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1

How important was the impact of organised crime on American society in the years 1920 to 1929?

1. Blurred the boundaries between crime and decent society.
- Prohibition intro to improve american society -> dispose of the ‘evil’ in society by the temperance movement.
- gangs + criminals prohibition as an op to corrupt society.
- Huge no. of law-abiding people continued to drink illegally.
- poorer classes made do with home produced beer or moonshine; the more wealthy could go to speakeasies.
-respect for the law was lessened
- arrests for drunkenness and disorderly conduct increased by 41% in 1920

2. Organised crime not only blurring lines but popular amongst Am. society
- 1920-7, the number of federal convicts had increased by 561%.
- sensational reporting of crime in newspapers often -> made gangsters and bootleggers appear as larger-than-life celebrities.
- boosted by the popularity of feature films about gangsters as the rise of ‘talking pictures’ from 1927 dominated mass entertainment.
- Al Capone, a dominant figure in the world of organised crime had become a hero to the public yet he had also allegedly caused the deaths of hundreds of people.

3. Al Capone amongst many other figure heads of organised crime made prohibition into big business - operated nationwide
-> provided countless job opportunities.
-Thousands of people involved (hotel staff, restaurant)
- Bootleg alcohol is what fuelled the work of Organised crime.
- Most of the men involved young immigrants.
- By late 1920's > 1 million gallons of bootleg liquor had been illegally brought into the United States (Ca, OB)
- Organised crime became one of the most profitable industries in America.

4. KKK dominated the south
- By equating WASPism with "true Americanism->it fuelled intolerance for blacks, Catholics, Jews, and immigrants.
- Membership in the Klan ballooned in the 1920s.
-> national membership 1925 ranged from three million to as high as eight million Klansmen.
- not limited to the poor and uneducated on society's fringes.
-Mainstream, middle-class Americans donned the white robes eg. Doctors, lawyers and ministers loyal supporters
-"Invisible Empire,” presence felt across the country 1920’s.

5. Red Scare
-refers to the fear of communism in USA during 1920’s.
- > 150,000 anarchists/communists in USA in 1920 alone
- represented only 0.1% of the overall population
-Accused communists/anarchist would be blamed for crimes without substantial evidence.
- eg. Sacco and Vanzetti where two men were unfairly tried and served the death sentence.
- Sacco and Vanzetti = martyrs for the anarchist cause->erupting more fear and anger throughout american society.

6. Science v. Religious fundamentalism
- rose in 1920s as a response to the changing society and rise of modern theories.
- return to the old Am and religious values.
-Scopes Trial ->tensions -> Fundamentalists and Modernists. - changes in society caused a debate about where religion belonged in the new society.
- split in american society ; some wanted to adapt it to suit a modern way of life, -Fundamentalists wanted a return to traditional faith and values.

Conc : - 1920's great social change - Organised crime short lived decreased after WSC 1929 - impacts from KKK, red scare + science v god lived on to create significant change in Am society after the decade

2

How far was there a return to normalcy in US foreign policy in the years 1920 to 1929?

Intro: a return to normalcy was a return to isolationism

1. Harding’s return to normalcy
- Harding won presidency by arguing against L.of N
-collective security = decrease power of congress over fp
- continued to refuse to become a full member during 20's
- electoral promise made by reps during 1920 elections- return to domestic affairs -> a return to BB within Am
- Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922 -> increase importation rate to an all time high to protect American companies from international competition.
- Increased importation rate despite the reparation debt Europe in

2. Disarmament
- 2 factors prompted Am calls for disarmament 1920s.
- 1, reducing military strength would prevent another war.
- 2, US concerned over growing military power of Jap -> taken advantage of war to seize G possessions in China + western Pacific -> threat to Am interests in the region - Limiting Jap's military capabilities protect those interests.
- Washington Armaments Conference (Nov 1921–Feb 1922)
- The purpose of these disarmament conferences were to establish peace so that Am wouldn't have to involve itself in future world conflicts

3. Sphere of Influence
-Coolidge administration was involved actively in events in Latin America.
-Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes helped several Latin American countries to settle border disputes peacefully.
-In Central America, President Coolidge ordered American Marines into Nicaragua when President Diaz faced a revolt from opposition groups.
-The United States gave its support to more conservative groups in Nicaragua.
-helped arrange a national election in nineteen twenty-eight. American troops stayed in Nicaragua until nineteen thirty-three.
-American actions in Nicaragua and Mexico showed that the United States still felt that it had special security interests south of its border.
- But its peaceful settlement of the Mexican crisis and support of elections in Nicaragua showed that it was willing to deal with disputes peacefully.

L: Coolidge carried out the same internationalist approach towards Germany

4. Dawes Plan 1924
- To avert an int. financial crisis, Coolidge appointed a no. of Am businessmen, inc. Dawes and Young, to investigate
- resulting Dawes Plan (1924) fixed G's payments over the next 5 yrs and provided for a rather large foreign loan
- most of the funds coming from American banks.
-plan allowed G to meet its reparations obligations with U.S. -GB and Fr to use the reparations they received from Germany to pay off their debts to US

Conc: Senate's repudiation of the To.V. following WW1 often seen as ushering in a period of isolationism in Am fp. - impossible for the US to withdraw completely from world affairs-Am possessions stretched from Caribbean to Pacific

3

How successful was Prohibition in the years 1920 to 1930?

‘The Noble Experiment’, national Prohibition proved to be a failure.

1. Blurred the boundaries between crime and decent society.
- Prohibition introduced to improve american society -> dispose of the ‘evil’ in society by the temperance movement.
- gangs and criminals used prohibition as an opportunity to corrupt society.
- Huge numbers of law-abiding people continued to drink illegally.
- poorer classes made do with home produced beer or moonshine; the more wealthy could go to speakeasies.
-respect for the law was lessened
- arrests for drunkenness and disorderly conduct increased by 41% in 1920

2. Organised crime not only blurring lines but popular amongst Am. society
- 1920 to 1927, the number of federal convicts had increased by 561%.
- sensational reporting of crime in newspapers often
-> made gangsters and bootleggers appear as larger-than-life celebrities.
- boosted by the popularity of feature films about gangsters as the rise of ‘talking pictures’ from 1927 dominated mass entertainment.
- Al Capone, a dominant figure in the world of organised crime had become a hero to the public yet he had also allegedly caused the deaths of hundreds of people.

3. Corruption
-Of all the laws passed in the USA, Prohibition was the most widely ignored
-The amount of money these gangsters had meant that politicians could be controlled easily this led to massive corruption.
- even Harding had alcohol delivered to the White House.
- law enforcement officer -> $2500 a year; those they were paid to shut down $2 billion a year.
-1920-1930, 10% paid to enforce fined for corruption.
- Alcohol was also still available on doctors’ prescriptions; this was open to widespread abuse.

4. Al Capone amongst many other figure heads of organised crime made prohibition into big business - operated nationwide
-> provided countless job opportunities.
-Thousands of people involved (hotel staff, restaurant) - Bootleg alcohol is what fuelled the work of Organised crime.
- Most of the men involved young immigrants.
- By late 1920's > 1 million gallons of bootleg liquor had been illegally brought into the United States (Ca, OB)
- Organised crime became one of the most profitable industries in America.

5. Prohibition was never intended to create a completely 'dry' America but to decrease alcohol consumption
- amendment prohibited the commercial manufacture and distribution of alcoholic beverages
- did not prohibit use, nor production for one's own consumption.
-provisions did not take effect until a year after passage
-plenty of time for people to stockpile supplies.
-Admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholic psychosis declined 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 in 1928.

4

How successful were Republican policies in helping the economy of the USA in the years 1920 to 1932?

1. laissez-faire approach to econ
-Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover reversed Progressive Era trend of regulating BB
-Rep policies generally gave corporations free rein
-Supreme Court overturned a number of measures designed to regulate the activities of BB.
- expansion of credit and bank markets -> 1929 -> 60% of 26 million cars sold were on credit

2. Rep policies hostile towards unions
-Court declared boycotts by labor unconstitutional + authorised the use of antitrust laws against unions.
-tendency not to prosecute monopolies allowed entrepreneurs a freer hand to build on war time profits- Employers, gov + courts backed 'yellow dog' contracts- meant workers could not strike
- this kept unions weak -> stopped wages from rising
- top 1% of workers in 1929 saw income rise by 75 % bottom 99% meanwhile only enjoyed a 9% rise in wages.
- while industrial production rose by 50% at end of the 1920s, wages did not keep pace
-> expendable income not available to purchase what was being created.
-> ‘Roaring Twenties’, not common to entire population and this gap between the wealthy and the poor
– the latter making up the vast majority of the country – was an underlying factor in why the US economy collapsed in on itself


