What historical and significant event either helped or hindered Americans and caused them to be fearful during 1920-1945?
“Fear” was on the minds of Americans from 1920 to 1945. Most notably President Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Some things that Americans feared could include a red scare, stock market crash, the Great Depression, and Hitler’s expansion throughout Europe.
Well, one of the biggest that I am aware of is the red scare, which basically took the form of mass hysteria that coursed through American society, resulting in the McCarthy trials of many popular celebrities such as Arthur Miller, and even, I believe, Marilyn Monroe. Let us remember this came at a time when there was tremendous fear of Russia and its growing influence in the world, and so there was a hysteria about the forces of capitalism being overswept by the might of communism as was happening in various parts of the world.
In addition, the Great Depression which was triggered by the stock market crash in 1929 was something that impacted America massively as so many people faced poverty and want. You might like to check out The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, which gives a literary account of one migrant family who had to move towards California in order to seek work.