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Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act (1922)

Reflected US isolationist inclinations following WWI. Congress adopted a laissez-faire attitude toward regulating business and pro-business attitude in passing the tariff and in promoting foreign trade through providing huge loans to the postwar Allied governments who returned the favor by buying US goods and by cracking down on strikes.

Bureau of the Budget

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB is tasked with giving expert advice to senior WH officials on a range of topics relating to federal policy, management, legislative, regulatory, and budgetary issues. The bulk of OMB’s 500 employees are charged with monitoring the adherence of their assigned federal programs to presidential policies.

Teapot Dome

One of many scandals under Harding; Involved priceless naval oil reserves at Teapot Dome, Wyoming. Albert B. Fall got Secretary of Navy, Denby to transfer valuable goods to Interior Department secretly. Harry Sinclair and Edward L Dohney were released the lands after paying a large bribe. Scandal polluted governments prestige and made public wonder about the sufficiency of government and undermined faith in courts

Alfred E. Smith

He ran for president in the 1928 election for the Democrat Party. He was known for his drinking and he lost the election to Herbert Hoover. Prohibition was one of the issues of the campaign. He was the first Roman Catholic to run for president, and it was during a time many people were prejudice toward Catholics.

Henry Ford

He made assembly line production more efficient in his Rouge River plant near Detroit- a finished car would come out every 10 seconds. He helped to make car inexpensive so more Americans could buy them.

Assembly Line

A process in which the job of making a product is divided into many smaller jobs. Each worker assembles the same part on every item made. The workers stay in the same place while the items pass by on a moving belt or track.

Open shop

A type of union that does not require employees in the bargaining unit to become union members or pay fees to secure or retain employment. The union is obligated by law to represent members and non-members equally.

Jazz age

Also known as the American High, describes the period of the 1920s, the years between the end of World War I and the onset of the Great Depression, particularly in North America and (in the era’s literature) specifically in New York City, largely coinciding with the Roaring Twenties; ending with the rise of the Great Depression, the traditional values of this age saw great decline while the American stock market soared.

Charles Lindberg

Known as "Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle," was an American pilot famous for the first solo, non-stop flight from New York to Paris in 1927 in the Spirit of St. Louis. In the ensuing deluge of notoriety, Lindbergh became the world’s best-known aviator.

Sigmund Freud

One of the founders of psychiatry, discovered the subconscious. Believed that the mind is divided into 3 parts: id – primitive impulse; ego – reason which regulates between the id and reality; and superego – morals. He argued that health demanded sexual gratification and liberation. His writings seemed to justify the new sexual frankness of the 1920s.

Margaret Sanger

American leader of the movement to legalize birth control during the early


A religious movement emphasizing the literal truth of the Bible and rejecting any compromise with Darwinism; opposed religious modernists

Aimee Semple McPherson

Most popular and most famous evangelist; preached with the help of bands, orchestras, and choirs; combined Hollywood showmanship, NY advertising, and old-fashioned religion; had her own radio show

Gertrude Stein

American writer of experimental novels, poetry, essays, operas, and plays. In Paris during the 1920s she was a central member of a group of American expatriates that included Ernest Hemingway. Her works include Three Lives (1908), Tender Buttons (1914), and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933).

Lost Generation

A phrase made popular by American author Ernest Hemingway in his first published novel The Sun Also Rises. Often it is used to refer to a group of American literary notables who lived in Paris and other parts of Europe, some after military service in the First World War. Figures identified with the "Lost Generation" include authors and poets F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Sherwood Anderson, Waldo Peirce, and John Dos Passos. It also refers to the time period from the end of World War I to the beginning of the Great Depression. More generally, the term is used for the generation of young people coming of age in the United States during and shortly after World War I

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Expatriate American writer who epitomized the Jazz Age. His novels include The Great Gatsby (1925) and Tender Is the Night (1934); focused on personal alienation; wrote This Side of Paradise in which he depicted a world occupied by a generation grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faith in man shaken

Sinclair Lewis

American novelist who satirized middle-class America in his 22 works, including Babbitt (1922) and Elmer Gantry (1927). He was the first American to receive (1930) a Nobel Prize for literature.

Ezra Pound

An American expatriate poet, musician and critic who was a major figure in the Modernist movement in poetry.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Considered America’s greatest architect. Pioneered the concept that a building should blend into and harmonize with its surroundings rather than following classical designs.


A design movement evolved from several previous movements or schools in Europe in the early 20th century, advocating the design of buildings, furnishings, etc., as direct fulfillments of material requirements, as for shelter, repose, or the serving of food, with the construction, materials, and purpose clearly expressed or at least not denied, and with aesthetic effect derived chiefly from proportions and finish, purely decorative effects being excluded or greatly subordinated.

Georgia O’Keeffe

American artist. O’Keeffe has been a major figure in American art since the 1920s. She is chiefly known for paintings in which she synthesizes abstraction and representation in paintings of flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones and landscapes. Her paintings present crisply contoured forms that are replete with subtle tonal transitions of varying colors, and she often transformed her subject matter into powerful abstract images.

