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1920 America

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In the 1920's Americans faced many new challenges. The challenges they faced covered a wide range of issues varying from alcohol use to consequences of technology. The manner in which these issues were resolved depended on the severity of the issue and the people directly involved. These are challenges that Americans have never experienced before, and therefore had to try to make the right decisions for the time. Some of them, like prohibition, were implemented and then overturned while others were never implemented from the beginning. This "modern era" faced many controversial issues. In his book "The Unfinished Nation" Alan Brinkley addresses many issues addressed in the 1920's.

With the upsurge in new technologies in the 1920's many industries were growing very rapidly and flourishing. The farming industry was an exception. The new technologies introduced greatly increase productivity, but with a negative effect. There was no demand for more food which caused prices to drop considerably. This intern caused a large amount of farmers to become very impoverished. These struggling farmers turned to the government for aid. The governments answer to this problem was parity. "Parity was a complicated formula for setting an adequate price for farm goods and ensuring that farmers would earn back at least there production cost no matter how the national or world market might fluctuate"(Brinkley, p.634). The 2 men that pushed this proposal were congressmen McNary and Haugen. Therefore, the legislation was named the McNary-Haugen bill. This bill was approved by congress twice and was vetoed by President Coolidge both times. Coolidge apposed the bill because it would pay farmers for overproducing and it would raise the price of food. This would be a reason for consumers to appose the bill as well. This issue was never resolved and farmers suffered through the 1920's.

In January 1920, prohibition went into effect. Prohibition made it illegal to "sell and manufacture alcohol" (Brinkley, p. 683). The reason for prohibition was to try to greatly reduce drinking in the U.S. This movement was promoted by middle class Progressives and Protestant Americans. Eventually alcohol was easy to get even though it was illegal. The difference was now that criminals were selling the booze and not legitimate business men. This shift in business increased crime rates. Middle class Progressives saw this and proceeded to oppose prohibition. Protestants kept supporting it because they thought drinking went against the "traditional notions of morality." Prohibition was overturned in 1933.

Should the theory of evolution be taught in schools? Not in Tennessee in the 1920's. In 1925 it was made



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