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. Why does Billy Green say he was unaffected by the Depression?

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

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

4. Why did a significant number of people flee public housing in 1949?

5. What change to the ticket structure did the Schaffner Players make after the 1929 Crash?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. How were the prisons affected by the Depression?

7. What humiliation did Ward James face seeking relief in the 1930's?

8. What did Hiram Sherman do after The Cradle Will Rock?

9. According to Horace Cayton, why did black Americans not join the Communists en masse?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the Appalachian mining communities' attempts to unionize. How was this group of workers facing Depression-style injustice before the Depression started? What type of power did companies wield in Appalachia, and how did they enforce this power? Discuss how normal tension between management and would-be unionizing broke into full war in the 1930's? What was the result?

Essay Topic 2

The Great Depression was a period of time during which large organized movements sought to restructure American society. In a three part essay, discuss how several organized groups went about attempting the recreation of a country:

Part 1) What hole in the union movement did the CIO fill in the 1930's? What tactics did the unions use in the rust belt in order to organize industrial workers? What opposition did they face? How much success did the CIO achieve over the course of the Depression? How did its relationship with the AFL change in this time?

Part 2) How did the American Communist movement surge in popularity during the Hoover years, and how did events in Europe destroy much of its credibility? To what extent did Roosevelt's New Deal destroy its ability to accomplish its goals in the 1930's? What members did it lose after Roosevelt built his coalition?

Part 3) How were both the Catholic Worker and the Wobblies different from the unions and the Communists? What was each group's guiding philosophy? Did either one form a coalition during the Depression? What happened to them after the Depression?

Essay Topic 3

Studs Terkel mentions throughout the book that the Roosevelt administration had a vested interest in chronicling the realities of the Depression as it was happening. Write an essay about three of these historical/artistic documents. What specific component of the Depression experience did each highlight? What was its medium? How was it received at the time and since? Why did the Roosevelt administration avoid publicizing that it was funding this sort of archiving work?

Part 1) Tobacco Road.

Part 2) The River.

Part 3) Dorothea Lange's portraits.

(see the answer keys)

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