One of the main jobs of historians is to interpret the past by reviewing primary documents, scholarly secondary sources, and then creating an analysis (or interpretation) of this research. This assignment will allow you to create your own interpretation of the 1920s. Your response should be at least 300 words and contain your analysis, reaction, or connection to a specific issue within the historical narrative that you find compelling. For full credit, your paper must not simply sum up the reading or repeat points made there. Rather, I’m looking for you to create your own interpretation, explain the emotional content of the piece, or discuss some original insight. Include citations as needed. Historians of the same time period vary their research topics in order for us to gain a richer and fuller picture of the past and so that our understanding of the past will be as accurate and complete as possible. In the interest of allowing you, as young historians, to follow your own interests, please select one of the following topics to address.
The Second Rise of the Klan: After reading your text and reviewing the assigned materials, submit an analysis of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s.
You might want to consider the following questions, but you are not limited to them:
Why did the Klan experience a rise in membership in the 1920s?
Why was it socially acceptable to be a member of such an organization?
What benefits (real or perceived) did members think that joining would give them?
Why did this version of the Klan target African Americans, immigrants, Jews, and Catholics?
What legacies are still present in modern America from the Klan?
The Red Scare: After reading your text and reviewing the assigned materials, submit an analysis of the Red Scare. You might want to consider the following questions, but you are not limited to them: Coming out of World War I, the nation faced a new age of anxiety with the Red Scare. There were bombings, fear of communism, labor strikes & social unrest. How do you think the average Americans were feeling? Which events do you think produced the most anxiety in the average Americans?