The 1920's were a decade of massive change in the United States. This Document Based Essay asks students to grapple with the impact of those changes by asking the following question:
America witnessed rapid, fundamental change in the decade of the 1920’s. Did that change do more to unite the American people, or did it drive them apart?
The following documents are provided to help students craft their answer:
A: Photograph of men protesting against prohibition
B: Negative assessment of flapper behavior
C: Photo of an African-American jazz group
D: Assessment of the Model-T Ford
E: Quote from William Jennings Bryan at the Scopes Trial
F: Chart of Rural / Urban population shift
G: Positive view of KKK activity
H: Comment about Babe Ruth connecting with fans
I: Photograph of a flapper
J: Commentary on the impact of the radio
This assignment can easily be used with either an AP United States history class or a regular level U.S. history class with minor modification. It is loosely based on The Century: America's Time Boom to Bust 1920-1929 produced by ABC and available on Youtube.