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Republican Policies In 1920's America


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#1 mphillips

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 07:50 PM

After discussing how the boom occured in America in the 1920's in the historical discussion forum in this thread, it has been suggested to me that I post my query here...

My problem is I don't understand exactly how the American Republican Policies aided the boom (or did they not aid the boom? - I remember doing a question on something like this in class.). I am pretty sure they did something, and I understand how American beliefs could have been generated, but how do the policies such as Lassiez Faire, Rugged-individualism and tariffs help. ( we got taught another one too, but I've forgot the name.) I've tried searching google, but can't find anything.

As you can see, I am very confused :unsure: and any help at all would be superb.

Thanks a lot.

Matt :)

#2 Mrs Faithorn

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 10:58 PM

I think the basic thing to understand here is that Republican policies in the ten years 1919-1929 were essentially those that encouraged a free market economy - though the imposition of tariffs on imported goods was a contradiction since it involved government interference in the free workings of the economy.

The belief that the government should 'leave well alone' (=laissez faire) and the widespread belief that Americans could succede solely by their own efforts (=rugged individualism) contributed to the boom but I don't think one could say that these ideas created the economic boom.

The 'American Dream' (maybe that was the 4th thing?) - the conviction that absolutely anyone could be financially and socially successful in America whatever their social origins - was an additional factor.

These policies and beliefs aided the economic boom in a number of ways:

A government that believes in 'laissez faire' as the Republicans did will not tax the profits that a businessmen makes heavily and will do little to interfere in the workings of the economy. Eg they will not subsidise struggling businesses, nor will they attempt to regulate wages in any way. The effect of this (in theory and in practice) in 1920s America was to encourage investment in profitable industries (whilst declining industries were allowed to 'go to the wall') As I am sure you are aware, the more successful a business is the more people will want to invest in it and this pushes up the prices of shares on the Stock Market. (The converse is true: look at what happened to the price of shares in Marks and Spencers the other day).

On the whole 'big' investors in the Stock Market have their heads screwed on and make (mostly) rational decisions. What fuelled the boom in 1920s USA was that perfectly ordinary people were able to buy shares on credit ('on the margin') and these were the people who panicked first in October 1929. One could argue that the Republican government laissez fire beliefs were responsible for this since there was no control on bank lending (to those inexperienced 'speculators').

A belief in 'rugged individualism' is also connected here since it it 'glorified' the idea that hard work and individual effort would be rewarded with financial success and takes no real account of the fact that individuals have little control over economic forces. (I'm sure you can think of hard working people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own). Whilst times were 'good' though this philosophy encouraged ordinary men and women to think that the 'bubble' would never burst and that further fuelled investment in the Stock Market.

The imposition of tariffs on imported goods of course protected American industries from foreign competition and in that way created a 'captive market' for American goods and would have had the effect of artificially rasing profits (and thus share prices)

I expect you realise that the prices of Shares on the Stock Market depend heavily on people's confidence in the future. At its simplest - when confidence is high prices go up. When prices go up fast enough you have an economic boom. The reverse is also true.

I hope that may make things clearer? In reality this is a complicated topic and I admit that I have rather simplified things so if you have further questions do post again.

PS I think that the person encouraging you to seek the help of a teacher was not being too serious ;)

#3 Megan`

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 10:17 PM

We are currently studying the philosophy of Republicans in the 1920s, toward business.

I'm not very clear on the actual philosophy, along with the fact that I was just wondering, during this decade, what Republican presidents applied the philosophy in their actions? :wacko:

#4 Miss Buxton

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 10:36 PM

Hello, Welcome to the forum Megan

try this link:
http://www.sparknote...6section1.rhtml


and
Republican economic policies
Various policies initiated by the Republican Party had a big impact on the boom. The government was associated with laissez faire economics, which helped create the conditions for the boom. In 1922, the Fordney-McCumber tariff was passed, allowing American businesses to flourish by protecting them from foreign competition. The Secretary to the Treasury from 1921 to 1932, Andrew Mellon, cut surtax from above 50% to 20%. This aided corporate industries, allowing them to dominate their respective marke
from: http://en.wikipedia....onomic_policies


