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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945) (x)
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We found 13 items that match your search

A Citizen Claims the New Deal is a Path Towards Socialism

This 1934 letter to Senator Robert F. Wagner protests President Roosevelt's New Deal policies. The writer argues for stimulating private business to create employment, and against increasing the role of the federal government. Since the 19th [...]

A Citizen Sees Socialism and Communism in the New Deal (with text supports)

This letter to Senator Robert F. Wagner describes the author's fears that New Deal policies will lead the nation on the path to socialism, communism, or fascism. This version includes text supports such as definitions.

President Roosevelt Defines Freedom at Home and Abroad

In his 1941 State of the Union address to Congress, excerpted below, President Franklin Roosevelt outlines his plan for how the United States will combat worldwide threats to democracy. Known as the "Four Freedoms" speech, this strong plea for [...]

President Hoover Encourages Private Charity

President Herbert Hoover wrote the following letter to 10-year-old Barbara McIntyre of Columbus, Ohio after she wrote to him 1931 to report that she and her friends planned to collect old blankets, clothing, shoes, and food to send to him in [...]

President Roosevelt Seeks Feedback on New Deal Programs

In 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent this letter to clergymen around the country. He received over 100,000 responses from priests, rabbis, and ministers serving diverse congregations that varied by geography, size, religious views, and [...]

Differing Federal Responses to the Great Depression: Letter Analysis

In this activity students read two letters (one from Hoover, one from FDR) to determine different political beliefs that guided the presidents in their responses to the Great Depression.

Graph of Federal Spending (in millions of dollars), 1929-1945

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt entered office in 1933, unemployment hovered around 25%. The private sector, including factories and service industries, remained mired in an intractable depression: no one was spending money and no one was [...]

A White-Collar Worker Calls the New Deal "Downright Stealing"

Conservative critics of the New Deal disliked the new regulations on businesses and feared the long-term consequences of deficit spending, which they likened to socialism and the end of freedom. Some also expressed nativist or racist feelings that [...]

An Ordinary Georgian "Wants Lights!"

The sign on this car is addressed to the head of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), which developed electrical infrastructure (power lines, hydroelectric dams) and cooperatives for farmers to buy electricity and electric appliances. Only about [...]

Timeline of Selected New Deal Legislation

During his first two years in office, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress passed programs intended to provide temporary but immediate relief to those who were struggling and restore confidence in the banks.  Roosevelt’s critics [...]