Unit 6 Portfolio
With the end of World War I and the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment, Americans entered the distinctive 1920s — an era of Republican leadership, nationalistic and fundamentalist movements, and changing social conventions. Electing Republican presidents who favored business expansion rather than regulation, the American public enjoyed apparently unlimited prosperity, while fear of radicals and foreigners combined to almost completely close off America to immigration and contributed to the resurgence of hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Religious fundamentalism revived as new moral and social attitudes came into vogue. Additionally, the first radio broadcasts and motion pictures expanded Americans' access to news and entertainment. During the 1920s, three Republicans occupied the White House: Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. Harding was inept, Coolidge was mediocre, and Hoover was overcome by circumstances he neither understood nor could control. Harding's campaign slogan, “A return to normalcy,” aptly described American politics for the entire period. The nation turned away from the reforming zeal of the Progressive Era and the moral vision of Wilson's wartime leadership toward a government whose domestic economic policies opposed federal regulation and encouraged business expansion. The Harding administration. Although he was affable and popular, Harding's naivete made him a disaster as president. Mindful of his own weaknesses, he tried to select the best men possible for his cabinet, with Charles Evans Hughes as Secretary of State, Henry C. Wallace as Secretary of Agriculture, Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commerce, and Andrew Mellon as Secretary of the Treasury. These men were responsible for the accomplishments of Harding's brief administration, which included stimulating business growth, cutting taxes, and negotiating disarmament treaties. 2.
War in Europe in 1914 – with Germany and Austria-Hungary fighting Britain, France, Italy, and Russia – affected U.S. interests almost from the start. The British and the German navies both interfered with American shipping, but German submarine attacks were deadly. Almost 130 Americans died when a submarine sank the British ocean liner Lusitania in 1915. President Woodrow Wilson demanded an end to the attacks, and they stopped for a while, but by 1917 they had resumed. The United States declared war. The efforts of more than 1,750,000 U.S. troops played a decisive role in the defeat of the German and Austro-Hungarian alliance. An armistice, technically a truce but actually a surrender, was concluded on November 11, 1918. President Wilson negotiated an end to the conflict based on his 14-point plan for achieving lasting peace. It included an end to secret international agreements, free trade between nations, a reduction in national armaments, self-rule for subjugated European nationalities, and formation of an association – a League of Nations – to help guarantee political independence and territorial integrity for large and small countries alike. 3.
Rugged individualism was the phrase used often by Herbert Hoover during his time as president. It refers to the idea that each individual should be able to help themselves out, and that the government does not need to involve itself in people's economic lives nor in national economics in general. It is often associated with "social Darwinism" or an "up-by-the-bootstraps" philosophy. Hoover emphasized that rugged individualism was not laissez-faire, though many modern rugged individualists have ignored that. His idea of "rugged individualism" reflected his idea of how the federal government should not interfere with the American people during the Great Depression. Providing large-scale humanitarian efforts, Hoover feared, would injure "the initiative and enterprise of the American people. Post-World War I, rugged individualism appealed to economic...
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