The Jazz Age Great Depression New Deal Era and World War 2 America

Chapter 2: The Cannery Culture :: Cannery Women, Cannery Lives: Mexican Women, Unionization, and the California Food Processing Industry, 1930-1950 by Vicki L. Ruiz

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Mexicans realize you are dependent upon them, they nearly strike for more money.”
  • “Very frequently, women, and in some instances, children carry the large boxes of fruit, weighing 40 pounds and over. . . . This is important not only because of the number of immature girls in the canneries but because of the presence of married women. Frequently these women are at work while pregnant, often working dangerously near to the day of confinement.”
  • “Each woman is apt to check up upon the earnings of her neighbor … if she is behind, she is certain that the checker has forgotten to record some of her work.”
  • “After work, my hands were red, swollen, and I was on fire! On the streetcar going home, I could hardly hold on, my hands hurt so much. The minute I got home, I soaked my hands in a pan of cold water. My father saw how I was suffering and he said, ‘Mi hija, you don’t have to go back there tomorrow.’ And I didn’t.”
  • “UCAPAWA consciously strove to recruit women for leadership positions at every level”

Thought Questions

  • Compare and Contrast: the roles work, family and social networks filled in the lives of cannery women
  • Describe the This “piece rate” pay scale and how it was used in the cannery industry
  • How did corporate concentration impact the workers in the cannery industry in California and how is Del Monte representative
  • Describe the seasonal structure of the industry and how this particularly impacted female workers
  • Compare and Contrast: The garment and textile industries on the East Coast with the food processing industry in California
  • Explain and Expand: “Often employer attitudes became translated into wage differentials”
  • Describe the impact of gender segregation in the cannery industry on female workers
  • What role did Mexican children fill in the cannery industry
  • What factors diminished cooperation and unity among cannery employees
  • Explain and Expand: “cross-cultural friendships usually ended at the cannery gates.”
  • How did child care impact female cannery workers

 

The Jazz Age Great Depression New Deal Era and World War 2 America

Chapter 13: Smashup :: The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “central to the culture”
  • “We grew up founding our dreams on the infinite promises of American advertising,”
  • “I still believe that one can learn to play the piano by mail and that mud will give you a perfect complexion.”
  • “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”
  • “One can assign no single cause to the crash and the ensuing depression, but much of the blame for both falls on the foolhardy assumption that the special interests of business and the national interest were identical. Management had siphoned off gains in productivity in high profits, while the farmer got far less, and the worker, though better off, received wage increases disproportionately small compared to profits. As a result, the purchasing power of workers and farmers was not great enough to sustain prosperity.”
  • “The financial community purported to see the depression as a blessed occurrence that would improve the national character by chastening the spirit”
  • “I do not sympathize with those who think that this process of compulsory mass saving will sap the virility and self-reliance of our race. There will be quite enough grind-stone in human life to keep us keen.”
  • “Men relentlessly sabotaged the technology on which they had preened themselves in the Coolidge years.”
  • “When I think of what has been happening since unemployment began, and when I see the futility of the leaders,” declared Father John A. Ryan, “I wish we might double the number of Communists in this country, to put the fear, if not of God, then the fear of something else, into the hearts of our leaders.”
  • “They are just ready to do anything to get even with the situation. I almost hate to express it, but I honestly believe that if some of them could buy airplanes they would come down here to Washington to blow you fellows all up…. The farmer is naturally a conservative individual, but you cannot find a conservative farmer today…. I am as conservative as any man could be, but any economic system that has in its power to set me and my wife in the streets, at my age—what can I see but red?”
  • “Has the prophecy of Henry Adams, that we are all on a machine which cannot go forward without disaster and cannot be stopped without ruin, come true?”
  • “Sometimes it is a dreadful nightmare, when I feel the cold shears at the back of my neck, and see my curls fall one by one at my feet, useless, lifeless things to be packed away in tissue paper with other outworn treasures.”
  • “It was a time of paradoxes: an age of conformity and of liberation, of the persistence of rural values and the triumph of the city, of isolationism and new internationalist ventures, of laissez faire but also of government intervention, of competition and of merger, of despair and of joyous abandon.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “The prosperity of the 1920s encouraged the contagious feeling that everyone was meant to get rich.”
  • What was the “Great Bull Market”?
  • Affirm or Refute: “No one can explain what caused the Great Bull Market.”
  • Affirm or Refute: “It is true that credit was easy, but credit had been easy before without producing a speculative mania.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Customers borrowed money, bought more stock, watched the stock go up, and borrowed still more money to buy still more stock.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Not long before he left office, President Coolidge announced that stocks were “cheap at current prices.””
  • How did the nature of the stock exchanges change in the 1920s?
  • Explain and Expand: “The policies of the federal government in the 1920s were disastrous.”
  • What role did the Stock Market crashes in 1929 play in the development of the Great Depression?
  • Explain and Expand: “Nothing did more to turn the stock market crash of 1929 into a prolonged depression than the destruction of business and public morale by the collapse of the banks.”
  • In what ways did the Great Depression begin to impact American families?
  • How did President Hoover respond to the growing Great Depression in its early phases?
  • As the Great Depression continued how did President Hoover’s response change?
  • Describe “Hoovervilles”
  • Explain and Expand: “those in destitution and their children are actually receiving more regular and more adequate care than even in normal times.”
  • How did the European economic situation impact the United States?
  • How did the depression in the United States impact Germany?
  • What was the purpose of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and in what ways did it change the depression?
  • Explain and Expand: “While people went hungry, granaries bulged with wheat no one could sell.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Many Americans who had never had a radical thought before in their lives began to question the virtues of capitalism.”
  • What was the “Bonus Army” and how did Washington react to it?
  • Compare and Contrast: The Bonus Army and Coxey’s Army
  • Describe how the Great Depression impacted the Democratic primary for President in 1932?
  • Explain and Expand: “Here we are in the midst of the greatest crisis since the Civil War and the only thing the two national parties seem to want to debate is booze.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Never was a decade snuffed out so quickly as the 1920s.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The depression years killed off the icons of simplicity the 1920s had cherished.”
  • Explain and Expand: “In the 1920s, the events of half a century finally caught up with America”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Jazz Age Great Depression New Deal Era and World War 2 America

