Ch. 25 - Period 7 The Modern Temper.doc - The Modern Temper...

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The Modern Temper Why did reactionary forces emerge in the 1920s? What characterized the social ferment of the 1920s? How did modernism influence American culture? Postwar disillusionment challenged old values and spurred modernism o Modernism appeared in Europe first, became pervasive force by 1920 o Arose recognition of era of change o New technology, transportation, communication o Artistic movements: impressionism, futurism, Dadaism, surrealism, Freudianism War also stimulated political and social radicalism o Strikes, bombings, anti-Communism o Race riots o American nationalism and nativism, racism, militant Protestantism Reaction in the Twenties Nativism Most radicals were foreigners o Many immigrants in the workforce o Socialism and anarchism were popular in central and eastern Europe Most famous criminal case was in Sacco and Vanzetti, Italian-born o Arrested for robbery and murder o Judge privately referred to them as “anarchist bastards” o People claimed that Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced for their political and ethnic origins o Cause célèbre of the 1920s, but evidence convicted them New efforts to restrict immigration o Immigration rose after the war o Most immigrants from southern and eastern Europe o Congress passed Emergency Immigration Act: restricted new arrivals o New quota laws, permanent limitations o Purpose: favor immigrants from north and western Europe o Exclusion of Asians Increase in Hispanic Catholic population of the US o Arrivals from Mexico peaked in 1924 o Mexican government clamped down on outflow o Illegal immigrants began flowing in response to southern agriculture’s demand for “stoop” labor o Latin Americans were fastest growing minority The Klan Nativist tradition manifested in KKK
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o Devoted to 100% Americanism o Members were restricted to native-born white Protestants o William J. Simmons founded KKK was no longer restricted to the South o Reached Oregon and Maine o Bigotry thrived in small northern towns and Midwest o Cult aspects brought drama to dreary towns o KKK was a reaction to shifting moral standards Declining influence of churches Broad-mindedness o Influence evaporated quickly Decline in nativist excitement after anti-immigration laws Factional quarrels and schisms Willingness to use violence tarnished moral pretensions Fundamentalism Adherents of old-time religion saw threats from modernism in the churches o New ideas held that Bible should be studied in light of modern scholarship o Theories of evolution led to higher criticism of the Bible o Orthodox Christians took on a militant new fundamentalism William Jennings Bryan was a rural fundamentalist leader o Sparked state legislation to prohibit teaching of evolution in schools o Denounced Darwin o Anti-evolution bills only gained victory in the South, Texas Climax came in Tennessee, bill outlawed teaching of evolution o High-school teacher, John T. Scopes, was persuaded to accept an offer from American Civil Liberties Union o
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