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. How were the actors able to perform the opening night of The Cradle Will Rock?

2. What controversial action did the Rural Rehabilitation Division undertake in the 1930's?

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

4. Why did Huey Long not run for president in 1936?

5. What was the name of the private relief organization that Dr. Martin Bickham worked with in the 1930's?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Ray Wax's life disillusion him to the idea of strive-and-succeed?

2. Who was Martin Dies?

3. How did Neil Schaffner's theatre troupe have to change their business model after the Crash 1929?

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

5. In the Depression-era Midwest, how did corn prices lead to corn being burned and pigs being slaughtered?

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

7. What role did Elsa Ponselle play in the forming of the Teacher's Union?

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

9. What strange and dangerous episode regarding congressional testimony does C. Wright Patman make?

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

In exploring the many divergent movements and personalities that shaped the 1930's, Terkel interviews his subjects about individuals who helped shape the national debate in this time. Write an essay about three dominant voices in America at the time of the Depression:

Part 1) What role did Dr. Francis Townsend play in the national debate regarding helping the poverty stricken? What plans did he offer for taking care of the elderly, and why was he vilified as a result of this plan? What government program eventually emerged from the ideas that Townsend offered in the 1930's?

Part 2) What message did Father Coughlin offer that made him the dominant radio voice, besides Franklin Roosevelt, in the 1930's? What was the appeal of this message to those affected by the poverty of the Depression? How did this populist message transform into something far more insidious as the US approached joining the war against Hitler?

Part 3) What role did Huey Long play in the 1930's? How did his populist policy-making find a national audience, and how did this sudden popularity force Roosevelt to reconsider his Depression policies? Why did Huey Long never run for president himself?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

The 1930's, as a result of the abject poverty and of Prohibition, became an era of romanticized criminality. Write an essay on the popularity of illegal behavior at this time. What was the nature of the industry dedicated to circumventing Prohibition laws? Why were figures like John Dillinger and Machine Gun Kelly folk heroes for robbing the banks? To what extent were they enacting public disgust with failed institutions?

(see the answer keys)

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