US History 20th Century

Choose three out of five questions listed below.

600-750 words min for each question.


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1.        For this discussion choose one of the sources presented (Gatsby, etc.) and write a post where you analyze this source–what is the source, what themes does it reveal, why is it impressive/poignant?  Then explain what themes of the 1920s the source helps us understand?


2.        Based on your reading, please address these questions:

a)       What were the key causes of the Great Depression?

b)      What were the responses of the Hoover administration to the crisis?

c)        What was the human cost of the Great Depression–effects on workers, families, and communities?

3.        Part1:

What was the Dust Bowl?  How did this environmental catastrophe reshape American politics?  What New Deal policies of FDR were crafted to react to the Dust Bowl?  Why was “The Plow that Broke the Plains Made,” who made it, and what is its argument?


Part 2

Using the digital textbook and the fireside chats please answer these questions:

1. How was FDR different from previous Presidents–what new methods did he use to communicate with the American public?  How were his policies different from those that had come before?

2. How was FDR similar to Progressive Presidents (like his relative Teddy Roosevelt), in terms of personal style, political strategy, and issues of major concern?


4.        With Europe at war in 1941 FDR delivered his famous “Four Freedoms” address.  Please review the background of events leading to war in Europe, and then read FDR’s speech.  The next year American artist Norman Rockwell created images that represented these freedoms.  The speech and the images come to us as key documents to help us understand the fears and commitments of a nation on the brink of war.  

What was FDR looking to accomplish with the 4 Freedoms–what traditions of American life and history did it capture?  Why was the address so effective and poignant–and why did Rockwell’s images become so iconic?


5.        Choose any of the groups of Americans presented in this section–average citizens, women, Japanese-Americans, soldiers–and describe the war through their eyes.  Describe in detail sources that you think really capture the fears and hopes of the time period. 


Reading for question 5 : 5.1 Hear the man on the street after Pearl Harbor (or read the transcipts):



5.2 Learn about Japanese Internment here:


+ and here:

+and the Supreme Court case that resulted:


5.3 Rosie the Riveter

+Get the real stories here:

+and visit the historic park:


5.4 The Soldier’s Life

+Read letters home from the front:

+and more here:


History homework help