ERIC Number: ED374058
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: 0
The Constitution in Crisis: The Red Scare of 1919-1920. A Unit of Study for Grades 9-12.
This unit is one of a series that represents specific moments in history from which students focus on the meanings of landmark events. Continuing narrative provides context for the dramatic moment. By studying a crucial turning-point in history, students become aware that choices had to be made by real human beings, that those decisions were the result of specific factors, and that they set in motion a series of historical consequences. The lessons are based on primary sources, taken from documents, artifacts, journals, diaries, newspapers, and literature from the period under study. By analyzing primary sources, students will learn how to analyze evidence, establish a valid interpretation, and construct a coherent narrative in which all the relevant factors play a part. This unit is designed to help students recognize that the guarantees of the Bill of Rights are fragile and must be secured by a commitment to principles. When exaggerated fears of political, racial, or ethnic groups are encouraged, the basic freedoms of Americans can be lost. By studying the anticommunist hysteria of 1919-20 students come to understand the historical context in which the "Red Scare" occurred, evaluate the impact of the wartime Espionage Act and Sedition Act on free speech guaranteed in the First Amendment, explain related U.S. Supreme Court decisions, recognize the importance of dissent in a free society, analyze the impact of fear on society, and recognize the long range impact of policy decisions on internal affairs. This unit contains teacher background materials, lesson plans, and student resources and handouts. (DK)
Descriptors: Communism, Democracy, Ethnocentrism, Freedom of Speech, Government (Administrative Body), Government Role, High Schools, History Instruction, Immigrants, Political Affiliation, Political Socialization, Primary Sources, Secondary School Curriculum, Social Discrimination, United States History
National Center for History in the Schools, University of California, Los Angeles, Moore Hall 231, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1521.
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Students; Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for History in the Schools, Los Angeles, CA.
Identifiers: Bill of Rights; First Amendment; Goldman (Emma); Labor Union Militancy; Red Scare