[Unit 7] Cram Contest Practice Prompt

Practice analyzing sourcing and using a document as evidence. Use the passage below as evidence to support an argument about the following prompt. Include both usage (summary) and sourcing analysis (HIPP). The best answer(s) will feature in the Unit 7 APUSH Cram stream.

PROMPT: Evaluate the extent to which the Great Depression changed US society between 1929 and 1941.

Source: “The New Deal in Review” editorial in The New Republic, May 20, 1940.

The government as an instrument of democratic action in the future has also been strengthened and renovated. This is not merely a matter of the addition of many new agencies, but of the more efficient organization of the whole executive department—including a planning board under the President which so far has been relatively unimportant but is capable of future development. The Courts, too, have been revivified, partly by legislation, but principally by excellent new appointments, so that we now have a Supreme Court which is abreast of the times.

How to Submit
Reply to this thread with your two-three sentence answer.

Deadline for submission:
April 24, 2020 → May 5, 2020 @ 12 PM EST

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Pro-government advocates continue to appreciate the New Deal and its increase in power for the executive branch and hope for future improvements. Some people were in extreme favor of the president’s actions and want the American people to know, indicating that even though there have been many new additions, it is beneficial in ways beyond just a few agencies. The establishment of these agencies gave the government new avenues of control over the banks, agriculture, and more which helped combat poverty due to the great depression.

During the first four years of the Great Depression Herbert Hoover was president, he believed that american should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. This belief that Hoover modeled stood true in the US prior to the Great Depression, however people wanted change when the unemployment rate rose to 23.6% in 1932. Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president in 1933 and promised the change, he started with the New Deal. This was a drastic change from how the country had functioned since the revolutionary war. Most citizens supported the change and news articles were published like The New Deal in Review to calm and reassure citizens that they did put their trust in the right person, FDR, because the government is better than it ever had been(1). The New Deal was so radical because while the government was founded to help the people, no legislation had been passed prior to the New Deal that realy changed the environment and jobs. The New Deal gave thousands of jobs to people to build trails, roads, and fight the growing wildfire problem with the 10 am policy, the idea that fires should be put out by 10 am. The New Deal still has an effect today because without it there may not have been big National Parks, well defined trails, or roads that can take you into places you have never been.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s approach to alleviating the devastating impacts of the Great Depression, called the New Deal, succeeded in providing relief to economically downtrodden citizens but also strengthened the federal government greatly. An editorial in The New Republic contends that federal action during the New Deal made government intervention easier due to an unnamed executive-branch planning board, a more liberal Supreme court, and strengthened lower courts (Doc 1). Seeing as this editorial was written in 1940, after the worst portions of the Great Depression, its approving review of the New Deal argues that the larger government is desirable for America’s future. During the Depression, the government’s power under FDR continually increased to provide relief through programs like the CCC, PWA, and CWA. The jobs provided by these programs did wildly increase government spending but provided employment for two hundred and fifty thousand men throughout the 1930s. Plus, acts like the Social Security Act of 1935 allowed further government intervention to secure paychecks for the unemployed and elderly. Thus, the more liberal political climate of the 1930s allowed the federal government to grow in power and jurisdiction.

Although subject to speculation in terms of its long term growth and development, the radical ideas and changes that resulted from the Great Depressions caused a shift in US society towards an emphasis on the government’s power to regulate the economy and duty to protect its people through an increased involvment in micro and macro affairs. Because of the large amount of speculation and buying on margin that occured during the Hoover administration, as well as Hoover’s rugged indivudalism standpoint that prevented him from aiding the American people during the red flags that lead the the stock market crash, were what allowed for the depression to occur. Writers of newspapers demonstrated the opinion of the public who was tired of the capitalistic, big winner and many losers standpoint that Hoover allowed and began to appreciate the change that occured as a result of FDR’s New Deal, which in any other time would have been seen as oppression by the government and an abuse of power, on a larger scale despite the hesitiation that still existed regarding these radical changes.

