Progressive Era Through The Great Depression

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Progressive Era through the Great Depression

Donna Reeves
November 7, 2012

This paper will outline events that took place from the progressive era into the Great Depression. The first item to be discussed will be about two major historical turning points that occurred during this period. Those events will then be analyzed with the impact that they had on America’s current society, economy, politics, and culture. Next would be the issue about why women earned the right to vote in the frontier states of the West before eastern and southern states. After that topic there will be discussion about at least two pieces of legislation in the Roosevelt-Taft-Wilson progressive era years that have influenced the conduct of business to this day. The role of the Spanish American War will be talked about and how it played a big role in developing America into an Empire. Lastly, two reasons will be given on ways in which the boom and bust of the Roaring Twenties followed by the Great Depression affected the federal government’s involvement in the national economy. One of the two major historical turning points during this period occurred during the progressive era. World War I lasted from about 1914-1918 resulting in killing more than 10 million soldiers and civilians, bringing down the governments and empires, while putting armies against each other all around the world. The U.S did not enter the war until it was about 3 years in. The U.S entered into the war right in time to allow the U.S to try and manipulate the terms of surrender. One of the many reasons that the War erupted was over conflicts between rival powers in Europe. This was based off of the competition for colonial empires that has been stirring up over the past decades. The spark of the beginning of the war ignited after the assassination of Austrials Archduke Franze Ferdinand heir to the throne of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austrilia declearned war on Serbia because the assassination came from Gavrilo Princip a member of the Serbian nationalist group called Black Hand. Their main goal was making sure that Austro-Hungarians would get out of Serbia. Australia declared war on Serbia which promoted Russia to help Serbia. Over the next several weeks many other nations joined in on the conflict. (Schultz, 2012, 360-361) World War I (WWI) had a huge impact on the society, economy, politics, and the culture. After the U.S entered into war in 1917 they were not ready, with no army or army supplies they were unsure on how it was going to all pan out. WWI affected the society because when the U.S decided to engage in this war everything that had to do with the German had to be erased. Schools banned teaching of German language, professors were fired if they spoke against the war, and foods that were German named had to be renamed. The whole society that had so much of the German culture had to be forgotten about and taken away. The economy during this time was booming, but shifting to war production was a slow process. By the end of the war the U.S managed to mobilize a little more than a small fraction of its economy to raise only a modest military force. Americans were not fully united in the decision of the declaration of war. Six senators and fifty congressmen voted against the declaration. From the political side they were not all on the same page about President Wilsons plan. The culture during this event had its effect on people, all the people wanted was neutrality and not war. Neutrality is defined as the quality or state of being neutral and the refusal to take part in a war between other powers. Some Americans felt that the U.S should enter into the war while others thought that they shouldn’t. (Webster Dictionary, 2012)(Shultz, 2012, 361) A second turning point that occurred in the Depression era was Prohibition. Prohibition was the outlawing of alcohol in which the 18th amendment was established. This amendment stated that it was illegal to