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America in the 1920s

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America in The 1920s Why did prohibition in the USA lead to a growth in the crime rate? Prohibition was the forbidding by law of the manufacture of sale of alcoholic drinks. In the nineteenth century, in rural areas of America there was a very strong temperance movement. Members of the temperance movements agreed not to drink alcohol and also campaigned to get others to get others to give up alcohol. Most of these members were Christians who saw the damage alcohol id to family life. In some areas the temperance movements were so strong that they persuaded their own government to prohibit the sale of alcohol within the state. Trough the early twentieth century the campaign gathered pace and became a national campaign to ban alcohol throughout the country. Leading industries like Nelson Rockfeller backed the movement believing workers would be more reliable if they did not drink. Politicians also backed it because they saw it got them votes in rural areas. The campaign became one of the countries values against city values. In 1912 the movement had enough states o its side to propose the 18th Amendment to the constitution. This prohibited the manufacture, sales or transportation of intoxicating liquors. It became law on 1919. Prohibition never had strong support in the urban states. One state, Maryland, never introduced it. In all states the authorities quickly found that it is one thing passing a law to prohibit alcohol and another to enforce it. The government appointed thousands of federal agents to destroy liquor supplies and to arrest anyone breaking the law. In some rural states prohibition worked in a limited way, however in cities it soon became clear that prohibition was not stopping Americans drinking. Instead of USA being a dry country, prohibition simply turned many citizens in to law-breakers. Some people were setting up their own 'moonshine' (home-made whisky). Many went to the illegal bars called speakeasies. ...read more.


Sacco and Vanzetti were convicted on flimsy evidence. Explaining the verdict a leading lawyer of time said: 'Judge Thayer is narrow minded ...unintelligent... full of prejudice. He has been carried away by fear of Reds which has captured about ninety per cent of the American people'. After six years of legal appeals Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in 1927, to a storm of protest around the world from both radicals and moderates who saw how unjustly the trial had been conducted. The Sacco and Vanzetti case was just one example of a widespread fear of radicals and immigrants. In 1924 the government took action. They limited immigration and introduced a system which ensured that the largest proportion o immigrants were from north-west Europe (mainly British, Irish and German) and which limited immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe. From a high point of more that a million a year between 1901 and 1910, by 1929 the number of immigrants arriving in the USA had fallen to 150,000 per year. Black people had long been part of America's history. The first Black people had been brought to the USA as slaves by white settlers in the seventeenth century. By the time slaver was ended in the nineteenth century there were more blacks that whites in the southern US. White governments, fearing the power of the blacks, introduced many laws to control their freedom. They could not vote, they were denied access to good jobs and to worth while education and well into the twentieth century they suffered great poverty. However Black Americans tried to improve their conditions in the 920s by setting up to reform associations. The NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, urged the government to improve their conditions by introducing new laws. In particular, they wanted a law against lynching, for many blacks were hung from trees by Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s. ...read more.


This was because the economy kept doing well there were more shares buyers that sellers and the value of shares rose. It seemed to many Americans that the stock market was an easy and quick way to get rich. Anyone could buy shares, watch their value rise and then sell shares later at a higher price. Many Americans decided to join the stock market. In 1920 there had been only 4 million share owners in America. By 1929 there were 20 million. Many of the new investors were speculators. Speculation is a form of gambling. Speculators did not intend to keep their shares for long. They borrowed money to buy shares. Then sold them again as soon as the price rose. They paid of their loan and still had a quick profit to show for it. At first it was not clear what the impact of the crash would be. In the short term the large speculators were ruined. The rich lost most because they had invested most. They had always been the main market for American goods so there was an immediate downturn in spending. Many other s had borrowed money to buy shares which was by now worthless. Also there was another crisis happened which made another big fall in share prices and led to the Wall Street Crash. Many brokers who had sold shares 'on the margin' had borrowed money form banks to buy shares in the first place. The banks were now demanding repayment of their money. To repay the banks, the in their turn had to ask their customers for more margin. And the only way the customers could sell pay more margin was to sell more shares. On Tuesday 29 October there was a mad scramble to sell shares at any prices. Panic-stricken brokers and investors sold over 16 million shares during the say. The average price of shares fell 40 points and shareholders lost a total of $8000 million. The stock market did not recover from this and the great depression. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sonia Nabi History coursework-America in the 1920s ...read more.

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