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The Great Depression and New Deal

Joyce Bryant

Contents of Curriculum Unit 98.04.04:

To Guide Entry

It is my teaching goal that the students will be able to demonstrate in all areas of language arts by developing strategic skills for writing, reading, listening, speaking and viewing. In order to do this the students must understand and analyze facts and details through the reading of nonfictional historical information. So much has been said and written from alternate points of view.

The purpose of the unit is to provide students with that historical material concerning the Depression and New Deal and to encourage and instruct them in their own writing process dealing with these events as we incorporate this knowledge into activities focusing on the language arts.

Factual accounts and data will lead us to ask many questions. Such as; what economic forces shaped America in the 1920’s? How did life for many Americans change during that period? What groups didn’t share in the prosperity and why? Why and when did the economy first collapse and then improve? Last but not least two questions: how did the American people survive, and what changes took place under Roosevelt’s administration in order to bring about the New Deal?

During difficult times, people often look to the government to solve difficult economic problems. The question should the government take an active role to help the poor and underprivileged, or is government involvement in the economy a danger to liberty and freedom? These questions were debated in the 1920’s and 30’s after the nation was plunged into a deep depression.

Under Hoover’s administration the government favored his rugged individualism. He felt that if the people turned to the government, however justified in time of war, if it continued in peace time it would not only destroy the system but with it progress and freedom. He also felt that the control by government of business would affect the daily lives of each individual and would impair the very basis of liberty and freedom. Furthermore, even if the government conduct of business could give more efficiency instead of less, the fundamental objection to it would remain unchanged. It would increase abuse and corruption. It would stifle initiative and invention, undermine the development of leadership, cramp and cripple the mental and spiritual energies of the people, and extinguish opportunity and equality. Roosevelt believed that greatest primary task was to put people to work, and it was not an unsolvable problem if faced wisely and courageously. He also believed that it could be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the government. He advised treating the task with the emergency of a war, but at the same time using employment instead of armed forces, to stimulate the use of natural resources accomplishing greatly needed projects. He then suggested national planning and supervision of all forms of transportation, communications and other utilities which had definite public character. Also he thought to implement the strict supervision of banking, credit, investments, and the provision for adequate but sound and stable currency.

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The Great Depression

Prior to the Great Depression the Roaring Twenties was a booming age because there was a boom in business and the excitement of popular fads. After World War I, America longed for what President Warren Harding called a “return to normalcy”. To Americans this meant the “good old days” before the war years. During the 1920’s, more Americans lived in cities than in rural areas and no longer were most people farmers. After the war business boomed and people worked in business and industry.

President Calvin Coolidge declared the 1920, the “chief business of America is business”. During the Coolidge years business prospered and many Americans earned more money than ever before. Factories increased production to a growing demand for consumer goods such as washing machines , radios , and refrigerators. The largest boom was in the auto sales which gave rise to other industries. Cars needed steel, paint, tires and gasoline. New and better roads were built. Gas stations and restaurants appeared along the new roads. The housing industry began to boom as people moved out of the crowded cities and into the country or suburbs. New products such as cars changed the way of life for many Americans. They had freedom to visit other parts of the country. Radios and movies brought about other changes. New forms of entertainment were provided through radio programs and movies. The movies created new heroes and heroines. Hollywood grew into the movie capitol of the world. The 1920’s are sometimes labeled the jazz age because the new energetic kind of music reflected the spirit of the times. Jazz began among the black American musicians in New York and then swept the country and the world. Musicians such as Louis Armstrong won lasting fame for his contributions to jazz and helped fuel the Harlem Renaissance or rebirth of black culture.

____ Just prior to the Great Depression Herbert Clark Hoover became president of the United States’ He had earned his reputation as a business entrepreneur and an engineer.

Hoover wore several hats prior to becoming president of the United States. He was asked by the U.S. Counsel General in London to supervise the evacuation of thousands of American citizens trapped in Europe at the beginning of World War I. He became the chairman of the committee for Relief in Belgium with the mission of preventing famine in that nation. Within three years Hoover had raised and spent over one billion dollars for food relief in Europe.