Countee Cullen

American poet; A major writer of the Harlem Renaissance—a flowering of black artistic and literary talent in the 1920s—Cullen wrote poetry inspired by American black life. His technique was conventional, modeled on that of John Keats, and his mood passed from racial pride and optimism in the 1920s to sadness and disappointment in the 1930s. Among his volumes of verse are Color (1925), Copper Sun (1927), The Ballad of the Brown Girl (1927), and On These I Stand (1947).

James Weldon Johnson

African-American author, poet, early civil rights activist, and prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance. He was also one of the first African-American professors at New York University.

Claude McKay

American poet and novelist; A major figure of the Harlem Renaissance, McKay is best remembered for his poems treating racial themes. His works include the volumes of poetry Spring in New Hampshire (1920) and Harlem Shadows (1922); and the novels Home to Harlem (1927), Banjo (1929), and Banana Bottom (1933). For years McKay was involved in radical political activities (communism), but he became increasingly disillusioned, and in 1944 he converted to Roman Catholicism.

Duke Ellington

Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist, composer, and orchestra leader considered the most prolific composer and best-known figure in jazz history. Ellington’s orchestra featured jazz’s biggest names and achieved an almost perfect unity of style, making tremendous progress in the jazz idiom. His works include "Mood Indigo" (1930), "Black, Brown and Beige" (1943), and "Night Creatures" (1955).

Louis Armstrong

Jazz musician known for his virtuosic skills on the cornet and trumpet. Armstrong popularized the scat style of singing and remains one of jazz’s most important and influential musicians. He was a member of King Oliver’s band in the 1920s, and he formed several bands of his own, namely the Hot Fives and Sevens.

Bessie Smith

American singer; after working in traveling shows she went to New York City, where she made (1923-28) recordings, accompanied by such outstanding artists as Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, and James P. Johnson. She quickly became the favorite singer of the jazz public. The power and somber beauty of her voice, coupled with songs representing every variety of the blues, earned her the title "Empress of the Blues."

Paul Robeson

3-year NFL pro; also scholar, lawyer, singer, actor and political activist; long-tainted by Communist sympathies, he was finally inducted into College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.

Marcus Garvey

Black leader who advocated "black nationalism," and financial independence for Blacks, he started the "Back to Africa" movement. He believed Blacks would not get justice in mostly white nations.

Scopes Trial

In 1925 Scopes was indicted for teaching evolution in Tennessee. His trial was watched all over the country. This trial represented the Fundamentalist vs. the Modernist. In the outcome Scopes was only fined $100.00 dollars. While it seemed the Fundamentalists had won, the trial made them look bad.

Clarence Darrow

A famed criminal defense lawyer for Scopes, who supported evolution. He caused William Jennings Bryan to appear foolish when Darrow questioned Bryan about the Bible.

Prohibition; Volstead Act (1919)

The 18th amendment outlawed the production and sale of intoxicating liquors. The volsted act defined what was an "intoxicating liquor"

Immigration Quota Laws (1921, 1924)

The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 3% of the number of persons from that country living in the United States in 1910. The Immigration Act of 1924 reduced that number to 2% of the 1890 population from a specific country.

Sacco and Vanzetti

Nicola Sacco was a shoe-factory worker and Bartholomew Vanzetti was a fish peddler. They were both convicted of murdering a Massachusetts paymaster and his guard in 1921. The case lasted 6 years and resulted in execution based on weak evidence, mainly due to Americans were xenophobia.

Washington Conference (1921)

The Washington Naval Conference was a diplomatic conference held in Washington, D.C. from November 1921 to February 1922. Held outside the auspices of the League of Nations, it was attended by nine nations having interests in the Pacific Ocean and East Asia. Soviet Russia was not invited to the conference. It was the first international conference held in the United States and the first disarmament conference in history.

Kellogg-Briand Treaty (1928)

(1929) Created by Frank B. Kellogg and Aristide Briand, this pact promised to never make war again and settle all disputes peacefully. Sixty-two nations signed this pact. The treaty was hard to enforce and had no provisions for the use of economic or military force against a nation that may break the treaty.


Monetary compensation intended to cover damage or injury during a war, generally paid by the losing side to the victor as part of the terms of a peace treaty. It can also refer more generally to debts incurred by either side while fighting a war.

Dawes Plan

(As proposed by the Dawes Committee, Chaired by Charles G. Dawes) An attempt following World War I for the Allies to collect war reparations debt from defeated post-World War I Germany. The amount of these payments proved to be too great for the flagging German economy and in 1923 Germany defaulted and French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr in response. This occupation of the center of the German coal and steel industries both outraged Germany and put further strain on its economy. When (after five years) the plan failed to operate as expected, the Young Plan was adopted in 1929 to replace it.

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