Reflecting on the Great Depression
The Great Depression was a grim time in American history. Financial and agricultural insults deeply injured America and its people. The brave men, women, and children who endured those dark years showed amazing bravery, resiliences, and resourcefulness. Just as the national character changed from carefree thinking of Roaring Twenties, the National Government underwent massive policy changes. Programs to mend the nation-- its finances, resources, and people--were put in place. As the despair of the Great Depression finally wained, the American people, once again, faced an exceptional challenge--WWII.
We have spent a few days studying the Great Depression. Based on what you have learned, in light of the current economic situation, do you think that we could be facing a "great depression"? Why or why not? Consider the personal experiences you have encountered in your research. How might an economic depression affect you and your family? Can you picture yourself poor and hungry, standing in a breadline? Or can you imagine your life, as you migrate across the country in search of work? What does it look like? How does it feel?
There are many additional on-line, print, and film resources concerning the Great Depression. Listed below, are just a few resources you may consider for further investigation.
The New Deal Network, an educational guide to the 1930's, sponsored by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.
The Best of History Web Sites is an excellent Great Depression portal, providing many quality websites.
PBS's American Experience documentary, Riding the Rails, tells the story of the 250,000 teenagers who left their homes to ride the freight trains.
PBS's American Experience documentary, Surviving the Dustbowl, examines the experiences of the farmers who fought to remain in the ravaged Dustbowl Region.
John Steinbeck's American classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, depicts a migrant family's upheaval, journey, and struggle to survive. The masterpiece can be bought for less than ten dollars.