Background: When World War I ended in 1918, Americans welcomed what they hoped would be a return to normalcy. The decades that followed, however, are ones which would rarely be described as normal in comparison to what came before or after. After World War I ended and through the 1920s, a struggle ensued within the American nation regarding how best to define the nation’s essential character, as groups like the revived Ku Klux Klan fought a rearguard action to define nationhood solely in terms of white skin and Protestant religion against secularists, Catholics, flappers, “New Negroes,” and others who challenged the traditional order. Immediately thereafter, the New Deal implemented in response to the Great Depression revolutionized the role of the federal government in lives of the American people, in ways that many Americans believed violated the basic tenets of the Constitution—and others believed were not radical enough. Taken together, the decades from 1920 to 1940 may have transformed the American nation more than any other comparable time period.
- Credibility: Critical Thinking in the Films on Demand database in the Ashford University Library
- Primary Source Analysis Tool.
- Flapper Jane
- Taking the Hand Off the Cradle to Catch Devil-Fish: How Modern Woman Is Delving Into the Sacred Precints of Male Occupation and Is Now Found in the Role of Bandit, Judge, Bricklayer, Hunter, and Race (pp. 2-3)
- “The New Negro”: “When he’s hit, he hits back!”
- Should a Catholic Be President?: A Contemporary View of the 1928 Election
- Elise Johnson McDougald on “The Double Task: The Struggle of Negro Women for Sex and Race Emancipation”
- “Shut the Door”: A Senator Speaks for Immigration Restriction
- U.S. v. Bhagat Singh Thind.
- The Twenties in the Films on Demand database.
- Proletarians of the North: A History of Mexican Industrial Workers in Detroit and the Midwest, 1917-1933.
Pick an event from World War I through the 1920s and a corresponding primary source* that you can use in your Final Paper. Use the Credibility: Critical Thinking video and the Library of Congress primary source analysis tool to help you as you think about the primary source. Explain in at least 250 words
- Why you think the event was important and how it relates to your Final Paper topic.
- What the primary source you chose tells you about this topic.
- What it does not tell you