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Purifying The Nation Worksheet Answers Ap Us History12: An Analysis of Social, Cultural, and Political Issues in the 1920s

Purifying The Nation Worksheet Answers Ap Us History12

If you are taking AP US History12, you might have encountered a worksheet called Purifying The Nation. This worksheet covers some of the major social, cultural, and political issues that shaped America in the 1920s. In this article, we will provide you with some background information, analysis, and answers to help you understand this worksheet better.

Purifying The Nation Worksheet Answers Ap Us History12

Why is it important to study this topic? The 1920s was a decade of rapid change, conflict, and innovation in America. It was also a time when many Americans felt threatened by new ideas, cultures, and movements that challenged their traditional values and beliefs. As a result, some groups tried to "purify" the nation by imposing their vision of morality, patriotism, and conformity on others. These groups faced resistance and opposition from those who advocated for diversity, tolerance, and freedom. The tensions between these groups shaped many aspects of American society, politics, and culture in the 1920s.

What are the main themes and questions of the worksheet? The worksheet focuses on five topics that illustrate how some Americans tried to purify the nation in different ways: nativism and immigration restriction, temperance and prohibition, evolution and creationism, racial violence and resistance, and anti-communism and civil liberties. For each topic, you will find a brief introduction, a primary source document, some guiding questions, and a short answer question. The worksheet aims to help you develop your historical thinking skills by analyzing evidence, comparing perspectives, evaluating arguments, and making connections.

The Rise of Nativism and Immigration Restriction

Nativism is a term that describes an attitude of hostility or prejudice towards immigrants or foreign-born people. Nativism emerged in America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as millions of immigrants from Europe and Asia arrived in the US, seeking economic opportunities, political freedom, or religious refuge. Many nativists feared that these immigrants would take their jobs, lower their wages, spread diseases, undermine their culture, or threaten their security. They also believed that some immigrants were racially or culturally inferior, and that they could not assimilate into American society.

One of the ways that nativists tried to purify the nation was by restricting immigration. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned the entry of Chinese laborers into the US. This was the first federal law that excluded a specific ethnic group from immigration. The act was motivated by racial discrimination and economic competition, as many white workers blamed the Chinese for driving down wages and taking over jobs in the West. The act also denied citizenship and naturalization rights to Chinese immigrants who were already in the US. The act was renewed and expanded several times until 1943, when it was repealed.

In 1924, Congress passed another immigration law, known as the Immigration Act or the National Origins Act. This law established a quota system that limited the number of immigrants from each country based on their proportion of the US population in 1890. The law favored immigrants from northern and western Europe, who were seen as more desirable and assimilable, and discriminated against immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, who were seen as less desirable and assimilable. The law also excluded all immigrants from Japan, which caused diplomatic tensions with Japan. The law remained in effect until 1965, when it was replaced by a new immigration system.

How did immigrants respond to nativism and discrimination? Immigrants faced many challenges and hardships in America, such as poverty, exploitation, segregation, violence, and exclusion. However, they also found ways to cope, adapt, and resist. Some immigrants formed ethnic communities or enclaves, where they preserved their languages, religions, customs, and traditions. They also established mutual aid societies, labor unions, political organizations, and cultural institutions to support and protect their interests and rights. Some immigrants also embraced American values and opportunities, such as education, democracy, and entrepreneurship. They contributed to the economic, social, and cultural development of America in various fields and industries.

The Temperance Movement and Prohibition

The Temperance Movement and Prohibition

The temperance movement was a social reform movement that advocated for the moderation or abolition of alcohol consumption. The movement emerged in the early 19th century as a response to the widespread problems of alcohol abuse, such as poverty, crime, violence, disease, and family breakdown. The movement was led by religious groups, especially Protestants, who believed that alcohol was a sin and a threat to moral order. The movement also attracted support from women's groups, who suffered from domestic abuse and neglect by alcoholic husbands and fathers. The movement also appealed to some workers' groups, who saw alcohol as a tool of exploitation and oppression by employers and capitalists.

One of the ways that the temperance movement tried to purify the nation was by banning alcohol altogether. In 1919, Congress passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors in the US. The amendment was ratified by 36 states and took effect in 1920. To enforce the amendment, Congress also passed the Volstead Act, which defined intoxicating liquor as any beverage containing more than 0.5% alcohol by volume. The act also established a Prohibition Bureau within the Treasury Department to oversee the enforcement of the law.

What were the consequences and challenges of prohibition? Prohibition had many unintended and negative effects on American society and culture. Instead of reducing alcohol consumption, it created a huge demand for illegal liquor and a lucrative black market for bootleggers, smugglers, and organized crime syndicates. Speakeasies, or illegal bars and clubs, sprang up across the country, where people could drink and socialize in secret. Prohibition also led to an increase in corruption, violence, and crime, as law enforcement officials were bribed or threatened by gangsters who fought for control of the liquor trade. Some of the most notorious figures of this era were Al Capone in Chicago, Lucky Luciano in New York, and Bugs Moran in Detroit.

