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Flashcards in The New Era: 1920s Deck (43)
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installment plan

An installment plan is a system of credit, whereby a good is purchased for a fixed amount of payments spread over an extended period.

Many of the new products being manufactured in the 1920s were purchased on installment plans.


What segment of the American economy failed to prosper during the economic boom of the 1920s?


Farm prices and the value of agricultural goods had plummeted at the end of World War I, and continued to be depressed throughout the 1920s (and into the 1930s). Farmers had difficulties paying back their loans, and over 6,000 rural banks closed during the period.


open shop

An open shop is a labor system in which jobs are not restricted solely to union members.


closed shop

In a closed shop system, a factory owner agrees only to employ workers who belong to a union.


What happened to union membership in the 1920s?

Union membership declined. Most factory owners continued to have an open-shop policy. Further, many factories offered workers better wages, benefits, and working conditions than in previous eras, removing the impetus for workers to join unions in the first place.

Anti-union efforts were also favored by the courts, who issued injunctions in the event of strikes, which brought them to an end without negotiations.


What was Republican Warren G. Harding's slogan during the 1920 presidential campaign?

Harding summed up his campaign in one pithy phrase, advocating a "Return to Normalcy." Harding's slogan proved popular among those seeking to end the restrictions and regulations that had governed America during World War I.

The Democratic Party nominated James G. Cox for President and Franklin Roosevelt for Vice President, but failed to gain a single electoral vote outside the South. Harding earned 60% of the popular vote, while Cox only managed 34%.


The 1920s saw three Republican Presidential administrations, and Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. How did most Republicans view business?

In the words of Calvin Coolidge, "the business of America is business." Republicans adopted pro-business policies and preached limited government intervention in the economy. Income taxes were reduced in the Revenue Act of 1926, and the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act raised the costs of imports.

Tax cuts were matched by spending reductions and increased direct aid to the states, lessening the cost of the federal government.


What was the Teapot Dome Scandal?

Between 1922-1923, President Harding's Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall accepted bribes to grant oil leases on federal lands at Teapot Dome, Wyoming.

Fall wasn't the only Harding cabinet official to face corruption charges. Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty accepted payments not to prosecute suspected criminals, and Charles Forbes, head of the Veterans Bureau, misused $250 million in federal funds.


What was the Ohio Gang?

The Ohio Gang was a group of politicians from President Warren G. Harding's home state of Ohio, well-known for crooked political deals over midnight games of poker. Historians debate how much Harding knew of the conduct of the Ohio Gang.

When Calvin Coolidge became President in 1923, the Ohio Gang's influence ended.


Who was Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette?

Robert La Follette was a Republican politician from Wisconsin, who served as the leader of the Progressive wing of the Republican party after Theodore Roosevelt's death in 1919. La Follette ran for President in 1924 on the Progressive Party ticket, denouncing the influence of corporations in government. He garnered 17% of the national vote.


How did Calvin Coolidge view the shared roles of government and business?

Coolidge shared Harding's view that the main role of government was to help business prosper. He kept Harding's Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew Mellon, who continued to implement fairly conservative economic policies.

Viewing himself as fiscal steward of the nation, Coolidge vetoed any federal spending bill that he felt could not be afforded.


After President Coolidge declined to run, the Republicans nominated Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover for President in 1928. What did Hoover and the Republicans promise Americans?

The Republican campaign centered upon continued prosperity and economic growth, promising a "chicken in every pot, and an automobile in every garage."

Many Republicans also took advantage of growing nativist sentiment to castigate Alfred E. Smith, Hoover's opponent and an Irish Roman Catholic.


In 1928, the Democratic Party nominated Alfred E. Smith for President. What was notable about Smith's candidacy?

Smith, nicknamed The Happy Warrior by Franklin Roosevelt, was an Irish Roman Catholic, the first Catholic to run for the Presidency on a major party ticket. He was also a wet, committed to ending Prohibition.

Smith lost the 1928 campaign, in part because of anti-Catholic sentiment. Millions of ethnic voters, however, turned out to cast their first ballots for him.


Two topics were the focus of international talks at the Washington Conference in 1921. What were they?

The two main issues of contention were arms reduction and competition in Asia.

Representatives from Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, China, Portugal, the United States, and the Netherlands attended.

The Conference resulted in three treaties: the Five Power Treaty, the Four Power Treaty, and the Nine Power Treaty.


