How far was the USA a divided society in the 1920s?


Mind Map on How far was the USA a divided society in the 1920s?, created by leki135 on 06/06/2013.
Mind Map by leki135, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by leki135 almost 10 years ago

Resource summary

How far was the USA a divided society in the 1920s?
  1. Rich vs. poor
    1. In early 1929, about one-third of the nation's wealth was shared by 5% of the population
      1. Blacks
        1. Seen as inferior; poor living conditions in the South; Ku Klux Klan
        2. Immigrants
          1. If they weren't WASPS, they were seen as a threat to American culture
          2. Native Americans
            1. Secluded on reservations
            2. Workers in old industries
              1. Shipbuilding, textiles, coal mining
                1. Didn't benefit from the boom and were exploited with bad working conditions and low wages
                  1. Children were also exploited
                  2. Farmers
                    1. Struggled due to overproduction and consequent low prices
                      1. With tariff barriers and more competition, many lost their land due to debt
                        1. New synthetic fibres (rayon) reduced the demand for cotton
                      2. Immigration controls
                        1. Before WW1 there were no restrictions on immigration, however some Americans became alarmed at the growing number of immigrants
                          1. This led to the growing feeling that they were inferior
                          2. 1917 - a law was passed which imposed a literacy test on immigrants
                            1. Favoured WASPS
                              1. Fairly ineffective
                            2. 1921 - Emergency Quotas Act
                              1. Number of people admitted into the USA each year was limited to 3% of all emigrants from that country who were resident in the USA in 1910
                                1. Favoured Northern and Western Europe
                              2. 1924 - National Origins Act
                                1. 3% figure was reduced to 2%
                                  1. Year of residency moved back to 1890
                                    1. In the quarter-century before WW1 there had been many immigrants from Italy, Russia, Turkey and Greece
                              3. Ku Klux Klan
                                1. With segregation still legal in southern states, black people had the worst jobs and houses, couldn't eat/travel with whites, and couldn't expect fair treatment in court
                                  1. In 1986, the US Supreme Court legally approved the Jim Crow laws - treating blacks as inferior, second class citizens
                                    1. With industrial expansion in the 1920s, many moved to the north but there was still racial discrimination
                                      1. Ghettos grew in some cities
                                      2. Preached intolerance and spread fear among blacks, while claiming they were standing up to traditional American values
                                        1. Reformed in 1915, now opposed to Catholics, Jews and all foreigners too
                                          1. Members included judges, policemen and local politicians
                                            1. This increased the power of the group and caused more people to join out of fear
                                            2. Klansmen met in secret at night, wearing white sheets and hoods, carrying lit burning crosses
                                              1. Blacks suffered beating, rape and lynching
                                                1. Popularity decreased in 1925 when a leader, David Stephenson, was found guilty of the kidnapping, rape and murder of a woman on a train
                                                2. Prohibition
                                                  1. Brought into force by the Volstead Act in January 1920
                                                    1. Prohibited the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors (more then 5%)
                                                    2. The movement started in the late-19th century because many poverty-stricken homes suffered through the alcoholic activities of the father of the house
                                                      1. Women's Christian Temperance Union and Anti-Saloon League
                                                        1. By 1914, 12 states were dry
                                                        2. During WW1 alcohol caused absenteeism from work and 2 of the leading firms supplying beer were German, which was unpatriotic
                                                          1. By the end of the war, 75% of states were dry
                                                        3. Groups against Prohibition formed in 1918, claiming the medicinal benefits of alcohol
                                                          1. Association against the Prohibition Amendment
                                                            1. More support in North
                                                          2. The week before the law was passed, huge quantities of alcohol were bought, however the law came into force without any major protests
                                                            1. Many churches held thanksgiving prayer meetings, saying their success would cut down on social abuse and absenteeism from work, and that the money saved could now be spent on education
                                                            2. Prohibition agents were appointed but their were far too few (Izzy and Moe)
                                                              1. Speakeasies began to appear, disguised as jazz clubs - by the end of the decade there were over 200,00 across the USA
                                                                1. Each year, 5000 people died from drinking home-made moonshine
                                                                  1. Bootleggers smuggled alcohol across USA borders with Mexico and Canada, selling it at high prices
                                                              2. Organised crime
                                                                1. Gangsters from cities supplied booze, set up speakeasies and ran 'protection rackets', threatening to damage property unless they received money to protect it
                                                                  1. Gangsters were generally immigrants from poorer backgrounds, poorly educated, however they were also clever and ruthless
                                                                    1. They fought viciously to control the liquor trade
                                                                  2. Al Capone
                                                                    1. Gained control over Chicago by bribing local officials, politicians and the police
                                                                      1. Didn't fear arrest so he operated openly
                                                                      2. Employed up to 1000 men
                                                                        1. Business activities worth between $60 million and $100 million per year
                                                                          1. 227 murders in 4 years
                                                                        2. St Valentine's Day Massacre, 1929
                                                                          1. Some of Capone's gang, disguised as policemen, shot down 6 members of rival Bugs Moran gang
                                                                      3. End of Prohibition
                                                                        1. Became clear that Prohibition wasn't working and it was argued that the drinks industry would provide jobs for some of the unemployed after the Great Depression
                                                                          1. In the 1932 election, Roosevelt promised to repeal the Prohibition law
                                                                            1. This involved another amendment to the constitution - the 21st Amendment, which came into force in 1933
                                                                        2. Flappers
                                                                          1. Women gained more freedom, and greater wealth provided more opportunities for leisure
                                                                            1. Fashions changed and the conduct of some young middle-class girls shocked their parents
                                                                              1. Short hair, smoked in public, wore rouge, lipstick, short skirts.
                                                                                1. Stayed out late dancing, were keen to cast aside social restraints and were a symbol of the boom
                                                                              2. However, not every woman
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