Question 1: Answer each question below. We cannot argue that the Great Depression began with the stock market crash of 1929 and did not end until the U.S. began getting ready for war in 1938.
- What caused the Depression?
- Which areas of the economy were worst hit?
- What were some of the political solutions the government attempted in order to reverse the economic collapse?
- Were the solutions FDR tried socialist, or were they drawn from the Progressive traditions that were articulated by his distant cousin, President Theodore Roosevelt, and by Woodrow Wilson when they were presidents? FDR and Hoover tried some of the same things. Hoover emerged from the Depression as a hated American president; people considered him a failure when he was in office. FDR, on the other hand, emerged as a great and heroic figure.
- Why did FDR remain so popular while so many remained out of work while he was president? ·
- What was the reason the people did not lose faith in his leadership?
- What message might current day leaders learn from FDR?
Question 2B. Both WWI and WWII were seen by American citizens and politicians as great crusades for freedom and democracy and necessary wars if America, American ideals, and American business were to continue to grow and prosper.
Yet at the end of WWI, despite some obvious actions motivated largely by economic interests, the country turned its back on internationalism, rejected the League of Nations, and focused on the so called “Return to Normalcy.” Conversely, at the end of WWII, the U.S. accepted the role of world leader, created the United Nations housing in the U.S. as a sign of America’s commitment to peace in the world, and signed international alliances (NATO and STATO) designed to prevent Soviet expansion and assure our allies that the U.S. would stand with them in preventing new totalitarian expansionists from driving the world into another world war.
- Discuss what brought the U.S. into each of the conflicts.
- How was the American commitment different during each of these wars? · Explain how the differences in what caused the U.S. to go to war in World War I and World War II contribute to what occurred after the wars.
- Do not be simplistic in your answer; consider more, for example, than the final act that caused the U.S. to declare war. (In WWII, for example, the attack at Pearl Harbor was hardly the only cause for the U.S. to go to war.)
- Instead analyze what drew the U.S. to the positions that it took, and consider whether the actions were appropriate and in the best interests of the country.