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USA: 1919-1932 - US Society In The 1920s

In GCSE History one area studied is the history of the USA between 1840 and 1975. This, the third of eleven quizzes on the USA, is the first of three on the 1920s, and it looks at American society at the time - both the prosperity enjoyed by some, and the increase in organised crime.

Society in the USA was a mixed bag in the 1920s. For a minority of Americans it was a time of unprecedented prosperity and leisure, with new kinds of fashion, entertainment and lifestyle. But there was a darker side: a huge increase in organised crime and racism, a greater intolerance towards minorities and the persecution of progressives.

See how much you know about society, prosperity and crime in 1920s America by taking this quiz.

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  1. For which team did "Babe" Ruth regularly play baseball?
    Successful sports stars like Ruth formed a kind of aristocracy. They were hugely popular, and enjoyed an unprecedented cult of celebrity
  2. Of which new artistic style was New York's Chrysler Building an example?
    This movement flourished during the 1920s, and it was a worldwide phenomenon
  3. Which of the following musical styles was most popular among young people in the 1920s?
    Singers and bandleaders became household names as never before
  4. Which infamous murder of 1929 forced the authorities to take firmer measures against gang members like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano?
    Gangs more or less ran cities like Chicago, until the criminal bands went too far
  5. The Volstead Act of 1919 introduced strict controls on the manufacture and consumption of alcohol. What name was given to this policy?
    Any such measure had to be defended against those elements who were determined to break it in order to make money
  6. What kind of behaviour would you not expect from a "flapper" in the 1920s?
    A minority of well-paid women tried to liberate themselves from what they regarded as past oppression
  7. In which state did the Monkey-Scopes Trial take place in 1925?
    Scopes was a biology teacher in a state school who was prosecuted for teaching the theory of evolution in his lessons
  8. Of what are the following all examples during the 1920s? The "Charleston", the "Black Bottom", the "Lindy Hop" and the "Breakaway".
    Fashions changed overnight, and the era featured these four styles and more
  9. Which racist organisation used burning crosses to advertise their presence?
    The activities of such groups intensified during the 1920s - largely (but not exclusively) in the Southern states
  10. In the "Red Scare" that swept America in the 1920s two Italian Americans, Sacco and Vanzetti, were executed in 1927. What political beliefs did they share?
    The persecution of these two seemed to show a growing intolerance of immigrants, and of political views which challenged the historic American ideal

Author: Edward Towne

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