AQA GCSE History: America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and inequality

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AD America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and Inequality

In this module, the development of the United States in the wake of WWII and the turbulent half-century of change that accompanied it. As both a period of opportunity and inequality, the 1920s through to the 1970s offers in-depth insight and examples of the ability to live the American Dream for some, while many others including immigrants, racial minorities and the poor experienced the nightmare of entrenched poverty, discrimination and prejudice. Themes spanning three modules encompass political, economic, social and cultural shifts after WWII, as well as key individuals who were instrumental in bringing about change.

Details of this period study can be found below.

Part one: American people and the 'Boom'

Themes explored include:

  • The ‘Boom’: benefits, advertising and the consumer society; hire purchase; mass production, including Ford and the motor industry; inequalities of wealth; Republican government policies; stock market boom.
  • Social and cultural developments: entertainment, including cinema and jazz; the position of women in society, including flappers.
  • Divided society: organised crime, Prohibition and their impact on society; the causes of racial tension, the experiences of immigrants and the impact of immigration; the Ku Klux Klan; the Red Scare and the significance of the Sacco and Vanzetti case.

Part two: Bust – Americans' experiences of the Depression and New Deal

Themes explored include:

  • American society during the Depression: unemployment; farmers; businessmen; Hoover’s responses and unpopularity; Roosevelt's election as president.
  • The effectiveness of the New Deal on different groups in society: successes and limitations including opposition towards the New Deal from Supreme Court, Republicans and Radical politicians; Roosevelt's contribution as president; popular culture.
  • The impact of the Second World War: America’s economic recovery; Lend Lease; exports; social developments, including experiences of African-Americans and women.

Part three: Post-war America

Themes explored include:

  • Post-war American society and economy: consumerism and the causes of prosperity; the American Dream; McCarthyism; popular culture, including Rock and Roll and television.
  • Racial tension and developments in the Civil Rights campaigns in the 1950s and 1960s: Segregation laws; Martin Luther King and peaceful protests; Malcolm X and the Black Power Movement; Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968.
  • America and the ‘Great Society': the social policies of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson relating to poverty, education and health; the development and impact of feminist movements in the 1960s and early 1970s, including the fight for equal pay; the National Organisation for Women, Roe vs. Wade (1973), the Supreme Court ruling on equal rights (1972) and opposition to Equal Rights Amendment.

Resource Examples

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This module download also includes the following teaching resources:

  • AQA GCSE History Exam Booklets (2020 & 2021 Syllabus) (zip)
  • L1 American Boom (pptx)
  • L1 Diamond Nine -Causes Of The American Boom In The 1920s (pdf)
  • L1 Diamond Nine -Causes Of The American Boom In The 1920s (docx)
  • L1 Gatsby Movie Montage 2 (mp4)
  • L1 Gcse History Economic Boom 1920s America (mp4)
  • L10 Bonus March On Washington Dc- 1932 (mp4)
  • L10 Social Consequences Of The Crash (pptx)
  • L11 Herbert Hoover (mp4)
  • L11 Roosevelt Campaigns For President 1932 (mp4)
  • L11 Why Did Roosevelt Win The Election (pptx)
  • L12 Alphabet Agencies Chart (pdf)
  • L12 Alphabet Agencies Chart (pptx)
  • L12 Franklin Roosevelt Fireside Chat 1 On The Banking Crisis 1933 (mp4)
  • L12 New Deal Uptown Funk Parody Mrbettsclass (mp4)
  • L12 What Was The New Deal (pptx)
  • L13 Opposition To The New Deal (pptx)
  • L13 Opposition To The New Deal Information Sheet (pdf)
  • L13 Opposition To The New Deal Information Sheet (pptx)
  • L14 New Deal (docx)
  • L14 New Deal (pdf)
  • L15 Success And Failure Of The New Deal (pptx)
  • L16 Post War Boom (docx)
  • L16 Post War Boom (pdf)
  • L17 Malcom X Info Hunt (pdf)
  • L17 Mlk Chart (pdf)
  • L17 Mlk Chart (pptx)
  • L17 Post War America (pptx)
  • L17 The Story Of Emmett Till (mp4)
  • L2 Henry Ford (pptx)
  • L2 Henry Ford Clip (mp4)
  • L3 1920 S Sports And Recreation (mp4)
  • L3 Entertainment In 1920s America (pptx)
  • L3- Early 1920 S Jazz (mp4)
  • L4 Georgia May Foote Giovanni Pernice Charleston To Hot Honey Rag Strictly Come Dancing- 2015 (mp4)
  • L4 Women In The 1920s (pptx)
  • L4 Women In The 1920s Wall Information (pdf)
  • L4 Women In The 1920s Wall Information (ppt)
  • L4 Women Of The 1920 S (mp4)
  • L5 America Goes Dry- Prohibition In The 1920 S (mp4)
  • L5 Bootleggers And Moonshine (pdf)
  • L5 Bootleggers And Moonshine (docx)
  • L5 Corruption (pdf)
  • L5 Corruption (docx)
  • L5 Gangsters (pdf)
  • L5 Gangsters (docx)
  • L5 Lack Of Enforcement (pdf)
  • L5 Lack Of Enforcement (docx)
  • L5 Prohibition (pptx)
  • L5 Speakeasies (docx)
  • L5 Speakeasies (pdf)
  • L5 Why Prohibition Failed Mind Map (docx)
  • L5 Why Prohibition Failed Mind Map (pdf)
  • L6 Birth Of A Nation Clip 6 (mp4)
  • L6 Intolerance In The Usa (pptx)
  • L7 Billie Holiday-Strange Fruit- Hd (mp4)
  • L7 Kkk Chart (pptx)
  • L7 Kkk Chart (pdf)
  • L7 Kkk Information Sheet (pdf)
  • L7 Kkk Information Sheet (doc)
  • L7 Kkk Red Scare And Sacco And Vanzetti (pptx)
  • L8 -The Stock Market Crash Of 1929 Causes And Effects (mp4)
  • L8 Causes Of The Wall Street Crash (pptx)
  • L8 Stock Market Crash Of 1929 Rebecca Black S Friday Parody (mp4)
  • L8 The Wall Street Crash And The Great Depression (mp4)
  • L9 Great Depression Grease S Summer Nights Parody Mrbettsclass (mp4)
  • L9 Great Depression Rap Smart Songs (mp4)
  • L9 Impact Of Wall Street Crash On America (pptx)
  • L9 The Great Depression Explained In One Minute (mp4)