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.