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

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Final Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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 Roosevelt Administration took special care to ensure that arts professionals were employed in the period of the Great Depression. Write an essay about the changes in the performing arts during this period of history. How did the actors union gain strength at this time? What did traveling sketch troupes have to do to remain viable? To what extent did the theatre begin to tackle more current and controversial subjects? Which famous artists emerged from this crucible?

Essay Topic 2

Studs Terkel interviews enough people who lived through the Depression that certain archetypes begin to emerge over the course of the book. Write an essay in which you choose an interview that fits each archetype:

Part 1) Choose an interview from an individual who lost wealth in the Depression and discovered a talent at making money through hard work. Where did this person turn to make money? What did he or she discover about society that this person did not know about before? What is this person's worldview after the Depression?

Part 2) Choose an individual who is disappointed by the fact that the country was not largely radicalized by the Depression. To what cultural-political ideology does this person subscribe? What was his or her personal experience during the 1930's? What hope does this person have for the future of America?

Part 3) Choose an individual who lived in a bubble of comfort in the Depression and was not aware of widespread suffering. What was the nature of the bubble in which this person lived? What is his or her impression of the Depression?

Essay Topic 3

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?

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