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The Great Depression

The Teach Tennessee History website is designed to assist teachers in implementing the 2015 Tennessee State Social Studies Standards.  Please use the menu links to the left to access the following resources for the Great Depression:

ETHS Teaching Materials:  Click on ETHS Teaching Materials to find student-friendly essays and classroom activities developed by ETHS staff.  The essays and activities are designed based on the Tennessee Social Studies Standards. The downloadable teacher packets also include primary sources and images when available.

ETHS Articles:  Click on ETHS Articles to find articles from ETHS publications to enrich your content knowledge and supplement textbook resources.

Additional Resources: Click on Additional Resources to find additional activites and links to useful websites. 

Standards 5.49-5.51

5.49 Analyze the events that caused the Great Depression and its impact on the nation and Tennessee, including mass unemployment, Hoovervilles, and soup kitchens. (C, E, H, TN)

5.50 Use specific textual evidence from primary and secondary source to summarize the success, failures, and challenges of President Roosevelt’s New Deal policies, including: (C, E, G,

H, TN)

5.51 Compare and contrast a first hand and second hand account of the impact of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. (E, G, C) 

Standards US.45-US.53

The Great Depression

Students analyze the causes and effects of the Great Depression and how the New Deal fundamentally changed the role of the federal government.

US.45 Analyze the causes of the Great Depression, including the following: (E, H)

  • the economic cycle driven by overextension of credit
  • overproduction in agriculture and manufacturing
  • laissez faire politics
  • buying on margin
  • excess consumerism
  • rising unemployment
  • the crash of the stock market
  • high tariffs

US.46 Describe the steps taken by President Hoover to combat the economic depression, including his philosophy of “rugged individualism,” the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and the response to the “Bonus Army.” (E, P)

US.47 Write a narrative piece that includes multiple media components to describe the toll of the Great Depression on the American people, including massive unemployment, migration, and Hoovervilles. (C, E, H, G)

US.48 Analyze the causes and consequences of the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. (C, E, H, G)

US.49 Identify and explain the following New Deal programs and assess their past or present impact: (E, H, P, TN)

US.50 Analyze the effects of and the controversies arising from New Deal economic policies, including charges of socialism and FDR’s “court packing” attempt. (E, P)

US.51 Citing evidence from maps, photographs and primary source documents, analyze the development of TVA on Tennessee’s rural geography economy, and culture, and debate the issues of the Norris Dam and Dale Hollow Lake controversies. (C, E, G, P, TN)

US.52 Cite textual evidence, determine the central meaning, and evaluate different points of view by examining excerpts from the following texts: Herbert Hoover (“Rugged Individualism”), Franklin Roosevelt (“First Inaugural Address”), and John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath). (C, P)

US.53 Evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media as in the political cartoons about the New Deal. (P)

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from “Rugged Individualism” speech, Herbert Hoover; “First Inaugural Address” Franklin Roosevelt; excerpts from The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck