This essay will focus on documents 1 (Herbert Hoover, pp. 222-23) and 4 (Franklin Roosevelt, pp. 227-28) in chapter eight of Major Problems in American History. Write your essay with the following guidelines in mind:
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After reading the two sources (a few times would be a good idea), you should write an essay that examines how the two documents shed light on the crisis the United States confronted during the depression of the 1930s, and how these two leaders sought to address the challenges of those years. By placing the documents in historical context and analyzing the language of the documents (you may include short quotations from the documents), your essay should examine the different approach each leader embraced in this period. Consider how the Hoover document sheds light on his approach to addressing the problems the country faced. Then do the same with the Roosevelt document, examining what Roosevelt thought would be the most effective response to the crisis of the early 1930s.
Before you consider the two sources, the introduction of your essay (1-2 paragraphs) should discuss the challenges the country faced in the early 1930s. The body of the paper (the next couple of pages) should look closely at the sources and examine how Hoover and Roosevelt sought to meet those challenges. After you have done this, you should conclude the essay with a paragraph or two on the significance of the New Deal in twentieth-century US history. This concluding section should reflect your perspective on why the New Deal is historically important.
Some further thoughts: In analyzing the documents, you should briefly say something about Hoover and Roosevelt (identify who they were), and also about the purpose of each document. If you do quote directly from the source, you should use quotation marks to indicate that it is a direct quotation. Since this is a short paper, you should focus on those sections of each source that you find most important or illuminating. The aim of your essay is to use the two primary sources to help the reader to understand this crucial period in the history of the United States. If you quote directly from the document, here is an example of how to do so: According to Hoover, the “true growth of the Nation is the growth of character of its citizens” (222).
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