The Great Bambino
By Jeff Kavulich & Parker Wilson
Table of contents
Scopes Monkey Trial
LetterPolitical Cartoon and Analysis
Warren G. Harding
Harding was the 29th President of the United States of America. He served from March 4th, 1921 until his death August 2nd, 1923. His presidency was rocked by scandal and criminal activity. He was never involved in anything but his cabinet members and other government officials were very shady to say the least. As president he favored pro-business policies and limited immigration.After his death in 1923, the Teapot Dome Scandal and other instances of corruption showed up and damaged his reputation.
Teapot Dome Scandal
The Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s involved national security, big oil companies and bribery and corruption at the highest levels of the government of the United States. It was the most serious scandal in the country’s history prior to the Watergate affair of the Nixon administration in the 1970s. Albert Fall, who was Harding's secretary of interior, made secret deals with two oilmen which authorized them to drill in three naval petroleum reserves. This is how everything started and it became more and more corrupt. After Harding's sudden death in 1923, fall was convicted and sentenced to prison along with several other government officials.
Kellogg Briand Pact
The Kellogg-Briand Pact was an agreement to outlaw war signed on August 27, 1928. Sometimes called the Pact of Paris for the city in which it was signed, the pact was one of many international efforts to prevent another World War, but it had little effect in stopping the rising militarism of the 1930s or preventing World War II. French Minister of Foreign Affairs Aristide Briand proposed a peace pact as a bilateral agreement between the United States and France to outlaw war between them.
The Red ScareThe so-called “Red Scare” refers to the fear of communism in the USA during the 1920’s. It is said that there were over 150,000 anarchists or communists in USA in 1920 alone and this represented only 0.1% of the overall population of the USA.
However many Americans were scared of the communists especially as they had overthrown the royal family in Russia in1917 and murdered them in the following year. In 1901, an anarchist had shot the American president (McKinley) dead.
The fear of communism increased when a series of strikes occurred in 1919. The police of Boston went on strike and 100,000’s of steel and coal workers did likewise. The communists usually always got the blame.A series of bomb explosions in 1919, including a bungled attempt to blow up A. Mitchell Palmer, America’sAttorney-General, lead to a campaign against the communists. On New Year’s Day, 1920, over 6000 people were arrested and put in prison. Many had to be released in a few weeks and only 3 guns were found in their homes. Very few people outside of the 6000 arrested complained about the legality of these arrests such was the fear of communism. The judicial system seemed to turn a blind eye as America’s national security was paramount. Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s a culture developed within America which both feared and despised communism. This stance against the “Reds” only become diluted when America and Russia allied against a common foe in the Second World War.
on June 2nd, 1919 a militant anarchist blew up the front of newly appointed attorney general A. Mitchell Palmer's Home. The bombing was just one in a series of coordinated attacks that day on judges, politicians, law enforcement officials, and others in eight cities nationwide. About a month earlier, radicals had also mailed bombs to the mayor of Seattle and a U.S. Senator, blowing the hands off the senator’s domestic worker. The next day, a postal worker in New York City intercepted 16 more packages addressed to political and business leaders, including John D. Rockefeller. The nation wanted a response and the government gaveit to them. They began arresting suspect radicals and well known leaders. After a short period of time they boarded a ship known as the "Red Ark" or "Soviet Ark" by the press and they were deported to Russia.
Sacco and Vanzetti
On April 15, 1920, a paymaster for a shoe company in South Braintree, Massachusetts, was shot and killed along with his guard. The murderers, who were described as two Italian men, escaped with more than $15,000. After going to a garage to claim a car that police said was connected with the crime, Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested and charged with the crime. Although both men carried guns and made false statements upon their arrest, neither had a previous criminal record. On July 14, 1921, they were convicted and sentenced to die.Anti-radical sentiment was running high in America at the time, and the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti was regarded by many as unlawfully sensational.During the next few years, sporadic protests were held in Massachusetts and around the world calling for their release, especially after Celestino Madeiros, then under a sentence for murder, confessed in 1925 that he had participated in the crime with the Joe Morelli gang. The state Supreme Court refused to upset the verdict, and Massachusetts Governor Alvan T. Fuller denied the men clemency. In the days leading up to the execution, protests were held in cities around the world, and bombs were set off in New York City and Philadelphia. On August 23, Sacco and Vanzetti were electrocuted.
