– [Professor Gore] Hey students, this is Professor Gore And in this recorded lecture topic we’re gonna be talking about the Roaring 1920s and so this is usually a fun decade for a lot of students, a lot going on in terms of culture and social and so forth Plus a lot of students have enjoyed the Great Gatsby over the years, you gotta read the book Or have seen a couple different versions of the film So in this first part we’re gonna be talking about some early elections in the 1920s and also women’s role in politics and then kinda what’s going on with the economy and also foreign policy Once we get through those things, in part two I’ll come back to talk about some of the cultural stuff which usually people find especially interesting So, what you have is after World War I, the progressive era has ended, is what historians call it Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke in 1919 after Treaty of Versailles and was kind of incapacitated for the rest of his presidency He did not run for a third term, he did not have the health for it In 1920 was also when the amendment, the 19th Amendment was ratified to allow women the right to vote and despite the first election women get the right to vote, it’s actually the lowest voter turn out up to this point in American history in terms of overall percentage of the population that’s eligible to vote that actually voted And so what’s kind of interesting, it’s almost like people became disillusioned with politics a little bit in the early 1920s But we’re also gonna talk about the government helping and economic growth and so forth and being laissez-faire So in the 1920s, Americans had the highest standard of living than anywhere in the world, that really is incredible A lot of countries really licking their wounds after World War I, economic of the United States comes out of World War I looking great economically The values of the 19th century middle class, particularly the Protestant work ethic, self denial, and frugality gave way to a fascination with consumption, leisure, and self realization Some of the essential feature of modern life The business government partnership fostered by World War I expanded throughout the 1920s and the business owner now had a more positive image The Progressive Era had now come to an end until FDR becomes president in the 1930s So it is a decade, the first decade in American history where Americans really became obsessed with celebrities Celebrities such as sports athletes like Babe Ruth and boxer Jack Dempsey Guys like Charles Lindbergh who flew, first person to fly solo across the Atlantic You also have an obsession with actors and actresses because of Hollywood producing silent films early part of the decade and then by 1927, the first movie with sound, The Jazz Singer, in 1927 Also jazz musicians were celebrities and so forth Also sex became a topic more discussed in public than had been under the Victorian Era, the late 1800s and even the first couple decades of the 1900s where it was a topic you just did not talk about in public And it was even mentioned in movies and so forth It’s a time, a period of, kind of you know, as my students used to say years ago, YOLO, you only live once Not everybody in the population’s doing that certainly, but you have an increasing number than have been in the Victorian Era It is a return to normalcy in a sense that going back to the days of the good old age where the government is gonna be more hands off and try to help economic growth The US also turned inward with its foreign policy instead of being more involved in foreign affairs like it had been in 1917, 1918, World War I Now it’s gonna go back to isolation Also the 1920s, which I’ll cover later, part of your core lecture on the 1920s talk about the importance of jazz It is the first modern era of the United States in terms of what we see as a modern American culture emerging So, the 20s is kinda the last decade of the second phase of the Industrial Revolution You have Americans owning more cars than any other country in the world Electricity had completed replaced steam power by the 1920s Henry Ford created the first moving assembly line Okay, that’s what I mean by modern There had been assembly lines in the past but where this was actually moving down a conveyor belt, that’s what we mean by modern assembly line And I’ll cover Henry Ford a little bit later Also, the rise of the airline industry thanks to men such as Glenn Curtis And of course the Wright Brothers who invented the first airplane

