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, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Max Shachtman, why was Communism especially vital just before FDR was elected?

2. In whose administration was David Kennedy the Secretary of the Treasury?

3. According to Fred Thompson, what did Wobblies constantly have to prove they were not?

4. What does Wilbur Kane still dislike about Roosevelt?

5. Why was Ward James fired from his job in the 1930's?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Wilbur Kane experience the Joe Louis fight against Max Schmeling?

2. What does Dr. Martin Bickham discover about the American drive to work through his relief work in the 1930's?

3. How much power did coal companies have in the towns they inhabited?

4. What was Dr. Townsend's contribution to the Depression-era discourse?

5. What was the most controversial component of the New Deal?

6. Why does Myrna Loy think she never got to meet Roosevelt in person?

7. What was Edward Burgess's experience of the 1930's?

8. According to Elizabeth Wood, how did public housing develop the stigma it has today?

9. According to James Farley, how did Roosevelt alienate members of his own administration?

10. How did The Cradle Will Rock become a lightning rod of controversy?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay on the psychological effects that the joblessness of the Great Depression has on men in America. What do interviewees recall their fathers doing to pass time and feel useful? Why did men of this era refuse to take government relief and turn so often to alcohol instead? How was America's psychiatric profession unprepared to deal with the effects of joblessness on the population? What obvious causation were psychiatrists ignoring?

Essay Topic 2

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 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?

(see the answer keys)

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