New Deal Essay

Purpose: After reviewing farmers during the Great Depression and the relative success of President Roosevelt’s New Deal, you now turn your attention to criticism of the New Deal. The purpose of this exercise is to acquaint you with alternative proposals to provide assistance to needy Americans. It is an example of how Americans have the right and freedom to challenge national leaders and their policies. This unit’s assignment will build your abilities in comprehending competing economic plans, make informed analyses, and appreciate the rights Americans possess to be critical of their public leaders.

Task: In this essay you are considering how and why the Long, Townsend, and Sinclair plans were attractive to the American public as an addition to the New Deal. Directly answer the question (what made the plans attractive?) and support your answer with analysis. Do not just write a descriptive narrative that explains the proposals.

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Read each of these three proposals carefully, taking notes as you read of their main points and appeals. Additionally, read chapters 25 and 26 in the Open Stax textbook.

Compile your notes into an outline for a 3-page essay in which you answer the following question:


Focus Questions – Keep these in mind while you read and take notes. Do not answer these questions directly, they are provided to stimulate your thinking on the assignment:

Did the New Deal adequately address the issues being considered?
How did each man publicize his program of relief?
Were any of these men prevented from presenting their proposals to the public?
Were these proposals popular with the American public? Why or why not?
Did President Roosevelt respond to each of the three proposals? If so, how?
Did Congress respond to each of the three proposals? If so, how?
How were these men viewed after making their proposals to the public?
Finally, leave time to submit your essay to for feedback/review, specifically to ensure that Turnitin doesn’t find any evidence of plagiarism.
Use 12 pt. font (Times New Roman), one inch margins, and double-space your essay. Your essay should be a minimum of three full pages, but feel free to write more. Use only the sources provided and be certain to cite all quotations. Submit your essay to the dropbox by the date indicated on the course calendar.


Chapters 25 and 26 in Open Stax;
Huey Long’s “Share Our Wealth” from his own words in the U.S. Senate in May 1935;
Dr. Francis Townsend’s “Old Age Revolving Pensions” from the bill proposed in Congress in January 1935;
Upton Sinclair’s “End Poverty in California” from an October 1934 article in Literary Digest.
In each document look specifically for the highlighted parts; that is where you should begin reading and studying the documents. In the Long document you are reading the part of his Congressional testimony where he outlines the provisions of his plan; in the Townsend document you are reading the wording of his proposed bill to Congress; and in the Sinclair document you are reading the article specifically about his plan.
Criteria on which you will be graded: You will be successful in this assignment if you:

(a) offer a clear argument (thesis statement) about why these three proposals were appealing to Americans during this time;
(b) support that argument with strong subclaims as well as evidence from both the primary sources as well as the chapter texts; and
(c) demonstrate understanding of the primary sources through interpretation of well-chosen quotations.

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