____ When the United States entered World War I President Woodrow Wilson named Hoover U.S. Food Administrator and for the duration of the war he supervised the rationing and conservation of food supplies in the United States and the export of food to the U.S. and allied troops. After the War he became the general of European Relief and Rehabilitation efforts. In 1920 Hoover was an unsuccessful presidential candidate after which he was named Secretary of Commerce by then President Harding in 1921. He was considered the most honest and capable official in the administration. His department tried to improve the productivity of industry, promote international trade and the conservation of resources. In 1924 Hoover was the potential candidate for the vice presidency, however he did not get the nomination. In 1928 he won the nomination and the office of president.

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The Hoover years 1928-1932

When Herbert Clark Hoover took over the office of the president he expected the prosperity of the nation to continue. In his inaugural address he said” ours is a land rich in resources”. “In no nation are the fruits of accomplishment secure”. In the final days of the 1928 campaign Hoover made a speech explaining his idea of the proper relation of government to business, and his belief in what he called “the American system of rugged individualism”. The great prosperity of America, he said, was based on three factors: self-government as far as possible through local agencies; individual freedom to encourage initiative, and equality of opportunity.

The true role of government, Hoover argued, was that of “an umpire instead of a player in the economic game”. He felt that once the federal government invaded the business field, democracy would be threatened, since it depended on decentralization, and personal liberty would be endangered, because it depended on economic freedom.

Hoover mentioned conservation of natural resources, flood control, and scientific research as legitimate activities of government . Occasionally it might sell power or commodities as a by-product. But if the government went further than that, it would undermine ‘the very instincts which carry our people forward in progress.

When he entered the White House in March 1929, Herbert Hoover radiated optimism. In his inaugural address the new president predicted that, “given a chance to go forward with the policies of the last eight years,” The United States would soon “be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from the nation.” Unlike Coolidge, Hoover did not propose to sit back and let matters take their course. As he had said during the recent campaign, he believed that the federal government should help people to help themselves.

As engineer, a thorough and competent administrator, Hoover wanted facts as a basis for action. To get the facts he appointed commissions to investigate problems as diverse as better housing, old-age pensions, unemployment insurance, child-welfare, and conservation.

One problem that could not wait for the slow process of a committee investigation but demanded immediate action was the plight of agriculture. In their 1928 campaign platforms both Democrats and Republicans had promised farm relief. Hoover therefore called Congress into special session in April 1929 to pass legislation on behalf of agriculture. The Farm Bloc again demand legislation that would enlist the federal government in buying surplus farm products and selling them abroad. Hoover opposed this on the ground that “no government agency should engage in buying and selling and price-fixing of products”. The president proposed instead that the government help farmers set up their own organizations to market produce more efficiently and adjust supply to demand. Following this recommendation Congress passed the Agricultural Market Act of 1929, this law created an eight man Federal Farm Board which was furnished with 500 million dollars to help existing farm organizations and to create new ones. Under the terms of the law, the Farm Board established great national cooperatives such as the National Livestock Marketing Association and the American Cotton Cooperative Association. The Farm Board loaned the Cooperatives money to keep prices stable by buying and selling in the open market. In spite of the efforts American farmers were soon worse off than ever because the country plunged into the worst depression in history. ____ The collapse of the stock market was only a prelude to a catastrophic economic decline. The direct and indirect effects of World War I was also a contributing factor.

The First World War not only destroyed productive capacity but had built up a great load of government debts, both domestic and international. These debts not only put heavy tax burdens on people everywhere, but also clogged the channels of international trade. Each debtor nation, attempting to sell as much and buy as little as possible, raised tariffs and set up limits on imports. For a time American investors

kept the machinery of international trade going by lending abroad with great freedom. But when the borrowers reached the end of the their capacity to pay, American loans ceased. And when lending stopped, United States foreign trade dwindled rapidly. ____ The prolonged slump in agriculture was like a cancer sapping the economic life of the entire country. The shrinkage of farmer’s purchasing power cut down the market for manufactured goods and so kept factories from producing to capacity and workers from finding employment. The declining value of farms made it harder for farmers to get credit and imperiled banks that had invested in farm mortgages.