Also, modern appliances And really life became a little more convenient for Americans, that was very popular Let’s get to the election of 1920 James M. Cox of Ohio ran as president for the Democratic party while the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt’s cousin, ran as a VP candidate But for the Republicans, it was Warren G. Harding, governor of Ohio, and then Calvin Coolidge, who had been governor of Massachusetts and so forth I’m sorry he was actually governor of Vermont, I knew it was a New England state Harding promised a return to normalcy, ending the Progressive Era and going back to more laissez-faire Election day, Harding won in a landslide even though there was a lower voting turnout and Republicans are gonna dominate politics in the 1920s until FDR and Democrats come sweeping into Congress in 1932 Now what’s interesting, Harding is ranked as actually one of the worst presidents in American history He admitted in private that he was not qualified to be president, that’s not the kinda guy you want to be president of the United States He is going to have some corruption under his cabinet and he’s also gonna die in office Now Calvin Coolidge is Vice President who’s also gonna replace him as president and then get elected in 1924 Nothing corrupt about Coolidge, and just quietly unassuming, does a good job in his time in office So one of the things is that Harding did appoint a number of Ohio individuals, Coolidge was not one of them, he’s from Vermont, that he called the Ohio Gang ’cause they were mostly form his home state of Ohio Charles Evans Hughes, the former reform governor of New York Supreme Court Justice and presidential candidate took firm control of Secretary of State Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace created new links with farm organizations like Attorney General Harlan F. Stone A future chief justice and cleaned up the massive department of justice led by the Palmer Raids Financier Andrew W Mellon, he was not corrupt, ran the treasury department, quickly reduced the high wartime tax rates, freeing up money for private investments Stone was only appointed Attorney General after Harry N. Daugherty was sentenced to prison as Attorney General under Harding Attorney General Daugherty was investigated by the US Senate for illegal sale of pardons and liquor permits Now what was interesting is that the 19th Amendment outlawed the production of alcohol but the Attorney General could issue individual liquor permits, which sounds like a double standard, ’cause it was And you could bribe him to get one He was forced to resign but was not sent to prison because two different juries could not agree So here’s James M. Cox of Ohio and FDR So you’ve got two guys from Ohio running opposed to each other And so we can see, Harding does well They were fed up with some of the policies of Wilson because the Treaty of Versailles flop and you can see Eugene Debs gets a few, almost a million votes, from prison Here is some of his Ohio Gang members Not everybody is from Ohio but many were Also Herbert Hoover is in this cabinet and he’s gonna become a future president All right, so Herbert Hoover was the Commerce Secretary and did quite well, he was not corrupt In fact I always kinda feel bad for Hoover, he kinda came in at the wrong time in American history The Commerce Department foster the creation of the 2000 trade associations representing companies in almost every major industry Government officials work closely with the associations providing them with statistical research, assisting them to devise industry wide standards, and urging them to stabilize prices and wages Here’s what you can remember about the economy in the 1920s until the stock market crashed Booming, booming, and booming The problem is is they, people had an unrealistic expectation of that booming staying long-term Hoover hoped to achieve voluntary cooperation instead of government regulation Most complied but not all The Federal Trade Commission ignored anti-trust laws, it forbade restraints on trades So Teddy Roosevelt would’ve been unhappy Such as collusion among companies on prices William Howard Taft also served as Chief Justice Supreme Court at this time and really loved his role there So you have former president becoming Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, only American president to have done that Despite some good appointments, Harding did appoint a corrupt secretary of Interior, Albert B. Fall, and let me kind of explain what Albert B. Fall did This guy in the bottom left, he looks a little bit corrupt in that picture, ’cause he was It’s called the Teapot Dome Scandal All right, so way back in the early 1900s,

Teddy Roosevelt had set aside some land that oil men knew had petroleum on it One of them was in Teapot Dome, the other was in Elk Hills California And the purpose of this land was to be preserved as oil reserves for future generations So if we got into a bind and we needed oil, like say World War II, you could drill there and get petroleum there quickly So what had happened was, the Secretary of Interior, Albert B. Falls, secretly accepted a bribe from an oil man by the name of Henry S. Sinclair and also Edward L. Donahue for about $100,000 And what they bribed him was to allow their companies to secretly drill on the naval oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, California It’s called the Teapot Dome Scandal, this is supposed to be a teapot about to crush some people in its wake, this political cartoon is kinda funny And what ends up happening is Fall was found guilty but Sinclair and Donahue were acquitted, which is kinda bogus, they clearly offered him a bribe And what ends up happening