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Great Depression to the New Deal, 1920-1939
Overview, Key Understandings & Questions

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Social and political progress and change have both intended and unintended consequences
  • Natural disasters have consequences that impact people's livelihood
  • Economic concerns can have political implications
  • People's views on government intervention vary according to their needs

Key Questions

Roaring Twenties

  • Compare and contrast modernist and traditionalist views for this time period. How did they differ?
  • What was the red scare? How did the red scare target immigrants specifically?
  • What was prohibition? How effective was prohibition?
  • What is mass consumerism? Explain the factors that contributed to the development of mass consumerism.

Harlem Renaissance

  • In what ways did African Americans express themselves during the Harlem Renaissance?
  • Identify some of the popular writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Choose one writer and identify how they influenced the literary movement of the Harlem Renaissance.
  • What is meant by the term "New Negro?" Why was the creation of African American art, literature, and music important?

New Women

  • What did young women of the 1920s mean when they called themselves "new women?" The new women movement was largely made up of middle and upper class white women. How might the experiences of women of color or working class women differ from the women of the new women movement?
  • How did World War I provide additional opportunities for women?
  • Why would suffragists also be involved in the abolition movement and prohibition movement?

Farmers and the Dust Bowl

  • Prior to the Dust Bowl, what challenges did farmers encounter? How did the federal government respond to these challenges?
  • What factors contributed to the drought and Dust Bowl of the 1930s? What steps could farmers have taken to alleviate the hardships they encountered?
  • Evaluate the federal government's response to the hardships of the farmers. How effective were their responses and what else could the government have done to support farmers?

Stock Market Crash

  • What factors contributed to the stock market crash and economic collapse?
  • How did individual Americans respond and react to the stock market crash?
  • How did the federal government respond to the crash? Do you think their response was adequate? What else could the government have done to prevent the stock market crash and Great Depression?

Suffering America

  • How did the economic crisis affect people's views on capitalism? In what ways did government leaders and individuals respond to the economic crisis?
  • What was the Bonus Army? What were their complaints? What actions did they take to get their voices heard and how successful were they?
  • What were Hoovervilles? Why did so many Americans blame President Herbert Hoover for the economic crisis?
  • What actions did Americans take to alleviate the struggles they encountered during the Great Depression? How appropriate were the various responses given the reality of the time period?

First Hundred Days

  • What were President Franklin D. Roosevelt's fireside chats? Why did people respond favorably to the fireside chats?
  • What banking reforms did Roosevelt implement? How successful do you think these reforms were at solving the economic crisis?
  • What is meant by the term "alphabet soup" when referring to Roosevelt's New Deal programs?

Dawn of the New Deal

  • What do the "three Rs" refer to in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal? What actions were taken relating to each of the "Rs"? How successful was the New Deal in living up to the ideals of the "three Rs"?
  • Evaluate the New Deal's ability to alleviate the suffering of working class people and people of color. How successful was the New Deal in providing relief to these groups?
  • What are some programs of the New Deal that exist today? Why did some New Deal programs persist and others disappear?

Opposing the New Deal

  • What are the pros and cons of the New Deal?
  • What reasons did people have in opposition to the New Deal?
  • Did the New Deal do too much or too little to alleviate the suffering of the American people?

MLA Citation

"Great Depression to the New Deal, 1920-1939." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2141745. Accessed 26 May 2019.

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Entry ID: 2141745

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