New Deal A Push Essay Rubric

FDR: The New Deal Essay examples

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Thesis: The various programs created by FDR’s New Deal helped bring the United States out of The Great Depression.

Paper Outline

Who was FDR
Why was he popular
His views
II.) The U.S. emerges from a depression
About the depression
Who was affected
What the nation needed at the time
FDR’s help during New Deal
Who helped him
Why they did it
It’s effects on the nation
Restoring Banks
Why people lost faith in the banks
What FDR did to increase faith the FDIC
More Americans get jobs
Business relief
How business was affected by depression
Help for Farming
Depression hurts agriculture
Improving Americans lives
Poor conditions of depression
Conclusion…show more content…

Instead, most money was in the hands of a few families and businesses who saved or invested rather than spent their money on American goods. Supply became greater than demand on products. Certain people profited, but many others did not. As a result of this, prices went up and Americans could not spare the money for many goods. While the wealth in America was not being distributed evenly, and overspeculation of the stock market led to a lack of confidence, the United States began to fall into a deep depression that would last until the beginning of World War II (Gupta).
Faced with this economic decline, came other factors that included unemployment and lack of confidence in banks (Church 100). Restoring faith in banks across the United States was one goal for FDR. As depositors lost confidence in the national bank, over $1,000,000,000 was taken out in cash and hoarded (Boardman 64). The Emergency Banking Act closed all banks for four straight days, and put them under inspection by the national government (Schraff 52). Banks were put under meticulous scrutiny by the Treasury Department. The U.S. government demanded that all hoarded gold be returned and all of the $1,000,000,000 was deposited (Boardman 65). Banks were allowed to open only under a strict system of licensing (Schraff 52). Another banking program was The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, which was created by Congress to guarantee deposits up to $5000 (Gupta). In the case

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FDR’s Fireside Chat

Author: Joseph Jelen
School: Northwood High School
Grade Level: AP (9-12)
Time Estimated: 1 day (80 minute period)

Brief Overview

In this lesson students will be asked to analyze one of FDR’s radio addresses to the nation centered on his proposed Works Relief Program. Students will then be asked to assume the role of one of FDR’s critics and develop a rebuttal to a portion of FDR’s address.

Enduring Understanding

The United States was in the midst of an economic crisis by 1935. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected promising people action in the face of this crisis. In order to push his New Deal legislation through Congress, FDR relied on the support of the people who put him in office. Much of FDR’s New Deal legislation was complex and vast in scope, which would have made it difficult for citizens to understand. Thus, FDR seized upon the power of the most widespread media outlet, radio, to speak candidly with the United States people about what he intended to do to beat back economic crisis. These radio speeches informed people and equipped them with knowledge so that they could be assured that their government was doing something to help them. While FDR proposed sweeping government programs, he certainly faced critics of his plans, accusing FDR of too much government involvement or not enough.


This lesson may be used during MCPS Unit 9.4 (“Culture in Prosperity and Adversity”) Lesson Sequence 4.2 (“Traditions, Critics, and Change”).

Mastery Objective

Students will be able to explain the arguments for and against the New Deal by analyzing a radio address by FDR and writing a rebuttal to FDR’s arguments.



1. Introducing the Lesson (15 minutes)

  • Pass out to students warm up contextualization of FDR’s Fireside chat handout
  • Lead students in the “before listening” section of the handout by introducing briefly FDR’s Fireside chats and asking students to visualize how they would be listening to FDR speak through the radio. (Perhaps students will draw themselves sitting with their family in the family’s home listening to a radio with a fire roaring in the family room fireplace) Next, have students draw or write problems that might be plaguing the minds of citizens in 1935 (ex. foreclosure, debt, unemployment, etc.)
  • Play for students minutes 0 – 4:45 of FDR’s speech as heard here: Have students read along with their copy of the speech transcript (section 1) and answer the included questions during listening.
  • After listening to the speech ask students to consider how FDR’s use of the “fireside chat” helped gain public support of his New Deal programs. (Possible response: By speaking to the American public in his familiar way he was able to reassure Americans of his vision which helped push through FDR’s New Deal legislation.)

2. Lesson Activities (60 minutes)

  • Assign a group of 4 students one of the possible critics of the New Deal. Hand out to the each of the four students the critic’s biography and primary source selection. Instruct students to sit with their group and read their assigned biography sheet. As students read, have them think about why the person would be critical of FDR’s New Deal and what specific problems each would have.
  • Acting as their assigned critic students are to analyze one of the four sections of FDR’s radio address and write a brief rebuttal to that selected part of the text. Ask students to go after the specifics with which their assigned critic would take issue.
  • Students will then present their rebuttal address to the class while the rest of the class fills in the New Deal Critics’ Arguments capture sheet.

3. Concluding the Lesson (5 minutes)

  • To conclude the lesson, students should rank order criticisms on their capture sheet from those they feel hold the most merit in the context of 1935 to those they feel hold the least merit.


This lesson is differentiated to allow students to work in heterogeneous groups with each group member relying on the others to formulate a rebuttal speech. Grouping students allows students to help each other and allows the teacher to circulate the room to assist students with analyzing the document. For struggling students, give each group only one piece of FDR’s speech to analyze and formulate arguments against as a group. The summative writing assignment can also be altered to simply be a paragraph or lengthened to accommodate more advanced students.

Assessment – Summative Assessment

  • Assign for homework, a written response to the prompt: “To what extent did the New Deal do too much? To what extent did the New Deal do to little? Reference specific criticisms of the New Deal in your response.”


3 – Response includes substantial discussion of the New Deal doing too much and substantial discussion of the New Deal doing too little. Response references at least 4 specific criticisms.

2 – Response includes some discussion of the New Deal doing too much and some discussion of the New Deal doing too little. Response references at least 2 specific criticisms.

1 – Response includes little discussion of the New Deal doing too much and little discussion of the New Deal doing too little. Response references at least 1 specific criticism.

0 – Did not attempt


“Annals of American History”, Encyclopedia Britannica
The Annals of American history is extremely helpful in locating some primary source documents and biographic information from certain individuals in American history. Unfortunately it is not an exhaustive list and can be disappointing when looking for certain people. However, the big names of the New Deal era, critics and proponents, can be found here though.
“Presidential Speech Archive,” Universirty of Virginia, Miller Center of Public Affairs
The speech archive contains transcripts, audio, and some video recordings of all presidents. It is a remarkable collection useful for giving students a taste of what some of the presidents sounded like in their speeches. The site is easily navigable and lists presidential speeches in chronological order. All of FDR’s “fireside chats” can be found here.
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