The Great Depression was arguably the most traumatic economic and social episode in U.S. history. How would you characterize the conditions it created and how did the U.S. federal government embark on unprecedented measures to alleviate its effects on American society?
- From Theodore Roosevelt’s administration through Woodrow Wilson’s administration, efforts were undertaken to improve government and society—a movement generally referred to as “Progressivism.” What specific measures were aimed at enacting these ambitions in the arenas of efficient government, better guidance of the economy, suffrage, conservation of natural resources, tariff policy, sanitation/pure food reforms, and other social concerns? Be sure to offer some comparative perspective on why Progressivism was a response to the abuses of the Gilded Age.
- How did the United States—from the 1890s through the 1930s—attempt to make the Pacific Basin, the Far East, and Latin America areas of greater national concern? Why did the U.S. get so involved in these areas? How was the U.S. motivated from an economic and military perspective?
- Although we recognize World War I for the historic military engagements that took place, these conflicts are also well-known for how war influenced domestic/political affairs and took shape as wartime mobilization. Why was this a multi-faceted phenomenon that concerned industry, labor, migration, propaganda, management of the economy, and everyday life?
- Why are the 1920s so often identified as a time period of noteworthy political, cultural, and economic development—some events being productive, some optimistic, some disturbing? What groups enjoyed and benefitted during these times? What groups struggled and faced adversity? How did American lifestyles, consumer habits, and popular culture change during this era ?
- From the actions of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois up to the eve of World War II, African-Americans made bold moves to advance their economic, political, and cultural standing in American society. They also faced consistent obstacles. What events, issues, and examples best illustrate this era in African-American life?