Although Franklin D. Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression through the New Deal was not successful in fully pulling the U.S. out of the Great Depression, it did, to a great extent, change US society between 1929 and 1941 by increasing the power of the government and courts and adding new agencies. Before Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hoover responded to the Great Depression with his belief in “rugged individualism”, which encouraged self-reliance rather than government involvement. On the contrary, “The New Deal in Review” demonstrates how Roosevelt increased and changed the role of the government by adding a planning board, other agencies and programs like the SEC, CCC, and FERA, and changed the Courts (Doc 1). The new agencies provided relief, reform, and recovery to the U.S. after the Great Depression by providing jobs, like the CCC which created millions of jobs for men in work camps, and financial aid, like the AAA, which gave farmers money if they limited the number of crops they grew. The point of view of “The New Deal in Review” is in support of FDR’s response to the Great Depression as it speaks highly of the changes, and it was written in 1940, after the worst of the Great Depression, which means that they could witness the partial success of the New Deal in solving the Great Depression. WWII, however, was the factor that completely pulled the U.S. out of the Great Depression and strengthened the economy. Despite this, the New Deal did create changes in U.S. society by strengthening the federal government and providing aid to those who were struggling. The New Deal continued to have an impact on U.S society after 1941 by continuing the SEC to watch over the stock market to ensure that a stock market crash that occurred on Black Tuesday does not reoccur and continuing Social Security, which provides insurance to the elderly and disabled.

Between the period of 1929, when the United States went into a state of economic depression, to 1941, when America joined World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor (a bomb set off by Japan), the actions of the presidents did not economically satisfy the American people, but did have a huge impact in their social and political ways of society. In the first part of the period between 1929-1941, Herbert Hoover was in office. Being a conservative republican, Hoover’s presidency symbolized the laize-faire capitalism form of government, a form of government with limited intervention from state and federal government. As the unemployment reate increased, the people’s respect toward Hoover decreased. because of the lack of intervention, Hoover did not get reelected. Instead, democrat Franllin Delano Roosevelt was elected. In contrast to Hoover’s actions against the economic collapse, Roosevelt’s presidency consisted of actions that signified strong intervention of the government. One major example of Roosevelt’s actions as president was his establishment of the New Deal. The New deal was a series of new systems, or programs, that would reform the current ways of government, assist the nation as it recovers from the crash of 1929, or provide relief to the American citizens as the country.

**Prior to the great depression, there was an emphasis on laissez-faire capitalism which promoted the idea of government not involving itself in the economy, but instead letting the business cycle fix itself, and people generally supported this idea. Moreover, before the Stock Market crashed in 1929 and symbolized the beginning of the Great Depression, people indulged themselves in consumer culture, which enabled cheap production of various products, such as cars, kitchen and home appliances, clothes, etc. During the Great Depression, not only did people stop spending money on unnecessary products, but they also changed how they viewed the role of the federal government in the economy. The Great Depression significantly changed the United States’ society between 1929 and 1941 by reshaping its economy and altering the way Americans viewed government’s responsibilities towards its people. The editorial explains that a huge crisis, like the Great Depression which caused unemployment of 25% of Americans, required the federal government to assume new powers and establish a series of acts and agencies that would help decrease the impact of the Depression on the economy and society in general. Millions of Americans believed that policies that would help the unemployed and unfortunate would harm capitalism, which was(and still is) the leading economic ideology in the U.S., but because of the Great Depression, people realized how grave the consequences could be if they refused to accept the fact that the federal government must increase its powers and establish more socialist-leaning institutions and acts in order to stabilize the society. FDR was a very capable president, who created government agencies and programs that provided jobs to millions of people in public projects/works and construction. Even though presidents before him would be criticized for assuming so much presidential power and interfering with the business cycle (thus going against the ideology of capitalism), FDR was praised for initiating so much government action to relieve the effects the Great Depression had on Americans’ lives. This indicates how much society’s views on presidential (and federal government) powers and involvement, as well as capitalism and socialist policies have changed due to the Great Depression. **