The rapid introduction of labor-saving machinery greatly increased the productive capacity of American industry so that it produced more goods than a market could absorb. For a time this was concealed by a wide-spread practice of installment buying, whereby the purchaser made a down payment and promised to pay the rest in installments spread over months or years. Carried to extremes, as it was in the late 1920’s, installment buying was dangerous because it created a heavy load of private debt and dried up future purchasing power.

While in itself stock gambling was not one of the primary causes of the depression, it made it more severe. Billions of dollars that, according the Mellon theory of wealth, should have gone into new products were diverted into speculation. The fantastic demand for securities encouraged unsound and even dishonest practices. When the market finally broke, the demand of investors for money to cover their losses was so great that it caused a credit squeeze throughout the entire country. Above all, the suddenness and violence of the stock market crash helped to change the mood of the country from one of optimism to one of fear.

The economic policies of the federal government during the 1920’s, while perhaps not a primary cause of the depression, surely contributed to it. Failure to curb or discourage the stock market boom made the ultimate crash more severe. Antipathy to government regulation of private enterprise meant failure to halt business abuses or to institute needed reforms in the financial system of the country.

Once launched the depression had a sort of momentum of its own that helped to create a vicious downward spiral. As the depression spread, millions of people lost their jobs. By 1932, twelve million U.S. workers were unemployed, this was almost one fourth of the U.S. working force.

Unemployed and homeless millions of people walked city streets looking for work. Thousands more rode railroad boxcars from state to state trying to find a job. Others simply walked from town to town. Few found work. By the early 1930’s one million New Yorkers were without jobs. In Cleveland, Ohio half of all workers could not find work.

After they lost their jobs, many people lost their homes. Soon, settlements of shacks made by the homeless appeared in U.S. cities. These shacks were built of cardboard, scrap metal, packing boxes and tar paper. People bitterly called these settlements Hoovervilles, after President Herbert Hoover. Americans were angry that the presidents attempts to fight the depression were failing. The largest Hooverville was reported to be in St. Louis Missouri. Over 1,000 people lived there.

In other cities people lived wherever they could find shelter. They even lived in unused sewer

pipes, under some bridges, on subways, in public parks, and even in caves. During the winter some people asked to sleep in jail cells. By 1932, between one and two million American people were homeless. Hunger was even more widespread than homelessness. Millions barely had enough to buy food and feed themselves, and those who did not have money turned to charities. And churches and other charities opened up some soup kitchens in the cities to feed the hungry. Each day millions of people stood on breadlines to get whatever scraps of food they could. However the relief was not enough. Many grew sick from the lack of food, and children suffered the most. In New York alone, one child in every five was hungry, and in other parts of the country the situation was even worse.

The depression began to weaken the confidence of the American people. Fathers who could no longer care and provide for their families blamed themselves. Many who could not face their families left home. Children also left their homes so as not to be a burden on their parents. Yet many families managed to stick together. All members found whatever work they could in order to help the family. Those with property took in borders to help with expenses, some planted food, others earned money by making and selling hand made goods. Millions learned to get along with what they had.

African Americans suffered even more than most Americans. To begin with, they were even more poor than most. As the poet Langston Hughes wrote, “The Depression brought everyone down a peg or two, And the Negroes had but a few pegs to fall.”

During the 1920’s many African Americans, over 800,000 left their homes in the South and moved North. Many were unskilled laborers and they took jobs others did not want. They were low paying jobs as they demand few skills. However many of them lost their jobs when the depression hit. As they were the last hired, they were the first to be fired. The few jobs that were available almost always went to whites. Discrimination made chances of finding work slim, and by 1932 the jobless rate was fifty percent. Those who did manage to keep their jobs also suffered. Wages were cut, in some cases almost in half, many took jobs in private homes as domestics.

Many still lived in the South, as tenant farmers paying shares to their landlords. Their crops or harvest paid their rent, or failed to do so leaving them deeper in debt.