I just googled: republican policies 1920s in search engine

Remember to say please next time.... :)

#5 bambi

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:00 AM

Hello.. I have a four mark question "Describe the Republican government's economic policies in the 1920s"

but I can only think of a few (i.e. tariffs & laissez-faire [although not even sure laissez-faire counts as economic])
I lost my text book and google is not being precise enough..

so if you can help.. awesome :) I don't really get the whole forum thing so I'm just going to hope for the best here

#6 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:17 AM

Tariffs and laissez faire are pretty good as a start.
Read here about tariffs.

This is a very interesting article about laissaz faire.
Hoover is often accused of doing nothing to stop the depression (laissez faire), but this is terribly wrong.

Other Republican policies of the time include:
1. the gold standard
2. low taxes
3. lack of regulation of the money markets (which led directly to the Great Crash).

#7 moseyymo

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 04:40 AM

hey,
I am doing and essay for history and need to know how the policies of the Republican government in the US affected the farmers and immigrants, socially and economically in the 1920's. I try searching but each site does not help me greatly and was wandering if i could have some help.
thankss :)

#8 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:34 AM

hey,
I am doing and essay for history and need to know how the policies of the Republican government in the US affected the farmers and immigrants, socially and economically in the 1920's. I try searching but each site does not help me greatly and was wandering if i could have some help.
thankss :)


This is not really my field, I am afraid. However, until Mr. Clare can help you, I would suggest that you have a look at this thread which will give you somewhere to look for more information.

#9 moseyymo

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 04:43 PM

i need to hand it in really soon so don't worry about any more help for now,
but thanks for the thread :)

#10 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 07:57 PM

hey,
I am doing and essay for history and need to know how the policies of the Republican government in the US affected the farmers and immigrants, socially and economically in the 1920's. I try searching but each site does not help me greatly and was wandering if i could have some help.
thankss :)

You are correct that there is not much of any depth on the web.
Have you seen this webpage, which has a little about farmers.
And this webpage, which deals with immigrants.
Follow some of the links at the top right of the page.

Beyond that, I'd google
1920s farmers America

This page has some interesting links on both farmers and immigrants.


Not much help - sorry.

#11 mel_xo

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 10:15 AM

Hello

I'm doing a research on the following topic - The economic and social policies of the successive Republican governments of the 1920s contributed to the 'world of inequalities, intolerance and squalor'

And I'm suposed to Evaluate this hypothesis fro the perspective of one or more groups in society. Using a variety of source materials, develop a response to this hypothesis. In gathering information be mindful of the various perspectives that exist.

So I'm just wondering if you have any websites or books that you know that might have some helpful information on this topic.

Also If you could please express your view on this hypothesis (ie. whether you agree or disagree with the topic), that would be really helpful.

Your help would be so much appreciated and thank you so much for your time ^^

#12 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:19 AM

Hello

I'm doing a research on the following topic - The economic and social policies of the successive Republican governments of the 1920s contributed to the 'world of inequalities, intolerance and squalor'

And I'm suposed to Evaluate this hypothesis fro the perspective of one or more groups in society. Using a variety of source materials, develop a response to this hypothesis. In gathering information be mindful of the various perspectives that exist.

So I'm just wondering if you have any websites or books that you know that might have some helpful information on this topic.

Also If you could please express your view on this hypothesis (ie. whether you agree or disagree with the topic), that would be really helpful.

Your help would be so much appreciated and thank you so much for your time ^^

This is a basic 'debate' essay, and you need to answer it on a for-against-solution basis:
A first section explores the idea that the republicans DID make things worse;
A second section explores the idea that they made things better;
A final section weighs the two sides and comes to a conclusion.

The johndclare website section on America is laid out just for this kind of for-against debate essay.
If you want to go deeper, follow the links on the right-hand side of the pages.




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