Chapter 12: The Sidewalks of New York :: The Perils of Prosperity by William E. Leuchtenburg

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Critics viewed the city as a great incubus sucking the life’s blood of the countryside.”
  • “thousands of farmers, or children of farmers,…chose the bright lights of cities to the economic uncertainties of the soil.”
  • “If I seem to have criticized prairie villages, I have certainly criticized them no more than I have New York, or Paris, or the great universities. I am quite certain that I could have been born and reared in no place in the world where I would have had more friendliness.”
  • “we shall see our towns and villages rumridden in the near future and a whole generation of our children destroyed.”
  • “In a rabidly nationalistic time, America insisted that the country be represented by a symbol of the old values; Smith could not fulfil this function as the United States viewed itself in 1928.”
  • “Smith, with his East Side mannerisms, when placed alongside the marble figures of Jefferson or Lee frightened rather than reassured a nation trying to come to terms with the city.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “The United States in the 1920s neared the end of a painful transition from a country reared in the rural village to a nation dominated by the great metropolis.”
  • In what ways did American Literature reflect urbanization?
  • Explain and Expand: “The war between the country and the city had been fought for decades; what was new in the 1920s was the tension within each camp as well”
  • Explain and Expand: Herbert Hoover’s role in Post World War I Europe
  • In what ways did the urban – rural conflict impact the election of 1928?
  • Who was Sherwood Anderson
  • In what ways does “Winesburg, Ohio” reflect the evolving circumstances and attitudes of urban and rural America? What “Americas” do the characters speak for?
  • In what ways was Henry Ford involved in the “culture wars” in Jazz Age America? Explain and Expand on the irony of this position
  • Compare and Contrast: The Teddy Roosevelt of New York City and Teddy Roosevelt of rural America
  • Explain and Expand: The Teddy Roosevelt of New York City and Teddy Roosevelt of rural America
  • Who was Alfred E. Smith and how did he reflect the rise of urban America?
  • Compare and Contrast: Herbert Hoover and Al Smith
  • How did “Newer Americans” impact the urban – rural divide in America?

Primary Sources

American Literature

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

The Jazz Age Great Depression New Deal Era and World War 2 America

Chapter 11: Political Fundamentalism :: The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The American people suddenly had thrust upon them the responsibilities of war and the making of peace, and their contact with Europe and power politics was bitterly disillusioning.”
  • ““a people who, of all the world, craved most for new things, yet were all but Chinese in their worship of their Constitution and their ancestors who devised it.” Constitution- worship was a kind of magical nativism, a form of activity in which, as the anthropologist Ralph Linton writes, “the society’s members feel that by behaving as the ancestors did they will, in some usually undefined way, help to recreate the total situation in which the ancestors lived.””
  • “Bible- Christ- and- Constitution Campaign,” while the Ku Klux Klan’s warcry was “Back to the Constitution.”
  • “We Americans have got to… hang our Irish agitators and shoot our hyphenates and bring up our children with reverence for English history and in the awe of English literature.”
  • “Roberts urged that the immigration laws be revised to admit fewer Polish Jews, who were “human parasites”; cautioned against Social Democrats, since “social democracy gives off a distinctly sour, bolshevistic odor”; and opposed unrestricted immigration, for it would inevitably produce “a hybrid race of people as worthless and futile as the good- far- nothing mongrels of Central America and Southeastern Europe.””
  • “one of the worst things that this country has ever done for itself economically.”
  • “Though prohibition found supporters in the urban middle class, most city people regarded it as a punishment inflicted on them by mirthless rubes.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “Despite prosperity, the United States in the postwar years felt deeply threatened from within.”
  • Affirm or Refute: “Political fundamentalism attempted to deny real divisions in the nation by coercing a sense of oneness.”
  • React and Respond: “Many felt hostile to anything foreign. Isolationism had its counterpart in a determination to curb immigration, to avoid alien contamination and to preserve the old America ethnically before it was too late.”
  • React and Respond: “Restrictionism could not overcome the industrialists’ demand for cheap labor or, more important, America’s confidence in its ability to absorb large numbers of foreign- born. World War I badly shook that confidence.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Lothrop Stoddard in The Rising Tide of Color (1920) and Professor Edwin East of Harvard warned that white races were being engulfed by the more fertile colored races.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Klan attracted its chief support from the sense of desperation experienced by old stock Protestants who felt themselves being eclipsed by the rise of the city with its polyglot masses”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Klan reached the heights in Indiana, and in Indiana it toppled to its death.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Scopes had lost, but, in another sense, he had won.”
  • Describe the birth and evolution of the Second American Klan
  • Describe the intentions and motivations of the Second American Klan
  • React and Respond: ““On the one side,” asserted a Kansas congressman, “is beer, bolshevism, unassimilating settlements and perhaps many flags— on the other side is constitutional government; one flag, stars and stripes.””
  • React and Respond: “In the cities, and even in the countryside (where moonshiners operated stills in mountain hollows), people devised ingenious means to outwit the efforts of the drys.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Strengthened by popular anger against Germany (the home of modernist religion) and by the Red Scare (which linked atheism with communism), fundamentalism made modest gains during and after the war, but it amounted to little until William Jennings Bryan joined the anti- evolution movement.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Scopes trial is usually seen simply as a struggle of champions of truth pitted against Tennessee Hottentots.”
  • How does the year the author was writing impact his vision of the Klan?

