This discussion addresses the following outcomes:
- Describe the causes of the Great Depression and the responses to it through the New Deal
- Explain how the New Deal transformed politics and expectations of government
When the economy collapsed at the beginning of the 1930s, almost no segment of the population escaped the impact. Urban industrial workers and rural farmers alike saw their way of life disrupted. In addition to the man-made economic disaster, a natural disaster in the form of severe drought turned once lush farms into shriveled, cracked fields. As a result, there were mass migrations of people all looking for work. Everyone hoped that things would be better somewhere else. President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” included a number of social programs aimed at putting people back to work and jump-starting the economy. In this activity, you will consider some of the results of the Depression and the New Deal programs.
Before beginning this discussion, make sure to read the following: the Module Notes, Chapter 23: “The Great Depression” in The American Yawp, and the following primary sources: Roosevelt, F.D. (1933), Inaugural Address, Roosevelt, F.D. (1937), Inaugural Address. In addition, view the 1936 film The Plow that Broke the Plains (written transcript) and the 1937 film The River (written transcript). As you are watching the films, think about the way Depression era films like these were made and why.
Using the primary and secondary source readings and films above as evidence, consider the following in a post of at least 300 words:
What do these two films infer about the causes of economic crises of the 1930s?
- Are these two films intended to be critical of capitalism? Be sure to justify your response.
- How do these two films shed light on the goals of President Roosevelt and the New Deal?
- Then, over the course of the week, respond to the posts of at least two of your classmates.
A minimum of 2 references is required.