The Great Depression

"We in America are nearer to the . . . triumph over poverty than ever before."


"The country needs and . . . demands bold, persistent experimentation. 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."



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  • Hoovervilles
  • Bonus Army
  • relief, recovery, reform
  • "Black Tuesday"
  • Hundred Days
  • "fireside chats"
  • John Maynard Keynes
  • "Brain Trust"
  • Raymond Moley
  • "pump-priming"
  • Twentieth Amendment
  • "alphabet agencies"
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Civilian Conservation Corps
  • Works Progress Administration
  • National Labor Relations Act (aka Wagner Act)
  • Frances Perkins
  • Social Security Act
  • "Court-packing" bill
  • Huey Long, Charles Coughlin, Francis Townsend
  • Congress of Industrial Organizations
  • "sit-down strikes"
  • "Roosevelt recession"
  • Farm Holiday demonstrations
  • "dust bowl"
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Dorothea Lange
  • John Collier
  • Indian Reorganization Act (aka Wheeler-Howard Act)
  • "Black Cabinet"



1.  Trace the underlying and immediate causes of the Great Depression and the failure of
     President Herbert Hoover's policies to curb it.

2.  Examine the relationship among the political, social, and economic views of
     President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his handling of the Great Depression.

3.  Trace the changing relations between government and business during the
     presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. How did these changes affect organized labor?

4.  Describe any two of the following and analyze the ways in which each of them
     attempted to fashion a more stable economy and a more equitable society—Wagner
     National Labor Relations Act; Agricultural Adjustment Act; Securities and Exchange
     Commission; Social Security Act.

5.  Explain the criticisms leveled against FDR's New Deal from the political right and the
     political left and discuss alternatives proposed.

6.  Examine the impact of the Great Depression and its New Deal policies on any three of
     the following—blacks; women; city dwellers; farmers; the family.


  1. Dr. Francis Townsend advocated that the government pay $200 each month to all
    1. veterans of World War I.
    2. dispossessed farmers.
    3. unemployed family men.
    4. people over 60 years of age.

  2. Most historians view the New Deal as a/an
    1. token facade that accomplished no real reform.
    2. extensive reform program that principally improved the lives of poor Americans.
    3. radical departure from capitalism into socialism.
    4. reform movement that largely benefitted middle-class Americans.

  3. All of the following helped cause the Great Depression except
    1. high wages for workers.
    2. unequal distribution of wealth.
    3. stock market crash.
    4. high trade barriers.

  4. The fundamental failure of the New Deal was its
    1. extensive corruption.
    2. overcentralization of power in the President.
    3. excessive reliance on deficit spending tactics.
    4. inability to significantly curb unemployment.

  5. The Great Depression was finally ended by
    1. delayed impact of the Second New Deal.
    2. massive government spending beginning with preparedness for World War II.
    3. restoration of confidence in business.
    4. tremendous increase in exports to Britain and France once World War II began.

The last details of Mount Rushmore were completed in late 1941, after Gutzon Borglum's death, by his son Lincoln. About six and a half years of actual work went into the 14-year-long project, plagued with numerous intermittent lapses owing to inclement weather and shortage of funds. George Washington's head was the first to take shape. It was unveiled on July 4, 1930. Almost nine years to the day later, the last figure, that of Theodore Roosevelt, was finished. Click on the faces to access LECTURE GUIDE for this unit.


"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"   by Judy Garland [from The Wizard of Oz]