Prohibition also faced widespread opposition and resistance from various segments of society. Many Americans viewed prohibition as an infringement on their personal freedom and choice. They also resented the hypocrisy and moralism of some prohibitionists, who were accused of drinking themselves or profiting from the illegal liquor business. Some ethnic and religious groups, such as Catholics, Jews, Germans, and Italians, saw prohibition as an attack on their cultural traditions and identities. Some farmers and brewers protested against the loss of their livelihoods and markets. Some doctors and scientists argued that prohibition was ineffective and harmful to public health.

As prohibition became more unpopular and unenforceable, a movement to repeal it gained momentum in the 1930s. The movement was supported by various groups and interests, such as liberals, progressives, civil libertarians, business leaders, labor unions, journalists, and politicians. They argued that prohibition had failed to achieve its goals and had caused more problems than it solved. They also pointed out that legalizing alcohol would generate tax revenue and create jobs during the Great Depression. In 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, which repealed the 18th Amendment and ended national prohibition. However, some states and localities continued to enforce their own prohibition laws for years after.

The Scopes Trial and the Culture Wars

Another way that some Americans tried to purify the nation was by defending their religious beliefs against scientific challenges. One of the most controversial issues in this regard was the theory of evolution, which proposed that all living organisms descended from common ancestors through natural selection over millions of years. The theory of evolution was developed by Charles Darwin in his book On the Origin of Species in 1859. It contradicted the biblical account of creation in Genesis, which stated that God created all living things in six days.

Many religious fundamentalists rejected evolution as a threat to their faith and morality. They believed that evolution undermined the authority of the Bible, denied the existence of God, reduced humans to animals, and justified immorality and social Darwinism. They demanded that public schools teach only creationism, or the belief that God created all living things as they are today. They also lobbied for laws that banned or restricted the teaching of evolution in public schools.

One of these laws was passed in Tennessee in 1925. It stated that \"it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities, Normals and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.\" Anyone who violated this law would be fined or imprisoned.

How did the Scopes Trial expose the clash between science and religion in the 1920s? The law was challenged by a group of civil libertarians, educators, and scientists, who saw it as a violation of academic freedom and free speech. They arranged for a young high school teacher named John Scopes to deliberately break the law by teaching evolution to his students. Scopes was arrested and put on trial in Dayton, Tennessee, in July 1925. The trial attracted national and international attention, as it became a symbol of the culture wars between modernism and traditionalism, urban and rural, science and religion.

The trial also featured two of the most famous lawyers and public figures of the time: William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow. Bryan was a three-time presidential candidate, a populist leader, and a devout Christian. He volunteered to prosecute Scopes and defend the anti-evolution law. He argued that evolution was a dangerous and unproven theory that threatened the moral and spiritual foundations of society. Darrow was a renowned defense attorney, a civil libertarian, and an agnostic. He volunteered to defend Scopes and challenge the anti-evolution law. He argued that evolution was a scientific fact that could not be denied or censored by religious dogma.

The trial lasted for eight days and involved heated debates, dramatic testimonies, and sensational media coverage. The climax of the trial came when Darrow called Bryan to the stand as an expert witness on the Bible. Darrow questioned Bryan about his literal interpretation of the Bible and exposed his ignorance and inconsistency on various scientific and historical matters. Bryan admitted that he did not know everything about the Bible, but insisted that he believed it as God's word. The exchange was widely seen as a humiliation for Bryan and a victory for Darrow.

The Ku Klux Klan and Racial Violence

Another way that some Americans tried to purify the nation was by asserting white supremacy and attacking racial minorities. One of the most notorious groups that engaged in this practice was the Ku Klux Klan, or the KKK. The KKK was a secret society that originated in the South after the Civil War, as a violent resistance movement against Reconstruction and black civil rights. The KKK used terror tactics such as lynching, burning, whipping, and bombing to intimidate and murder African Americans and their white allies. The KKK declined in the late 1870s, as federal troops and laws suppressed their activities.

However, the KKK experienced a revival in 1915, inspired by the release of a film called The Birth of a Nation, which glorified the Klan as heroes and defenders of white civilization. The new KKK expanded its membership and influence beyond the South, reaching millions of members across the nation by the mid-1920s. The new KKK also broadened its targets beyond African Americans, to include immigrants, Catholics, Jews, Mexicans, and other groups that were seen as threats to white Protestant America. The new KKK also claimed to uphold moral values and law and order, and infiltrated politics and law enforcement at local and state levels.

