Archive for February, 2010


The Supreme Court cases of Muller and Adkins centered on

A. racial discrimination in unemployment.

B. affirmative action.

C. anti-union “right-to-work” laws in several states, especially in the South.

D. the question of whether women merited special legal and social treatment.

E. antitrust legislation.

In the mid-1920s, President Coolidge twice refused to sign legislation proposing to

A. exempt farmers’ cooperatives from antitrust legislation.

B. defend the family farm against corporate takeovers.

C. make the US a member of the World Court.

D. lower taxes.

E. subsidize farm prices.

Businesspeople used the 1919 red scare to

A. established closed shops throughout the nation.            D. break the railroad strike of 1919.

B. break the backs of struggling unions.                                    E. secure passage of laws making unions illegal.

C. justify increased prices.

The Immigration Act of 1924 was formulated to impose immigration quotas based on

A. economic skills.                                                D. religious beliefs.

B. literacy.                                                            E. national origin.

C. health.

An American composer who adapted jazz rhythms and idioms for orchestra in pieces such as Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris was

A. Aaron Copland.                                                D. Duke Ellington.

B. George Gershwin.                                                E. Bessie Smith.

C. Philip Glass.

The most spectacular example of lawlessness in the 1920s was in

A. New York City.                                                D. Boston.

B. New Orleans.                                                E. Chicago.

C. Las Vegas.

The first “talkie” motion picture was

A. The Great Train Robbery.                                    D. Gone With the Wind.

B. The Birth of a Nation.                                    E. The Jazz Singer.

C. The Wizard of Oz.

Margaret Sanger was most noted for her advocacy of

A. abortion rights.                                                D. birth control.

B. woman suffrage.                                                E. free love.

C. the Equal Rights Amendment.

Voo-Doo Economics

Anyone? Anyone?

The Second New Deal

from this site!

In its early years, the New Deal sponsored a remarkable series of legislative initiatives and achieved significant increases in production and prices — but it did not bring an end to the Depression. And as the sense of immediate crisis eased, new demands emerged. Businessmen mourned the end of “laissez-faire” and chafed under the regulations of the NIRA. Vocal attacks also mounted from the political left and right as dreamers, schemers and politicians alike emerged with economic panaceas that drew wide audiences of those dissatisfied with the pace of recovery. They included Francis E. Townsend’s plan for generous old-age pensions; the inflationary suggestions of Father Coughlin, the radio priest who blamed international bankers in speeches increasingly peppered with anti-Semitic imagery; and most formidably, the “Every Man a King” plan of Huey P. Long, senator and former governor of Louisiana, the powerful and ruthless spokesman of the displaced who ran the state like a personal fiefdom. (If he had not been assassinated, Long very likely would have launched a presidential challenge to Franklin Roosevelt in 1936.)

In the face of these pressures from left and right, President Roosevelt backed a new set of economic and social measures. Prominent among these were measures to fight poverty, to counter unemployment with work and to provide a social safety net.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA), the principal relief agency of the so-called second New Deal, was an attempt to provide work rather than welfare. Under the WPA, buildings, roads, airports and schools were constructed. Actors, painters, musicians and writers were employed through the Federal Theater Project, the Federal Art Project and the Federal Writers Project. In addition, the National Youth Administration gave part-time employment to students, established training programs and provided aid to unemployed youth. The WPA only included about three million jobless at a time; when it was abandoned in 1943 it had helped a total of 9 million people.

But the New Deal’s cornerstone, according to Roosevelt, was the Social Security Act of 1935. Social Security created a system of insurance for the aged, unemployed and disabled based on employer and employee contributions. Many other industrialized nations had already enacted such programs, but calls for such an initiative in the United States by the Progressives in the early 1900s had gone unheeded. Although conservatives complained that the Social Security system went against American traditions, it was actually relatively conservative. Social Security was funded in large part by taxes on the earnings of current workers, with a single fixed rate for all regardless of income. To Roosevelt, these limitations on the programs were compromises to ensure passage. Although its origins were initially quite modest, Social Security today is one of the largest domestic programs administered by the U.S. government.

