Ch 10: The 1920s in America

About This Chapter

Review the outstanding events of the Roaring Twenties. Use the following video lessons and quizzes for self-assessment to guide your study of this exciting period of history.

The 1920s in America

You've probably heard of the Roaring Twenties. Just what were the events and activities that took place in this decade to earn that name? Through this chapter, you can learn about the racy, urban culture that had evolved, bringing with it remarkable political and social changes. Throughout the 1920s, unemployment decreased and the value of goods produced grew. Speculation in the stock market was extensive and consumer credit became too easily available. By the end of the decade, the stock market crashed, beginning the Great Depression.

However, a lot of activity took place before these major events that marked the end of the decade. At the beginning of the decade, the Progressives had managed to ensure that alcohol was outlawed and that all citizens had the right to vote, but World War I still hung over the U.S. like a cloud. In the early 1920s, scandal and corruption plagued the administration of President Warren Harding, even though he had promised Americans a 'return to normalcy'. Calvin Coolidge followed as President. Under Coolidge, big business came back into rule and incomes rose.

Music and literature also 'roared' during this decade, bringing about the Harlem Renaissance. Many black jazz musicians began combining European and African music styles. In addition, black writers attempted to change traditional black stereotypes. In this chapter, you can meet many of the poets, artists, musicians and authors of the 'Jazz Age'. Not everyone wanted those stereotypes shattered, however. Some Americans felt fearful of so much change and of people who were foreign to them. Organizations like the Ku Klux Klan sprang up, in reaction to social upheaval.

The American judicial system faced extreme tests, both in the mid-1920s and just after the decade changed. The Scopes 'Monkey' Trial determined whether public schools should teach evolution. The Scottsboro Trials, in Alabama, attempted to decide whether nine black teens had actually raped two white girls. A positive result of the Scottsboro Trials was the end of all-white juries in the South. After your online visit to the 1920s, take the quiz at the end of each video lesson, where you can see some 'roaring' results of your learning!

5 Lessons in Chapter 10: The 1920s in America
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
American Economy in the 1920s: Consumerism, Stock Market & Economic Shift

1. American Economy in the 1920s: Consumerism, Stock Market & Economic Shift

In this lesson we will learn about the American economy throughout the 1920s. We will explore the role of consumerism and the stock market during this time, and we will learn how the prosperity of the decade came to a crashing halt.

American Politics in the 1920s: Transition, Corruption & the Teapot Dome Scandal

2. American Politics in the 1920s: Transition, Corruption & the Teapot Dome Scandal

Americans looked forward to the start of a new decade in 1920. They also looked for a president that would ease their fears and return the nation to 'normal,' but big business and corruption would come to symbolize politics of the decade.

Art and Culture of the Harlem Renaissance: Artists, Poets, Authors & Music

3. Art and Culture of the Harlem Renaissance: Artists, Poets, Authors & Music

In this lesson, we will learn about an artistic and intellectual movement called the Harlem Renaissance. We will identify the major figures associated with the movement and identify their contributions.

The Ku Klux Klan, Eugenics and Nativism: Definition, Movement & Social Reactions

4. The Ku Klux Klan, Eugenics and Nativism: Definition, Movement & Social Reactions

The decade of the 1920s saw older, traditional values of American society challenged by the rapidly changing Modern Age. Elements of the nation reacted to such change with fear. Develop an understanding of the reborn Ku Klux Klan, the eugenics movement and nativist sentiments of the 1920s.

The Scopes Trial and Scottsboro Trials: Summaries & Significance

5. The Scopes Trial and Scottsboro Trials: Summaries & Significance

In this lesson, we will examine two important legal cases: the Scopes 'Monkey' Trial and the Scottsboro Trials. We will highlight the events surrounding the cases, and explore the impact they had on American society.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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