What three treaties resulted from the Washington Conference in 1921?

The three Washington Conference treaties were:

Nine Power Treaty: guaranteed Chinese territorial integrity and ratified the Open Door Policy
Four Power Treaty: the United States, France, Britain, and Japan agreed to respect each other's Pacific possessions
Five Power Treaty: the United States, France, Britain, Japan, and Italy agreed to limit their total number of battleships


The signatories of the _____-____ Pact of 1928 pledged not to use military force as an aggressive means.


The signatories of the Pact, including the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and dozens of other nations, pledged not to use war to resolve disputes with other nations, and pledged collective action to intervene against aggressor nations.


What was the Dawes Plan?

In the Treaty of Versailles, Germany had agreed to pay reparations, but by the early 1920s was suffering from a severe recession in consequence of the Allies' occupation of the Ruhr Valley, Germany's industrial heartland. Under the Dawes Plan, the U.S. government lent money to Germany to pay reparations to Britain and France.

The Dawes Plan would tie most of Western Europe to the fate of the American economy, to significant effect during the Great Depression.


What musical style came to symbolize the youth culture of the 1920s?


Jazz came to symbolize the dominant free-flowing spirit of the period, so much so that the 1920s is often called "The Jazz Age."

With roots in the Southern black experience, jazz became widespread through the use of radios and phonographs.


What was the automobile's impact on American society during the 1920s?

By 1929, half of all American families had automobiles, and its impact was widespread. Suburbanization rose, as people took advantage of increased mobility to move to more bucolic areas.

As they became more reliable, automobiles became an integral part of the vacation experience, as Americans took their first "road trips." Even romance changed, as dates in cars replaced courting in the family living room.


Who were Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, and Greta Garbo?

They were movie stars during the 1920s.

During the period, moviegoing became a national trend, backed with lavish theaters, celebrity actors and actresses, and gossip magazines.


How did mass culture develop during the 1920s?

Fueled by the prevalence of the radio and the popularity of movies, Americans for the first time shared many common cultural experiences. Americans saw the same films and listened to the same radio shows.

Amos n' Andy, a radio show that premiered in 1928, proved so popular that stores played it over their loudspeakers to induce customers to shop while listening instead of staying at home and listening.


How did the role of women change during 1920s?

Women were still primarily homemakers during the 1920s, though new household goods such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners helped alleviate some household chores.

In urban areas, young, single women, commonly called Flappers, began challenging traditional ideas about marriage, family, work, and sexual mores.


Who were the Flappers?

Flappers were young, mainly urban women who defied social and sexual norms by flaunting short dresses, bobbed hairdos, and makeup. Flappers also smoked and drank openly (despite Prohibition).


Who was Margaret Sanger?

Birth control was illegal in most states, and Margaret Sanger was an advocate for ending restrictions on access to it.

Sanger was a eugenicist, who believed that access to birth control was essential to reduce reproduction by those considered unfit.


What was the Lost Generation?

Coined by Gertrude Stein, the Lost Generation was a term used for that generation that came of age during World War I. After the War, many of the Lost Generation became disillusioned with life, and demonstrated a lack of cultural or emotional stability.

Writers such as Sinclair Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway gave voice to cynicism felt by the Lost Generation after the War.


Architects such as Louis Sullivan and his protégé Frank Lloyd Wright revolutionized architecture by utilizing a technique known as "functionalism." What is functionalism?

Functionalism is the belief that a building's form and outward appearance should be the product and reflection of the building's function. In short, architects such as Sullivan and Wright advocated that "form follows function."



Beginning in the 1920s, Fundamentalism sought to stop the growing trend towards Modernism by advocating a return to Biblical precepts. Fundamentalists believed that religion should influence every aspect of their lives.

Fundamentalists spoke against evolution and what they viewed as the moral breakdown of society.


Fundamentalist preacher _____ ______ used colorful language and a return to "fire and brimstone" preaching to advocate for a return to religious principles.

Billy Sunday

Sunday was a former baseball player who became an evangelical preacher. Sunday's colloquial preaching and his powerful invective proved popular with audiences nationwide.


Who was Aimee Semple McPherson?

"Sister" Aimee Semple McPherson was a Fundamentalist preacher who reached her highest popularity during the 1920s. Taking advantage of the newly available radio, McPherson gathered a nationwide following.

McPherson used pomp and pageantry to appeal to her followers, and her sermons took place in front of elaborately created stage sets.