3. Raised protective tariffs + cut taxes for the rich.
-Bb and wealthy businessmen especially benefited - Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922
- Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930
- 2 of 6 major tariffs passed -> hiked importation rates to all-time highs.
- tariffs protected Am companies from int. competition.- Andrew Mellon, treasury secretary from 1921 to 1932, persuaded Congress to lower income tax rates for the wealthy.
-> lowered by 25%

4. Laissez-faire approach meant no regulation on business activities particularly stock market + banking activity
- allowed speculation
- public encouraged to buy stocks to make quick profit- stocks on credit -> investment culture
- buying on margin- discouraged saving -> buy now- pay later mentality
- WSC -> people in debt

5. During TGD Hoover’s policies of increased taxation to gain ability for federal lending did more harm than good.
 - Revenue Act of 1932 increased personal income taxes -The higher income taxes involved an increase of the standard rate by 3%
-raised corporate income tax + forms of income + wealth. 
-Act sank America into a deeper depression.
- unemployed such as farmers or those whose wages had been cut struggled to pay these taxes.
-Most Ams already suffering from TGD yet forced to pay these taxes. -although federal lending may have increased, consumerism decreased -> greater economic decline.

6. Protective tariffs = damaging during TGD
- Smoot-Hawley tariff in 1930 increased tariffs significantly on wide variety of imported goods
-highest tariff rates in U.S. history.
-caused a decline in international trade
-raising the average tariff by some 20 percent, prompted retaliation from foreign govs
-Within 2 yrs 24 countries adopted similar duties-U.S. imports + exports to Eu fell by some 2/3 between 1929 + 1932

5

How far was the economic boom in the years 1919 to 1929 due to immigration to the USA?

1. Immigration
- huge increases in manpower + markets came with mass immigration so labour force was always growing + construction industry always booming
- became vital to certain industries such as farming, construction and the service sector.
- Greater economical output- corruption b/c easy exploitation low wage
- lower wages meant lower production cost -> lower prices increased consumerism

2. Mass Production and Entrepreneurs
- Growing labour force set the mood for mass production
- mass prod. techniques led to increased prod. 1929 -> 10 million radio sets, 5.5 million cars made- cheaper prod. for larger population
- Scientific management 'Taylorism' - appealed to immigrants -> increased consumer market

3. Immigration prompted the weakness of unions
- Immigrants used to break up strikes
- willing to work in poor conditions for low wages
- Employers, gov + courts backed 'yellow dog' contracts- meant workers could not strike
- this kept unions weak -> stopped wages from rising
- Allowed producers to keep cost low -> lost less days to strikes

4. Impact of WW1
-reduced the global influence of Europe- Eu allies owed America 11 billion dollars
-> transformed America from a net debtor to a net creditor. - NYC replaced London as the world's financial centre.
-eu allies no longer controlled sufficient military and economic resources to shape world affairs as before.
- self-sufficiency in America

5. Policies of Rep presidents
- laissez-faire approach to econ -Harding + Coolidge reversed Progressive Era trend of regulating BB
-Rep policies generally gave corporations free rein
-Supreme Court overturned a number of measures designed to regulate the activities of BB.
- expansion of credit and bank markets
-> 1929 -> 60% of 26 million cars sold were on credit6. Expansion of car industry
- Henry Ford set up 1st moving assembly line 1913 Detroit- Model T car $950 in 1914 -> $290 in 1929
- cheaper cars increased car consumerism
- led to expansion of cities -> allowed people to live in suburbs- knock- on effects -> 75% of glass made in USA + 96% of oil produced used in car industry

6

How successful were US governments in dealing with organised crime in the years 1919 to 1940?

1. Al Capone was arrested and imprisoned for tax evasion in 1931
- Al Capone = figure heads of organised crime made prohibition into big business
- operated nationwide-Thousands of people involved (hotel staff, restaurant)
- Bootleg alcohol is what fuelled the work of Organised crime.
- Most of the men involved young immigrants.
- By late 1920's > 1 million gallons of bootleg liquor had been illegally brought into the United States (Ca, OB)
- allegedly responsible for hundreds of deaths

2. Hoover reformed the Federal Bureau of Investigation - model of professionalism
- weeding out the “political hacks” and incompetents
-> In five years, with the rash of firings it had just 339 special agents and less than 600 total employees.
- laying down a strict code of conduct for agents-instituting regular inspections of Headquarters and field operations.
- Identification Division to gather prints from police agencies nationwide and to search them upon request for matches to criminals and crime evidence.

3. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal policies helped to reduce crime levels after 1933.
- inverse relationship between crime and relief spending
- 1933-35 -> $3.3 billion on public work schemes
- property crime was up to 30 % lower than it otherwise would have been in absence of relief spending during TGD
- By giving unemployed workers jobs and increasing the incomes of other poor Americans, relief spending presumably decreased the incentives to commit crime

4. Prohibition was widely ignored by ‘decent society’ as well as by organised crime
- gangs and criminals used prohibition as an opportunity to corrupt society.
- Huge numbers of law-abiding people continued to drink illegally.
- poorer classes made do with home produced beer or moonshine; the more wealthy could go to speakeasies. -respect for the law was lessened
- arrests for drunkenness and disorderly conduct increased by 41% in 1920
– the repeal of the Volstead Act was a confession of failure

5. Glamorisation of criminals in the entertainment media, especially Hollywood films,showed how organised crime was virtually accepted as a fixture in American society
- 1920 to 1927, the number of federal convicts had increased by 561%.
- sensational reporting of crime in newspapers often -> made gangsters and bootleggers appear as larger-than-life celebrities.
- boosted by the popularity of feature films about gangsters as the rise of ‘talking pictures’ from 1927 dominated mass entertainment.
- Al Capone, a dominant figure in the world of organised crime had become a hero to the public

6. Corruption
-The amount of money these gangsters had meant that politicians could be controlled easily this led to massive corruption.
- Organised crime could always rely on bribery and tip-offs to get round the attempts of politicians to suppress crime
- even Harding had alcohol delivered to the White House.
- law enforcement officer -> $2500 a year; those they were paid to shut down $2 billion a year.
-1920-1930, 10% paid to enforce fined for corruption.
- Alcohol was also still available on doctors’ prescriptions; this was open to widespread abuse.

7

How far did attitudes in the USA towards immigrants change in the years c1920 to 1929?

1. Immigration positive
- attitudes were positive as once more the economy boomed and they were used as cheap labour in the factories
- huge increases in manpower + markets came with mass immigration so labour force was always growing + construction industry always booming- Greater economical output
- corruption b/c easy exploitation low wage- lower wages meant lower production cost -> lower prices increased consumerism

2. Became vital to farming
- Mexican immigrants worked in California as seasonal workers
- During the 1920s, each year 25,000 Mexicans migrated to the United States
- accepted low wages + standards of living- agriculture in depression so many Am. farmers migrated to industrial work -> Mexicans therefore, took jobs that Am's didn't want

3. Tolerance towards Italians because of provision of illegal liquor
- Al Capone amongst many other figure heads of organised crime made prohibition into big business
- operated nationwide-> provided countless job opportunities.
-Thousands of people involved (hotel staff, restaurant)
- Bootleg alcohol is what fuelled the work of Organised crime.
- Most of the men involved young immigrants.
- By late 1920's > 1 million gallons of bootleg liquor had been illegally brought into the United States (Ca, OB)
- Organised crime became one of the most profitable industries in America.

4. WW1
- Once WW1 ended, many Ams regretted that their country had become involved in European affairs.
- felt hostile to anything foreign especially Germans -Senate refused to ratify the ToV
-refused to make the USA a member of L.o.N -Isolationism
-> determination to curb immigration
- new mood of American politics after election of Harding 21
- avoid ‘alien contamination’ and to preserve the old Am stock ethnically before it was too late

5. Bolshevik Revolution of 1917
- Danger of a Bolshevik Revolution in the United States- attitudes changed towards Eastern Europeansbecause of fear of anarchy and communism
- A-G Palmer's home was bombed
-numerous bombs intended for other government officials were intercepted -> Terror and outrage swept the country. - Riots broke out in cities across the country against the Union of Russian Workers and other organisations that the public believed to be filled with Communist conspirators

6. Anti-immigration laws
- Anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism were common- widespread fear of immigrant radicalism
- 1921 Emergency Quota Act + the 1924 Immigration Act
-limit on the number of immigrants to enter US
- 2 laws targeted at New Immigrants- Prior to the quota, immigrants were arriving at a rate of more than 850,000 per year
- 1924 act -> Southern and Eastern Europe 97% reduction from pre-restriction levels.

