Great Depression, New Deal, World War II. (1920-1945)

Between 1920 and 1945 the United States experienced incredible growth and prosperity, a prolonged and catastrophic economic depression, and world war. Looking at your notes for the 1920s, the Great Depression and New Deal of the 1930s, and World War II, as well as the film(s) we have watched, create a top five list of most significant historical developments that you believe most accurately reflect the changes that shaped America over this span of time. For your essay to be successful, you should elaborate and explain the historical developments you choose to focus upon in order, moving forward in time from 1920 to 1945. You can write about positive or negative events, or a combination of both. The most crucial factor in choosing your top five historical developments should be change over time. For each of your five topics, you should explain/describe the historical development, offer an argument as to why you think it is so important/significant, and suggest how it leads either directly or indirectly to the next historical event on your list. In other words, do not just provide a list of 5 historical events that you think are interesting – explain how they relate to each other, how they worked together to shape, alter, or define the country between the First and Second World Wars. (2 pages, typed, double-spaced, preferably 12-pt font, roughly 500 words)please use the note I attached.

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1. Herbert Hoover •Elected 1928 •Republican – policies
aligned with predecessors Harding and Coolidge •Head of
Food Administration during WWI “Stock Market Crash
•October 24, 1929 – “Black Friday” •Panicked selling causes
market to plummet. Banks and lending agencies collapse.
Depression results •Stock market crash does not cause the
Great Depression that follows it. –Depression is a result of
broken economic structures – a decade of income inequality,
overextension of credit, failure of government oversight t
Hoover Responds •Believer in Laissez—faire government
and in voluntarism – nation can ride out Depression if labor
and capital work together •By 1930, Hoover willing to
support public works projects to put Americans back to
work •Gross national income –1929 – $88 billion –1933 —
$40 billion •Unemployment –1929 – 3.1% –1933 –
25%Franklin D. Roosevelt •Elected President in 1932
•Democrat •Privileged upbringing •Pragmatism – willing to
experiment; willing to fail; must do something• Humanity and
compassion – seems to care about American people The
New Deal •Body of legislation designed to ease suffering
•Enormous expansion of government’s role in economy –
end of a decade of laissez—faire. •Relief – provide aid to
poor and unemployed •Recovery – help farms and business,
create jobs •Reform – reshape government and economy to
avoid future depressions Banking •Banking system is on
verge of collapse •FDR orders banks to close for several
days •1933 – Congress passes Emergency Banking Act,
provides aid to banks and increases federal oversight •1933
— Creation of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
(FDIC) – insures personal savings in banks, so individuals
will not lose savings in event of bank collapse Farmers and
rural poor •1933 – Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA). aims
to raise prices by reducing overproduction. Too much supply
means low demand and low prices. Pays subsidy to farmers
to limit production •1933 – Tennessee Valley Authority
(TVA) – Public works project builds dams, providing
electricity to rural poor across the South Industrial
Production •National Industrial Recovery Act (1933) —
creates National Recovery Administration (NRA) •NRA
works with labor and capital to create codes regulating
production, prices, wages, hours • Partially successful.
Businesses fail to abide by codes, government fails to
enforce provisions Unemployment Relief •Federal Emergency
3 .Fascist Dictators in Europe •Italy:
Benito Mussolini comes to power in 1922.
–Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935.
•Spain: right—wing general Francisco
Franco comes to power aster Spanish Civil
War 1936—39) •Germany: Adolf Hitler
and National Socialist (Nazi) party come
to power in 1933 Nazi Militarism •1936 –
occupy Rhineland between Germany and
France •March 1938 – annex Austria
•Sept. 1938 – occupy Sudetenland, western
region of Czechoslovakia •March 1939 –
•“Appeasement” – fearing another war,
France and Britain do not respond Japanese
Militarism •1931 – Japanese invade
Chinese province of Manchuria. War
between Chinese and Japanese lasts for
more than a decade •Begin to build up
naval forces in Pacific in mid—1930s,
violating international treaties War in
Europe •Aug. 1939 – Nazi/Soviet non—
aggression pact •Sept. 1939 – Germany
invades Poland. England and France
declare war. •German Blitzkrieg (lightning
war) across Europe •June 1940 – fall of
Paris •Battle of Britain – air battle
between Germany and Britain U.S.
Neutrality •Throughout 1930s, widespread
opposition to intervention in Europe •1935
and 1937 – Congress passes Neutrality
Acts to keep U.S. out of war •American
First Committee opposes U.S. involvement.
