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America During The 1920's Essay

4171 words - 17 pages

America During the 1920's

In the first three decades of the 20th century, America became the
richest and most powerful country in the world. Its population, wealth
and industry were growing fast. It had plenty of natural resources
(oil, coal, iron ore etc.) The average American worker earned 5 xs
more than in Europe. Many Americans owned their own cars. America was
so rich it could lend money to Europe.

At the end of World War I, America turned its back on Europe. It
didn’t join the League of Nations in 1922. Also in 1922 the McCumber
tariff was introduced, this put heavy taxes on cheap foreign imports.
This made goods from other countries look very expensive to buy in
America, so Americans bought American made goods, and American
companies made big profits. However foreign countries retaliated by
putting high taxes on American goods being sold in their countries. By
the late 1920’s this was a big problem for America and Europe.
Isolationism roared for American companies as they made huge profits
but the American people lost out too because Europe couldn’t export
goods to America which is a very big country. So the tariff helped
industry roar for most of the 1920’s because Americans only bought
American made goods which meant that American companies made huge
profits. However by the late 1920’s American companies were finding it
hard to sell their goods in America because Americans already had
their goods and other countries would not buy them because of the high
taxes on them.

The Ku Klux Klan wanted to stir up hatred and prejudice against
blacks, Jews, Foreigners and Catholics. The Klan had been founded by
southern whites after the American civil war. In 1900 the Klan died
out but then in 1915 William Simmons, an ex-history teacher from
Georgia, re-founded the Klan. By this time all the states of the old
south had bought in “Jim Crow Laws” These laws said that blacks should
be “separate but equal”. Blacks were separate from whites in every
public place. During the war thousands of blacks moved to northern
cities to do the newly created jobs. They usually ended up doing the
worst jobs so most white people didn’t really mind. However the
movement to the cities led to housing shortages. This led to big riots
between blacks and whites. In 1924 the Klan claimed it had a
membership of nearly 5 million. The Klan attracted whites of low
intelligence and those looking for excitement. However, some local and
national politicians were members. The Klan wore white to show
purity. their costumes were baggy and lose so you could not tell the
build of the person. They wore hoods that covered their whole faces so
you could not see what they looked like and they had high points on so
you could not tell the height of the person. The Klan roared for its
members because they rarely got...

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