one of the key things america does do when it comes to foreign policy in the 1920s is in the area of international finance following world war one that us becomes. A creditor nation for the first time in our history. We loan large amounts of money to european countries that are recovering from world war. One previously were a debtor nation.
Now we re loaning out the money. However. European nations were slow to recover from world war one and to repay the war debts to the united states. And this really causes deep concern in the us.
And it is further complicated by the fact that high tariffs weakened and slowed down international trade germany. Cannot pay its war reparations to france and england. Germany was bankrupt and inflation was a major problem. Which further hurt.
The international economic situation..
And so under us leadership the dawes plan was developed in 1924 in this plan adjusted german reparations payments and here s what it did american banks would loan money to germany to help them rebuild and help pay reparations to england and france and the idea here is germany would then be able to pay england and france. Who would then use their reparations payments from germany to pay back loans to the united states so the dawes plan reschedules the german reparation loans and it s intended to improve the economic situation in europe however this ends. This plan ends with the stock market crash in 1929. As not only the united states.
But the entire world spirals into a economic depression. It s important you know how the great depression begins and really most people know. It s the stock market crash in october of 1929. That begins this what was happening is there was tremendous speculation in the prices of stocks people were buying on margin.
Where they would take out loans to buy stock with the hopes that the price would go up. And then they would be able to sell and make a quick buck. However what happens is on october 29. 1929.
Black tuesday over 16 million shares of stock are sold and the price of stock plummets. This is really the start of the great depression important to note. This is an economic collapse in both the us and abroad. Massive unemployment is going to take place by 1933 25.
Percent of the nation is unemployed thousands of banks fail. Following this stock market crash people s savings literally vanishes foreclosures of homes and farms become quite common and it s only with the help of soup kitchens and bread lines. That people get any sense of relief at all in fact many people lived in shanty towns that they nicknamed hoovervilles once they lost their home and farm. However.
It s not just the stock market that causes this great depression. There in fact were deeper roots that are important to understand one of the big causes of the great depression was the overproduction in both agriculture and industry. The nation was producing more goods than could be consumed one of the reasons for this was increased productivity allowed for things to be produced much more efficiently than in the past. But adding to this problem was the fact that workers wages did not increase enough there was an uneven distribution of wealth throughout the decade.
The economic roar wasn t equally felt by all corporate profits skyrocket. But workers could not afford the goods that industry was producing and with that you see throughout the decade of the 1920s. There was an over reliance on credit. The installment plan buying things on credit over stimulated consumer.
Buying and once people accumulated too much debt and could not pay back these loans you have the defaults on loans. Causing bank failures and since there were no regulations kind of keeping the whole system in check this becomes a huge economic depression add to this the international economic problems of war reparations. The fact that england and france could not pay back war debts or were reluctant to and the high tariffs of the republican administrations. Which slowed down trade all of these things contributed to the beginnings of the great depression.
So what s hoover s response. Going to be he did not cause the great depression. But the american people are looking to them as the president to somehow address this crisis initially hoover was a rugged individualist and he opposed government intervention. He believed in individual industry thrift.
Hard work and self reliance..
He does do something in the beginning stages. Which is actually really bad for the economy as the hawley smoot tariff of 1930. It s the highest peacetime protective tariffs and european nations reply to our high tariffs by creating their own high tariffs. And this once again worsens the depression in both america and abroad.
It further slows down trade as the economic problems continue hoover decides he needs to take some sort of federal action that this was not just going to correct itself. And one of the most important things under hoover is the reconstruction finance corporation of 1932. The rfc gives federal money to struggling business in the hope that the benefits would then trickle down to the rest of the economy in effect. The federal government would provide money to banks railroads and other financial institutions to prop them up and the idea that money would then trickle down to the workers and the rest of the economy.
These businesses by getting this federal money would stabilize wages reduce layoffs and other things. Which would help limit the impacts of the great depression important to note under the rfc is that individuals would not be getting money from the government. It would be going to business. This is the idea of trickle down economics.
However by 1932 things continued to be a hot mess in the united states millions of people were unemployed. Many farmers were losing their farms and veterans of world war one like many other americans were suffering. A great deal and a group of people known as the. Bonus.
Expeditionary force. Nicknamed the bonus army about 20000. Veterans of world war. One march from across the country to washington dc to demand an immediate payment of their bonus.
They were supposed to get a bonus in 1945. As a way of supporting them in old age and in 1932. They say we need it now government pay us they set up temporary housing around dc. Known as hoovervilles named after the president who many people blamed and after some time hoover sends the army in to clear out the veterans to get rid of them he did not think it would go down as aggressively as it did.
But basically hoover led by a guy by the name of douglas macarthur will break up the hoovervilles and force the veterans to go home tear gas and bayonets and violence breaks out and this further tarnishes the reputation of president hoover and in 1932. Hoover is going to have to run against franklin roosevelt. And we ll see how that election turns out next time. That s going to do it for today.
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Review of American Pageant (Kennedy) Chapter 32, American History (Brinkley) Chapter 22-23, America s History (Henretta) Chapter 22-23
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Topic: Politics of the 1920s and Start of Great Depression
Warren G. Harding, Election of 1920, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Fordney-McCumber, Teapot Dome Scandal, 1920 s economy, Election of 1928, Alred Smith, Washington Naval Arms Conference, Kellogg Briand Pact, Dawes Plan, Causes of the Great Depression, hoovervilles, rugged individualism, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, trickle down economics , Bonus Army
APUSH Redesign Period 7
This video is perfect for U.S. History classes and the redesigned APUSH exam.
The American Pageant (Book), AP United States History, Warren G. Harding (US President), Herbert Hoover (US President), Calvin Coolidge (US President), Kello…