800,00 members in 450 chapters the
“Arsenal of Democracy” •Roosevelt elected
to third term in 1940 •Works to assist
British without entering war •Lend—Lease
Act (1941) – U.S. lends arms to Britain
for duration of war. Extended to USSR
after Hitler breaks Nazi—Soviet pact
Attack on Pearl Harbor •1940 . Japanese
sign pact with Italy and Germany
•December 7, 1941 – Japanese bomb U.S.
5. Eastern Europe • USSR
suffers enormous human and
economic in World War II •
friendly governments in
Eastern Europe • By 1948,
installs Communist satellite
governments in Poland,
Division of Germany • Stalin
wants monetary reparations
and a demilitarized Germany;
U.S. wants to spur industrial
revival • Unable to reach
consensus, allies divides
American, and French sectors
unify as West Germany in
1949 War of Words, 1946 •
Stalin: capitalism inevitably
leads to war • Churchill
(speaking in Missouri, leti):
descended across” Europe.
Kennan, U.S. diplomat,
writes “long telegram” (1946)
• Soviet expansionism must
be resisted at all costs • U.S.
should work to build up
economies of western Europe
in hopes of reducing the
Truman Doctrine • 1947 •
Truman wants to send money
and supplies to prop up failing
democratic governments in
Greece and Turkey • U.S.
must “support free peoples
subjugation” • U.S. will
provide military and political
assistance to democratic
7. The Sit – In Movement • Born
in Greensboro, NC, February
1960 • Participants sit at lunch
counters in spite of being
refused service • By April, sit in protests have occurred in 60
cities • Student Non – Violent
Coordinating Committee (
SNCC – “snick”) founded to
organize sit – ins. -Becomes
NAACP and King’s Southern
Conference (SCLC). Freedom
Rides • Interracial delegation
leaves Washington, DC in April
1961. Testing segregation in
interstate transport • Bus is
firebombed near Anniston, AL;
riders beaten severely in
Birmingham, AL • 300 riders
jailed in Mississippi. Martin
Luther King, Jr. • Master of
Civil Rights spectacle • Non violence as means to create a
media – worthy spectacle in the
hopes of shifting public opinion
• Birmingham 1963 – teenage
Civil Rights activists attacked
with dogs and fire houses,
creating a national media story.
Birmingham Church Bombing
(1963) • Bomb planted at 16th
Street Baptist Church explodes,
killing four young girls •
outside of the South. March on
Washington (1963) • August
28, 1963 • 250,000 people
gather in front of the Lincoln
Memorial • Site of King’s “I
Have a Dream” Speech.
Relief Administration – cash grants to states to provide
poor relief •Public Works Administration hires workers to
rebuild infrastructure (roads, schools, ports) •Civilian
Conservation Corps (right) – hires young men to work in
and improve parks, forests.NaIonal Labor Relations Act
(1935) •AKA the Wagner Act •Creates National Labor
Relations Board (NLRB) •Protects workers’ right to organize
unions without owner interference •Simple election model –
when a majority of workers vote for a union, employer
must recognize and negotiate with union Growth of
organized labor •During 1930s, union membership increases
from 4 million to 10 million workers, including 800,000
women. •1929 – 6% of labor force is organized; 1940 –
33% •FDR is more sympathetic to labor than Republicans
of 1920s, but grassroots organizing is key to growth –1.5
million workers strike in 1933 alone Birth of the CIO
•Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) created in 1935
•Industrial workers denied a place in American Federation
of Labor (AFL) •More vigorous and radical than moderate
AFL •1937, CIO launches full scale organizing campaign.
4.5 million workers participate in 4,700 strikes the
Communist Party in the 1930s •Depression suggests a crisis
in capitalism •100,000 Americans join the Communist Party
(CP) •Popular Front – CP works with socialists, unionists,
and New Dealers to work for social change. Demand reform
(rather than overthrow) of capitalism •CP involved in wide
variety of activities during 1930s Communism in the
mainstream •Earl Browder, head of CP, on the cover of Time
magazine (right) •CP involved in unemployment rallies, union
organizing, and civil rights work Communists and Civil
Rights •During 1930s, Communists lead fight for African
American civil rights •Scottsboro Nine – Black teenagers
are wrongly arrested for rape in 1931. CP lawyers defend
them in several trials. Last defendant released from jail in
2.The Second New Deal •Democrats gain seats in
Congress in 1934 midterm elections. •FDR responds by
expanding New Deal •Building the American Welfare
State – when people suffer because of forces beyond their
control, the government owes them its support Works
Progress Administration (1935) •Millions remain
unemployed in 1935 •Massive work relief program
designed to put unemployed Americans to work improving
the nation’s infrastructure •Also employs artists, musicians,
actors, poets, novelists •By 1936, WPA is responsible for
7% of nation’s work force Social Security Act (1935)
pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii •Dec.
