420: Unit 4

History 420: United States, 1861-1941, Winter 2023-24

Part IV: Depression, World War II

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

29. Republicans and the Great Crash.

READ Yawp 164-169, 192-196 & 420 Docs, Appendix: Crash Cartoon

THINK: Who or what caused the crash? The cartoon follows the explanation in the book.  In class, you'll be asked to identify each element in the cartoon and explain how it contributed to the crash. 

30. Two Presidents and the Depression

READ: Yawp, 196-209 & 420 Docs, Appendix: Johnson on the New Deal, from A History of the American People

THINK: How does FDR's approach differ from Hoover's? Is there a New Deal ideology? What does the NRA tell us about Roosevelt's ideology? Which of the two dueling document reflects a better understanding of the source of poverty in the 1930s? 

As you read about the various new agencies and measures of the New Deal, try to distinguish whether each measure is aimed at relief, recovery or reform.

31. The New Deal

READ: Yawp, 209-216 & 420 Docs, 183-187. I've started a new study guide for the optional final exam.

THINK: How is the New Deal similar to and different from the Progressive reform program? Do you consider FDR to be a radical, moderate or conservative? Did the New Deal achieve its goals of relief, recovery and reform? You should be able to explain Bernstein's argument.

32. Final draft of research paper due during class time. Please note: there are no rewrites of the research paper.  No extensions without the equivalent of a doctor's note. 

33. A New Deal for Blacks

READ: Yawp, 217-218; 420 Docs, 191-208. 

The Upswing, a new book by Robert Putnam & Shaylyn Romney Garrett looks at national trends since the later years of the 19th century and sees an “upswing” in social conditions in the middle of the 20th century.  The book presents data showing improved conditions for Black Americans in the areas of health, education, economics and voting.  All Americans, they find, made progress in these areas, but progress among Blacks was greater, and in each area they closed the gap with whites.  “In measure after measure, the rate of positive change was actually faster in the decades preceding the civil rights revolution than in the decades that followed.  And in many cases, progress then stopped or reversed” (Putnam & Romney Garrett, 241).  What happened in the 30s and 40s to cause this?

34. New Deal: Final Assessment--Solving the Riddle of Recovery?

READ: Yawp, 218-220 & 420 Docs, 187-191; and 208-209.

THINK: What are the key differences among the four historians' assessments of the New Deal--Sitkoff, Bernstein, Degler and Johnson. Which one(s) makes the most sense to you?

35. The U.S. in a Troubled World

READ: Yawp, 225-233 (bottom) & 420 Docs, 210-218 & Appendix, Chronology of Events leading to US entry into World War II (stop at Pearl Harbor)

Why were Americans isolationistic during the 1930s? Were they right to be? Assess Roosevelt's foreign policy leadership.  Compare his "Four Freedoms" pre-war speach to Wilson's "Peace Without Victory" pre-war speach. 

36. Jeopardy. Did you retain anything about US history from 1861-1941? We'll find out.

37. Final Exam

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4