President Hoover did not want to interfere with the economy because he called the depression a “temporary halt in the prosperity of a great people”. The president depended on business companies and industries to take part in national stabilization efforts. In 1932 Congress passed several laws enabling the government to help business. One of the laws set up the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. That corporation loaned money to banks and other firms to keep them from going bankrupt. The president also believed that the states and local communities should provide relief for jobless workers, but it became clear that the unemployed needed much more than the state and local communities could afford. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation loaned up to three million dollars to the states for relief. Some of the other laws provided credit for some homeowners, farmers and improved court practices and bankruptcy procedures. President Hoover supported several public works and conservation programs that were designed to help provide jobs.

The government worked to develop inland waterways for navigation. Flood control, added three million acres to national parks, monuments and enlarged forests. It also built more than eight hundred buildings and helped states build approximately thirty seven miles of major highways. Unemployment was still at a high level.

Also, it should be noted that in the 1920’s over one million Mexicans came to the United States. Their plight was much worse. Most of them worked on farms as laborers, they were already earning low wages, and with the depression these jobs were cut. Some voluntarily returned to Mexico, others were sent home by force. Cities with relief programs did not want to spend money on Mexicans. Altogether about 400,000 Mexicans were repatriated. Some of them sent back were children who were born in the United States. This meaning, that the U.S. was sending back its own citizens.

I suppose hoping and believing President Hoover worked from dawn till dusk. As the depression worsened he worked even harder. In the end his well intentioned efforts accomplished little. The presidency was about leadership, not long hours. Hoover had failed the people or so they felt, and that was evidenced when they voted him out of office in 1932. In retirement Hoover became a respected president, highly intelligent, and a patriotic American who had done his best to help his country.

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The New Deal

In 1932, the American people wanted a change and they elected a new leader. The people elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt as president in the election of 1932, and he immediately began to make changes. The president began to speak to the American people in an informal or casual way. On March 12, 1933, approximately sixty million Americans gathered around their radios, to listen to their newly elected leader. They had already gone through four years of difficult times and they were worried and discouraged. President Roosevelt called his talks fireside chats. He spoke in calm and comforting words and this helped him win the confidence of the people. For the first time since the depression, Americans were beginning to feel hope.

The first phase of the New Deal was to try something. Roosevelt came into office with no clear idea of how he was going to deal with the economic crisis. This did not dismay him. “There is nothing to do,” he said, “but meet each days troubles as they come”. Some laws were passed against the president’s wishes, but he signed them to head off something he liked even less, or to avoid holding up other legislation. His principal contribution to the New Deal, in addition to dynamic leadership and political skill, was his “try something” philosophy. He likened himself to a quarterback on a football team who calls plays, and if one does not work, try another. In any case, he felt, action was better than inaction. Despite what seem like apparent confusion, the New Deal had three aims: recovery from the depression, relief for its victims, and reform of the economic system. Much of the legislation reflected all three of these purposes.

During the first phase of the Roosevelt administration, 1933 to early 1935, the dominant purposes were recovery and relief. During this period, the president and his advisers had the idea that through a series of temporary expedients they could get the economy into high gear again, and then let it carry on by its own momentum. The ‘first New Deal” was therefore not much different in purpose and philosophy from Hoover’s efforts to stem the depression. During this early period, too, Roosevelt resembled Hoover in seeking support of the business community. He spoke of an alliance of “business and banking, agriculture and industry, and labor and capital”. His purpose throughout his entire presidency was to save the capitalist system. The difference from the previous administration was in the magnitude and variety of legislation and in a much greater willingness to call on full powers of the federal government.

People with savings in the banks that had not yet failed were worried. They wanted to take their money out, but if they did those banks would fail too.

So on March 5, the president closed all the banks. He called the closing a “bank holiday”. Then he got Congress to pass a bill that helped the banks. That bill became law on March 9th. Just three days later he gave his first fireside chat. He wanted to explain his actions to the people. He told them it was safe to leave their money in the banks. The banks reopened on Monday March 13th. That day Americans put more money into the banks than they took out. The president’s action had ended the banking crisis.

The bank holiday marked the beginning of the Hundred Days. During the first hundred days in office, Congress passed fifteen major laws. Not all of the laws worked well, some were failures. Still, the Hundred Days showed the American people that President Roosevelt was different from Hoover and many of them believed that Roosevelt would give them a New Deal.