Primary Sources

Further Reading

 

 

The Jazz Age Great Depression New Deal Era and World War 2 America

The Perils Of Prosperity, 1914-1932 By William E. Leuchtenburg :: Chapter 10: The Second Industrial Revolution

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Machinery,” declared Ford solemnly, “is the new Messiah.”
  • “Many industries— textiles, clothing, and bituminous coal, in particular— remained boisterously competitive, however, and the growth of oligopoly— domination of an industry by a few firms— often meant more rather than less competition.”
  • “To staff the agencies of distribution and the “service” industries, a new white- collar class emerged in the cities. Together with the civil servant, the salesman, and the salaried manager, these white- collar employees constituted a “new middle class.” This shift in emphasis produced important changes in the national character. In place of the idea that saving was a virtue, an article of faith as old as the first colonial settlements and the talisman of Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard, a conviction developed that thrift could be socially harmful and spending a virtue. “We’re too poor to economize,” wrote Scott Fitzgerald jauntily. “Economy is a luxury.””
  • “Our future,” wrote Walter Weyl in 1919, “may depend less on the hours that we work today than on the words or the smile we exchange with some anonymous fellow- passenger in the office- building elevator.”
  • “The customer,” he snapped, “can have a Ford any color he wants— so long as it’s black.” But by the mid- 1920s the country had less interest in price than in style and comfort.
  • “We are reaching and maintaining the position,” declared Coolidge as early as 1919, “where the property class and the employed class are not separate, but identical.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the American The Second Industrial Revolution
  • Compare and Contrast how workers were impacted by the First and Second American Industrial Revolutions
  • Who was Frederick W Taylor and what is the theory of scientific management
  • React and Respond: “machine power replaced human labor at a startling rate”
  • Explain and Expand: “Since labor came out of the postwar depression with higher real wages— employers feared a new strike wave if they cut wages as sharply as prices fell— business was stimulated to lower production costs.”
  • In what ways did the Second Industrial revolution center around the “home” and “family”
  • Describe how the new chemical and synthetics industries contributed to the Second Industrial Revolution
  • Describe how infrastructure development was both a part of and necessary for the Second Industrial Revolution
  • What was the significance of The Federal Aid Road Act of 1916
  • React and Respond: “Without the new automobile industry, the prosperity of the Roaring Twenties would scarcely have been possible; the development of the industry in a single generation was the greatest achievement of modern technology.”
  • Who was Bruce Barton why was his work “The Man Nobody Knows” significant?
  • Who was Samuel Insull
  • What impact did Chain and Department stores have on America?
  • Explain and Expand: “Critics of big business in the 1920s emphasized not only the increase in concentration, but also the fact that the benefits of technological innovation were by no means evenly distributed.”
  • React and Respond: “Still, if one focuses exclusively on farm poverty or on depressed West Virginia coal towns, it is easy to distort the experience of the 1920s.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The growth of popular culture and consumerism reflected economic changes that had important consequences for class structure and life style.”
  • How did popular entertainment evolve in this era?
  • Who were Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll?
  • What were the common themes and prominent features of “blackface” comedy (radio, live performance and visual imagery)?
  • What role did “blackface” entertainment play in white culture?
  • React and Respond: “Whereas the nineteenth- century man wanted to make it on his own, the twentieth- century man sought a place for himself in the corporate bureaucracy”
  • In what ways did Irish immigrants impact the Second Industrial Revolution and how did the revolution change Irish immigrants?
  • How does the author incorporate the experience of colonialism into his narrative about the Second Industrial Revolution?
  • How does the author incorporate the experience of women into his narrative about the Second Industrial Revolution?
  • How does the author’s gender bias impact his analysis and conclusions?
  • How does the author incorporate the experiences of non-white communities into his narrative about the Second Industrial Revolution?
  • In what ways does the author’s bias and perspective impact his analysis and conclusions?
  • What year was this book written and how does the period of writing impact the author’s analysis and conclusions?
  • Taking the above few questions into consideration, why is it important to read this volume?
  • React and Respond: “Although the new prosperity fostered an exceptionally materialistic view of life, it resulted in more than just increased sales of gadgets. The country spent more than twice as much as it had before the war on libraries, almost three times as much for hospitals.”

Primary Sources

Audio Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Jazz Age Great Depression New Deal Era and World War 2 America

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg :: Chapter 9: The Revolution in Morals

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The right of women to vote should have required no special justification, but to overcome resistance to approval of the Nineteenth Amendment suffragists, accepting the traditional view of woman’s nature, had argued that giving women the ballot would purify politics and initiate a new era of universal peace and benevolence.” 
  • “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take anyone at random and train him to become any specialist I might select— doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestor.”
  • “The hedonism of the period was less a remedy than a symptom of what Walter Lippmann called a “vast dissolution of ancient habits,” and rarely did it prove as satisfying as people hoped.” 

