Hard Times; an Oral History of the Great Depression Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did the prison where Scoop Lankford was held in the 1930's try to feed the inmates at the worst times?

2. As described in The Farmer Is the Man, how did a mob respond to a judge who was foreclosing on homes in Iowa?

3. What happened to Orrin Kelly after the incident with the Iowa judge?

4. According to Scoop Lankford, when did conditions finally improve in the prison?

5. In the 1930's W. Clement Stone made his money selling what?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The federal government went through a series of processes in its attempt to react to the 1929 crash of the stock market and to stem the sinking of the national economy. Write an essay about these attempts at governmental assistance and how they did or did not succeed:

Part 1) How did the Hoover administration react in the immediate aftermath of Black Tuesday? Discuss what sort of governmental initiatives went into place, and whether the administration succeeded in stemming the decline or allaying fears in the general populace. What unrest cropped up at this time?

Part 2) Discuss the first steps taken by the Roosevelt administration upon its arrival into office. What, specifically, was the NRA? What powers did this administrative body offer Roosevelt to place limits on the private sector? Why was the NRA preemptively shut down soon after its creation?

Part 3) How did the Works Progress Administration prove to be more effective at stemming destitution than simple relief? What did this desire of Americans for work programs say about the country's work ethic? What were some material results of the WPA?

Essay Topic 2

Over the course of Hard Times, Studs Terkel interviews several individuals who held powerful elected positions during the Depression. These men took different positions on the issue of the day, and these positions were best expressed in terms of their support or opposition to FDR. Write an essay about these three figures. What did they think of FDR and the New Deal? How did each attain the power they enjoyed in the 1930's? Was each able to make a definitive mark on the country at this time?

Part 1) C. Wright Patman

Part 2) Stanley Fish

Part 3) Alf Landon

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the far left in America. What were its expectations when the stock market collapsed in 1929? Did it expect that the American capitalist system was completely defunct? How did events in Europe throughout the 1930's affect the coalition of far left groups in the United States? What occurred politically and economically in America that rendered the left toothless by the time World War II started?

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