After World War 1
After its involvement in the Great War, America was set to turn in and focus on domestic affairs. In his words, warren Harding, the 1920 Republican presidential candidate, termed it as a “return to normalcy” (Hogan, 2003). During the 1920s, most Americans were preoccupied with private concerns. However, this viewpoint shifted when the Great Depression of the subsequent decade set in and, in their huge numbers and collective hardships, Americans looked up to government for remedies for the prevailing economic misfortunes that challenged the very foundations of U.S. capitalist society.
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In sharp contrast, the 1930s was a decade of depression. The long economic downturn of the 1930s was triggered by the 1929 stock market crash. By 1933, an estimated 14 million Americans were not in employment, industrial output dropped to just 1/3 of its 1929 level, and America’s national income had plummeted by more than half (Stone, 2009). President Roosevelt harbored an inflated sense of community; he did not trust unchecked individualism and empathized with suffering people. Nonetheless, he did not loathe the present U.S. system; he strived to revive capitalism, not supplant it (Roosevelt, 1933).
Hogan, H. (Writer). (2003). The roaring twenties [Television series episode]. In R. Hawksworth
(Executive producer), America in the 20th Century. New York, NY: Films for the Humanities & Sciences. Retrieved from <http://digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=36218&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref>
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