Thought Questions

  • Describe the progress towards female suffrage? How did World War I impact the campaign?
  • How did moral norms and boundaries change in the post World War I era?
  • What role did the decline in religion play in changing values?
  • React and Respond: “The “new woman” revolted against masculine possessiveness, against “over-evaluation” of women “as love objects,” against being treated, at worst, as a species of property. The new woman wanted the same freedom of movement that men had and the same economic and political rights.” 
  • Describe the evolution in the attitudes of women in the post war period?
  • Describe the evolution in the attitudes towards women in the post war period?
  • Compare and Contrast the struggle for women’s suffrage in the North, South and West
  • Compare and Contrast the role Evangelical Christianity and Progressive Christianity played in the struggle for women’s rights in general and suffrage specifically
  • What was the Sheppard-Towner Act? 
  • How did female suffrage impact the economics of family and single life for women?
  • In what ways did men react to the change in the roles of women in society and the home? 
  • How were children and children’s rights impacted by the women’s rights movement?
  • In what ways did the field of psychology impact women and the family in the progressive era?
  • How was Eugene O’Neill significant in the social development of the United States?
  • Expand and Explain: “In the attempt to work out a new standard of relations between men and women, Americans in the 1920s became obsessed with the subject of sex.” 
  • Who were the “Flappers” and what impact did they have on urban American culture?
  • In what ways was the new status and circumstances of women reflected in the arts and how did the arts impact the role of women?
  • “None of the Victorian mothers had any idea how casually their daughters were accustomed to be kissed.”
  • Explain and Expand “The Gibson girl was the embodiment of stability. The flapper’s aesthetic ideal was motion, her characteristics were intensity, energy, volatility. While the Gibson girl seems incapable of an immodest thought or deed, the flapper strikes us as brazen and at least capable of sin if not actually guilty of it. She refused to recognize the traditional moral code of American civilization, while the Gibson girl had been its guardian.” 
  • React and Respond: “Instead of youth emulating age, age imitated youth. Scott Fitzgerald, looking back on the years of which he was the chief chronicler, recalled: “May one offer in exhibit the year 1922! That was the peak of the younger generation, for though the Jazz Age continued, it became less and less an affair of youth. The sequel was a children’s party taken over by elders.” “Oh, yes, we are collegiate” 
  • React and Respond: “Abandoning the notion of saving income or goods or capital over time, the country insisted on immediate gratification … The preoccupation with living in the present had problematic consequences.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 8: A Botched Civilization

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “One’s first strong impression,” recalled Malcolm Cowley, “is of the bustle and hopefulness that filled the early years from 1911– 1916…. Everywhere new institutions were being founded— magazines, clubs, little theatres, art or freelove or singletax colonies, experimental schools, picture galleries. Everywhere was a sense of secret comradeship and immense potentialities for change.” 
  • “you may be sure that an era is dying. It is a law of literary history that these spectacular outbursts which look as if they were ushering in a new epoch are in truth ushering out an old one.”
  • “so gives away the whole long age during which we have supposed the world to be, with whatever abatement, gradually bettering, that to have to take it all now for what the treacherous years were really making for and meaning is too tragic for any words.” 
  • “There died a myriad, And of the best, among them, For an old bitch gone in the teeth, For a botched civilization”
  • “shape without form, shade without color, paralyzed force, gesture without motion.” 
  • “Above all, they loathed the “Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls,” that vast middle class which sought “culture” as it would shop for furniture, which measured everything in money. … They despised capitalism as the foul offspring of Puritanism. They rebelled against what Waldo Frank called the “cold lethal simplicities of American business culture.””
  • “We had begun to develop an idea common to nineteenth century romantics and twentieth century bohemians, the idea that success was synonymous with philistinism,” wrote Joseph Freeman. Quite “unable to distinguish between success and conventional standards of success, we made a cult of failure.” The novelist Scott Fitzgerald, in particular, was fascinated by “the beautiful and damned.” “All the stories that came into my head,” he recalled, “had a touch of disaster in them.” 
  • “What will you say to a man who believes in hell, or that the Pope of Rome wants to run this country, or that the Jews caused the war?” asked Ludwig Lewisohn. “How would you argue with a Methodist minister from an Arkansas village, with a Kleagle of the Klan, with a ‘thisisawhiteman’scountry’ politician from central Georgia?”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “A few years before World War I, the only literary tradition America had ever known came to an end.”
  • Explain and Expand: “[Continued from previous quote] At the time it seemed less like a death than a beginning.”
  • What impact did the end of the Progressive Era have on the static visual arts? 
  • What impact did the end of the Progressive Era have on the performance arts?
  • What impact did the end of the Progressive Era have on the literary arts?
  • In what ways did the 1912 Wilson campaign slogan “The New Freedom” reflect changing social climate in America? 
  • Who was Ezra Pound and what did his writing express about changing American culture and society?
  • Who was Henry James and how did his writing express the schism in American society and culture?
  • What does T.S. Elliot express about American life in his work “The Waste Lands”? 
  • Compare and Contrast: seventeenth century Puritanism and nineteenth century Victorianism in America
  • Compare and Contrast “The Mysterious Stranger” with Twain’s work “The Gilded Age”
  • Who was F. Scott Fitzgerald and what did his writing express about American life? 
  • What was the “Harlem Renaissance” and how did African American gender and sexuality find expression within the movement?
  • Who was Zora Neale Hurston?
  • Explain and Expand: “It is not easy to explain the negativism of the artists of the 1920s in relation to their creativity”

Primary Sources

American Literature

American Visual Art

Articles and Resources

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 7: Tired Radicals

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “his enemies in office and his friends in jail.”
  • “This thing has got to come to an end. New York invited you people here as guests, not to live.”
  • “that the Democratic Party could be relied upon at the right time to do the wrong thing!”
  • “get the viewpoint of the broad prairie farmer. Don’t be a narrow minded hill billy from Vermont dominated by selfish money and manufacturing and union labor interests all your life.”
  • “The 1920s did, though, mark a time of transition within progressivism from the oldstyle evangelical reformism, under leaders like La Follette and Bryan, to a newstyle urban progressivism, which would call itself liberalism.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the circumstances that created the fourparty contest in 1912
  • In what ways did World War I have an impact on American Progressivism?
  • Who was Robert M. La Follette and why was he a polarizing figure?
  • How did Nationalism and Progressivism become linked and what impact did it have on each?
  • What were the issues the parties faced internally and in regards to national foreign and local domestic circumstances in 1916? How did this evolve into 1920 and 1924?
  • Describe the post war Progressive Party 
  • Who was Herbert Croly and what was the significance of “The Promise of American Life” (1909)?
  • Who was Walter Lippmann and what was the significance of “Public Opinion” and “The Phantom Public”?
  • Who were John Dewey, Charles Beard, Thorstein Veblen and how did they seek to impact American Society? 
  • What was the Nonpartisan League and how did it evolve from the Farmer Labor movement?
  • Why does the author mention “George Babbitt”? 
  • How did the mid western farm belt respond to political circumstances in the 1920s?
  • Who was General Jacob Coxey? 
  • How did the sectional divide between East, South and West shape parties in the 1920s?
  • How did Calvin Coolidge fit into the mix of parties?
  • Describe the relationship between Calvin Coolidge and the American Farm Belt
  • Expand and Explain: “The 1920s did, though, mark a time of transition within progressivism from the oldstyle evangelical reformism, under leaders like La Follette and Bryan, to a newstyle urban progressivism, which would call itself liberalism.” 
  • Who was Fiorello La Guardia?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 6: The Reluctant Giant