What were the motives and methods of the Klan's violence and intimidation? The KKK was motivated by a combination of racism, nativism, religion, and fear. They believed that America was a white Christian nation that was being corrupted and endangered by foreign influences and inferior races. They also feared that their economic and social status was being threatened by the rise of industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and modernization. They resented the changes and challenges that these forces brought to their traditional way of life.

The KKK used various methods of violence and intimidation to achieve their goals of purifying the nation. They wore distinctive white robes and hoods to conceal their identities and create a sense of mystery and terror. They held rallies, parades, and cross-burnings to display their power and solidarity. They also committed acts of vandalism, arson, assault, kidnapping, torture, and murder against their enemies. They often left behind messages or symbols to warn others not to defy or challenge them. They also used propaganda, such as newspapers, pamphlets, flyers, and radio broadcasts, to spread their message and recruit new members.

How did African Americans and other groups resist and challenge the Klan? The KKK faced resistance and opposition from various groups and individuals who refused to submit to their tyranny and hatred. African Americans fought back against the Klan's violence with courage and determination. They formed self-defense organizations, such as the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), which exposed and denounced the crimes of the Klan and demanded justice for their victims. They also pursued education, economic opportunity, political participation, and cultural expression as means of empowerment and advancement.

Other groups that were targeted by the Klan also resisted and challenged them in different ways. Immigrants maintained their ethnic identities and communities while also adapting to American society. Catholics defended their faith and rights against anti-Catholic bigotry. Jews organized anti-defamation leagues to combat anti-Semitism. Mexicans formed mutualista societies to provide mutual aid and protection. Liberals and progressives advocated for social justice and civil liberties for all people.

The Red Scare and Anti-Communism

The final way that some Americans tried to purify the nation was by combating the perceived threat of communism and radicalism. Communism is a political and economic system that advocates for a classless society where all property and wealth are shared equally by the people. Radicalism is a term that describes any political or social movement that seeks to change the existing order in a fundamental or extreme way. Both communism and radicalism were seen as enemies of democracy and capitalism, which were the dominant values and systems in America.

What were the causes and effects of the First Red Scare after World War I? The First Red Scare was a period of intense fear and anxiety over the possible spread of communism and radicalism in America after World War I. It was triggered by several factors, such as the Russian Revolution of 1917, which established a communist regime in Russia; the rise of labor strikes and social unrest in America, which were blamed on communist and anarchist agitators; the emergence of new political parties and organizations that advocated for socialism or communism, such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the Communist Party of America (CPA); and the wave of bombings and assassinations carried out by anarchists and radicals against prominent political figures and institutions.

The First Red Scare had several effects on American society and politics. It led to a crackdown on civil liberties and civil rights, as the government passed laws and policies that restricted free speech, free press, free assembly, and free association for anyone suspected of being communist or radical. It also led to a series of raids, arrests, deportations, and trials of alleged communists and radicals, known as the Palmer Raids, after Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, who orchestrated them. The Palmer Raids violated due process and constitutional rights, and resulted in many innocent people being detained, deported, or imprisoned without evidence or trial.

The First Red Scare also had an impact on immigration policy, as many Americans associated immigrants with communism and radicalism. The government passed laws that limited or banned immigration from certain countries or regions, especially from southern and eastern Europe and Asia, where many immigrants came from. The government also imposed literacy tests, quotas, and other restrictions on immigrants to prevent them from entering or becoming citizens of America.

How did civil liberties and labor rights suffer during the Red Scare? The First Red Scare had a negative effect on civil liberties and labor rights in America. Civil liberties are the rights and freedoms that protect individuals from government interference or abuse. Labor rights are the rights and protections that workers have in relation to their employers or unions. Both civil liberties and labor rights are essential for democracy and justice in society.

During the Red Scare, many Americans who expressed dissenting or unpopular opinions were accused of being communist or radical sympathizers. They faced censorship, harassment, discrimination, violence, or prosecution for exercising their civil liberties. For example, many newspapers, magazines, books, films, plays, speeches, songs, and artworks that criticized the government or advocated for social change were banned or suppressed by authorities. Many activists, writers, artists, teachers, lawyers, politicians, and other public figures who challenged the status quo or defended civil liberties were blacklisted, fired, arrested, deported, or killed by vigilantes.


In conclusion, this article has provided some background information, analysis, and answers for the worksheet Purifying The Nation. This worksheet covers some of the major social, cultural, and political issues that shaped America in the 1920s. It shows how some groups tried to purify the nation by imposing their vision of morality, patriotism, and conformity on others. It also shows how these groups faced resistance and opposition from those who advocated for diversity, tolerance, and freedom.

These topics relate to the broader themes of US history, such as immigration, reform, conflict, and change. They also reflect some of the challenges and opportunities that America faced in the 1920s, as it emerged as a world power and a modern nation. They also reveal some of the tensions and contradictions that characterized American society and culture in the 1920s.

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