is, this comes out right about the time Harding died of a heart attack while he was in San Francisco in August of 1923 so Harding didn’t actually have to deal with the backlash Coolidge became president and Coolidge had nothing to do with it so he was okay Also the head of the Veterans Bureau, which was established for World War I veterans, Charles R. Forbes, who actually was a deserter of the military ironically, was convicted of looting 200 million from the government So basically Charles R Forbes, this scumbag, not only did he desert the United States military, he also looted $200 million from the Veteran’s Bureau, what the heck? What a bum And so Harding dies and, this political cartoon always used to be on AP exam for US history, it’s great One of the funnier ones Just crushed one guy’s hat and hand are sticking out Here is Silent Cal They called him Silent Cal ’cause he was a very quiet man Which kind of interesting he got into politics Probably would not have been president had he not been VP and then Harding died, but because he was the economy was good, he gets re-elected in 1924 But here’s one of my favorite stories about Coolidge Because he hardly said anything, there was some men who had a bet that they couldn’t get him to say three words at a dinner And so the guy who bet that he said he could, Coolidge had heard about it and he walked up to him and he said, “You lose.” He only said two words and so the guy lost the bet All right, so the tariffs are raised to protect American industry Corporate and income taxes are cut Income taxes were really high during World War I, in fact one of the highest income eras, over 70%, so it was nuts, the income tax needed to come down somewhat And so low taxes, high tariffs, and then low spending And that was the three prong attack to have a good economy in the 1920s And so the government had a big business cooperation and it used to say under Coolidge, “The business of government is business” But foreign policy of the United States was not gonna be involved Election of 1924, John W. Davis of West Virginia runs as a Democrat Robert La Follette, the famous reform progressive governor of Wisconsin, ran as the Progressive Party hoping to revitalize that boom party of Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 It fails And so you can see, you know, La Follette didn’t do bad, he got 4.8 million votes, but only 13 electoral votes, so, not gonna get you the LW Even if you combined Davis and La Follette, Coolidge still woulda won because people were happy with the good economy All right, so let’s talk about women in politics After achieving the suffrage in 1920, women expanded their political activism Women were only granted token positions and African American woman had greater difficulty as they struggled for voting rights in the South As well as they pushed for a federal anti-lynching law that the lynching period of American history where lynching was illegal but they were getting away with it in various states across the country Particularly the worst were in the deep South In fact they’ve got a museum in Montgomery about kind of forgotten part of American history about lynching, it’s a horrific period of American history But they’re not able to get a federal anti-lynching law The Women’s Joint Congressional Committee joined with other women’s organizations to get the Sheppard-Towner Federal Maternity and Infancy Act passed in 1921 and it is the first federally-funded health care legislation So what in the world was it? It is designed to get federal funds to help establish medical clinics, prenatal educational programs in busy nurse projects in hopes of lowering the death rates among infants which it really was effective Critics claim that it was economist’s plot

to socialize American medicine which it wasn’t But in a decade, Congressman cut off funding to it And so basically today we have federal funding for similar programs and it’s not controversial but back then it was Let’s look at corporate capitalism So, let’s look at this three prong attack to raise the economy Lower taxes, lower federal spending, higher tariffs equals strong national economy It worked in the 1920s Okay, now the Forney-McCumber Tariff was a little more reasonable tariff but then when the Great Depression hits with stock market crash in 1929, the federal government foolishly decided to pass the Hawley-Smoot tariff which is one of the dumbest economic decisions in American history and it raised the tariffs an unbelievable 60% You cannot have international trade when your tax rate is at 60% on imports So although the country’s put 60% tax rate on ours and nobody’s trading So, one of the things that began happening at this time is that businesses began consolidating to form large corporations and today we see tons of large corporations in American society in the American economy So during the 1920s, businesses combined at a rapid rate with the largest number of merges occurring in rapidly growing industries such as chemicals like DuPont Electrical appliances and machinery like Westinghouse and General Electric, and automobiles with General