Schenck VS United States
In Schenck v. United States (1919), the Supreme Court invented the famous "clear and present danger" test to determine when a state could constitutionally limit an individual's free speech rights under the First Amendment. In reviewing the conviction of a man charged with distributing provocative flyers to draftees of World War I, the Court asserted that, in certain contexts, words can create a "clear and present danger" that Congress may constitutionally prohibit. While the ruling has since been overturned, Schenck is still significant for creating the context-based balancing tests used in reviewing freedom of speech challenges.The case involved a prominent socialist, Charles Schenck, who attempted to distribute thousands of flyers to American servicemen recently drafted to fight in World War I. Schenck's flyers asserted that the draft amounted to "involuntary servitude" proscribed by the Constitution's Thirteenth Amendment (outlawing slavery) and that the war itself was motivated by capitalist greed, and urged draftees to petition for repeal of the draft. Schenck was charged by the U.S. government with violating the recently enacted Espionage Act. The government alleged that Schenck violated the act by conspiring "to cause insubordination ... in the military and naval forces of the United States." Schenck responded that the Espionage Act violated the First Amendment of the Constitution, which forbids Congress from making any law abridging the freedom of speech. He was found guilty on all charges. The U.S. Supreme Court reviewed Schenck's conviction on appeal.
Scopes Monkey Trial
John T. Scopes a science teacher and football coach in Dayton, Tennessee. In the spring of 1925, he walked into his classroom and read, from Dayton's Tennessee-approved textbook Hunters Civic Biology, part of a chapter on the evolution of humankind and Darwin's theory of natural selection. His arrest soon followed, and a trial date was set.Representing Scopes was the famed trial lawyer Clarence Darrow . Slick and sophisticated, Darrow epitomized the urban society in which he lived.
The prosecution was led by William Jennings Bryan, three-time presidential candidate and former secretary of state. The "Great Commoner" was the perfect representative of the rural values he dedicated his life to defend.Bryan was a Christian who lobbied for a constitutional amendment banning the teaching of evolution throughout the nation.The trial became a media circus.It was the first trial ever to be broadcast on radio.After a long heated debate, the jury sided with the law. Scopes was in violation of Tennessee's laws on Darwin's theory.
innovations & innovators
Ford changes the transportation worldHenry Ford was one of the most influential people in United States history. Hus success as a automobile inventor was very well known. By 1922 half of the United States cars were Model Ts. Up until 1927 the Model Ts were doing great and then sales of his most popular car began to rapidly decline. He stopped making Model Ts and began assembling a new breed of car. It appeared in 1927 and it was such a departure from the old Ford the company went back to the beginning of the alphabet and decided to name it Model A. Ford changed the way people get around and truly effected the whole nation with his innovation and ingenuity.
was the most popular black nationalist leader of the early twentieth century, and the founder of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). A Jamaican immigrant, Garvey rose to prominence as a soapbox orator in Harlem, New York.
By the 1920s, the charismatic Garvey's UNIA claimed more than 4 million members, and crowds of more than 25,000 people packed into Madison Square Garden to hear Garvey speak of racial redemption and repatriation to Africa. Garvey's militancy and popularity spooked the U.S. government, which eventually imprisoned and deported Garvey on dubious charges of mail fraud.
The novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald termed the 1920s "the Jazz Age." With its earthy rhythms, fast beat, and improvisational style, jazz symbolized the decade's spirit of liberation. At the same time, new dance styles arose, involving spontaneous bodily movements and closer physical contact between partners.
In fact, the 1920s was a decade of deep cultural division, pitting a more cosmopolitan, modernist, urban culture against a more provincial, traditionalist, rural culture. The decade witnessed a titanic struggle between an old and a new America as well as the rise of a modern consumer economy and mass entertainment. All of these themes were played out in the nation's music.