Beginning in 1929, the United States saw one of its worst economic recessions, which was caused by overproduction with little demand. At the time, president Herbert Hoover assured the public that the Great Depression would only affect stockholders and that the economy would fix itself through his laissez-faire policy. However, after Hoover lost the election in 1932 to FDR, this changed and government intervention in economic affairs greatly increased, whether it be through FDR’s infamous fire chats or his recovery plan, the New Deal. While New Deal programs did initiate many new agencies that helped the economy, the economy was in large part healed by the direct governmental actions of FDR and his credibility among the American people, which changed the executive government’s role in the economy for years to come. Throughout the First New Deal, FDR assured the public that through government action, the economy would find its way to a state of normalcy. For example, in one of the first fireside chats, he asked the public to redeposit its savings into banks, which not only helped the banks but also built on FDR’s credibility among his followers and showed that the government was willing to help the public directly. FDR also initiated various programs, such as the PWA and CCC to help industries as well. However, the First New Deal was looked down upon by many, such as Senator Huey Long, who was one of many that blamed corporate greed for the Depression and believed that government policy toward businesses was too favorable. The Supreme Court also began to dismantle some New Deal programs, such as the NIRA, claiming that the codes on which it was established were unconstitutional as it empowered the executive branch to set regulations rather than Congress. In response, FDR argued that the Depression, like war, called for an expansion of the executive branch and attempted to “pack the court” with Supreme Court judges who supported his policies, though this was rejected by Congress. Worried that his Second New Deal would see the same fate, FDR drafted the Judicial Reorganization Bill in 1937, which allowed him to name new federal judges and this worked out to his benefit, as many judges retired soon after and he was able to replace them with “excellent new appointments” (1). Hence, the Supreme Court, which now had more liberal judges, was strengthened along with the executive branch of the government, which greatly expanded its power and as shown in the editorial, was far better organized than it was at the beginning of the New Deal. This shows that while FDR’s New Deal programs themselves boosted the economy, his governmental actions (e.g. appointment of Supreme Court judges) and the trust that he built among the American population led to an overall expansion of the executive branch’s power and that the Great Depression changed the role that the government played in domestic affairs for years to come.

Thesis: Although there were quantitatively less continuities that the Great Depression impacted on US society in regards to social prejudice held against groups of people in society that deprived them of economic equalities, notably in jobs, there were more changes that the Great Depression had on society, in that it significantly increased governmental intervention to address the problems that society was facing as a result of the Great Depression.

The Great Depression had more changes on US society between 1929 and 1941 due to the greater political regulation and intervention of societal practices through the federal government. The government was visibly more active and strengthened in addressing issues through numerous agencies that were added and by the new appointments of judges in the Supreme Courts that would take action (1). This shows that the government had now changed to have a much more pivotal role in regulating Americans practices in the economy and society, as demonstrated in the New Deal programs. The entire executive branch rejuvenated to have more intervention and regulation addressing the 3 Rs of the New Deal (Relief, Recovery, and Reform). This was a major change from President Hoover’s response when the Great Depression started in 1929. He believed that a laissez-faire approach to societal problems and leaving the issues to the Court to solve would work, but after realizing that it worsened issues of the Great Depression, he did attempt to enact more governmental legislation, such as the Reconstruction Finance Corporation that provided financial support to state and local governments while providing loans to banks. However, his response was too little and too late, and a major change was seen in FDR’s New Deal agencies that had a much more hands-on political intervention and ended hints and doubts of laissez-faire capitalism. Hoover’s lacking response to the economic crisis, as many Americans argued, which also led to a landslide Presidential election victory for FDR in 1932, was the foundation for the change in the much greater regulation and interference that FDR’s administration had enacted as a result. Thus, the federal government undergone more change as a result of the dire conditions of the Great Depression to have a significantly greater role in regulating economic and societal practices, as seen with the “alphabet” agencies that provided many job opportunities to workers, for instance, such as the PWA that addressed unemployment while also working on public projects, like building dams.

(For CCOT prompts, my arguments are that there are quantitatively more/less change/continuities, then I choose which is the major argument. Was that evident above? Also, was there anything that was too wordy that I could’ve made more concise to save time? Thanks so much!!)

As America entered the Great Depression, it was clear that it needed change. The Great Depression was not only the worst but the longest economic slump the nation has ever faced, lasting from 1929 to (arguably) 1941. Throughout the Depression, change occurred. Many new practices such as giving out unemployment benefits began, and others like buying on margin ended. In 1940, The New Republic ran an article detailing all the positive changes the New Deal had brought (1). Some of the ones this article mentioned include the development of a more modern court system and the establishment of a Presidential planning board. These, among others, are some of the changes the New Deal brought to everyday Americans, making life in the USA safer and happier.

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