The Roaring 20s

1920s

Nativism(1920)

When the government cut back spending to balance the budget in 1920, a severe recession resulted. However, the war economy had invested heavily in the manufacturing sector, and the next decade did see an explosion of productivity. The 1920's saw a return to a laissez-faire market economy; the top tax rate was lowered to 25% and the stock market began its spectacular rise.

  • The Supreme Court overturned a number of measures designed to regulate the activities of big business. The Court declared boycotts by labor unconstitutional and authorized the use of antitrust laws against unions.

  • The Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922 and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930 were two of six major tariffs passed that hiked importation rates to all-time highs. These tariffs protected American companies from international competition.

  • Andrew Mellon, treasury secretary from 1921 to 1932, persuaded Congress to lower income tax rates for the wealthy.

Politics(1920)

Court Cases(1920)

Court Cases- The Palmer Raids- were a series of raids by the United States Department of Justice intended to capture, arrest and deport radical leftists, especially anarchists, from the United States. The raids and arrests occurred in November 1919 and January 1920 under the leadership of Attorney General A. MitchellPalmer.


Sacco & Vanzetti-Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italian-born US anarchists who were convicted of murdering a guard and a paymaster during the armed robbery of the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company, committed April 15, 1920, in South Braintree, Massachusetts, United States, and were executed by the electric chair seven years after.


a seminalcase in Constitutional Law, representing the first time that the U.S. Supreme Courtheard a First Amendment challenge to a federal law on free speech grounds.


Scopes Monkey Trial (1920)

The Scopes Trial brought in hundreds of reporters from all over the country, and it was the first trial to be broadcast on radio. Both the prosecuting attorney and Scopes’ defense attorney were charismatic men and drew significant attention to the case, which for the defense was more about defeating the Butler Act then about defending Scopes. Scopes was found guilty and charged a fine of $100, but the verdict was thrown out on a technicality on an appeal.The Scopes Trial brought in hundreds of reporters from all over the country, and it was the first trial to be broadcast on radio. Both the prosecuting attorney and Scopes’ defense attorney were charismatic men and drew significant attention to the case, which for the defense was more about defeating the Butler Act then about defending Scopes. Scopes was found guilty and charged a fine of $100, but the verdict was thrown out on a technicality on an appeal.

Culture(1920)

The Jazz Age in Chicago and New York, F.Scott Fitzgerald called it a time when "the parties were bigger, the pace was faster, the building were higher, the morals looser."

Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana, the birthplace of jazz. He is considered the most important improviser in jazz, and he taught the world to swing.

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