History 4321/Children’s Studies 401

1920s Youth Culture and Legal Issues

September 14, 2005



I. Progressivism


1. The Gilded Age Legacy (expansion of federal government and role of party politics; changing public and higher education; Jim Crow and question of race)


2. Defining Progressivism (anti-monopolism; social reform; social cohesion)


3. Gender Issues (interpreting Muller; Addams and Hull House, WCTU; suffrage and divisions)


II. Civil Liberties


1. Origins of Academic Freedom (progressivism and education—European intellectual influence, significance of ideas, desire for “apolitical,” technical solutions to political problems; Ross, Stanford, and issue of academic freedom in higher education; 1915 meeting and creation of AAUP; Columbia and Harvard crises)


2. Effects of Academic Freedom: Sacco and Vanzetti (anti-radical sentiment and World War I; role of anti-immigrant sentiment and federal government; free speech strategy; conviction and trial violations; Felix Frankfurter and legal committee; international reaction)


III. Wayward Youth?


            1. Leopold and Loeb (killings and defendants’ background; debate over death penalty and psychiatric testimony; Darrow closing arguments, youth, and attack on death penalty; local/national reaction; prison reform and juvenile justice—debate between punishment or treatment as purpose)


            2. Youth Culture (gender issues and sexual freedoms; jazz and new cultural norms; Hollywood, radio, and new consumer culture; modern art and architecture; changing composition of universities)


IV. Cultural Confrontations


            1. The 1920s Divide (Prohibition and its effects; rise of KKK; cultural polarization—Democratic 1924 convention; Republicans and “normalcy”; Democrats and ethnics; weakness of progressives; Al Smith and 1928)


            2. Scopes Trial (anti-evolution movement and transformation of American fundamentalism; Scopes prosecution; ACLU and Darrow; national attention and press bias; Darrow and Bryan strategies—highlight broad effects of issue; cross-examination of Bryan; verdict and effect)