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The Kellogg Pact, as Frank Simonds observed, was “the high water mark of American endeavors for world peace which consisted in undertaking to combine the idea of political and military isolation with that of moral and material involvement.””
  • “I can’t explain it but I’ll never put a uniform on again.” 
  • “Instead, the United States under Harding and Coolidge made an exceptionally difficult situation far worse. If the United States was to function as a creditor nation, it had to import more than it exported. But the country moved in precisely the opposite direction. By an emergency tariff in 1921 and the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act of 1922, the United States drowned any hope that it would be more receptive to European goods. The Fordney-McCumber Tariff restored the high prewar rates and added a few new tolls of its own, especially on “infant industries” such as chemicals.” 

Thought Questions

  • Explain the debt cycle through Germany France / Britain / Belgium United States that emerged after World War I
  • Haw was American foreign policy in the 1920s built on disillusionment with World War I?
  • Compare and Contrast how the United States and Europe viewed war debt and reparations differently?
  • What were the Dawes and Young Plans? What was their goal and why did they fail? 
  • How did the Europeans naval rearmament impact their ability to fund post war reconstruction, reparations and debt? 
  • Describe the efforts at arms control and disarmament after World War I? 
  • What was the The Kellogg–Briand Pact (General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy)? What impact did it have on international relations?
  • How did belief in American innocence and European wickedness impact attitudes in the United States after World War I? What factors led to a return to anti-Europeanism after the war? Why didn’t the shared war experiences bind the American and Western European public together?
  • What was the The Geneva Protocol of 1924 and how did it impact American Asian European relations? What attitudes and circumstances impacted it? How was China a factor?
  • Explain and Expand: “peace was seen as merely the avoidance of war rather than as a continuous process of political accommodation” 
  • What was the “Good Neighbor Policy” and how did Mexican relations with the United States impact post war security arrangements? 
  • What were the Fordney-McCumber Tariff and the Hawley-Smoot Tariff what impact did it have on the United States and World economies? 
  • Summarize American foreign policy in the 1920s 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 5: The Politics of Normalcy 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The moralist unquestionably secures wide popular support; but he also wearies his audience,” pointed out the historian Charles Seymour, “and many a voter has turned from Wilson in the spirit that led the Athenian to vote for the ostracism of Aristides, because he was tired of hearing him called ‘The Just.’” Wilson had become, in Mark Sullivan’s words, “the symbol of the exaltation that had turned sour, personification of the rapture that had now become gall, sacrificial whipping boy for the present bitterness.””
  • ““My God, this is a hell of a job!” he told William Allen White before leaving. “I have no trouble with my enemies…. But my damned friends, my God-damn friends, White, they’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!”” 
  • “What was of “real importance to wage-earners,” he wrote, “was not how they might conduct a quarrel with their employers but how the business of the country might be so organized as to insure steady employment at a fair rate of pay. If that were done there would be no occasion for a quarrel, and if it were not done a quarrel would do no good.”” 

Thought Questions

  • What was “Muckraking”?
  • Why was Wilson a “man with no friends” at the end of his term?
  • In what ways does Wilson embody the stereotype of the moralist and preacher? 
  • What is the “Social Gospel” and how is it anchored in this period? 
  • In what ways did the end of the Wilson administration begin an “era of business supremacy”?
  • What impact did Democratic political weakness have on the Republican Party?
  • Who is Warren G. Harding and how did he become synonymous with “back-room politics / smoke filled rooms”?
  • Compare and Contrast the “Ohio Gang” with the Tammany Democrats 
  • How was the election a referendum about pre-war nostalgia of an imaginary “Gilded Age”?
  • What role did Herbert Hoover play in the Harding administration and what impact did he have on American business? 
  • In what ways did Harding and Debs have similar goals but different perspectives?
  • Compare and Contrast the administrations of Grant and Harding
  • What was the Teapot Dome scandal?
  • Compare and Contrast Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge
  • How did Calvin Coolidge impact post war Germany? Britain? 
  • What was a “Businessman’s Government”?
  • Explain what is intended by the expression: “the Babbitts’ awe of the Dodsworths” 
  • In what ways was the administration of Calvin Coolidge (and Herbert Hoover) a return to the puritanical idealism of the Wilson administration? 
  • In what ways was the administration of Calvin Coolidge (and Herbert Hoover) a continuation of a chastened Harding Republicanism? 
  • What was the “Farm Bloc” and why did they come into existence?
  • In what ways did the existence of the “Farm Bloc” reflect Gilded Age agrarian populism?
  • Describe the Urban-Rural divide in the 1920s
  • How did the Urban-Rural divide of the 1920s impact the racial divide?
  • How did the Urban-Rural divide of the 1920s impact the tripartite sectionalism of East / South / West?
  • Why was Coolidge outraged at the McNary-Haugen bill in 1927? 
  • When was “Perils of Prosperity” first written? 
  • How does the author’s contemporary circumstances and perspective impact this (and others) chapter?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 4: Red Scare

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “General Leonard Wood, the Army Chief of Staff, noted his approval of a minister’s call for the deportation of Bolshevists “in ships of stone with sails of lead, with the wrath of God for a breeze and with hell for their first port.” “If I had my way with these ornery wild-eyed Socialists and I. W. W.’s,” shouted the evangelist Billy Sunday, “I would stand them up before a firing squad and save space on our ships.” In Indiana a jury deliberated two minutes before acquitting Frank Petroni, who had shot and killed a man for yelling, “To hell with the United States!””
  • “… the Third International, boasted that money sent to Germany for the Spartacist uprising “was as nothing compared to the funds transmitted to New York for the purpose of spreading bolshevism in the United States.”” 
  • ““Don’t you see the glory of this case,” remarked a character in Upton Sinclair’s Boston (1928). “It kills off the liberals.” In the 1920s, most intellectuals were too non-political for radicalism to make much impact. “It was characteristic of the Jazz Age,” recorded Scott Fitzgerald, “that it had no interest in politics at all.” “Politics and voting,” pontificated Gertrude Stein, “do not make any difference.”” 

