Unit 8 The Great Depression and the New Deal 5 weeks) Big Picture Questions: To what extent were the laissez-faire policies of the U. S. government in the 1920s responsible for the Great Depression of the 1930s?

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Unit 8 The Great Depression and the New Deal (2.5 weeks)
Big Picture Questions:

To what extent were the laissez-faire policies of the U.S. government in the 1920s responsible for the Great Depression of the 1930s? How did the events on black Tuesday eventually spiral throughout our economy and affect all Americans?

Business cycle


The Great Depression



Buying on Margin

Shaky Banking Practices

Hawley-Smoot Tariff


New York Stock Market Crash

Black Tuesday

Bank failures

Human Impact of Great Depression

John Steinbeck


Dorthea Lange

The Dust Bowl

Mexican Repatriation Act

In what ways did Hoover’s actions or lack thereof escalate the Great Depression?

Herbert Hoover

Aggregate demand

Reconstruction Finance Corporation


Bonus Army

To what extent did Roosevelt’s presidency and his new deal policies change America?


Brain Trust

Fireside chats

Role of Women

Eleanor Roosevelt

Frances Perkins

New Deal Legislation


The Banking Crisis

Bank Holiday

Federal Emergency Relief Act

Civilian Conservation Corp.

Public Works Administration

Works Progress Administration


“Priming the pump”

National Recovery Administration

Agricultural Adjustment Acts


Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Tennessee Valley Authority

Securities and Exchange Commission

Social Security Act

Monetary Policy

Money Supply

Federal Reserve Act


Gold standard

Fiat money

Impact on Labor

Norris-LaGuardia Act

National Industrial Recovery Act

Wagner Act

What were some of the criticisms of the New Deal?

Liberty League

Francis Townsend

Huey Long

Father Coughlin

Supreme Court and the New Deal

National Industrial Recovery Act

Agricultural Adjustment Act

Schechter Poultry v. U.S.

Roosevelt’s Court Packing Plan

Effects on state and federal governments

Instructional Focus: In this unit we will examine how the prosperity of the 1920s was suddenly cut off by the Great Depression. The first items we will examine are the causes of the Great Depression, including those from the 1920s and the more immediate stock market crash that led to a chain reaction that toppled the American economy and quickly spread to the rest of the world. As part of this you should examine lots of photos, especially those of Dorthea Lange and perhaps read brief excerpts from Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”. You will then briefly discuss President Hoover’s response to the Great Depression and the public responses to Hoover. The focus will then shift to studying FDR, the role of women, and New Deal legislation and the goals of relief, recovery, and reform. Emphasis should be made that not all Americans agreed with Roosevelt’s plan and this would be a great opportunity to pull in political cartoons that criticize Roosevelt’s policies. Students should understand the long term change the new deal made to the role of the federal government and its legacy of government agencies, regulations, and programs that remain with us today.
Suggested Resources:

New Deal “snowball fight”- Put New Deal “alphabet soup” policies on pieces of paper. Wad them up and have a snowball fight. At the end of the snowball fight the students keep one “snowball” and research the policy on that sheet of paper. then the student categorizes the policy as Reform, Recovery, Relief and tapes it to the correct category. Students then record (chart or picture) of the categorization.
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