American Society in the 1920s.

American Questions

  1. Discuss how American corporations changed over the course of the 1920s.
  2. Discuss how the Sacco-Vanzetti case laid bare some of the fault lines beneath the surface of American society in the 1920s.
  3. After World War I and more than twenty years of reform, Americans became much more conservative in the 1920s. In fact, Reinhold Niebuhr stated that America was “rapidly becoming the most conservative nation on earth.” Give examples that defend this perception of America as conservative in the 1920s.
  4. One newspaper of the day declared that “the American citizen’s first importance to his country is no longer that of a citizen but that of a consumer.” Analyze the validity of that statement.
  5. The two sides of the debate of the Scopes trial defined freedom differently. Explain what freedom meant to each side and how the Scopes trial mirrored the trends in American society during the 1920s.
  6. The 1920s are commonly referred to as the Roaring Twenties. Document who was and who was not “roaring” in the 1920s. Your answer ought to illustrate the dichotomy of the decade.
  7. The “New Negro” of the Harlem Renaissance is many things. W. E. B. Du Bois attempts to express it one way as a “double consciousness”—where the black man wants white America to appreciate his African roots and where he also wants to be American. Langston Hughes also expresses it in poetry with his 1925 poem I, Too, Sing America, where he reminds his readers that while darker, he too is American. Write an essay based on these ideas of the “New Negro” and the expressions of the Harlem Renaissance of celebration of being black and American.
  8. The Great Depression came dramatically with the stock market crash, but the causes of the Depression had been planted well before 1929. Discuss what brought on the Great Depression and why Hoover was not able to properly address the crisis.

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