Thought Questions

  • What was the “Red Scare”?
  • How and Why did the United States become involved in the Russian Revolution? 
  • How did the Harding and Coolidge administrations react during the Red Scare?
  • What were some of the demands of striking workers before and during the Red Scare?
  • In what ways were Unions pushed towards socialist and radical organizations?
  • Describe the Anarchist terrorism during this period
  • Why were pacifists and peace activists targeted in the Red Scare?
  • How were American Jehovah’s Witnesses persecuted during and after World War I? 
  • Who were Leon Trotsky (Lev Davidovich Bronstein) and Nikolai Bukharin?
  • Why and How was Trotsky more influential in the United States than other Bolsheviks such as Lenin, Mensheviks such as Zhordania and Polish/German Communists such as Luksemburg?
  • In what ways was Trotsky influenced by the United States?
  • In what ways did Russian Communists misunderstand the structure of government in the United States? 
  • In what ways did misunderstanding about American Federalism by Bolsheviks influence the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? 
  • What was the Comintern and why was the Third Comintern important in American history?
  • What was the Red Terror and how did it impact Russian and Georgian immigrants to the United States? 
  • What were the most significant “class” of Georgian immigrants to the United States and how did this impact American reaction to the Russian Revolution and Civil War? 
  • Who was Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild Congress of Rough Riders?
  • How did the New Economic Policy (NEP) impact Russian relations with the United States?
  • How and Why were Slavic Americans targeted during the Red Scare? (beyond obvious national identification)
  • In what ways did Anarchism impact the United States?
  • What factors led to Anarchism, Socialism and Communism being lumped together in the Untied States? 
  • How was the Red Scare a reality and an illusion? 
  • In what ways did business interests and the middle class influence the Red Scare? 
  • What made Bolshevism distinct among Communist ideologies?
  • What made Trotskyism distinct among Communist ideologies?
  • Compare and Contrast European Social Democrats and Russian Bolshevism 
  • How did Russian Bolshevism impact politics in the United States?
  • Describe the evolution of the American Communist Party between 1917 and 1932
  • Compare and Contrast Communism with Socialism 
  • Why did Russian Bolshevism focus attention on Germany and the United States? 
  • Compare and Contrast Leninism and Trotskyism in the United States 
  • What circumstances in the United States provided ground for the development of Socialism
  • How were the working poor and unions impacted by the Red Scare?
  • Why were the working poor and unions targeted by the Red Scare?
  • Who was Eugene Debs?
  • How did conflict over American involvement in World War I influence the development of radical ideologies? 
  • Ultimately what impact did Communism and Anarchism have on the United States
  • Ultimately what impact did Socialism have on the United States?
  • Ultimately what impact did the Red Scare have on the United States? 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 3: The Fourteenth Point

Thought Questions

  • Who was George Clemenceau and David Lloyd George?
  • Compare and Contrast the perspectives and issues of the Untied States, France and Great Britain?
  • What were Wilson’s Fourteen Points and how was the League of Nations a part of it?
  • In what ways was Wilson’s Fourteen Points selectively applied to different nations / peoples?
  • What as Wilson’s intentions with the Fourteen Points and the League of Nations?
  • Describe the domestic opposition groups to the League of Nations? 
  • Who was Henry Cabot Lodge?
  • How did Wilson’s final speaking tour to support the League impact his life? 
  • In what ways did the points of domestic opposition to the League turn our to be correct?
  • In what ways was Woodrow Wilson’s warnings about the League turn out to be correct? 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “In the final analysis the treaty was slain in the house of its friends rather than in the house of its enemies. In the final analysis it was not the two-thirds rule, or the ‘irreconcilables,’ or Lodge, or the ‘strong’ and ‘mild reservationists,’ but Wilson and his docile following who delivered the fatal stab…. This was the supreme act of infanticide. With his own sickly hands Wilson slew his own brain child.”
  • On November 27, 1918, Theodore Roosevelt issued a statement which was duly noted in the capitals of Europe: “Our allies and our enemies and Mr. Wilson himself should all understand that Mr. Wilson has no authority whatever to speak for the American people at this time. His leadership has just been emphatically repudiated by them. The newly elected Congress comes far nearer than Mr. Wilson to having a right to speak the purposes of the American people at this moment. Mr. Wilson and his Fourteen Points and his four supplementary points and his five complementary points and all his utterances every which way have ceased to have any shadow of right to be accepted as expressive of the will of the American people.” 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 2: Innocents Abroad

