1. The scandals that plagued President Harding’s administration
Although President Harding was not corrupt, his willingness to appoint his friends to government posts, regardless of their qualifications, led to political and financial improprieties. Three of his appointees ended up in jail, and several others were indicted. For example, Harding’s secretary of the interior, Albert Fall, was convicted of accepting $400,000 in bribes in exchange for leasing oil reserves on public land.
2. President Coolidge’s policy toward big business was to
President Coolidge wanted to reduce government intervention in business, which he believed would aid businesses’ efficient and profitable operation by minimizing restraints. Coolidge’s secretary of the treasury promoted tax cuts for businesses and wealthy individuals, and his secretary of commerce encouraged voluntary trade associations to keep businesses honest.
3. The Five-Power Naval Treaty that emerged from the Washington Disarmament Conference earned President Harding acclaim for
President Harding’s goal in calling the conference was to establish a global balance of naval power by proportionally reducing the navies of Britain, France, Japan, Italy, and the United States. The treaty that resulted from the conference earned the president praise for protecting the peace without the United States having to join the League of Nations.
4. What was the result of the changes on the assembly line and in manufacturing management in the 1920s?
During the 1920s, corporations established bureaucratic management structures and specialized divisions. Productivity in manufacturing increased 32 percent between 1922 and 1929, leading to greatly increased profits, but average wages increased only 8 percent.
5. What was an unintended consequence of prohibition in the 1920s?
Prohibitionists had expected that ending the manufacture and consumption of alcohol would eliminate crime, improve the nation’s morality, and boost workers’ production. They did not anticipate the waves of violence associated with criminal control of the lucrative black market liquor trade or the willingness of ordinary citizens to flout the law. These unintended consequences of the Eighteenth Amendment contributed to the repeal of prohibition in 1933.
6. What activity formed the basis of progressive women’s reform efforts ten years after the ratification of the nineteenth amendment?
When the Nineteenth Amendment passed, politicians assumed that women would vote in a large and influential bloc. By the late 1920s, it was clear that no such bloc had emerged, and politicians began to ignore women’s issues such as birth control, protective legislation, equality for minorities, and the end of child labor. Women who supported these causes had to press their case through private channels in order to be heard.
7. Women who worked outside of the home in the 1920s
Women enjoyed greater opportunity in the 1920s, with approximately one in four women working for pay by the end of the decade. Many worked as secretaries, typists, file clerks, and sales clerks, and they were the majority of librarians, nurses, elementary school teachers, and telephone operators. Nonetheless, many factory jobs and most management positions still were closed to women.
8. What was the goal of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)?
Marcus Garvey believed that black Americans should take pride in their African heritage and in their own culture and achievements. In 1917, he launched the UNIA to help African Americans gain economic and political independence entirely separate from white society. The UNIA started a shipping company to support the “Back to Africa” movement among black Americans.
9. In what ways did rural areas of the United States change during the 1920s?
In the 1920s, the growth of cities and suburbs ended the political and cultural dominance of rural areas. Moreover, farms lost economic importance as the value of farmland and farm incomes fell; by the end of the 1920s, 40 percent of American farmers did not own any land.
10. How did rural dwellers of the 1920s perceive America’s growing cities?
Critics of cities—ignoring the large numbers of blacks in the South and of Mexican Americans and Asian Americans in the West—argued that rural America embodied a homogeneous Anglo-Saxon heritage. Rural Americans held themselves up as defenders of old-fashioned moral standards while contending that cities were controlled by immigrant urban dwellers who were tainted by radicalism and sexual vice.
11. How did congressional laws that imposed immigration quotas affect the population of the United States by 1924?
In 1924, one of President Coolidge’s first acts in office was to sign an immigration law—the Johnson-Reid Act—that reduced the number of immigrants allowed into the United States. The act gave each European nation a quota based on the number of people from that country listed in the 1890 U.S. census, which predated the influx of southern and eastern Europeans entirely, thereby severely limiting immigration from these areas. The law barred Asian immigration altogether.
12. The revived Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s had
The Ku Klux Klan originally rose during Reconstruction to curb black rights, which limited the organization’s appeal outside of the South. The revived Klan, however, moved beyond the southern region by pledging to defend family, morality, and traditional values against the threat posed by blacks, immigrants, radicals, Catholics, Jews, and foreigners.
13. What sort of president were Americans expecting Herbert Hoover to be based on his performance as head of the Food Administration under President Wilson?
Hoover was orphaned at a young age but became one of the world’s most successful mining engineers by the time he was thirty. His efforts to prevent famine among civilian victims of the fighting during World War I gave him a reputation as a humanitarian and led to his appointment as head of the Food Administration, where he directed successful campaigns to conserve resources during the war. When he was elected president in 1928, most Americans had high expectations for his tenure in office.
14. What became of Herbert Hoover’s belief in the principles of self-reliance, industrial self-management, and limited federal government once he occupied the White House?
Hoover’s adherence to the principles of individual self-reliance and industrial self-management were apparent strengths during the prosperous 1920s. But those principles, along with his unwillingness to use the federal government to solve social problems, proved to be enormous liabilities once the nation’s economy plunged into crisis in 1929.
15. What was the outcome of the trade policies the U.S. followed in the 1920s?
The Harding and Coolidge administrations insisted that European nations repay their war loans even as the United States maintained high tariffs that kept European goods out of the American market. Thus European countries had less money at the same time that America’s manufacturing output was at a record high. The American export market was propped up by means of credit, which resulted in even greater debts and, in the long run, economic instability.
16. Which of the following factors created a serious domestic consumption problem in the United States in the 1920s?
In the 1920s, almost two-thirds of all American families lived below the $2,000 subsistence level, while the top 1 percent received 15 percent of the nation’s income. The small number of wealthy people could not absorb more than a fraction of the nation’s output, and ordinary people did not have the financial resources to pick up the slack.
17. Which areas in the United States experienced the most acute poverty during the Great Depression?
The tenant farmers and sharecroppers who made up one-fourth of the entire southern population barely survived during the Great Depression. Eight and a half million people crowded into small cabins lacking plumbing, electricity, running water, or sanitary wells and subsisted on salt pork, cornmeal, molasses, beans, peas, small animals, and fish.
18. During the 1930s, Los Angeles County responded to the growing presence of Mexicans by
In the 1920s, large farmers encouraged Mexicans to immigrate to the United States because they were a cheap source of agricultural labor. However, in the context of the Great Depression, Mexicans were denounced as dangerous aliens who took jobs from Americans; thus government officials in Los Angeles County targeted all Mexican residents for deportation, including the native-born children of Mexican parents, who were American citizens by birth and had never lived outside of the United States.
19. How did white women who worked in service-sector industries fare during the Great Depression?
The depression hit the industrial sector harder than the service sector. White women working in low-paying service areas did not lose their jobs as often as men who worked in heavy industries like the steel and automobile industries.
20. How did President Hoover try to express his confidence that the nation would return to prosperity during the Great Depression?
Hoover’s unwillingness to provide federal aid to the victims of unemployment convinced many Americans that he was callous. He worsened the situation by insisting on formal dress in the White House and retaining the services of valets and waiters while maintaining that no Americans were starving to death.
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