Chapter 20: From Business Culture to Depression, Part 3/3

All right guys thank you for bearing with me this is part three of chapter 20. so to go back we left off at the scopes trial which is the state of tennessee versus john scopes which took place in 1925 where scopes is arrested for teaching darwin’s theory of evolution in the school he is found guilty in the lower court but is later uh overturned by the tennessee supreme

Court um it’s also during this time in the 1920s again because remember society is changing and so you get that equal and opposite um reaction that whenever you see some freedoms expand there is a revolt in a way and you see uh some of these freedoms shrink and that includes with immigration the golden door closes at this time um there’s a change in immigration

Policy in 1921 a temporary measure restricted immigration from europe to just 357 000 persons per year which was one third of the annual average prior to world war one so in 1923 they shrink immigration from europe to just 357 000 per year again which is just a third of the uh annual average prior to world war one then in 1924 congress permanently limited uh

European immigration to just 150 000 per year they did this because they wanted to ensure that the descendants of old immigrants would always outnumber the children of new immigrants they also will bar the entry of asians into the country so the golden door closes uh this new immigration law really reflected this heightened emphasis on race as a determinant of

Public policy so uh it’s during this time of course it’s during the jim crow era so in the south and in the north blacks are relegated to second-class citizenship and immigration is limited to an ideal population so even though um cultural pluralism pluralism describes a society that glorifies ethnic diversity rather than suppressing it it’s at this time that we

Don’t have cultural pluralism we don’t we don’t glorify ethnic diversity um as um being the essence of society um we will glorify the ideal say of the melting pot that when you come to america you become part of this homogenous structure where everyone is the same right and that is the melting pot versus you know a tossed salad now immigrant groups will assert

Their validity or assert the validity of cultural diversity and they will identify tolerance of difference as being the essence of american freedom so immigrants will have their own definition of american freedom and say it’s really the glorification of cultural diversity that makes america great um this is also the era i’ll shift gears this is also the era of

Harlem harlem emerges as being the socio-cultural mecca of uh black society so you’ll get a lot of migrants from the south you’ll get a lot of immigrants from the west indies who will settle in harlem harlem was this small area um the small borough um in new york that is known for being a black era area in new york most harlem businesses even though it is known

As being a black area this is where black people live most harlem businesses were owned uh by whites it is seen as the capital though of black america um oh okay so the harlem renaissance we’ll talk about this it’s during the harlem renaissance that we see this upsurge of consciousness among black americans and we see this explosion of artistic expression and

The idea of the new negro so the new negro rejected established stereotypes and they really wanted to search for other values to put in the place of these stereotypes so some of our most famous renaissance poets and writers were langston hughes claude mckay zoranil hurston who wrote their eyes are watching god uh langston hughes wrote a number of poems as well

As short stories and one of my favorite short stories of his is titled blessed assurance we also get county cullen duke ellington louis armstrong count basie we get this explosion of black music of black artistry of black um i said music music artistry poetry uh books you get this expression where you’re able as to outside you get black literature it’s really

The first time in american society that we have black literature that talks about black experiences from a black point of view right this is really where we get that and even though she is not a child of the renaissance i will say an author who i would say is similar her writing is very similar to a renaissance author would be tony morrison in that she spoke of a

Black experience right from a black perspective so it’s during this time that you get this upsurge of consciousness you get this upsurge of artistry during the harlem renaissance now what’s interesting is that even though it’s this capital of black america a lot of the businesses were owned by whites and one of the most famous clubs in harlem at this time was the

Cotton club but the cotton club didn’t really employ it only employed like light-skinned black dancers to their review and black people could not patronize the uh the cotton club you couldn’t go there and be served but you could perform at the cotton club so it’s at this time that you get the jazz of the roaring twenties right it’s during this era of the harlem

Renaissance our renaissance there’s no t i apologize for that okay so we move on to the election of 1928 so in the election of 1928 it is an election between herbert hoover who is a republican and albert smith who is a democrat uh from new york so albert smith uh was a democrat and he was also the first catholic to be nominated by a major party he served three

Times as governor in new york our governor of new york however hoover ends up winning the election it’s still at this time in society where in america there is a pretty strong anti-catholic cinnamon sentiment um that anti-catholic sentiment will continue it’s not until jfk that we get a catholic president because america is pretty anti-catholic during this time

And will continue to be anti-catholic hoover ends up winning the election of 1928. he has about i would say about a year of a decent presidency until black tuesday so black tuesday is when the stock market crashes and that is october 29 1929 the stock market crashes the significance of this is that about 10 billion dollars uh just evaporates just vanishes in the

Matter of hours so in the matter of five hours about 10 billion dollars in market value just vanishes now the stock market crash in and of itself doesn’t create the depression it doesn’t create the great depression by itself you have the stock market and then you have the economy and the way that i like to explain this to my students is that you yes the stock

Market yeah it’s important but then you have the economy and what’s the difference we are the economy we are what keeps the economy rolling if the people don’t have money then you’re not spending money if you’re not spending money the economy isn’t going to move right because we you me and any and everyone watching we are the economy now remember most american

Families at this time don’t have savings once the stock market crashes a lot of the banks fail and this is at a time where there is no fdic the fdic is a federal depositor’s insurance right and so whenever you’ve put your money in the bank your banks usually at least back in the day would have stickers that say fdic insured meaning that if anything happens and

This bank fails you don’t lose your money your money will stay exactly where it is unfortunately the fdic didn’t come about until we’re in the great depression as a measure to try to um i don’t know as a as a measure to try to help the great depression so there is no fdic so people who had their monies or their money in banks lost their money because there is no

Fdic there is no getting your money back in 1930 just a year after the stock market crashes about 26 000 businesses will fail when these businesses fail people lose their jobs and there is this this downward relentless slide this relentless downward slide of stock so for example u.s steel stock prices went from about from being about 260 dollars a share to being

Just 22 dollars a share gm or general mo general motor stock prices also uh really just fell to the bottom right it went from being about 73 dollars a share to just eight dollars a share so if you invested in the stock market let’s say i’m just gonna go on my calculator here let’s say you at one time had uh 20 shares of u.s steel so 20 shares of u.s steel is

About 5 240 right prior to the great depression because again that’s 262 20 which would get you about 50 to 40. well since those shares the price of it fell your 20 shares that were worth 50 to 40 and now it’s 22. now those shares are only worth 440 dollars so you see how that would impact if your price per share was 262 and you had 20 shares now your stocks

Your shares rather are only worth 440 so you see this relentless downside of stocks and it’s like you just lose your money you just lose out um people stopped investing in the economy people didn’t have any money and so if people don’t have any money they can’t shop we’re the ones who keep the economy running every time you go to the store to buy necessities

You are buying into the economy but if people don’t have money they don’t spend money and the economy will slowly kind of go to a standstill you can’t spend money that you don’t have so if you don’t take care of the people if the people don’t have money to spend your economy is not going to do very well you have extremely high tariffs on imported goods at this

Time europe will retaliate by imposing tariffs on u.s goods then also at the time of the great depression we also have the dust bowl which is a man-made disaster that we’ll talk about next chapter that will greatly impact america’s heartland so it’s bad thing after bad thing after bad thing now with americans and the depression we see a horrible transformation

Of the american way of life a lot of families will move into shanty towns because they can no longer afford their rent or no longer afford their mortgage hundreds of thousands of people are looking for work but unfortunately there just aren’t any jobs so people will move from the farms or from i’m sorry people will move from the cities to the farms in an effort

Just to feed their families and so you also i would say things really come to a head um in the spring of 1932 or at least with a group of people with the bonus army and so world war one veterans will march on washington demanding that are demanding an early payment to bonuses so world war one vets were promised a bonus that was due in 1945 but since they’re out of

Work they don’t have any money they’re fighting for survival 20 000 uh unemployed world war one vets will march on washington in an effort to try to get early payment for these bonuses because they’re just trying to survive um they will end up being driven away by federal soldiers led by douglas macarthur a lot of the camps that they had set up along the way will

Also be burned now to a lot of americans so well let me back up what is hoover’s response what is the government’s response during this time well a lot of americans are too a lot of americans hoover’s response seems both inadequate and uncaring so hoover i wouldn’t say a lot of people will say well hoover was a horrible president because he didn’t do anything to

Help people during the great depression but it’s also important to remember uh for context that at this time hoover shares the conventional view of the time so he really at this time the government typically didn’t step up to help people government intervention for hoover and a lot of presidents really prior to hoover they felt that government intervention would

Do little to spur you know any type of economic recovery and they really felt that if they helped people that it would uh that it would encourage people to rely on the government and so hoover perhaps foolishly puts his faith in volunteerism so what is volunteerism he is hoping that corporations will voluntarily help people that they will voluntarily hire folks

And voluntarily pay people um a nice livable wage but volunteer uh volunteerism doesn’t work it didn’t work then um people weren’t going to voluntarily hire more people to pay out more money so volunteerism is a massive failure and so for a lot of people they view hoover as being really out of touch with the present reality um or with the present plight of a lot

Of american people so if you are following along on your slides on the next slide i have a picture of a shanty town and they became known as hoovervilles so people living in cardboard boxes um in a collection of cardboard cardboard houses these are known as hoovervilles and if you didn’t have any money and you reach inside your pocket you turned it inside out

That was known your empty pocket was known as a hoover flag right so by 1932 hoover had to he was pretty much forced to admit that volunteerism had failed to stem the great depression because nothing really changes but he does put in place the uh reconstruction finance corporation that loan money to failing banks however how about the people because the people

Are the economy so um and the uh federal home loan bank system will offer eight to um homeowners who are threatened with foreclosure and so once we get to chapter 21 and we’re talking about the new deal of course hoover will not win re-election instead um he will lose to franklin delano roosevelt who have an idea of economic or to spur economic recovery called

The new deal and the new deal will be a program where a the government will create jobs and hire people for these jobs the government will also offer contracts to construction companies to be able to work on these different projects and so since hoover i would say if hoover helped people of hoover put in a plan to to help people maybe he would have won reelection

But hoover doesn’t help anyone people are struggling people are losing their homes people are starving and hoover doesn’t give any type of aid or help and so because of that he is seen as being incredibly out of touch with the plight of the american people so i hope you enjoyed this chapter i hope you understood i will see you guys back with chapter 21 all right see you guys later

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Chapter 20: From Business Culture to Depression, Part 3/3 By Tracy Daniel