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American History 2--HIST 2112 (OER): Chapter 23: The Great Depression

American Yawp Chapter Summary

The wonder of the stock market permeated popular culture in the 1920s. Although it was released during the first year of the Great Depression, the 1930 film High Society Blues captured the speculative hope and prosperity of the previous decade. “I’m in the Market for You,” a popular musical number from the film, even used the stock market as a metaphor for love: You’re going up, up, up in my estimation, / I want a thousand shares of your caresses, too. / We’ll count the hugs and kisses, / When dividends are due, / Cause I’m in the market for you. But, just as the song was being recorded in 1929, the stock market reached the apex of its swift climb, crashed, and brought an abrupt end to the seeming prosperity of the “Roaring ‘20s.” The Great Depression had arrived. Read more from Chapter 23 of the American Yawp.

Things to Consider

Questions to be thinking about as you move through the content of this chapter

  1. What systemic factors led to the Great Depression?
  2. What more recent behaviors led to the Great Depression?
  3. FDR asked for “broad executive power” in his 1st inaugural address:  what did this mean?
  4. How does FDR’s New Deal square with traditional laissez faire?
  5. Is the New Deal socialism?  If so, does it matter?  What surviving New Deal programs would you eliminate?

Learning Objectives and Assessment

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Identify key events that define change over time in a particular place or region, and identify how change occurs over time
  • Recognize a range of viewpoints in historical narratives
  • Understand the dynamics of change over time
  • Evaluate a variety of historical sources for their credibility, position, significance, and perspective

Course Objectives

  • The student will understand the social, political, and economic developments and impact of the post-WWI Interwar Years and the Great Depression on the U.S.
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