Document-based essay question



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DOCUMENT-BASED ESSAY QUESTION



This question is based on the accompanying documents (1-6). The question is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents. Some of the documents have been edited for the purposes of the question. As you analyze the documents, take into account both the source of each document and any point of view that may be presented in the document.

Historical Context:

Following the economic boom of the 1920s, the United States entered a period of prolonged economic depression. Known as the Great Depression, many citizens of the United States were greatly affected by it. During the Hoover and Roosevelt Administrations, several economic initiatives were developed to limit the effects of the Great Depression and allow the American economy to prosper once again.




Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of United States history and government, answer the questions that follow each document in Part A. Your answers to the questions will help you write the Part B essay, in which you will be asked to:


  • Describe the economic problems that existed during the Great Depression.

  • Discuss the strategies used by Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt to deal with these economic problems.

  • Evaluate the overall effectiveness of the economic programs initiated by Hoover and Roosevelt.



NOTE: The rubric (scoring criteria) for this essay appears on the next page.

© 2001 RegentsPrep.org, Created by Thomas C. Caswell

Adapted from materials provided by the New York State Department of Education

Permission to use this resource is granted only for educational, non-profit use.

DOCUMENT-BASED QUESTION
GENERIC SCORING RUBRIC

Score of 5:
Thoroughly addresses all aspects of the Task by accurately analyzing and interpreting at least four of the
documents
ncorporates information from the documents in the body of the essay

ncorporates relevant outside information


Richly supports essay with relevant facts, examples, and details
Is a well-developed essay, consistently demonstrating a logical and clear plan of organization
Introduces the theme or problem by establishing a framework that is beyond a simple restatement of the
Task or Historical Context and concludes with a summation of the theme or problem
Score of 4:
Addresses all aspects of the Task by accurately analyzing and interpreting at least four of the documents
ncorporates information from the documents in the body of the essay

Incorporates relevant outside information


Includes relevant facts, examples, and details, but discussion may be more descriptive than analytical
Is a well-developed essay, demonstrating a logical and clear plan of organization
Introduces the theme or problem by establishing a framework that is beyond a simple restatement of the
Task or Historical Context and concludes with a summation of the theme or problem
Score of 3:
Addresses most aspects of the Task or addresses all aspects of the Task in a limited way, using some of
the documents
ncorporates some information from the documents in the body of the essay

Incorporates limited or no relevant outside information


Includes some facts, examples, and details, but discussion is more descriptive than analytical
Is a satisfactorily developed essay, demonstrating a general plan of  organization
Introduces the theme or problem by repeating the Task or Historical Context and concludes by simply
repeating the theme or problem
Score of 2:
Attempts to address some aspects of the Task, making limited use of the documents
Presents no relevant outside information
Includes few facts, examples, and details; discussion restates contents of the documents
Is a poorly organized essay, lacking focus
Fails to introduce or summarize the theme or problem
Score of 1:
Shows limited understanding of the Task with vague, unclear references to the documents
Presents no relevant outside information

Includes little or no accurate or relevant facts, details, or examples


Attempts to complete the Task, but demonstrates a major weakness in organization
Uses little or no accurate or relevant facts, details, or examples
Fails to introduce or summarize the theme or problem
Score of 0: Fails to address the Task, is illegible, or is a blank paper

© 2001 RegentsPrep.org, Created by Thomas C. Caswell

Adapted from materials provided by the New York State Department of Education

Permission to use this resource is granted only for educational, non-profit use.

Part A

Short Answer


Directions: Analyze the documents 1-6 and answer the questions that follow

Document 1




"Abandoned house, Haskell County, Kansas"

-Irving Rusinow, April 1941


  1. Describe the conditions illustrated by this picture of Kansas in 1941. [1]

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Document 2


STOCKS COLLAPSE IN 16,410,030-SHARE DAY,


BUT RALLY AT CLOSE CHEERS BROKERS;
BANKERS OPTIMISTIC, TO CONTINUE AID
240 Issues Lose $15,894,818,894 in Month; Slump in Full Exchange List Vastly Larger


-October 30, 1929, Page 1, Columns 6-8


  1. According to the New York Times, what happened to the value of the American stock market in October 1929? [1]

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Document 3


    1. Based on the chart above, what effect did the stock market crash of 1929 have on the rate of unemployment the United States? [1]


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Document 4


“…Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone…
Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely … It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the government itself … but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.
Hand in hand with this, we must … endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. The task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products and with this the power to purchase the output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms.
Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people's money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.”
-Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

4a. According to Roosevelt, what problems did the United States face in 1933?


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4b. What solutions does Roosevelt propose to end these problems?
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Document 5

“… Republicans followed a trickle-down theory… They reasoned that, if government legislation protected the wealth of big corporations and the well-to-do, their continued investments would expand the economy and a better life would ‘trickle down’ to workers and consumers in general.


FDR and his advisors viewed things differently. They felt that government would use pump-priming that government should take actions that would make the consuming public secure and optimistic… By increasing government programs, business activity would increase, thereby fostering consumer confidence and investment keeping the economy growing…”
-United States History & Government: Constitutional & Geopolitical Patterns, 2001

5a. Why did President Herbert Hoover follow a trickle-down theory in order to combat


the Great Depression?

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5b. Why did President Franklin Roosevelt follow a theory of pump-priming to combat the
Great Depression?

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Document 6



  1. What effect did America’s involvement in World War Two have on the economy? [2]

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Part B

Essay


Directions: Write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use evidence from at least four documents in the body of the essay. Support your response with relevant facts, examples, and details. Include additional outside information.

Historical Context:

Following the economic boom of the 1920s, the United States entered a period of prolonged economic depression. Known as the Great Depression, many citizens of the United States were greatly affected by it. During the Hoover and Roosevelt Administrations, several economic initiatives were developed to limit the effects of the Great Depression and allow the American economy to prosper once again.




Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of United States history, write an essay in which you:


  • Describe the economic problems that existed during the Great Depression.

  • Discuss the strategies used by Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt to deal with these economic problems.

  • Evaluate the overall effectiveness of the economic programs initiated by Hoover and Roosevelt.

© 2001 RegentsPrep.org, Created by Thomas C. Caswell

Adapted from materials provided by the New York State Department of Education

Permission to use this resource is granted only for educational, non-profit use.


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