Ch 24: The Great Depression and the New Deal

  • Lesson Plans

    The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society ©2001

    by Gary B. Nash and Julie Roy Jeffrey John B. Howe, Peter J. Frederick, Allen F. Davis, Allan M. Winkler

    Focus Lesson 19

    Chapter 24: "The Great Depression and the New Deal"

    AP* Course Description

    1. Depression, 1929–1933 
      1. Wall Street crash 
      2. Depression economy 
      3. Moods of despair 
        1. Agrarian unrest 
        2. Bonus March 
    2. New Deal 
      1. Franklin D. Roosevelt 
        1. Background, ideas 
        2. Philosophy of New Deal 
      2. 100 Days, "alphabet agencies" 
      3. Second New Deal 
      4. Critics, left and right 
      5. Rise of CIO; labor unions 
      6. Supreme Court fight 
      7. Recession of 1938 
      8. American people in the Depression 
        1. Social values, women, ethnic groups 
        2. Indian Reorganization Act 
        3. Mexican-American deportation 
        4. The racial issue 

    Key Components

    • Instructor's Guide: pp. 113–118 
    • Study Guide, Vol. II: pp. 78–85 
    • Test Bank: pp. 388–403 

    Key Web Sites

    Given the changing nature of the Internet, you may wish to preview these sites. Always check for updated links to U.S. history sites.

    Key Words and Terms

    • Agricultural Marketing Act 
    • Bonus March 
    • Glass-Steagall Banking Act 
    • Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) 
    • Second New Deal 
    • Indian Reorganization Act 
    • John Steinbeck 
    • Francis E. Townshend 
    • Mary McCleod Bethune 
    • Father Charles Coughlin 
    • John Maynard Keynes 
    • Scottsboro boys 
    • David Dubitsky 
    • Brain Trust 
    • Hawley-Smoot Tariff 
    • Twenty-first Amendment 
    • Farm Security Administration 
    • Rural Electrification Act 
    • Works Progress Administration 
    • Court-packing scheme 
    • Grapes of Wrath 
    • Huey Long 
    • Frances Perkins 
    • John L. Lewis 
    • Dorothea Lange 
    • Harold Ickes 
    • deficit spending 

    Suggested Pacing

    Allow two weeks for the study of the Great Depression and the New Deal. 

    Test Strategy

    The best situation is when a student reads a question stem and the answer choices and knows the correct answer immediately. This may not always happen and students need a strategy for dealing with a difficult question. As they read through the answer choices, they should eliminate any that are obviously incorrect. Then they should go back and reconsider the remaining choices carefully. If they know something about the content and can eliminate one or two choices, they should guess—even the College Board suggests this. You can reassure them that they would need to guess incorrectly four times in order to get a full-point deduction on their raw score, but a single correct guess will give them a full-point addition to their raw score. 

    Key Concepts

    While Hoover moved to stem the effects of the stock market crash and the onset of the Depression, he was unable to do so. According to the authors of the text, one of the differences between Hoover and Roosevelt that led to Hoover's defeat was his inability to win the confidence of the American people that his efforts would work. Some may consider Roosevelt radical in his policies; the authors believe that he steered a moderate course. Point out to students that Roosevelt's goal was business recovery, not massive government spending. "Pump priming" was a means to an end. Roosevelt's policies never succeeded in bringing the nation fully out of the Depression. 

    Summing Up Student Understanding

    To help students understand and remember the factors that led to the Great Depression, suggest that they make a graphic organizer with "Causes of the Depression" in the center. Among the information that should appear on the organizer are the bull market or stock trading, buying on margin, installment buying, investment trusts, corporations with excess capital, static wages and salaries for workers, unequal distribution of wealth, and so on. Students should be prepared to answer the question: How did these factors affect the average American—farmer, laborer, office worker, and so on? 


    You might also find these additional readings useful in developing students' background knowledge or for DBQ activities: 

    • American Issues: Vol. II Since 1865, edited by Unger and Tomes—Chapter 9 
    • The Power of Words: Vol. II From 1865, edited by Breen—Chapter 8 
    • Constructing the American Past, Vol. II, edited by Gorn, Roberts, and Bilhartz—Chapter 9 
    • American Experiences: Vol. II From 1877, edited by Roberts and Olson (secondary source readings)—Part Five