Document Based Question
Following years of economic prosperity, the United States entered into prolonged economic depression following the stock market crash in October 1929 known as “Black Tuesday.” The two presidents during the Great Depression, Herbert Hoover (1928-1932) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945) would undertake various strategies to alleviate the depression with limited success. This blog shows the first steps taken by the FDR administration.
Analyze specific primary source material found in the First Hundred Days blog and answer questions. Compare the strategies and approaches taken by the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations in attempting to get the country out of the Depression.
Standards (according to National History Standards 5-12)
- 2.C. Identify the central question(s) the historical narrative addresses.
- 2.H. Utilize visual, mathematical, and quantitative data.
- 3.A. Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas.
- 4.C. Interrogate historical data.
- 5.A. Identify issues and problems in the past.
- 5.F. Evaluate the implementation of a decision.
- Using the following sources and your knowledge of US History and government, examine the following documents and the answer accompanying questions.
- Utilizing the sources presented, craft an essay answering the three questions below.
- Describe the economic problems that existed in the Great Depression.
- What strategies did Hoover use to combat the depression? What strategies did FDR use?
- What impact did these strategies have on Americans?
Moving Image: Disney’s Three Little Pigs cartoon
How does this story reflect attitudes towards work during the Depression? What could the Big Bad Wolf represent? What lessons are learned from the pigs?
Describe the conditions illustrated in this picture from Nebraska, 1933.
Audio: FDR’s First Fireside Chat
According to FDR, why did the banks close and what is the government going to do next?
According to this headline what happened to the American stock market in October 1929? What came to an end?
“President Hoover wanted to promote recovery almost from the beginning of the Depression. Hardly a traditional conservative, he still was limited by his view of the proper role of government. The government, as he saw it, should guide the private economy only by encouraging efficiency and cooperation between the government and industry. But the government need not and should not encroach on the functions of the private economy. The prevailing view was that the economy would equilibrate itself after the shock…The tone of government policy as well as the substance of fiscal policy was set by Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon whose policy was to “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate.”’ [Peter Temin, Lessons from the Great Depression, pgs. 26-27]
What was the Hoover Administration’s approach to alleviating the Depression?