American Cultures 0 Ch 24- study Guide Questions Mr. Hammer chapter 24 The Great Depression and the New Deal, 1929-1939

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American Cultures 6.0

Ch 24- Study Guide Questions


The Great Depression and the New Deal, 1929-1939
This chapter covers the cumulative effect of underlying weaknesses of the economy and the stock market crash that led to the Depression. Many unemployed workers blamed themselves rather than the system but more began to look to the government for some relief. President Hoover’s response was consistent with his stated views but many began to demand more action and elected Democratic reformer, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His first New Deal was a cooperative business-government venture but in his second he made a more dramatic shift, although not to the radicalism some critics accused him of. Other critics said he was not radical enough. Roosevelt’s own ability to inspire, the activism of his wife and the action-oriented programs regained American confidence even though this did not end the Depression. FDR’s impatience with the Supreme Court and his attempt to pack it cost him some political influence. Deep poverty was not really touched by the programs and minorities did not make major gains but they did form a coalition of voters that supported the Democratic Party.
Chapter Objectives:

> Summarize the reasons why the Great Depression occurred.

  • Describe the government responses under Hoover to the problems of mass unemployment and other effects of the Great Depression.

> Compare the first programs of Roosevelt to the second reform package and the changes that were labeled the “Roosevelt recession.”

> Outline the views of critics, both right and left, of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

> Summarize the legacy of the New Deal for various areas and people of America.

> Discuss how American popular culture was shaped during the Depression

Hard Times P. 717-722

The Bull Market:

  1. What was the nature of the bull market of the 1920s?

2. What weakness was developing within the market?

3. How many Americans owned stock?

  1. What was “buying on the margin” and why was this risky?

The Crash:

5. What was the nature of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and why did it happen?

  1. What was Andrew Mellon’s evaluation of the slump?

Underlying Weaknesses

  1. What were the underlying causes of the Great Depression?

Mass Unemployment:

  1. What were the statistics of mass unemployment?

Hoover’s Failure:

  1. What was Hoover’s response to the Depression and its massive suffering?

  2. How were the needs of the unemployed addressed in the early years of the Depression?

  3. What was his plan and what assumption was it based on?

Protest and the Election of 1932:

  1. What was the nature of the protests and how did they affect the election of 1932?

FDR AND THE FIRST NEW DEAL: (pp. 722 – 726)

  • Describe the government responses under Roosevelt to the problems of mass unemployment and other effects of the Great Depression.

FDR the Man:

13. What personal experience did he have that transformed him?

14. What political experience did he have before he ran for president?

15. What achievements did he have as governor that made him nationally popular?

Restoring Confidence:

16. What was FDR’s inaugural message?

17. What steps did he take to restore the banking system and what success did he have?

The Hundred Days:

18. What was the Hundred Days?

19. What was the “priming the pump” concept?

20. Identify the following significant New Deal measures:

    1. CCC

    2. FERA

    3. AAA

    4. TVA

    5. NIRA

21. Identify:

    1. Harry Hopkins

    2. PWA

    3. Harold Ickes


  • Compare the first programs of Roosevelt to the second reform package and the changes that were labeled the “Roosevelt recession.”

  • Outline the views of critics, both right and left, of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

Roosevelt’s Critics:

22. Who were Roosevelt’s critics and what was the position of each group or


23. What were the programs of the following people?

  • Al Smith

  • Upton Sinclair

  • Francis E. Townsend

  • Huey Long

  • Father Coughlin

24. Who was the greatest potential threat?

The Second Hundred Days:

25. Why did Roosevelt push for a Second Hundred Days and what

were the goals of this second program?

26. What was the nature of each of these acts?

Labor’s Upsurge:

27. What was the CIO and why did they pull ahead of other unions?

28. Who were John L. Lewis and Sidney Hillman and what were their views

about unions and membership?

29. What was the sit-down strike?

30. What groups did the CIO organize?

The New Deal Coalition at High Tide:

31. What was the New Deal Coalition and how well did it support Roosevelt in

the 1936 presidential election?

