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Free 5-day trial The decade of the 1920s saw older, traditional values of American society challenged by the rapidly changing Modern Age.
Elements of the nation reacted to such change with fear.
Develop an understanding of the reborn Ku Klux Klan, the eugenics movement and nativist sentiments of the 1920s.
At the start of the 1920s, many Americans came to feel as though the promise of the reforms of the Progressive Era had been a waste of time.
There had been a devastating war and a period of instability in its aftermath.
Strikes, riots and flu epidemics had convinced many Americans that the nation had entered a frightening era of change.
New, big American cities seemed to be teeming with immigrants and perceived foreign and dangerous ideas.In turn, many reacted to this change in a wave of American nationalism that combined nativism, Anglo-Saxon racism and militant Protestantism.The fact that many of the post-war radicals, who were striking and even sending bombs in the mail to prominent Americans, were from lands outside the U.S., only worked to deepen resentment many Americans had towards the foreign born.The most celebrated court case of the time highlighted this hostility perfectly.It involved two Italian born anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti.