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Benchmark F Identify major historical patterns in the domestic affairs of the United States during the 20th century and explain their significance.

Indicator 9 Analyze the major political, economic and social developments of the 1920s including:

  • a.

    The Red Scare;

  • b.

    Women’s right to vote;

  • c.

    African-American migrations from the South to the North;

  • d.

    Immigration restrictions, nativism, race riots and the reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan;

  • e.

    The Roaring Twenties and the Harlem Renaissance;

  • f.

    Stock market speculation and the stock market crash of 1929.

Indicator 10 Analyze the causes and consequences of major political, economic and social developments of the 1930s with emphasis on:

  • a.

    The Great Depression;

  • b.

    The Dust Bowl;

  • c.

    The New Deal.

The Great Depression is a singular event in the historyof the United States. One reviewer noted that it is important for students to understand that while there are constant fluctuations in the typical business cycle, the circumstances surrounding the Great Depression went beyond the ordinary.

  • Show students photographs from the 1920s and the 1930s. For example, share a photograph of the activity on Wall Street during the 1920s. Then, show students a photograph of a man in a pin-striped suit selling apples on the street during the 1930s.

  • Have the students write a brief explanation of what they believe are the two most important reasons behind the changed conditions shown in the photographs.

Review the student responses to determine the depth and breadth of understanding related to the causes of the Great Depression. Use this information to determine the content emphasis for the lesson.

  • Distribute Attachment B,

.

After a group discussion of the task, have students write a one- to two-page paper on five factors they think contributed to the onset of the Great Depression. Explanation of and support for each factor must be included.

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