32. Who was the Republican candidate and what was the platform of the party? What was Roosevelt’s program?

33. Why was the Literary Digest poll incorrect?


  • Evaluate the impact of the New Deal on the West.

The Dust Bowl:

34. What and where was the Dust Bowl?

35. What caused it and what effect did it have on the population?

36. What federal agencies attempted to relieve the distress and what other

steps did they take?

37. What effect did this have by 1940 and how did World War II change it?

38. Who were the “Okies” and what people made up this group?

39. Why did they migrate to California?

40. What effect did this have on Mexican workers?

Water Policy:

41. What water projects and policies did the New Deal usher in?

  1. What was the original role of the Bureau of Reclamation and how was it expanded?

43.What was the purpose of the Boulder (Hoover) Dam and what was Hoover’s view of the public power aspect of it?

  1. What were the human and environmental costs of the bureau’s massive water projects?

New Deal for Indians:

  1. What was the status of the Indian tribes in 1933?

  2. Who was John Collier and what did he do to the BIA? What were his beliefs about dealing with Indian issues?

  3. Identify and explain the significance of the Indian Reorganization Act


>Summarize how American culture in the 1930s was shaped by the Great Depression.

A New Deal for the Arts:

48. What innovative programs did the New Deal apply to the arts?

49. What areas of the arts were supported and what types of projects were encouraged?

The Documentary Impulse:

50. What was the documentary impulse and why was it strong

during the Depression?
Waiting for Lefty:

  1. What did “Waiting for Lefty” mean and what did it imply generally about some artists’ and intellectuals’ confidence in capitalism?

  2. How large was the American Communist Party?

  3. How did Marxist analysis influence people to flirt with communism?

  4. What was the “Popular Front” and how did it affect left-wing influence?

  5. What was the Abraham Lincoln Brigade?

Hollywood in the 1930s:

  1. How was Hollywood affected by the Depression and what types of

movies did people like?

  1. What types did Hollywood offer the most of? What types movies were avoided?

  2. What were the values communicated by Walt Disney and Frank Capra?

The Golden Age of Radio:

  1. How much effect did radio have? How did it grow?

  2. How did the Depression actually help radio expand?

  3. What older cultural forms were continued by radio?

  4. What types of series programs were the most popular?

  5. How was Roosevelt an example of radio’s potential political influence?

  6. How significant was the radio for news coverage? How reliable was the news?

The Swing Era:

  1. What was “swing” and what was it based on?

  2. Who was Benny Goodman and how did he adapt and popularize jazz?

  3. What effect did the mass culture industry have during the Depression?


>Identify the limits of reform and how they affected New Deal


>Evaluate the overall effectiveness of the New Deal in ending the Depression.

Court Packing:

  1. What was meant by the term “court packing” and why did Roosevelt attempt it? What effect did it have on his political power?

  2. What New Deal programs did the Supreme Court declare

unconstitutional? Which ones did they uphold?

The Women’s Network:

  1. What impact did the Depression and the New Deal have on women?

  2. What was the influence of Eleanor Roosevelt in the women’s network?

  3. What type of First Lady was Eleanor Roosevelt?

  4. How did women’s unemployment rates compare to their employment in work relief programs?

A New Deal for Minorities:

74. What did Clifford Burke mean when he said, “The Negro was born in

Depression. It only became official when it hit the white man.”?

75. Cite evidence of discrimination in the local administration of the

New Deal.

76. Why did Roosevelt not make any overt efforts to combat racism?

77. What gains were made by Blacks during the New Deal?

78. What was the “Black Cabinet” and who were examples of individuals on it?

79. How did black voters respond to the New Deal?

The Roosevelt Recession:

80. Why did Roosevelt cut federal spending in 1937 and what effect did this have on the economy?

  1. How did Roosevelt respond to stimulate the economy?

  2. What were the last reform measures of the New Deal?

  3. Why did the reforms of the New Deal ended by 1938?


  1. What were the legacies of the Great Depression and of the New Deal?

  2. How did the New Deal change the role of the federal government?

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