President Roosevelt’s New Deal had three main goals. The first was to provide help to millions of suffering Americans. The second was to improve the economy. The third was to pass new laws so that there were not so many poor people. People called these the “three R’s of relief, recovery and reform. Several relief measures became law during the Hundred Days. One law set up a program that gave jobs to hundreds of thousands of young men. Their jobs included planting trees, fighting fires and working to control floods. Another law set up an agency that gave money to states to help the needy. There were two major laws that were to aide economic recovery. One set up the National Recovery Administration. Its job was to get businesses, workers and the government together. The National Recovery administration set up rules to control competition between businesses. It also protected workers who wanted to organize unions. However, it was not successful. It favored large businesses over small ones, and many businesses did not follow the codes. The same law that created the National Recovery Administration created a program that spent billions of dollars on large building projects. The projects included highways, public buildings and dams. Businesses that worked on the projects hired more workers. The most famous was the Grand Coulee Dam on the Colorado River.

Another major law tried to help the farmers by reducing the amount of crops they produced. Fewer crops would help raise prices. Then, the income of the farmer would rise. The government therefore paid the farmer not to plant crops.

The most important reform law of the Hundred Days set up the Tennessee Valley Authority. In 1933, the Tennessee Valley was one of the poorest regions in the United States. Flooding was a serious problem. Few of the people in the region had electricity. Under the Tennessee Valley Authority the government built dams on the Tennessee River. It also build dams on smaller rivers that flowed into it. These dams controlled the flooding while providing cheap electricity. It was a great success. It saved millions of acres of land. It also provided good jobs for the people and brought prosperity to their region.

The New Deal improved conditions for some Americans after 1933. Unemployment dropped by two million by 1935. Still, over nine million were without jobs.

Roosevelt was not about to give up. “it is common sense to take a method and try it”. “If it fails, admit it frankly and try another”. But above all, try something, he said. The president introduced a new series of New Deal Laws during 1935. One law put millions of people to work around the country. They built or repaired thousands of roads, hospitals, schools, airports and playgrounds. Over the next eight years the government gave jobs to over 8.5 million people.

The Social Security Act of 1935 was one of the New Deal’s most important reforms. It provided pensions to retired Americans. The law also set up a system of unemployment insurance. This protected Americans who lost their jobs. The government would give them money for a certain period of time. The social security also provided payments to disabled or needy people. These payments are known as welfare. The system was not perfect. It did not give all retired Americans pensions, nor did it give all Americans unemployment insurance. However, it was a giant step toward improvement in the lives of millions of Americans.

In 1936 Franklin Roosevelt was reelected president. The New Deal programs continued. But all the New Deal’s laws and programs could not end the depression. In fact from 1937 to 1938 the depression grew worse. It lasted until the beginning of World War II. The huge amounts of government spending on the war effort finally got the economy going.

The New Deal was not popular with all Americans. Some believed that the programs would make people too dependent on the government. Others feared the programs would make the government too powerful. However, most thought that the New Deal was a success. It provided much needed help to millions of Americans. The New Deal made the government take responsibility to help those in need. Its reforms reduced the differences between the rich and the poor.

The New Deal helped many groups to take part more fully in American life. Under some of its programs immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, women, African Americans, Latinos and native Americans were given new opportunities. Immigrants from the southern and eastern parts of Europe held many important jobs during Roosevelt’s presidency. These immigrants also joined the growing labor union movement. Under the provided opportunities for women, Frances Perkins became the first woman to serve in the president’s cabinet. She was appointed Secretary of Labor. Thousands of women were appointed to jobs in the government, many running the New Deal programs. The president’s wife, Eleanor encouraged, this, and if I may say so , probably encouraged the president to hire qualified women.