Images of the Great Depression

From a  link in Time magazine.

Well worth your time.

Hey YOU! Register for the EXAM, already!!!

Many of you have not registered for the AP Exam! You need to go to this link

Fill out the form and then bring me or Ms. Caimi the money!!!!!!!


Who was John Maynard Keynes?

First of all, visit this website from Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of This Century.

Then go here and read his biography in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.

Go Now! I’ll wait….

Okay, now that you are back, go here and read a general summary of Keynes’ General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, which was the subject of one of his most famous books.

Summarize what his beliefs were about supply, demand, and employment.

Then summarize his views on deficit spending.

This information will be the subject of test questions.

Causes of the Great Depression

Causes of the Great Depression

1. False Prosperity
* overdependence on mass production, consumer spending, advertising, welfare capitalism, high tariff, “invisible hand”
* automobile was the leading industry
* chemicals, appliances, radio, aviation, chain stores
* overproduction in textiles, farming, autos
* real wages increased only 11%
* 60% population less than $2000 poverty minimum
* top 5% earned 33% income – spending by the rich essential
* Andrew Mellon cut taxes

2. Speculation
* Fed loaned at 3.5%, gold inflow 1927, Great Bull Market 1928
* broker loans on call rose from $3.5b in 1927 to $8.5b in 1929
* Goldman Sachs investment trusts, 50% margin trading at 5% interest
* only 1.5m of 120m population were investors
* pooling tactic of “anglers” – John J. Raskob
* Charles Mitchell of National City Bank: “I know of nothing fundamentally wrong with the stock market.” (Oct. 21, 1929)
* Joe Kennedy: “Only a fool holds out for the top dollar” (sold after RKO merger in October 1928)

These two Main Causes led to further crises:

3. Stock Market Crash
* Sep. 3 Dow high of 381
* Sep. 6 Babson break – market became erratic
* Sep. 20 – collapse of Hatry in Britain
* Oct. 23 – J.P. Morgan buys to stop price decline
* Oct. 24 – panic selling began – 12.8m shares
* Oct. 29 – “Black Tuesday” – 16.4m shares
* prices decline to Dow low 41.22 on July 8, 1932

4. Banking Crisis
* deposits withdrawn, deflation
* 9000 banks fail in 1930, 1932 waves
* Austria’s bank failed May 1931

5. Unemployment
* ripple effect as leading factories close
* rose to 25-35% of total labor force, 80% in Toledo
* farm income declined 60%; 1/3 lost land

6. Trade Collapse
* foreign countries retaliate with high tariffs
* Weimar Republic unable to pay reparations or U.S. banks loans
* U.S. had been creditor with $638m annual surplus

7. Political Policy
* “The Ordeal of Herbert Hoover”
* laissez faire, balanced budget, trickle down, voluntarism
* no use of monetary or fiscal policies
* Agricultural Marketing Act, Hawley-Smoot tariff, RFC of Jesse Jones
* Three Little Pigs- Disney later said in an interview that the cartoon was popular in the Depression due to its simple moral message that “wisdom and courage is enough to defeat big, bad wolves of every description, and send them slinking away” (Watts 1995, p. 100).

Review of American Imperialism and Star of the 20th Century

Mr. Wallace describes how we begin to really pay attention to our place in the world and getting our late start on imperialism in the Spanish-American War.

The History of the Glass-Steagall Act

Here’s good link explaining the Glass-Steagall Act:

Then in December, 1999, pasrt of the Glass-Steagall Act was quietly repealed:

Here’s an interesting suggestion from some well-known senators in December 1999:

Excellent timeline of the Red Scare

…at this site:

Also includes a good explanation of the causes of the strikes that happened in 1919.