H40C Week 4 Study Guide.doc

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Emily Rosenberg

WEEK 4: STUDY GUIDE THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND THE NEW DEAL, 1929–1939 (4/23) Overall theme of course: • People (Monday classes) o Who are “Americans?”: Immigration, mobility, race/ethnicity, gender • Money (Wednesday classes) o How have Americans lived?: The changing modes of production and consumption; wealth and poverty • Power (Friday classes) o How have Americans governed?: The growth of federal government; rise of US power in world Specific topics of this week: The 1930s • M: People: The prosperity of the 1920s was shattered by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. How did various groups of Americans respond to these hardships? • W: Money: What was Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” program for economic relief and reform? • F: Power: How did the “New Deal” revolution establish new roles for the national government? Reading/Writing assignment for this week: Assignment: Read LEP, Chapt. 25 Section Assignment: The Visual Arts: People on the Move • This period saw two major migrations of PEOPLE: the “Great Migration” of African Americans from the rural south to Northern cities, and the “Dust Bowl migration” that brought large numbers of rural southern whites into California. Today we will examine how the VISUAL ARTS contribute to our understanding of migration experiences. Study the visual material on websites related to the two migrations o 1. Jacob Lawrence’s “The Great Migration” series. Lawrence is perhaps America’s best-known African American artist (work recently installed in the White House). Watch an introduction at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ym3MiWjfp4 o Then go to the Phillips Museum website and click on “Experience”: http://www.phillipscollection.org/migration_series/flash/experience.cfm o 2. Dorothea Lange’s famous photos. Lange is one of America’s best- known photographers. See her famous series on the “Dust Bowl” at http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/lange/index.html. These photos, commissioned by a New Deal agency, represent a style of socially conscious documentary photography popular in the 1930s, and you may read additional background on the Dust Bowl at http://faculty.washington.edu/gregoryj/dust%20bowl%20migration.htm • Come to section ready to discuss the contribution that visual arts can make to an understanding of history. Why do you think Lawrence might have painted his series? Why do you think FDR used federal funds to hire photographers to travel the country taking photos such as the ones of the Dust Bowl refugees? • Short Analysis due: Focusing on the collection of Lange photos, http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/lange/index.html, analyze the messages that you think emerge from them. How, for example, do these photos work to mobilize sympathy for the poor and perhaps for FDRs New Deal program? Remember: paintings and photographs do not simply “record” the past but are composed and constructed versions of the past. Build the thesis for this assignment around the “story” that these photos construct. [See “Analyzing Visual Images and Primary Documents” guide on the website.] Study guide: Identifications (be able to identify each term in a sentence and then provide a few sentences describing its SIGNIFICANCE in terms of the themes of the “overall themes of the course,” given above.) Great Depression • What: After the stock market crashed on Oct 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday); stock market crash; banking crisis; rapid rising unemployment ; unemployment rose from 3.2 to 24.9 and employed workers faced wage cutbacks and lived with the constant fear of being laid off; consumer spending declined sharply; business investment fell 88%; GDP fell from $103.1 to $58 billion in 1932; • Significance: caused the entire nation to go into panic and an economic downfall; American was poverty stricken; Hoovervilles; breadlines; economics crisis of the 30s led to the political crisis associated with WWII Bonus Army • What: 43,000 marchers, veterans from WWI and their families gathered around in Washington D.C. in spring and summer of 1932 to demand early cash-payment redemption of their service certificates; led by Walter W. Waters, former Army sergeant; many of them were out of work since the Great Depression; veterans were removed from government property by force; President Hoover ordered the army to clear the veteran’s campsite, driving out the Bonus Army marchers and their families out, burning their shelter and belongings • Significance: Bank holiday • What: Roosevelt closes the banks for a few days to stop bank runs; he used the radio to address how banking works and reassure people • Significance: After the stock market crash, a large number of customers ran to the banks to withdraw their deposits from the banks FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp) • What: created in 1933 in response to the thousands of bank failures that occurred in the 1920s and 1930s. • Significance: Securities Act of 1933 and SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) of 1934 What: made it illegal to offer false information about stocks and created the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to inspect and regulate stock exchanges; Significance: it was a measure to restore confidence in the banking system; first major federal legislation to offer the sale of securities CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) What: A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25 Significance: gave small wages of 30 dollars a month and provided shelter, clothing and food to 3 million young men Dust Bowl and “Dust Bowl Refugees” • What: period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands in the 1930s; caused by severe drought and the farming methods that didn’t include crop rotation to prevent wind erosion; extensive deep plowing of the soil had displaced the natural deep-rooted grasses that kept the soil in place; the drought dried up the soil and turn it into dust which flew eastwards towards NYC and D.C.; 3 million people were affected and were forced to leave their homes; also called “Okies” that migrated to CA; the labor their became really cheap and many families were homeless and jobless. Significance: It demonstrated the relationship between weathering, erosion, and the biosphere. • The result was the concept of soil conservation and changes in agricultural practices. • The other significance of it is that it demonstrates how changes in land use by agriculture can contribute to climate change. • AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Act) • What: part of the New Deal era what restricted ag
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