Motors Rarely did any single corporation monopolize an entire industry, rather an oligarchy of few major producers dominated the market controlled price similar to what you see today with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile The nation’s financial institutions expanded and consolidated along with its corporations Total banking assets rose from 48 billion in 1919 to a whopping 72 billion in 1929 before the stock market crash In 1929, almost half of the nation’s banking resources were controlled by 1% of American banks A mere 250 depository so the nation’s top 250 banks were controlling like 99% of, I’m sorry, over half of the nation’s banking resources, pretty crazy So it is one of the causes of the stock market crash We’ll get to that when we get to the Great Depression, there’s several causes, there’s more than one So let’s look at the economy of the 1920s Great, great, and great So after massive inflation right after the war, we see massive inflation right after World War II as well so that’s a commonality The economy is steady in 1922 and began to grow smoothly and almost continuously Between 1922 and 1929, the gross domestic product grew from 74.1 billion to a whopping 103.1 billion That is nuts Approximately 40% in per capita income rose impressively from $641 a year to 847, now that would be, you think, $641 dollars a year for a family, that’s not very much, but if you think about it, jumping up from 641 to 847, you put that in today’s economic terms, that’s a huge, huge increase in your standard of living An abundance of new consumer products, particularly the automobile, sparked economic growth during the 1920s A lot of jobs were found in the automobile manufacturing industry and you could make good wages in those factories too Manufacturing output expanded 64% during the decade As factories churned out millions of cars, refrigerators, stoves and radios To produce these goods, basic industries supply huge quantities of raw materials, steel, copper, chemicals, natural gas, electrical power, oil, and gasoline and because the United States is resource-rich, we can provide it Now one group that does struggle with this time is the farmers And so, they’re gonna struggle and then the Great Depression is gonna get worse The government did try to help some, but Coolidge vetoed both bills as special interest legislation and between 1919 and 1929, the farmer’s share of the national income plummeted from 16% to 8.8% Coal and textiles suffered lack the farmers during the 1920s as well So, farming, coal, and textiles, did not do as well but the other industries did great The 1920s was a heyday of welfare capitalism The system of labor relations stress management’s responsibility for employee’s wellbeings So this is where you start seeing for the first time companies offering health insurance And today it’s a big topic of debate, with the federal health insurance, it’s almost viewed that health insurance is a right as a US citizen Back then, health insurance didn’t exist until some of these major corporations started offering to attract and recruit and retain really talented, high quality business employees

General Electric, US Steel, and other corporations offered health insurance On top of that they offered old-age pensions My parents retired and their retirement’s through the state of Arkansas State Employee Pension The opportunity to buy stock in a company at below market prices Which still see shares of stocks given as benefits for employees today by companies Other firms subsidized mortgages are contributed to employee’s saving plans which I know of a guy who, the company he works for, I forgot how much contributes to his savings account, their goal was to create a loyal and long-serving workforce and at this time it works, you got people that work 30, 40 years for the same company and then will retire And so particularly among salaried employees, mostly managers, office workers, and important wage workers such as shop foreman Another reason this was to dissuade workers from joining unions Decisions by the conservative mind of the Supreme Court undercut union activism and government regulation of the labor market In Colorado Coal Company versus United Mine Workers, the court ruled that a striking union could be penalized for illegal restraint of trade The court also struck down federal legislation regulating child labor in Atkins versus Children’s Hospital And it voided a minimum wage for women workers in the District of Columbia Union membership during this decade fell from 5.1 million in 1920 to 3.6 million in 1929 so World War I was probably the height of union membership up until this point It’s gonna increase during World War II and then steadily decline all the way to present day Now let’s look at economic policies abroad American manufacturers actively promoted foreign sales of consumer products such as radios, telephones, automobiles, and sewing machines So a lot of these markets firms built factories in foreign countries and bought up existing businesses General Electric set up production facilities in Latin America, China, Japan, and