How did Modernists differ from Fundamentalists in the 1920s?

Modernists sought to break with traditional forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, social organization, and daily life, feeling that these traditions had become outdated in a fully industrialized society.

Unlike Fundamentalists, Modernists sought to minimize the role of religion in everyday life, and emphasized science, including teaching evolution.


What was the Scopes Monkey Trial?

In the Scopes Monkey Trial, John Scopes was on trial for teaching evolution, which was illegal under Tennessee law. The trial pitted legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow against William Jennings Bryan, who represented the prosecution.

The trial quickly gained nationwide attention as a battle between modernists and fundamentalists.

Scopes lost the trial and was fined $100, but his conviction was overturned on a technicality.


In 1919, alcohol became illegal through the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment. What was the effect of Prohibition on drinking during the 1920s?

Alcohol use skyrocketed, and it was fashionable to drink in speakeasies or purchase alcohol from bootleggers who either brewed liquor themselves or imported it from Canada.

As bootlegging grew into a lucrative profession, it was taken over by gangsters, such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, who thrived in the illegal climate.



Nativism is the policy of protecting the interests of "natives," or the established inhabitants of a country against outsiders or immigrants. Nativists feared that new immigrants would compete for jobs.


What was the Emergency Quota Act of 1921?

Enacted under pressure from nativists, Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act, which limited immigration to three percent of the number of persons from a given nation counted in the 1910 census.

Immigration of Catholics and Jews from Southern and Eastern Europe (deemed "undesirables" by nativists) was sharply curtailed.


Who were Sacco and Vanzetti?

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italian immigrants and Anarchists who were arrested, tried and convicted for the murder of a payroll clerk in 1927. Many believed that Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent and the case generated public protest.

Even today, many historians contend that the men's conviction resulted from anti-immigrant sentiment rather than an impartial jury verdict.


The Ku Klux Klan returned to prominence in the 1920s. How did the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s differ from the post-Civil War Klan?The Ku Klux Klan returned to prominence in the 1920s. How did the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s differ from the post-Civil War Klan?

Fueled by nativist and fundamentalist sentiments, the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s developed a significant following in the Midwest. Rather than being directed solely at blacks, the Klan also espoused nativist ideology against Catholics and Jews.

For the first time, women also played a large role in the Klan, and Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK) auxiliaries existed in every state.


The __________ ___________ was a New York City-based artistic and intellectual movement that expressed pride in African American culture.

The Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Renaissance artists and intellectuals expressed both African American pride and the pain of racism in their artistic, literary, and musical works.

The Harlem Renaissance included prominent artists like musicians Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, writers such as James Weldon Johnson, and poets such as Langston Hughes.


Who was Marcus Garvey?

Marcus Garvey was a Jamaican immigrant who became one of the most influential African American leaders. He created the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in the 1920s to further black pride and to promote black separatism and a return to Africa.

Garvey founded a shipping line known as the Black Star Line, to transport goods and settlers back to Africa.


New Negro

Popularized during the Harlem Renaissance, the term "New Negro" implied a refusal to submit to racial segregation and an advocacy of black dignity and equality. The term arose out of the self-confidence and pride of blacks gained during the Great Migration and service during World War I.


What is assembly line production?

Assembly line production was a method adopted by Henry Ford and other industrialists to streamline production.

Workers stood in a single spot and performed the same task repetitively. Assembly line production greatly increased the speed of production, and consequently lowered the cost of the goods produced.


_____ _____ _____ was an American mechanical engineer who applied science to business practices.

Frederick Winslow Taylor

Henry Ford and others adopted Taylor's suggestions in order to achieve improved efficiency on the factory floor.


In 1920, only 34.7% of households had electricity, but by 1930, 67.9% had electric access. How did the growth in access to electricity spur consumer demand?

Many of the new products coming off the assembly lines such as washing machines, refrigerators, and vacuums were powered by electricity. Access to electricity meant that consumers bought these products in large quantities.

In urban areas, increased access to electricity was even more dramatic; 84.8% of urban residences had access to electricity by 1930.


Increased access to electricity during the 1920s required sources of power and led to increased growth and development in what related area?

During the 1920s, oil development experienced an exponential increase. Although many homes continued to be heated with coal, electricity from oil powered the factories, and gasoline powered the increased number of automobiles.

Much of the oil came from the United States, which produced more oil than the rest of the world combined during the 1920s.