United States History
Content Standard 11.5:1-6
In the 1920s, Americans were divided over issues such as the ones discussed in class. Manners and styles changed quickly after World War I. Young urban Americans in particular adopted the new styles and manners, while some other Americans tried to stop what they saw as the nation’s moral decay. Because of the rapid changes that were occurring politically, economically, technologically, intellectually, and socially, many Americans struggled to reform American culture, hoping to eradicate the “social and philosophical evils” that they perceived as destroying the ideologies (liberalism, capitalism, Christianity, etc.) that were thought to be the very foundations of American society.
In a three to five page essay, answer one of the following questions:
1. Determine the international and domestic events and
philosophies that prompted attacks on civil liberties,
including (but not limited to):
a. the “Red scare”
b. Palmer Raids
c. The Ku Klux Klan
d. immigration quotas
e. conflicts between labor and management after the war
2. Determine the basic economic and political polices that
were pursued by the conservative Republican
administrations of the 1920s and the effects of such
3. Describe the major technological developments of the
1920s, and determine the effect these technologies had
on the development of ‘20s society, emphasizing their
role in the world-wide diffusion of popular culture.
4. Analyze the major economic developments of the 1920s, in
terms of the rise of mass production techniques, the
growth of cities, the impact of new technologies (e.g.
the automobile, electricity), and the resulting
prosperity and effect on the American landscape.
Grading: Essay grades will include four elements:
1. general notes (10% of total)
2. semantic map (10% of total)
3. rough draft (10% of total)
4. final draft (70% of total)
1. William Leuchtenburg, The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 (1958). The best introduction to the 1920s.
2. Frederick Lewis Allen, Only Yesterday (1931). An evocative recollection of the texture of life in the decade.
3. Robert S Lynd and Helen M. Lynd’s, Middletwon (1929) and Middletown in Transition (1937). Classic sociological studies of the 1920s
4. Robert K. Murray, Red Scare (1955). Authoritative
5. Ray Ginger, Six Days or Forever? (1958) A revealing analysis of the Scope’s trial and religion in America during the 1920s.