New
New
Year 11
AQA

Racial tension in early 20th century America

I can assess the racial tensions which existed in the USA during the 1920s.

New
New
Year 11
AQA

Racial tension in early 20th century America

I can assess the racial tensions which existed in the USA during the 1920s.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The Ku Klux Klan revived after 1915 and was committed to protecting 'pure Americanism'.
  2. Membership of the KKK peaked at 5 000 000 and extended nationwide.
  3. Jim Crow Laws enforced segregation of African American people in the South.
  4. African Americans also faced persecution and discrimination in the North.
  5. Recent immigrants, Catholics and Jews were victims of racial tensions.

Common misconception

Racial tension was only an issue for African Americans in the 1920s.

In both the North and South, Catholics, Jews and recently arrived immigrants frequently experienced prejudice, discrimination and even violence from WASPs, just as African Americans did.

Keywords

  • Klansmen - members of the Ku Klux Klan were known as Klansmen

  • Supremacy - supremacy refers to a situation where one thing is considered better than another

  • Minorities - minorities are small groups of people within a country who differ from the main population in race, religion, culture or language; in the USA this included African Americans and recent immigrants

Ask students how effective segregation of neighbourhoods in cities in the North could create further racial tensions. If necessary, prompt students to consider effects this could have on education and understanding of other cultures.
Teacher tip

Equipment

Content guidance

  • Contains depictions of discriminatory behaviour.
  • Contains conflict or violence.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

Video

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6 Questions

Q1.
Write the missing word. A is a person who who believes in sharing wealth equally.
Correct Answer: communist, Communist
Q2.
Which groups were targeted during the Palmer Raids in 1919 and 1920?
Correct answer: anarchists
capitalists
Correct answer: communists
industrialists
Q3.
Write the missing word. The Scare was a period in America lasting into the early 1920s when there was intense fear and paranoia of anarchist and communist threats.
Correct Answer: Red, red
Q4.
Which of the following groups were often suspected of being anarchists and communists in 1920s America?
African Americans
factory owners
Native Americans
Correct answer: recent immigrants
Correct answer: trade unionists
Q5.
Starting with the earliest, sort the following events into chronological order.
1 - Communists take power in Russia following revolution
2 - Seattle General Strike
3 - Mayor of Seattle claims strikers wanted a revolution
4 - Trade union membership in the USA declines
Q6.
Which example best demonstrates that the Red Scare led to increased racial intolerance in the USA?
introduction of Prohibition
Correct answer: Sacco and Vanzetti case
St Valentine's Day Massacre

6 Questions

Q1.
Match each of the keywords with the correct definitions.
Correct Answer:ghetto,poor area of a city where people of a particular race or religion live

poor area of a city where people of a particular race or religion live

Correct Answer:minorities,small groups of people who differ from the main population

small groups of people who differ from the main population

Correct Answer:segergate,to separate groups of people based on things like their race

to separate groups of people based on things like their race

Correct Answer:supremacy,situation where one thing is considered better than another

situation where one thing is considered better than another

Q2.
Which of the following groups were seen as 'pure Americans' by the KKK?
African Americans
Catholics
Jews
Correct answer: WASPs
Q3.
Write the missing word. A race occurred in Chicago in 1919.
Correct Answer: riot
Q4.
How many members did the KKK have by 1925?
50 000
500 000
2 500 000
Correct answer: 5 000 000
Q5.
59 African Americans were lynched in 1921 and 68 people were whipped by the Dallas KKK in 1922. Which conclusion in most valid based on these statistics?
Police forces and courts in the South treated African Americans severly.
Correct answer: Racial tension led to increasing lawlessness in the South.
White violence against African Americans often went unpunished.
Q6.
Which example best demonstrates that segregation effectively existed in the North?
African Americans were usually paid lower wages than white workers.
Jim Crow laws were in place.
Prejudiced views of African americans and immigrants were widespread.
Correct answer: Some public spaces were unofficially for 'white's only'.

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