Social Studies - 2017-18

USII.6d - Great Depression

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the social, economic, and technological changes of the early twentieth century by

d)  identifying the causes of the Great Depression, its impact on Americans, and the major features of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Blooms Level: Remember

Adopted: 2008


Big Themes/Concepts: Power, Authority, Order vs. Chaos, Global Economy, Depression

Living beyond my means can cause significant financial problems. 

Government spending can help ease the pain of economic crises. 

Economic devastation and political instability can lead to radical leaders taking power. 

After the stock market crash of 1929, the United States economy sank into the worst depression in its history.  Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated federal programs that put Americans back to work and provided an economic safety net.

The Great Depression and the New Deal dramatically changed the lives of most Americans and began to change both their understanding of the economic system and the role of government in American life.

The New Deal had many long term effects on United States government and society; and as a result of the New Deal, the role of the Federal government changed, transforming American politics, the economy and society. 

Economic conditions affect politics, individuals and societies. Economic security became recognized as a condition of personal freedom.


The optimism of the 1920s concealed problems in the American economic system and attitudes about the role of government in controlling the economy.

The Great Depression had a widespread and severe impact on American life.

Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal used government programs to help the nation recover from the Depression.

How did the American view of government and the economy change during the Great Depression?
How does the economy affect politics?
What forces drive an economy? When these forces fail, what impact does it have on individuals and societies?
What long term effects did the New Deal have on American politics, economy, and society?
What should the role of government be in meeting the needs of its citizens?
Does regulating the economy infringe upon individual freedom?

What were the causes of the Great Depression?

How were the lives of Americans affected by the Great Depression?

What were the major features of the New Deal?


Causes of the Great Depression

·  People overspeculated on stocks, using borrowed money that they could not repay when stock prices crashed.

·  The Federal Reserve failed to prevent the collapse of the banking system.

·  High tariffs discouraged international trade.

Impact on Americans

·  A large number of banks and other businesses failed.

·  One-fourth of workers were without jobs.

·  Large numbers of people were hungry and homeless.

·  Farmers’ incomes fell to low levels.

Major features of the New Deal

·  Social Security

·  Federal work programs

·  Environmental improvement programs

·  Farm assistance programs

Increased rights for labor

Make connections between the past and the present. (USII.1b)

Sequence events in United States history. (USII.1c)

Interpret ideas and events from different historical perspectives. (USII.1d)


Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt, stocks, Federal Reserve, tariffs, overspeculation, international trade, New Deal, Social Security.

Updated: Aug 17, 2017