Demobilization and Its Difficult Aftermath

Review Questions

Which of the following was not a destabilizing factor immediately following the end of the war?

  1. a flu pandemic
  2. a women’s liberation movement
  3. high inflation and economic uncertainty
  4. political paranoia



What was the inciting event that led to the Chicago Race Riot of 1919?

  1. a strike at a local factory
  2. a protest march of black activists
  3. the murder of a black boy who swam too close to a white beach
  4. the assault of a white man on a streetcar by black youths



How did postwar conditions explain Warren Harding’s landslide victory in the 1920 presidential election?


By the time of the 1920 election, the United States was tired and traumatized by the events of the past year. The nation had fought a brutal war, with veterans bringing home their own scars and troubles, and it had suffered domestically as well. Economic uncertainty and shortages, violent racial conflicts, fear of a Communist takeover, and a deadly flu pandemic had left Americans overwhelmed and unhappy. They did not seek new Progressive ideals, they did not want to be the world’s policeman, and they did not want to destabilize what already felt unsteady. By choosing a reassuring-looking candidate who promised to bring things “back to normal,” Americans squarely voted to hunker down, nurse their wounds, and try to enjoy themselves.