8 – FDR asks for, and Congress provides,
declaration of war on Japan •Dec. 11 –
Germany and Italy declare war on U.S.
Forming the Army •Selective Service Act
(1940) requires men to register for draft
•16 million men and women serve
discrimination by race
– African
Americans, Mexican Americans, Native
Americans, and Chinese Americans serve
Early War in the Pacific •Japanese hope
to defeat U.S. quickly. •1942 invasion of
the Philippines leads to Bataan Death
March. Thousands of American and
Filipino POWs die. •November 1942 –
Battle of Midway is important U.S. victory
Involvement in European
•German troops have invaded USSR; Stalin
asks allies to open a second front •Allies
invade northern Africa; land troops in Italy
in July 1943. Mussolini is deposed and
Italy surrenders •June 6, 1944 – D—Day.
Massive allied landing at Normandy,
France •Liberation of Paris – August 25,
1944 •Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 1944—
Jan. 1945) – 70,000 Allied deaths, 100,000
German deaths The Holocaust •Reports of
Hitler’s “Final Solution” reach U.S. as early
1942, but U.S.
murder of Jews, Gypsies,
radicals, homosexuals
concentration camps throughout 1945 by
Allied troops •Approx. 9 million victims
(6 million Jews) Yalta Conference •Big
Three – Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, Winston
Churchill discuss postwar plans •Agree to
organization . the United Nations. •U.S.
Senate will approve UN Charter 89—2
End of the European War •April 11, 1945.
U.S. troops reach Elbe River in Germany
•April 30 – Hitler commits suicide •May
2 – Russian troops occupy Berlin.
surrenders, ending war in Europe Dropping
countries under pressure from
communism. The Marshall
Plan • 1948 • Named for
Secretary of State George
Marshall • Provides $ 13
million in cash and supplies to
struggling democracies of
Humanitarian and strategic
impulses – increase American
sphere of influence. Berlin
Airlift • Berlin is shared by
Soviets and western allies, but
it is located in East Germany.
• Stalin blocks roads to Berlin
in early 1948 • Truman
responds with airlift – U.S.
and British pilots fly 2 million
tons of cargo into Berlin
before USSR litis blockade in
1949. 1949 • U.S. joins 11
European countries in North
Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) – collective security
pact. -Warsaw Pact – eastern
bloc equivalent to NATO signed several years later •
Soviet Union successfully
detonated an atomic bomb •
Communist forces in China,
led by Mao Zedong, establish
People’s Republic of China.
NSC – 68 • 1950 • National
Security Council reconsiders
U.S. Cold War policy •
Recommends expansion of
military spending, accelerated
arms production, engaging in
“covert means” to disrupt
communist countries • “The
Soviet Union, unlike previous
aspirants to hegemony … is
animated by a new fanatic
faith, antithetical to our own,
Freedom Summer (1964) •
Hundreds of northern college
students head South to register
Philadelphia, MS, members of
a revitalized Ku Klux Klan
volunteers: James Chaney,
Michael Schwerner. Selma
(1965) • A white mob attacks
voting rights protesters •
“Bloody Sunday”: Police attack
peaceful marchers on the
Edmund Pegs Bridge • Events
horrify the nation, 3000
marchers head to Selma to join
MLK in another protest march.
1960 Presidential Election •
MA Senator John F. Kennedy
(Dem) defeats sitting vice
president Richard Nixon (Rep)
• Black voted for Kennedy is
decent • First televised debt
benefits Kennedy. Kennedy’s
“New Frontier” • Promises to
address poverty, ignorance, and
prejudice during campaign, but
moves slowly in first two years
• 1963, pushes for aid to urban
America, a full-scale war on
poverty, and a comprehensive
Civil Rights Bill. Kennedy
Assassination • November 22,
1963 • Killed in Dallas, TX.
