In 1940, the conditions of the Great Depression were still impacting the United States. At the same time, war had erupted in Europe. Franklin Roosevelt decided to run for an unprecedented 3rd term as president.
What are some reasons that this could have been a good idea? What are some reasons that this could have been a bad idea?
FDR would later recall how his 1921 bout with polio and its crippling effects taught him to be a fighter: “Once I spent two years lying in bed, trying to move my big toe. That was the hardest job I ever had to do. After that, anything seems easy.”
How can overcoming obstacles help make a person stronger? What difficulties have you or someone you know had to face in life that has made you/them stronger?
In his first inaugural address, on March 4, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt promised a brighter future to the nation. He said, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
What did President Roosevelt mean by this remark? Describe a time when fear held you back. How can fear be helpful? How can it be harmful?
President Herbert Hoover believed keeping up appearances was good for national morale. So, despite the rampant hunger and homelessness of the Depression, he and the First Lady continued to be called to dinner by buglers and to eat seven-course meals served by an small army of white-gloved servants.
Do you agree or disagree with Hoover that it is important for a leader to keep up appearances? How do you think President Hoover should have lived during the Depression?
The 1920s seemed prosperous for most Americans. Many borrowed money to invest in the stock market or to buy new items on the market. However, in the fall of 1929, installment buying helped to create the worst economic disaster in American History.
What do you think of credit? Do you think people should borrow money to buy things? Why or why not?
Throughout history, Congress has passed laws to restrict immigration . Laws were sometimes aimed at specific countries, regions, or classes of people.
Should anyone who wants to live in the US be able to live here or should there be some restrictions on immigration? Defend your thinking. If you believe there should be restrictions, explain what they should be.
Until this century, most of America’s history has been recorded and written by white men.
How might our American history be different if told from a female, black , or Hispanic perspective?
In his War Request to Congress on April 2, 1917, President Wilson said, “It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have carried nearest our hearts – for democracy…”
Do you think world democracy is worth fighting for? What things, if any, would you risk your life fighting for?
In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles (which ended World War I) treated Germany very harshly. Germany had to take full responsibility for the war and pay $33 billion dollars in damages to the Allies. Other Central Powers did not have to do this.
Do you think this was fair? Should Germany have been punished more harshly than the other Central Powers? Why or why not?
American History 2
What is a "bellringer"?
A "bellringer" is an opening activity for our class. It will usually consist of a short writing prompt related to a topic we will cover in class each day.
Read the blog post with today's opening question. Respond to the question with a paragraph of about 5 sentences.