Thought Questions

  • What does the author mean by the title “Innocents Abroad”?
  • What did Churchill mean when he said “Events passed very largely outside the scope of conscious choice”? 
  • Why was the timing of American intervention in World War I important?
  • Who was General John J. Pershing? 
  • Describe the events and significance of The Battle of Château-Thierry
  • Describe the events and significance of The Battle of Belleau Wood 
  • Describe the events and significance of The Battle of the Meuse-Argonne Forest
  • How did the United States Navy impact World War I?
  • What role did federal government planning and coordination play in World War I?
  • How did the role of the federal government in American life change as a result of World War I?
  • Who was Food Administrator Herbert Hoover and what was his contribution to World War I relief?
  • What did John Dewey mean by “the social possibilities of war”?
  • What was the War Revenue Act of 1917?
  • What was the National War Labor Board and how did it impact post World War I history?
  • In what ways did World War I effect citizens’ relationship to the federal government?
  • How did opportunities created by World War I impact African Americans?
  • How did opportunities created by World War I impact American women?
  • In what ways was the military draft in World War I different from the draft during the Civil War?
  • How did immigrants react to the World War I draft? 
  • Why did World War I open a new chapter for the temperance movement?
  • In what ways did the federal government engage in the suppression of war dissenters?
  • Describe the Socialist candidates and the movement they represented? 
  • In what ways was the Socialist movement in the United States different from the movement in Europe? Why did this difference emerge?
  • Who was Eugene Debs? 
  • What were the provisions of the Espionage Act of 1917?
  • What were the provisions of the Sedition law of 1918? 
  • What was the Schenck v. U.S. (1919) Supreme Court decision?
  • What did Walter Lippmann mean by: “leadership passes from statesmanship to virulent jingoism”? 
  • Who was Robert La Follette?
  • Who was Frank Little and what was the International Workers of the World? 
  • What were Wilson’s Fourteen Points?
  • How did the United States, Germany, Russia and the western Europeans interpret the Fourteen Points differently? 
  • Describe the evolution of the idea of an international body?
  • How did the idealism of Wilson impact Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge?

Response / Thought Quotes

  • ““Events,” wrote Winston Churchill in 1929, “passed very largely outside the scope of conscious choice. Governments and individuals conformed to the rhythm of the tragedy, and swayed and staggered forward in helpless violence, slaughtering and squandering on ever-increasing scales, till injuries were wrought to the structure of human society which a century will not efface, and which may conceivably prove fatal to the present civilization.””
  • ““Sure we paid,” replied Charles G. Dawes when his fellow Republicans were unfairly censuring Democratic officials after the war. “We would have paid horse prices for sheep if sheep could have pulled artillery to the front…. Damn it all, the business of an army is to win the war, not to quibble around with a lot of cheap buying. Hell and Maria, we weren’t trying to keep a set of books, we were trying to win the war!””
  • “Since coming to Philadelphia, one migrant reported: “Don’t have to mister every little white boy comes along…. I can ride in the electric street and steam cars any where I can get a seat…and if you are first in a place here [shopping] you don’t have to wait until the white folks get thro tradeing.” “I should have a been here 20 years ago,” a Chicago newcomer wrote back home. “It’s a great deal of pleasure in knowing that you have got some privilege. My children are going to the same school with whites and I dont have to umble to no one. I have registered—Will vote the next election and there isnt any ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir’—its all yes and no and Sam and Bill.””
  • “Wilson and his circle transmuted the war into a crusade, in which were invoked the old theme of the church militant and the more modern one of the secular religion of democracy. Secretary Baker wrote of America’s “high and holy mission”; Secretary Lane spoke of “the world of Christ” coming face to face with the world of force; while a government pamphleteer noted the conviction of the American people that the “war across the sea was no mere conflict between dynasties, but a stupendous civil war of all the world.” The war, declared the Creel Committee, was “a Crusade not merely to re-win the tomb of Christ, but to bring back to earth the rule of right, the peace, goodwill to men and gentleness he taught.”” 
  • “We should not ask about the sincerity of such a man. If he puts his belief into practice, we should either put him to death or shut up in an asylum as a madman.” 

Primary Sources

American Literature

Articles

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 1: Armageddon 

Thought Questions

  • How did American views on Europe change between 1913 and 1918?
  • How did American views on Europe change between 1919 and 1920? (keep reading)
  • How did American views on Europe change after 1920? (keep reading)
  • How did Woodrow Wilson’s views on Europe change between 1914 and The Treaty of Versailles? (keep reading)
  • How did Woodrow Wilson’s views on Europe change during and after The Treaty of Versailles negotiations? (keep reading)
  • What were the factors that influenced evolving American views on the war in Europe?
  • What role did the rights of neutrals play in American views on the war in Europe?
  • How did Irish and German immigrant communities react to the war in Europe?

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “’Never since Christ was born in the Manger,’ wrote a Maine newspaperman as late as July 30, ‘was the outlook for the universal brotherhood of man brighter than it is today.’”
  • “In Harper’s Weekly, Norman Hapgood wrote, “For Germans and French, with a whole complex and delicate civilization in common to be using death engines to mow down men and cities is so unthinkable that we go about in a daze.” People, commented Jane Addams afterwards, “went about day after day with an oppressive sense of the horrible disaster which had befallen the world and woke up many times during the night,” and in the first year of the European conflict, Henry James told a friend, “It’s vain to speak as if one were not’t living in a nightmare of the deepest dye.””
  • “If the war had any rational basis, Americans thought, it could be found in the imperialist lust for markets. “Do you want to know the cause of the war?” asked Henry Ford. “It is capitalism, greed, the dirty hunger for dollars.” “Take away the capitalist,” Ford asserted, “and you will sweep war from the earth.” Americans rejoiced in their isolation from Old World lunacy. “We never appreciated so keenly as now,” wrote an Indiana editor, “the foresight exercised by our forefathers in emigrating from Europe.””

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Prologue

Thought Questions

  • In what ways does the author compare and contrast 1932 with 1914?
  • What aspects of American life does the author omit from his discussion of 1914 and 1932?
  • How did differences between urban and rural America change in this period?
  • In what ways did the experience of World War I impact the American homefront and post war society?
  • What does the author see as the failures and successes of this period?
  • How did the motivation and reasoning behind the antisemitism of Henry Ford mirror motivation and reasoning of antisemitism in Europe?
  • How did the consequences and intended impact of Henry Ford’s antisemitism differ from the antisemitism in Europe?
  • Watch for the pattern of Motivation > Reasoning > Intentions > Consequences as you read.

