Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chapter 15

Today in class we discussed the Jazz Age and the Great Depression. We learned about child labor prior to and during the Great Depression, and about how one of the benefits of the New Deal was to place stricter guidelines for child labor in the US. Click here to check out Lewis Hines' photography that captured the essence of child labor in this country so well.

Thank you for watching this depressing video about the Great Depression and discussing what day to day life would have been like for the average American during this time. It was interesting to learn that FDR used the song for his Presidential campaign:

As always, I appreciate your willingness to make our class time into an active discussion. Please remember as you read to make a note of passages that strike you as particularly interesting, and then share with the rest of us.

For next week, read Chapter 16 in your book and complete ONE of the following: (Be ready to talk about them at the beginning of class!)

What was the Harlem Renaissance? What are the most enduring legacies of this period?


What is blacklisting? Do you think it common in the factories during this period? Do you think blacklisting should be legal? Do you think it is still used in workplaces? Explain.


Under the First Amendment, people have the right to peaceably assemble and to freedom of speech. How, then, could people be fired for union membership or support in the 1930s?


Learn more about Prohibition. What were the political maneuverings that preceded the passage of Prohibition? Who supported it, and why? Who opposed it, and why? Why did it take more than seventy years for such a law to pass? Why did it finally pass when it did? When and why was the amendment repealed? What were the short- and long-term consequences of Prohibition?


Imagine what it must have been like to be a working-class teenager during the Great Depression. Your father has lost his job, your family is at risk of losing your home, and none of you—your parents and five brothers and sisters— has enough to eat or enough clothing to keep you warm during the winter. You decide to leave home so that your parents will have one less person to take care of. You promise your parents to write often while you are gone, and to tell them where you are, what you are doing, and how you are managing to keep yourself alive. Compose your letters for the duration of your time away from home.

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