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Structured Academic Controversy: FDR’s New Deal

President Roosevelt is best known for leading the country through the Great Depression. The New Deal was a set of policies designed to
provide “relief, recovery, and reform” to alleviate the suffering of millions of Americans.

During today’s class, you will work in teams to discuss whether or not the New Deal was a success. Your goals for today should
include looking at all the issues, seeing both sides, and finding common ground.

During the SAC, you and your group will try to answer the following question:

Was the New Deal a Success or Failure?

Team A will argue​: ​YES, the New Deal was a success.

Team B will argue​: ​NO, the New Deal was a failure.

EVIDENCE

As you develop your arguments for the SAC, use as many of the following possible sources of evidence as you can from the New Deal
document set.

PROCEDURE:

● Round One--15 minutes--​With your teammate, read the documents in the New Deal Document Set. Find five pieces of
evidence that support your side.
● Round Two--8 minutes--​Team A presents. BOTH PARTNERS MUST PRESENT!!! Team B writes down Team A’s arguments.
● Round Three--8 minutes--​Team B presents. BOTH PARTNERS MUST PRESENT!!! Team A down arguments of Team B.
● Round Four--8 minutes --​Everyone ​CAN ABANDON ​their positions. Groups of 4 attempt to develop a consensus.

ORGANIZING THE EVIDENCE

Use this space to write your main points and the main points made by the other side.

The New Deal was a success/failure: ​List the 5 main points/evidence that support this side.

1) From Document __D__ : The New Deal policies provided FOOD for CHILDREN. FOOD that would HELP those children LEARN
and become WORKING MEMBERS of our ECONOMY! THANKS to the NEW DEAL, for helping the UNDERPRIVILEGED MEMBERS
OF OUR COMMUNITY FEED THEIR CHILDREN

2) From Document __E__ : UNEMPLOYMENT STATISTICS! Unemployment goes DOWN by 18 PERCENTAGE POINTS from 1932
to 1941.

3) From Document __A___ : Employment opportunity provided to 250,000 unemployed

4) From Document __G__ : THANKS to the NEW DEAL 85,000 AMERICAN INDIANS became employed with the IECP. THE NEW
DEAL also passed the INDIAN REORGANIZATION ACT that helped american indians PURCHASE LAND.

5) From Document __F__ : PEOPLE were SINGING about how BAD DEPRESSION WAS. the new deal MURDERED DEPRESSION.

Write down the strongest pieces of evidence from the opposing side:
Slippery slope of bureaucracy

Better now, worse later

COMMUNISM

New deal was segregated

did not help old people

During the final round, try and come to a consensus as a group of 4. What do you think about the New Deal? Was it a success or
failure, or something in between? Explain your answer.

New Deal was dope, radical. It helped a bunch of people and the american economy. It lowered unemployment by 18 percentage
points. It was total success.

After you finish, as a group, develop answers for the following SAQ:

a) Briefly explain the point of view expressed through the image


about the New Deal.
The new deal was bad. It was a stepping stone to COMMUNISM or
SOCIALISM or SOMETHING WORSE THAN ANY OF THOSE THINGS.

b) Briefly explain one piece of historical evidence that could be used


to support the point of view of the cartoon.
Part of the new deal involved welfare which was a
government-standardized base income, making people reliant on the
government and meeting the definition of a social system.

c) Briefly explain one piece of historical evidence that could be used


to refute the point of view of the cartoon.
America isn’t communist or socialist and it’s been awhile since the new
deal ended successfully.