Essay: Responding to the Great Depression
Read and analyze the question and related documents presented in this Advanced US History Document Based Question:
Analyze the responses of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration to the problems of the Great Depression. How effective were these responses? How did they change the role of the federal government?
Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1929–1941 to construct your essay.
Follow the process described below and use the links to help you formulate a well-organized essay with a clearly stated thesis, or argument, in response to the assignment. In your response, you should do the following:
● State a relevant thesis that directly addresses all parts of the question.
● Support the thesis or a relevant argument with evidence from all, or all but one, of the documents.
● Incorporate analysis of all, or all but one, of the documents into your argument.
● Focus your analysis of each document on at least one of the following: intended audience, purpose, historical context, and/or point of view.
● Support your argument with analysis of historical examples outside the documents.
● Connect historical phenomena relevant to your argument to broader events or processes.
● Synthesize the elements above into a persuasive essay.
Upload your essay to the Graded Activities panel at the left-hand side of the screen along with notes taken during the essay development.
You can do research, online or otherwise, to formulate your answer. Make sure your answer includes proper historical context, such as:
● The events that led to the Great Depression.
● The previous administration’s inability to do anything to quell the economic crash.
● Roosevelt’s campaign for presidency and his election.
● Details about the New Deal programs, including which worked and which didn’t.
● How the role of the federal government changed and expanded during Roosevelt’s presidency and how this affected the Great Depression.
Follow these steps to complete your DBQ essay. Use the links provided to help review the writing guidelines you learned in this unit. Keep an informal record of notes, reflections, and answers to some of the guiding questions and submit it along with your essay when you have completed it.
1. Gather sources. Using what you learned in this unit, examine the sources provided with the DBQ. For each source, consider the following:
● Who authored the document?
● What is the purpose of the document?
● When was the document written?
● Why is the document an important historical document?
● How will this document help your historical inquiry?
2. For further information on DBQ, use the following resource: AP US History: The DBQRead and evaluate sources. Next, you’ll need to critically read each of the sources and think about how you will use each one to support your thesis statement. Remember, once you have read the documents, you will construct a thesis statement that can be supported by evidence from the sources.
● What is the credibility of the source?
● Is there any noticeable bias?
● How does the argument differ from others you have read?
3. For further information on reading the sources, use the following resource: Reading, writing, and researching tipsPresent a strong thesis. Now that you have analyzed your evidence, revisit the essay question and think about its parts. Consider what you have learned about strong thesis statements, and write one for your essay.
4. Develop your argument. Once you have a clear, strong thesis, develop your argument. There are two key pieces to this task:
● Match the evidence in your sources to the points in your argument.
● Anticipate counterarguments and address them in advance.
5. Write your essay. Use quotations and summaries from the document sources that support your argument. When you have finished, reread the essay to check for all of the points above, and then proofread it to be sure your work does not contain errors in grammar or spelling. Use the following resources to write your essay:
For further information on writing historical essays, use the following resources: Writing historical essays
The Great Depression in global perspective
The impact of the depression on children