The Brief American Pageant ,
| Suggested Lecture Topics|
Developing The Chapter: Suggested Lecture Or Discussion Topics
- Analyze the social "turning inward" of the 1920s as a disillusioned reaction to World War I. Show how the rise of the Klan and immigration restriction especially reflected a desire to preserve America against "alien" influences.
REFERENCE: Nancy MacLean, Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second KKK (1993).
- Discuss the Scopes trial as a focal point of the deep conflicts over religion and culture in the 1920s.
REFERENCE: George Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture (1980).
- Examine the economic and cultural consequences of the new mass-consumption economy. Show how innovations such as credit buying, advertising, and automobile travel weakened the old Protestant ethic with a new emphasis on pleasure and excitement.
REFERENCE: Ronald Marchand, Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity (1985).
- Consider the radical cultural transformations in moral and sexual values brought about by such developments as movies, birth control, Freudian psychology, jazz, and "advanced" literature, especially as they affected women. Examine the rise of the "consumer culture" and its impact on traditional moral and social values (e.g., the impact of credit buying on the "Puritan ethic").
REFERENCE: Stanley Coben, Rebellion Against Victorianism: The Impetus for Cultural Change in 1920s America (1991).