Archive for the ‘Great Depression’ Category

Bank run from It’s a Wonderful Life, take 2

Here it is again.


Chapter 34 questions

Due Monday, March 3.

1. What was the position taken by FDR in his foreign relations policy during the early years of his administration, with regard to: Latin America, the Philippines, the USSR, and economic cooperation with Europe and foreign trade? You can make a chart if you like. What was the overall effect of these moves?
2. How did FDR respond to the early aggressions by what would eventually be the Axis powers? What WERE these early aggressive acts? What were some indications that the American people did NOT want the government to intervene?
3. What were the specifics of the various Neutrality Acts between 1935-1937? What happened to the international sale of American goods, particularly weapons?
4. What position did the American government and the American people take on the Spanish Civil War? What American involvement was there?
5. What were the specific circumstances that led to the “Quarantine” speech? Explain the use of the term “quarantine,” and what it implies. What resulted from this speech, and why?
6. What agreements did Hitler conclude in 1938-1939 that allowed him to strengthen his military position? What was he preparing to do after each agreement, specifically? Which countries had Hitler annexed/ conquered by June of 1940?
7. How many Jewish refugees did America give shelter to, and why? Be specific in your answer.
8. What finally caused Congress to pass a conscription law? What did that signify about American neutrality?
9. What was the destroyers deal about? How had public opinion changed in regard to helping Britain?
10. Why did FDR decide to run for a third term in 1940? Who was his opponent? What was the platform of each candidate? What did they both agree upon?
11. What were the details of the lend-lease program? How was this different from the destroyers deal?What did the US do when the Germans invaded the USSR?
12. What is the significance of the Greer, the Kearny, and the Reuben James?
13. What demand did FDR make that convinced the Japanese that war was inevitable with the US?
14. Why was the attack on Pearl Harbor a surprise? What had FDR believed about the site of a possible attack?
15. By December 1, 1941, what opinion did most Americans hold about joining the war?
16. What was the purpose of the Atlantic Conference, and who attended it? What was decided there, specifically, about war aims?
17. Create a timeline of the following events: Pearl Harbor attack, Munich Conference, Atlantic Conference, German-Soviet non-aggression pact, Fall of France, invasion of Poland, German invasion of the USSR.
18. What did FDR do in regard to the London economic conference, and why?
19. Explain this quote from the text: “Congress was one war too late” with its neutrality legislation.
20 Compare the aims of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies with the America First Committee. Who were the famous people associated with each group?
21. How and when did FDR’s foreign policy change from isolationism to interventionism?
22. Why did FDR’s policy change from isolationism?

Route 66

At the top of this page is a drawing of Route 66 with the main towns that lay on the route:

Route 66 now lies alongside Interstate 44 to Oklahoma City and then Interstate 40 to Santa Monica.

The most famous song version is Nat King Cole’s:

And then there’s St. Louis’s own Chuck Berry, for a rock version (he mispronounces Barstow, grrr):

And then it was redone in Cars by John Mayer:

A WPA film: “We Work Again”

What is fascinating is that this was aimed specifically at African Americans and showed how FDR had not forgotten them.

The First Fireside Chat

Read the excerpt from the First Fireside Chat. You can find it on this website:

Or you can download it as a word document: First Fireside Chat

You can hear a recording of FDR reading most of this excerpt here:

Chapter 33 questions

Questions 1-20 are due Monday, February 24! Questions 21-30 are due Tuesday, February 25. You will still have a terms check over the entire chapter on Monday, so make sure you have at least read the chapter carefully.

