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Chapter 23 Affluence and Anxiety

Chapter 23 Affluence and Anxiety

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Chapter 23 Affluence and Anxiety

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  1. Chapter 23Affluence and Anxiety The American People, 6th ed.

  2. I. Postwar Problems

  3. The Red Scare • As a result of the Russian Revolution, Americans imagined Communists as the worst possible threat to their way of life • The ideals of Socialism and Communism were tied, often erroneously, to the American labor movement • Strikes increased and the government responded with a series of raids by a young J. Edgar Hoover to round up suspected subversives and radicals

  4. The Ku Klux Klan • Organized in Georgia by William J. Simmons • Original Klan accepted almost anyone, 1919’s Klan was thoroughly anti-foreign, anti-Semitic, and anti-Catholic • Opposed evolution, endorsed religion, immigration restrictions, short skirts and “demon rum” • Especially motivated to keep black Americans “in their place”

  5. II. A Prospering Economy

  6. The Rising Standard of Living • Americans of the post-war years had more leisure time and a shorter work week • Educational opportunities expanded for the “right” demographic • Corporate mergers began to increase again, with an emphasis on professional management and employee care

  7. The Automobile Culture • The manufacture of the automobile underwent enormous growth in the postwar years, stimulating the rubber, steel, and petroleum industries • The growing affordability of the auto forced governments to pave more streets with federal assistance • The auto contributed to the creation of city suburbs and rampant pollution

  8. A Communications Revolution • During the 1920s, the number of homes with telephones increased from 9 to 13 million • Radio and motion pictures began to solidify a shared identity of Americans through entertainment, news, and sports

  9. Hopes Raised, Promises Deferred

  10. Religious Fundamentalism • Many of the religious faithful saw a major spiritual crisis in the sweeping changes of the 1920s • Fundamentalism survived the era of sophistication, modernization, and change • Radio spread the message of the fundamentalist preachers and attracted numerous converts to those ministers who could readily adapt to the new communications technology

  11. Rural America in the 1920s • American farmers, as a rule, did not share in the prosperity of the 1920s. • A vicious cycle of overproduction to meet demands continually lowered market prices of produce, forcing many farmers into the poorhouse • Advancements in agriculture (pesticides and advanced fertilizers) increased yield per acre and put many farmers out of business

  12. The Business of Politics

  13. Global Expansion • The 1920s was a decade of dramatic expansion in business, finance, and trade for the United States • Territorial expansion was also endorsed by the American government; continued involvement in the affairs of Central and South America inconsistently promoted peace, stability, and trade in the hemisphere

  14. Progressivism Survives • The Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act of 1921 allotted 1 million dollars a year to educate expectant mothers on proper self-health issues and child care • In 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act which banned the brewing and selling of most alcoholic beverages; this became the Eighteenth Amendment of Prohibition

  15. Stock Market Crash • The prosperity of the decade came to a screeching halt in 1929 with the collapse of the nation’s stock market • Many investors had responded to the booming economy by buying stocks on margin (borrowing to invest). • An overextension of the market caused a crash with a represented loss of over $26 million on paper