The Great Depression

The essays in this section have been written by leading scholars of American history. They provide additional depth on events and ideas referred to in the introductory essay and, in some cases, different interpretations by historians looking at the same events. These essays are particularly useful as informational texts to introduce your students to one of the most exciting aspects of studying history—understanding the past from a variety of perspectives.

Essays from Other Sub-Eras

Coit Tower murals, San Francisco, CA (Carol Highsmith Archive, Lib. of Congress)

Are Artists “Workers”? Art and the New Deal

Author: Elizabeth Broun Curriculum Subjects: Art Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Commissioner of Labor Statistics explains loss of wages since 1929. (LOC, P&P)

Economic Policy through the Lens of History

Author: Roger E. A. Farmer Curriculum Subjects: Economics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Photograph of Eleanor Roosevelt, July 20, 1933. (Library of Congress Prints and

Eleanor Roosevelt as First Lady

Author: Maurine Beasley Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Flapper on the cover of Puck magazine, 1916. (Library of Congress P&P)

F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Age of Excess

Author: Joshua Zeitz Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Adolf Hitler, n.d. (LOC) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (GLC)

FDR and Hitler: A Study in Contrasts

Author: David M. Kennedy Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Supreme Court Justices, ca. 1940. Photograph by Harris & Ewing. (GLC)

FDR’s Court-Packing Plan: A Study in Irony

Author: Richard G. Menaker Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Franklin D. Roosevelt, c. December 27, 1933. (Library of Congress Prints and Pho

FDR’s First Inaugural Address

Author: Davis W. Houck Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels:
Oath of Allegiance of Mikael Amerikian, 1931 (NARA ARC # 595054)

Immigrant Fiction: Exploring an American Identity

Author: Phillip Lopate Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Ford Local 600 of the CIO in the Labor Day parade in Detroit MI, 1942. (LOC P&P)

Labor Day: From Protest to Picnics

Author: Joshua B. Freeman Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Assembly room for chassis and motors, Detroit, MI, 1929 (LOC, P&P)

Motor City: The Story of Detroit

Author: Thomas J. Sugrue Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Sandra Day O'Connor, ca. 1982. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Div.)

Sandra Day O’Connor: A Life of Action

Author: Meryl Justin Chertoff Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Franklin D. Roosevelt to Henry T. Rainey, June 10, 1933. (GLC)

The Hundred Days and Beyond: What Did the New Deal Accomplish?

Author: Anthony J. Badger Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Note of 1 shilling, 6 pence, printed in the colony of New Jersey, 1776. (GLC)

The US Banking System: Origin, Development, and Regulation

Author: Richard Sylla Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Athletic Sports, 1887. (Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Div.)

Why Sports History Is American History

Author: Mark Naison Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+