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Revision Questions – The USA, a nation of contrasts, 1910-1929 The main political and social challenges facing America Think about: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Why did people emigrate to the USA? Why was there opposition to immigration? Why was there a fear of political extremism in the USA? Why was the Sacco and Vanzetti case important? What was religious Fundamentalism? What was the experience of black Americans and racial minorities in the 1920s? What was the Ku Klux Klan? Why was no action taken against the Ku Klux Klan? How were Native Americans treated? Why was Prohibition introduced? What effects did Prohibition have on US society? Why did Prohibition come to an end? What was the era of the gangster? What was the extent of government corruption and scandal?

1. Describe the key features of restrictions placed on immigration into the USA in the 1920s. 2. What was meant by ‘Americanisation’? 3. Explain why there was a growth in opposition to immigration into the USA. 4. Explain why there was a fear of revolution in the USA in 1919. 5. Describe the Palmer Raids. 6. Explain why Sacco and Vanzetti did not receive a fair trial. 7. Was the fear of Communism the most important reason for the restrictions on immigration in the USA in the 1920s? Explain your answer fully. You may wish to discuss the following in your answer. You should give a two-sided answer to this question: • •

discuss the fear of communism and its impact discuss other factors which led to the restriction in the number of immigrants being allowed to enter the USA and give a judgement.


8. Explain why John Scopes was put on trial in 1925. 9. Describe the work of the NAACP and UNIA in the 1920s. 10. Were conditions bad for all black Americans during the 1920s? Explain your answer fully. You should give a two-sided answer to this question: • •

discuss the bad treatment received by black Americans during the 1920s discuss the improvements experienced by some black Americans and give a judgement.

11. Describe the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. 12. Explain why the Ku Klux Klan was able to operate freely in the 1920s. 13. Describe the lifestyle of Native Americans during this period. 14. Explain why the US government wanted to ‘Americanise’ the Native Americans. 15. Were the Jim Crow Laws the worst example of intolerance in the USA in the 1920s? Explain your answer fully. You should give a two-sided answer to this question: • •

discuss how the Jim Crow Laws enforced intolerance discuss other examples of racial and religious intolerance within American society and give a judgement.

16. Explain why Prohibition was introduced. 17. Explain why it was difficult to prevent the smuggling of alcohol into the USA. 18. Describe the opposition to Prohibition. 19. Explain why it was difficult to enforce Prohibition. 20.Describe Al Capone’s rise to become Chicago’s chief gangster. 21. Explain how gangsters attempted to control local politics. 22.Describe the activities of gangsters. 23.Describe the corruption in the government under President Harding.


24.Was gang rivalry the most important aspect of crime in the USA in the 1920s? Explain your answer fully. You should give a two-sided answer to this question: • •

discuss gang rivalry and its impact discuss other factors which led to the rise in crime in the 1920s and give a judgement.

The rise and fall of the American economy. Think about: • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

What were the causes of the economic boom? How did America’s assets and development contribute to the economic boom? How did the attitude and policies of the Republican presidents contribute to the economic boom? How did this prosperity affect American society? What were the features of the new consumer society? What was the influence of the car industry? Which other industries experienced a boom? Which groups and sectors did not prosper? Why did this prosperity come to a sudden end in 1929? What were the long-term reasons for the end of prosperity? What were the short-term reasons for the end of prosperity? What were the events of the Wall Street Crash? What were the immediate effects of the Wall Street Crash? Explain how the US economy benefitted from World War I. Explain why there was a boom in the stock market in the 1920s. Explain the importance of advertising and credit. What was ‘speculation’? Describe the economic policies of the Republican governments of the 1920s. Were the policies of the Republican governments of the 1920s the most important reason for the economic boom in the USA? Explain your answer fully.


You should give a two-sided answer to this question: • •

discuss the importance of the policies of the Republican governments as a reason for the economic boom discuss other factors which contributed to the economic boom and give a judgement.

7. Explain why there was a growth in consumerism in the USA in the 1920s. 8. Describe the growth in ownership of electrical goods in the 1920s. 9. Describe the organisation of the workforce in a Ford factory. 10. Explain why car ownership grew so rapidly in America during the 1920s. 11. Explain why transport got easier in America during the 1920s. 12. How far was the economic prosperity of the 1920s due to developments in the car industry? You should give a two-sided answer to this question: • •

discuss the changes in the methods of car manufacture discuss other methods and changes which contributed to the growth of economic prosperity. and give a judgement.

13. Describe the problems faced by farmers in the 1920s. 14. Describe the lifestyle of black Americans in the USA in the 1920s. 15. Explain why trade unions declined in the 1920s. 16. Describe the problems faced by the coal industry in the 1920s 17. Explain why the railroads were unable to prosper in the 1920s. 18. What were the problems facing the textile industry in the 1920s? 19. Describe the long-term causes of the Wall Street Crash. 20.Describe the short-term causes of the Wall Street Crash. 21. Describe the Wall Street Crash of October 1929. 22.What were the immediate results of the Wall Street Crash?


Changes in American culture and society Think about: • • • • • • • • • • • 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

How did popular entertainment develop during this period? How did movies and their influence develop? How did popular music and culture develop? How did the lifestyle and status of women change during the period? How did attitudes to women change? What was the flapper lifestyle? Why did sport and other leisure activities witness so much growth during this period? How did interest in sport grow in the 1920s? What were the fads, crazes and the passions for the unusual? Who were the American heroes of the decade? What was the impact of the automobile upon leisure activities?

Explain why the movie stars were important in the film industry. Describe the growth of the film industry in America between 1910 and 1930. Explain why movies were so popular in the 1920s. Explain why jazz music became so popular in the 1920s Why did some people oppose jazz music? Describe the new speakeasy club culture of the 1920s. Was the radio the most important change in popular entertainment in the USA in the 1920s? Explain your answer fully. You should give a two-sided answer to this question: • •

discuss the importance of the radio as a new form of popular entertainment discuss the importance of other changes in popular entertainment and give a judgement.

8. Explain why jazz appealed to many young Americans. 9. Explain why the silent cinema was popular with Americans. 10. Describe the position of women in the USA in the early twentieth century. 11. Explain why the First World War changed the position of women. 12. Describe the flapper movement. 13. Explain why some people opposed the flappers.


14. Was jazz music the most important development in American culture and society during the 1920s? Explain your answer fully. You should give a two-sided answer to this question: • •

discuss the contribution of jazz music to the development of American culture and society discuss other factors which contributed to this development

and give a judgement. 15. Did all Americans welcome the changes to popular culture and society during the 1920s? Explain your answer fully. You should give a two-sided answer to this answer: • •

discuss those groups of Americans who did welcome the changes to popular culture and society discuss those groups of Americans who did not welcome these changes and give a judgement.

16. Describe the sporting career of either Babe Ruth or Jack Dempsey. 17. Describe fads and crazes of the 1920s. 18. Why did Lindbergh become so famous? 19. How did the motor car impact upon the lifestyles of many Americans?


1910-29 USA revision questions