Australia for instance Attracted by lower livestock prices, three major American meat packers, Gustavus Swift, Armor, and Wilson, built plants in Argentina Standard Oil, acquired oil reserves in Mexico and Venezuela And during the 1920s, foreign investments by US corporations more than doubled to a total of 15.2 billion American banks also emerged as key players in a postwar debt system The banks lent money to Germany And what’s gonna happen is, as banks lend money to Germany, Germany’s gonna use that money to pay back the reparation payments for Britain and France and then Britain and France would take the money and pay back the US financiers who they took loans from such as JP Morgan during World War I What’s happening is nobody really is getting fully paid off One of the things is that tariffs are gonna make it difficult for European countries to pay back their debts because they need Americans to buy their goods There was also a Dawes Plan that helped reduce reparations that Germany owed so they could pay it out over a longer period of time and make it a more manageable monthly amount that they could actually pay All this depended on a steady flow though of cash from the US and from Europe back to the US This fragile and unstable system of international finance collapsed in the wake of the American Stock Market Crash in October of 1929 We’ll cover that a little bit more when we get to the Great Depression All right, let’s look at the foreign policies, last topic for this part then we’ll get to part two in a little bit So, basically, the foreign policy of the United States in the 1920s is isolation We are going to open up new trade markets but in terms of interfering with other countries, we’re not gonna be doing that We’re not gonna join the League of Nations ’cause that got voted down with the Treaty of Versailles not getting ratified Officials in the Department of State and Department of Commerce were constantly opening up new foreign markets for manufacturers and bankers and to protect existing American interests in other countries But, other than that, not so much Now one thing the United States does continue is its military intervention in Latin America in 1920s At one point the United States sent troops to the Dominican Republic From 1916 to 1924, American military forces likewise remain in Nicaragua almost continuously from 1912 to 1933 because of political turmoil and economic turmoil Also, the United States had troops and occupied Haiti from 1950 to 1934 They were small forces but designed to provide stability Also, Mexico tried to nationalize its oil Tensions continue to remain tense What they mean by nationalize is, Standard Oil had built a bunch of oil drilling facilities and refinery facilities Mexico’s government just seized it and kicked Standard Oil out Which is a violation of private property but what’s crazy is, Mexico was still using some of the same technology that Standard Oil had used in the 1920s Let’s talk about the Washington Conference

and the Kellogg-Brian Pact Basically, several countries met in Washington D.C in 1921 and basically these countries agreed to reduce some naval armaments So the Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes was able to get the major powers to get rid of some of their battleships and halt the construction of large battleships for 10 years, ’cause they’re hoping to not have another World War I Failure at that They were also supposed to maintain that the tonnage of naval vessels among Britain, the US, Japan, France, Italy at a fixed ratio So you can see right here, this is where Japan really feels like they get screwed For every five US battleships, Britain can have five, Japan can have three, France can have 1.67, Italy can have 1.67 Also, this Five-Power Naval Treaty in 1922 had the US and Britain agreed to refrain from fortifying the Far East from possessions Japan did not have to abide by that though No restrictions have been placed on smaller warships and so forth Japan really feels like they get screwed and they’re gonna be bitter about this Also there was a Nine-Power Treaty Its open door policy in China continuing The Kellogg-Briand Pact, this one I think is almost laughable because it looks good on paper and is completely and utterly worthless So American Secretary of State, by this point Fred Kellogg, persuaded French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand, so it’s called the Kellogg-Briand Pact to support a broader pact of condemning militarism 15 nations signed the pact in Paris in 1928 and 48 more approved it later The signatories agreed to condemn the recourse to war for the solution for international controversies and renounced it as instrument of national policy So the problem is that they’re agreeing to outlaw war as a form of foreign policy Well how are you going to stop a country that goes to war? Oh, by declaring war It’s one of those sayings, it makes you feel good on paper, it didn’t do diddly squat It’s not really doing anything Kellogg-Brian Pact sounds good, worthless No enforcement and so forth We will come to the new national culture in part two