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Beneath the complacency of the age lay a grave disquiet. “We are unsettled to the very roots of our being,” wrote Walter Lippmann in 1914. “There isn’t a human relation, whether of parent and child, husband and wife, worker and employer, that doesn’t move in a strange situation.””
  • “Over the life of all classes, especially in the areas of rural Protestantism, hung the pall of Puritanism, “the haunting fear,” as H. L. Mencken wrote, “that someone, somewhere, may be happy.””

 

Anything Goes by Lucy Moore – Chapter 14: Crash 

Thought Questions

  • How did attitudes in the 1920s contribute to the crash at the end of the decade?
  • What warning signs of the 1929 crisis were ignored? 
  • Describe the differences that urban and rural Americans experienced during the 1920s and their reaction to the crisis of 1929?
  • How did the international financial situation effect the 1920s in America?
  • Who was Andrew Mellon and what was his response to the crash and depression? 

Articles

Supplemental American Literature Reading

 

Anything Goes by Lucy Moore – Chapter 13: The Big Fight 

Thought Questions

  • Who was Jack Dempsey and how did he represent the ambitions of the generation of working class turn of the century Americans?
  • In what ways were the lives Jack Dempsey, Bessie Smith and F. Scott Fitzgerald similar? 
  • How did boxing represent the social spirit of the Roaring 20s? 
  • How did boxing represent the social reality of the Roaring 20s? 
  • How did boxing represent the social change of the Roaring 20s?
  • In what ways was the spirit of boxing symbolic of the disconnect between the image and reality of the 1920s American life beyond issues of race, religion, gender and economic class? 

Primary Sources

Articles

Supplemental American Literature Reading

 

Anything Goes by Lucy Moore – Chapter 12: The Spirit Of St. Louis 

Thought Questions

  • How was Charles Lindbergh and how was he involved in the beginning of aviation?
  • How was Charles Lindbergh’s lifestyle and attitude symbolic of America in the 20s? 
  • What role did the US Post Office play in advancing early aviation? 

Primary Sources

Articles

Supplemental American Literature Reading

 

Anything Goes by Lucy Moore – Chapter 11: “Yes, We Have No Bananas Today” 

Thought Questions

  • How did the Klan exploit religion to advance their beliefs?
  • What was the “Scopes Trial” and its background?
  • What was the immediate cause of the trial and what were the broader implications? 
  • How did American localism (when local interests play a strong role in a community in relation to broader organizations such as state or regional affiliations) play a role in the Scopes Trial? 
  • Who was Williams Jennings Bryan and what was his background? 
  • Who was Billy Sunday and what role did he play in American culture? 
  • What was the immediate and long term effect of the Scopes Trial? 

Articles

Primary Sources

Supplemental American Literature Reading

 

Anything Goes by Lucy Moore – Chapter 10: The New Yorker 

Thought Questions

  • What was(is) “The New Yorker” and how did it reflect and influence American culture?
  • How did the increase in the literacy level and the spread of information effect American life in the 1920s? 
  • How is the anarchism of the previous generation reflected in the literature of the 1920s? 
  • How did the literary world of the 1920s effect American views on gender roles and sexuality? 
  • How did European ideas filter into American consciousness in the 1920s? 

Articles

Primary Sources

Supplemental American Literature Reading

 

Anything Goes by Lucy Moore – Chapter 9: In Exile 

(This is not my favorite chapter in an otherwise enjoyable book. If you prefer an alternative read The Waste Lands (free for Kindle) and the biography of T.S. Eliot and consider the American Literature book we start next: Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

Thought Questions

  • What purpose did the author have in telling the story of American Exiles in Europe?
  • How is the experience of Americans in European Exile related to Jazz Age American culture?
  • Who was F. Scott Fitzgerald? 
  • Who was T.S. Eliot and how does his work “The Waste Land” relate to Jazz Age America? 

Articles

Primary Sources

Supplemental American Literature Reading

This is one of my favorite pieces of American literature. Its an enjoyable and intelligent book, quaint and flawed, but meaningful and something pleasant to read before falling asleep (some books can disturb sleep and are best read before bed).

 

Anything Goes by Lucy Moore – Chapter 8: The Ku Klux Klan Redux 

Thought Questions

  • How was the second Klan formed and what were its purposes? 
  • What were the characteristics of the second Klan? 
  • In what ways did local conditions effect the way the Klan operated? 
  • What role did religion play in the beliefs and actions of the Klan? 
  • How did the Klan mix racial ideology with nationalism? 

Supplemental Viewing

Please be aware that some primary sources that we will be looking at will contain graphic content, often shocking and offensive (words that scarcely begin to describe the above film). History is not pretty, it is not politically correct and it is not intended to make anyone comfortable. I will try and label graphic content, I can understand not wanting to view things like this. 

Supplemental American Literature Reading

 

Anything Goes by Lucy Moore – Chapter 7: Fear Of The Foreign 

Thought Questions

  • How did Italian immigrant terrorism effect the United States? 
  • In what ways was Italian immigrant terrorism political and in other ways economic? 
  • What were the characteristics, motives and methods of anarchists in the United States? 

Primary Source

Supplemental American Literature Reading

Anything Goes by Lucy Moore – Chapter 6 “The Business Of America Is Business” 

Thought Questions

  • What factors led to the development of mass consumer consumption?
  • How did mass produced consumer goods promote social and economic changes? 
  • How did men and women participate in consumer culture differently? 

Supplemental American Literature Reading

 

Anything Goes by Lucy Moore – Chapter 5 “My God! How The Money Rolls In” 

Thought Questions

  • How does the life and death of Warren Harding symbolize the culture of the Roaring 20s? 
  • How did Florence Harding’s public role in her husband’s life compare and contrast with that of former first ladies? 
  • How(?) was Calvin Coolidge involved with the core group around Harding?
  • How are Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover the antithesis of Harding and the Roaring 20s (keep this in mind as we continue reading)

Supplemental American Literature Reading

 

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