Police arrest Lee Harvey
Oswald, who is murdered two
days later • Lyndon B. Johnson,
President. Lyndon B. Johnson •
Born poor in Texas • Selected
to Congress in 193ti as New
Dealer; Senate in 1948 • Master
of parliamentary maneuvering
Passionate reformer pushes
•Designed to provide elderly with a small income to
alleviate poverty •Social Security Act also creates Aid for
Dependent Children (later known as Aid for Families with
Dependent Children), most commonly known as welfare
Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” •1941 speech •American
citizens have a right to “freedom of speech, freedom of
worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear.” •New
Deal as an attempt to secure “freedom from want”–
economic security – as a fundamental right Court Packing”
•In order to protect New Deal legislation from
conservative Supreme Court justices, FDR proposes adding
six more justices •American people respond negatively,
emboldening conservative opposition to New Deal and
helping to slow pace of reform Fair Standards Act of
1938 •Last major piece of New Deal legislation •Sets
national minimum wage and maximum labor hours
•Regulates child labor •Government establishes baseline
protections for employees in labor relationships
•Republicans gain seats in 1938 Congressional elections,
pace of New Deal reform slows Conservative/Business
Opposition to the New Deal •Great Depression hurts
Republican Party •1934 – conservative business leaders
form American Liberty League. Goal is to teach “the
value of encouraging people to work; encouraging people
to get rich.” •Spends more than $1 million attacking FDR
and New Deal as socialistic and opposed to free
enterprises Southern Democrats in Congress •No viable
Republican party in South; Roosevelt must work with
southern Democrats in Congress to pass any legislation
•Southern Democrats are much more conservative than
Roosevelt, oppose anything that seems to challenge white
supremacy •[Right: Ellison D. “Cotton Ed” Smith, Senator
from South Carolina] Francis Townsend •Townsend is
re=red California physician. •Proposes that Americans over
60 be a given a monthly s=pend provided they a) are
re=red and b) spend it each month •Sales tax pays for
the plan •Retirees will open up jobs for younger people,
while elderly spending stimulates economy •3.5 million
people join Townsend Clubs Charles Coughlin •Catholic
Priest with national radio show based in Michigan
•Blames New Deal for catering to banks •His cri=ques of
Roosevelt, Communism, and “international bankers” often
veer into crude anti -Semitism Huey P. Long •Louisiana
governor and senator •Believes New Deal stops short of
necessary redistribution of wealth • “Share Our Wealth”
plan promises each family a homestead and a monthly
the Atomic Bomb •August 1945 —
President Harry Truman (FDR dies in
April 1945) orders atomic bomb dropped
on Hiroshima, Japan •A second bomb
dropped on Nagasaki three days later
•100,000 — 200,000 deaths •August 14,
1945 – Japan surrenders World War II and
the U.S. Economy •Finally ends Great
Depression •Increased federal spending
•Gross national product grows from $91
billion to $168 billion •Unemployment
drops from 8 million to 1 million •All
regions of the country prosper –Booming
factories in Northeast and Midwest –
South: farms thrive, increased industry and
installations lead to massive population
growth Building the War Machine •War
Production Board oversees economy.
Government alliance with big business
•Military production increases 800 percent
during war •By 1945: 86,000 tanks,
300,000 planes, 15 million guns, 6,500
ships Organized Labor during WWII
•Wartime demands for production + labor
shortage due to military = excellent
bargaining position for Unions •1942 –
Roosevelt’s National War Labor Board
regulates wages, hours, working conditions
Women at Work •Increased opportunities
for women •By 1944 – 6 million women
working. Huge increase in female factory
workers •More married women working
less, denied
advancement, assumed to be purely
temporary labor Encouraging Patriotism
Information promotes patriotism •Scrap
metal and rubber donations • “Victory
gardens” – vegetables grown at home
propaganda films; coordinates bond drives;
entertainers perform for soldiers
and seeks to impose its
absolute authority over the
rest of the world. The Second
Red Scare • House Un American
Committee (HUAC) created
communist subversion during
Truman’s second term. •
Federal Employee Loyalty
Program -Board investigators
federal employees suspected
dismissed, despite failure to
find a single verifiable case of
espionage -Gay employees
targeted for persecution.
HUAC and Hollywood •
House Un – American
Infiltration of Hollywood,
1947 • Widely publicized.
Witnesses forced to confess
their affiliations and “name
names.” • Failure to comply
leads to blacklisting. High
Profile Cases • 1948 – Alger
Hiss, former government
official, accused of passing
documents to Soviet spy •
1949 – Truman administration
ranking Communist Party
officials • 1950 – Julius and
Ethel Rosenberg sentenced to
death for providing nuclear
secrets to Soviet. Joseph
Senator, public face of
anticommunism, 1950–54 •
Claims to have a list of
4. Internment •February 19, 1942 — communists in the state
Executive Order 9066 authorizes removal department • Badgers and
expansive domestic agenda.
Civil Rights Bill (1964) • LBJ
asks Congress for Bill “so that
[JFK] did not die in vain” •
Strongest piece of Civil Rights
Reconstruction • Significance
of civil rights activism in
coercing JFK and LBJ to move
on Civil Rights. The Great
Society • Ambitious domestic
reform agenda focused on
expanding welfare state and
eliminating poverty • Increases
funding for food stamps,
education, job training, eases
welfare restrictions • Creates
health care for the elderly) and
Medicaid (improved medical
care for poor) ) • Expansion of
New Deal ideology – Federal
Government has an obligation …
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