African Americans were at first disappointed in the New Deal. Early programs allowed discrimination against them. The main reason was that the president needed white southern congressmen to vote for these programs. To get their vote, he had to permit discrimination when the programs started operating. For example, some programs paid African American workers less than whites. Other programs forced them to live in segregated or separate housing, from the whites. And, African American workers who were serving in Civilian Conservation Corps served in segregated units. Later this began to change. The President began to name African Americans to important posts. One of the most important of the people was Mary Mcleod Bethune. Bethune was a well known educator from the south. Although her family was poor, they made sure that she received a good education. Mary Mcleod Bethune studied and became a teacher, but she wanted to do more. In the early 1900’s she set out to establish a school for African Americans. She had little money, so she sold pies and cakes to raise money for her school. In the end, she succeeded. Her school eventually became Bethune-Cookman College in Florida, a college that still exists today.

Roosevelt appointed Bethune to head an important government office in 1935. Bethune’s job was to make sure money intended for African American students actually reached them. She helped over 300,000 African American people get an education. The new Deal did not end discrimination, but it began to move toward that goal.

The New Deal also helped many Latinos. Many worked on government projects. Some Mexican American artists found jobs painting murals for public buildings. Senator Dennis Chavez of New Mexico helped get relief to Spanish speaking communities. Chavez was the only Latino in the U.S. Senate, and in spite of all of his great efforts, many Mexicans living in the United States were not citizens an therefore did not qualify for help. And unfortunately President Roosevelt continued the policy begun under President Hoover and continued to send migrant workers back to Mexico.

But fear not, the New Deal also helped the Native Americans. A social worker named John Collier became head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He fought hard for Native American rights. Collier used the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 to help Native American Indians to preserve their culture. He also worked to stop Native American land from being sold.

In 1938 Congress passed a number of New Deal measures that carried out earlier policies. A Fair Labor Standards Act abolished child labor and provided for a ceiling on hours and a floor under wages, at least for most of the workers engaged in businesses that were classified as “interstate commerce”. A new Farm Settlement Administration was established to promote the well-being of poverty stricken farmers and was more efficient than the earlier Resettlement administration in doing do. Attempts were made to cope with the difficulty of surpluses by paying farmers not merely to take land out of production but also to improve the condition of the soil and control its erosion. It also proposed providing facilities so that the surpluses could be stored from year to year. A food stamp plan helped end the scandal of hunger in the midst of plenty by distributing without charge surplus agricultural products among those on relief.

An important part of the second phase of the New Deal brought about an anti-monopoly philosophy. Congress established a Temporary National Economic Committee. It conducted an investigation into American business practices. The Committee collected testimony and evidence that revealed some businesses engaged in price-fixing, in the deliberate creation of scarcity, in agreements not to compete, and in the abuse of patent laws. But by the time action could take place in order to provide some assistance, the country was again at war, and there was little interest or time in enacting new legislation.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the most towering president of the twentieth century. He changed the relationship of government to the American people. Before 1933, Americans had not looked for help of any kind. Because of Roosevelt and his New Deal, however, Americans came to see the government as a potential employer and provider.

The New Deal brought jobs and relief to millions of Americans. It did not however end the

depression. The depression ended because of World War II. During the war the nations economy was devoted to the production of weapons and other materials necessary to win the conflict. Roosevelt presided over an enormous change in American and the presidency of the United States. The war only helped to increase the size and power of the presidential office. The presidency would never be the same nor would the world.

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Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan I : Research Paper

Introduction: Students need practice in locating information, comprehending the information, and writing about what they have read. Have students research the first phase of the New Deal. Have students answer questions such as, what was the purpose and the origins of the New Deal? What did President Roosevelt contribute to it? What steps were taken by the New Deal in the areas of banking, securities, and currency?


Students will be able to locate read, and prepare a research paper on the subject the New Deal.

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Lesson Plan II : Field Trip

Make arrangements for classes to take a field trip to the New York Stock Market and the United Nations. At the Stock Market one of the officials will explain how the market works and show a film. Some students will be allowed on the floor of the actual market itself. At the United Nations students will be given a tour of the building and explanations about the United Nations and what they do.


Students will be able to discuss and write a report about the Stock Market and the United Nations.

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Lesson Plan III : Speakers

Make arrangements for speakers from the Welfare Department, Social Security Office, and an investment planner to speak about the different agencies.

(see Resource List) Objective

Students will have a better understanding of why these agencies were set up , how they work, and why and how they benefit the population.