Chapter 33 questions


1. What was FDR’s background and previous career information? What made him able to connect with the suffering of the common people even though he was wealthy?
2. How did Eleanor help him and influence him? What was her background? Which one of them was more progressive?
3. During the campaign, what did FDR say he would do to combat the Depression? How did this contrast with what Hoover had done, specifically?
4. How did FDR use the time in between the election and his inauguration to his advantage? What did Hoover keep trying to do during this “lame duck” period, and how did FDR respond?
5. Look it up: How was this similar to the lame duck period before Lincoln’s inauguration over the Crittenden Compromise?
6. How did voting patterns change in the election of 1932 and throughout the Roosevelt years, and why? Consider subgroups—women, African Americans, etc.—in your answer. Which groups made up the “New Deal coalition” of voters? What long-term effect did this have on the major parties?
7. What was the relationship like between Congress and FDR upon his taking office in March, 1933? What were the major pieces of legislation passed?
8. What are “the three r’s?” Give an example of a program that accomplished each of the r’s and explain your reasoning.
9. What did the Glass-Steagall Act do, and why? (Also, look it up—what eventually happened to the Glass-Steagall Act, when, and why?)
10. What was the most pressing need for FDR to address upon taking office? How did he specifically address it?
11. Explain this line from FDR’s inaugural address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” How could that sentiment be applied to the economic situation?
12. Explain the “managed currency” policy. What was the intended result?
13. What were the historical antecedents that influenced New Deal programs (see pp. 828-9)?
14. What was the most popular early New Deal program? Describe it.
15. What was the most ambitious program seeking to help the economy recover? Describe it.
16. What was the most radical New Deal program, accused of introducing “socialism” into the American economy? Describe it, especially which aspect of it was considered to be most controversial.
17. What role did Harry Hopkins play in the New Deal? Include how much money he oversaw.
18. List and summarize the points of the main critics of the New Deal from the right.
19. List and summarize the points of the main critics of the New Deal from the left.
20. Who were Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict? What field did they specialize in, and what were their main theories?
21. Explain the roles that each of these played in the New Deal: Robert Wagner, Harold Ickes, Frances Perkins, Mary McLeod Bethune, George Norris,
22. Explain the goals and programs of the NRA (not the modern one). Why did it fail?
23. Explain how the Supreme Court resisted early New Deal reforms, including specific cases.
24. What constitutional amendments were added during the New Deal?
25. How did the New Deal attempt to help farmers and sharecroppers? Explain each program and evaluate its effectiveness.
26. What were the causes and effects of the Dust Bowl? What happened to the Okies? Where exactly were they from, where did they go, and why?
27. What dud the Indian Reorganization Act attempt to do? What attitude did John Collier take, and why?
28. What did the Federal Securities Act and the Securities Exchange Commission attempt to do, specifically?
29. Exactly how radical was the New Deal? Why did some people argue that it was actually conservative?
30. Which New Deal programs are still in effect today, and what effect does that have on both what citizens expect from the government and upon the federal budget?

Chapter 32 questions

Chapter 32 Questions- Due next Tuesday!
I have moved this up… but there are newer posts below this one!

1. What were the specific weaknesses of Warren Harding? Why did he get elected anyway?
2. Who were the members of Harding’s cabinet? List them with their areas of responsibility. Who were the best and the worst of the bunch?
3. What specific economic policies were advanced by Harding’s administration under the secretary of the treasury? How much did this typify a laissez-faire attitude? Which groups benefited or were harmed by demobilization after WWI? How did businessmen get around government regulation?
4. What attitude did the Supreme Court take toward business? Explain the significance of the Adkins decision, and its relationship to the earlier Muller decision.

5. How was labor specifically affected during the 1920s? What was the cause of the 1919 steel strike, and what lingering effects did it produce?
6. How did veterans receive benefits far beyond their actual time in uniform? What was the American Legion, and what did it accomplish in the 20s?
7. What were the prime motivations of our foreign policy during this decade? What agreements did we pursue with other countries during this time? What about the Middle East? Be through in your answer.
8. What tariff policy did the US follow in the 1920s, and why? What were the tariff laws passed, and what long term effects did they have on international trade?
9. What major scandals erupted during the Harding Administration? Describe each one. What effect did they have on Harding himself? How did the American people react?
10. How was Coolidge different from Harding? What was his nickname, and why? What was his governing philosophy?
11. What was the situation with farmers, and how did WWI make this worse? How did Coolidge respond to farmers’ difficulties, specifically? What was the McNary-Haugen Bill? What did the Agricultural Marketing Act attempt to do?
12. What divisions kept the Democratic party weak during the 1920s? What did the Progressive party stand for? Why didn’t it do well in 1924?
13. What economic effects lingered from WWI? How did the Dawes Plan attempt to address this?
14. What were the unusual characteristics of the candidates in the 1928 presidential election? What elected experience did each man have?
15. What were the causes of the Great Depression, here in the US? What caused this to be a global economic disaster?
16. What was the philosophy of Hoover toward government intervention in the economy? What were the actions Hoover took to ease the effects of the Great Depression? What was he not willing to do, and why?
17. What did the Reconstruction Finance Corporation do? How effective was it in easing the suffering of everyday Americans? Why?
18.What did veterans do when the Depression struck? How did Hoover specifically respond? What effect did this have on his image, specifically?
19. What was the situation with Japan during Hoover’s presidency? How did the US respond to Japanese expansion? What was the Stimson doctrine?