Politics in the 1920s and 1930s Essay

Jacob Slaght poi. 5 T. 6-9prn My time period for the group presentation was the 1920s and 1930s, the boom and bust era. I chose this time period specifically because I always thought of it as the emergence of our modern day culture and lifestyle. I’m also quite fond of the 20s like the TV show Boardwalk Empire. This is a drama set in Atlantic City where the political leadership profits from corruption and bootlegging in the time of prohibition and organized crime. It is also a part of the reason why I chose the time period. In high school I was aware of politics, but didn’t really know much about it.

I was a self- described Libertarian without honestly knowing much of the issues in detail. Around the time of the campaign for the 2008 general election I started to make a point of paying attention to political issues. I would listen to talk radio and watch online news media. The more I would learn the more I would question the views that I held. Eventually I came to change my views, quite radically. Just after the election of Barack Obama I would say I was a self-described socialist, though I’m not much of a fan of labels.

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When it was time to choose our group and then pick our topics, I was first in ine to do the politics and presidents. IVe been very interested in politics for the past five years now, albeit getting Jaded at times. Picking these topics was a no-brainer to me, I love politics. How significant were the political issues of the 20s and 30s to the people living back then? Every political decision has an impact on someone, even if not felt by everyone. The end of World War One had many Americans fearful of foreigners. One out of every nine people in the US was ethnically part of a county that fought against America during the war.

The Government showed this enophobia. United States Attorney General Alexander Mitchell Palmer ordered what was known as the Palmer raids. The Justice department would arrest around three- thousand and deport over five-hundred anarchists, communists, and leftist leaders. The scopes trial would come to bring a new political debate to the arena. It was the first Judicial case to bring up the teaching of evolution in the classroom. By 1927 fourteen other states tried to pass legislation similar to the butler act, but all of the 41 bills were rejected.

Only Mississippi and Alabama were able to pass such egislation. The trial also created a divide in the Christian community where the fundamentalists would not accept evolution, and the more liberal Christians would support scientific views of the world. When the great depression hit Just before the new decade, Americans overwhelmingly wanted the government to act. They would desire drastic change from the laissez-faire policies of the 20s. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to the presidency in 1932 he promised a new deal for the American people.

And he delivered, doing more in six months than many others did n four years. The new deal was a number of different legislations, like National Recover Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, Tennessee Valley Authority, Works Progress Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Commission. All of which were meant to accomplish one or more of the three ‘R’s, relief, recovery, and reform. Are any of these policies and issues even relevant today? I would say more so now than ever before. Much of the new deal programs have been wiped clean.

Most notably the Glass-Steagle Act in the mid-nineties. Which I ould argue led to the most recent stock market crash, ironically taking another decade of pro-business laissez-faire policies and de-regulation as in the 1920s. Social Security is also on the chopping block to be broken down and wiped away. The Security and Exchange Commission is run by the very industry meant to be regulated, echoing the corruption of the 20s. The Fair Labor Standards Act which set the forty hour work week and minimum wage had exemptions for agricultural related Jobs, stemming from racism.

This affects me personally as I work in the agricultural industry. I am required to work ten hours before receiving overtime rather than the normal eight hours. Evolution is still on trial to this day, with its latest battles in the state of Texas. The Texas Board of Education has been trying to interject intelligent design, what was known as creationism, into the classroom. At the same time also ordering new revisionist text books for other courses like history. In which the books paint conservative ideology in a pristine light and demonize or completely leave out “left leaning” views or topics.

This is a huge problem for the whole country because any other states use Texas version text books. Immigration is also a heavy hitting political issue these days. For a country founded on immigrants, we sure have a knack for hating them. In todays economic climate, much like the depression era, jobs are scarce. Americans don’t like foreigners when unemployment is high. Much like it was during the red scare, many view immigrants as enemies. The current immigration reform bill has been held up because of the recent Boston marathon bombing. The two suspects are immigrants from Chechnya, a republic of Russia.


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