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Lesson Plan IV : Decide whether these statements are true or false.

The stock market helped trigger the Great Depression.

The main purpose of the public works program was to improve the appearance of the cities.

During the Depression many people were evicted because they could not pay rent.

The New Deal was President’s Hoovers program to limit power of government.

Older people collect pensions from their jobs once they retire.

Factories laid off workers because people were not buying goods.

Stock prices were up during the great Depression.

Banks stopped making loans.

The Social Security Act was passed in 1929.

The government build schools and post offices.

Hoover was responsible for the New Deal.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the people’s choice for president in the 1932 election.

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Lesson Plan V : Questions for Debate or discussion.

What did the government do to help the Americans during the 1920’s?

What were the causes of the Great Depression?

What hardships did the American people face during the 1930’s?

How did the government respond to the Great Depression?

How did the New Deal change American Society?

What were the three main goals of the New Deal?

Why was the Social Security Act of 1935 so important?

How did the New Deal adversely affect, Negroes, Latinos, Mexicans and Native Americans?

Image that you are an advisor to President Roosevelt. Would you accept discrimination in order to get the necessary votes passing these programs? Yes or No and explain.

Form a group of 6-8 classmates, divide into two groups. Hold a debate on the pros and cons of the success of the New Deal.

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Resource List


Welfare Department

540 Ella Grasso Blvd.

New Haven, CT

Tel. No. 946-8533

Mark Massa

2440 Whitney Ave.

Hamden, CT

Tel. No. 288-4351

____ Social Security Office ____ 150 Court St. ____ New Haven, CT ____ Tel. No. 288-4351 ____ Field Trips ____ New York Stock Market ____ Wall St., New York ____ Tel. No. 1-212-623-3000 ____ United Nations ____ United Nations Plaza ____ New York, N.Y. ____ Tel. No. 1-212-754-7715 Suggested Reading List and Bibliography for Teachers Blum, Morgan, Rose, Schlessinger, Stamp Woodward, The National Experience, A History of the United States, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., New York, 1977. This work includes the Great Depression with Herbert Clark Hoover and the New Deal with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Garcia, Harley, Howard, One Nation, Many People, The United States Since 1876: Globe Fearon, New Jersey 1995. This book contains material about the people of the U.S. and its leaders. Hiebert, Ray and Roselyn, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Franklin Watts, Inc. New York, 1968. This work is about how Roosevelt came to be president, his New Deal and from success to failure, pages 157 ń 169. Knappman, Elizabeth, The World Almanac of Presidential Quotations: Pharos Books, New York, 1988. This book contains famous quotations from some of the U.S. Presidents.

Lyons, Eugene, Herbert Hoover: Doubleday & Company, Inc. New York 1964.

This book is a warm dramatic account and appraisal of the Hoover years.

Encyclopedia Britannia, Inc.:

William Brenton Publishers, Chicago, 1960. Volume 11, pages 731 ń 733.

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Suggested Reading List and Bibliography for Students

Beard, Charles B., The Presidents in American History: Julian Messner, New York 1985.

This book represents the combined thinking of three generations of an American family who has often discussed public affairs of the American Presidents. Pages 125 ń 129.

Burner David, Herbert Hoover: Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979.

This work contains the public life of Herbert Hoover.

Feinberg, Barbara Sieberdick, Franklin D Roosevelt: Lathrop, Lee and Shepard Boks, New York 1981.

This book tells how a handicapped president put a handicapped country on its feet and gave the people back their self-respect.

Hacker, Jeffrey H., Franklin D. Roosevelt: Greg Castle Press, New York, 1983.

This book begins with President Herbert Clark Hoover on inauguration 1929, and ends with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal.

Hakim, Joy, A History of the U.S. : Oxford University Press, New York, 1995.

This work contains thirty of the most exciting years in U.S. History. It begins with the finale of World War I, and ends with the second in 1945.

Katz, William Loren, Great Depression: Franklin Watts, New York, 1978.

This work deals with prosperity and poverty.

Rensberger, Susan, The Great Depression: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, New York, 1996.

This book is about the Great Depression and it is the mirror of life, and the hard times reflected in art and culture.

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