8

How far were all Americans prosperous in the 1920s?

1. BB
- laissez-faire approach to econ
-Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover reversed Progressive Era trend of regulating BB
-Rep policies generally gave corporations free rein -Supreme Court overturned a number of measures designed to regulate the activities of BB.
- expansion of credit and bank markets -> 1929 -> 60% of 26 million cars sold were on credit

2. Organised Crime
- prohibition into big business - operated nationwide-> provided countless job opportunities.
-Thousands of people involved (hotel staff, restaurant) - Bootleg alcohol is what fuelled the work of Organised crime.
- Organised crime became one of the most profitable industries in America.
-popular amongst Am. society - sensational reporting of crime in newspapers often -> made gangsters and bootleggers appear as larger-than-life celebrities.

3. Working Class
- Working people at many income levels experienced a rise in their standard of living.
-real earnings of employed wage earners still increased about 22 percent
-Cut taxes through the Revenue Acts of 1924, 1926, and 1928
- meant people had more money to spend
- Hire purchase / credit purchase meant maj. of WC could now afford cars, radios, washing machines, etc.

4. Position of TU became unpopular
-Rep policies hostile towards unions-Court declared boycotts by labor unconstitutional + authorised the use of antitrust laws against unions.
- Employers, gov + courts backed 'yellow dog' contracts- meant workers could not strike
- this kept unions weak -> stopped wages from rising- 1920's TU membership decreased by 1.5 mill

5. Farmers + those dependant on ag. econ
- war-footing econ. took up during WW1 -> most farmers expanding farm lands
- purchasing more land to farm through loans- war ended -> demand for prod. fell greatly- Farmers didn't cut prod.
-> value of farm produce fell by ^ bill from 1919-21
- unable to repay loans -> debt -> laissez-faire no help

6. Af. Am's bore brunt of ag. depression
- 10% of Am population -> 85% South where econ derived from agiculture
- Many Af. Am's tied to land by sharecroppnig
- wage was accomodation and share of surplus crop- position of servitude + lowest econ. position
- diff for Af. Am's to break out of position + poverty cycle b/c ed. remained separate and inferior
- when farmers went bankrupt Af. am's first to be fired

9

How important was the contribution of Calvin Coolidge to the political dominance of the Republican Party in the 1920s

1. "Coolidge Prosperity"
- Espoused a policy of keeping government out of the way of big business and generally disdained regulation (i.e. the Roaring Twenties)
-forged new alliances between government and business through Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover
- The presidency of Calvin Coolidge spanned years of unprecedented prosperity
- Working people at many income levels experienced a rise in their standard of living.
-real earnings of employed wage earners still increased about 22 percent

2. Renewed emphasis on the notion of "thrift."
-Always associated with self-restraint, moderation, and frugality, thrift now came to acquire the meaning of "wise spending."
-Cut taxes through the Revenue Acts of 1924, 1926, and 1928
- meant people had more money to spend-Gov + business supported this trend -> number of consumer organizations worked to inform the public about the virtues of thrifty spending.

3. Signed the Immigration Act restricting southern and eastern European immigration
- Anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism were common- widespread fear of immigrant radicalism
- Most ‘new’ immigrants unskilled -> looked for work in Am’s growing industries in the cities. = threat to Am.econ- growth of support for KKK by 1925 estimated 4 mill- Red Scare
-> fear of anarchism + communism by E. Eu

4. Support for Rep Party due to Isolationist policies derived from Harding's presidency
- Am. didn't join L.o.N
- Undid many of the progressive policies of Wilson's admin. -Ushering in an era of conservative Republicanism-f.p. -> establish peace through negotiation rather than intervention
-The Washington Disarmament Conference of 19215. Harding raised protective tariffs -Bb and wealthy businessmen especially benefited
- Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922
- Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930
- 2 of 6 major tariffs passed -> hiked importation rates to all-time highs.
- tariffs protected Am companies from int. competition.
- Capper-Volstead Act 1922 ->Allowed farmers to buy and sell cooperatively without the risk of prosecution under anti-trust laws
- Cut the unemployment rate by half

6. Social reforms brought support from Am. public
- Signed the first federal child welfare program
-dealt with striking mining and railroad workers in the 1921 Blair Mountain miner war + Great Railroad Strike of 1922
-Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Act 1921-> Granted matching federal funds to states for maternal and child care