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The New Deal: Expanding Government in Time of Need

Theme: American Political Thought: The Constitution and American Democratic Institutions
The New Deal: Expanding Government in Time of Need
Date: December 2005

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2003 Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework Connections (Learning Standards):

PreK-K.5: Retell stories that illustrate honesty, courage, friendship, respect, responsibility and the wise or judicious exercise of authority, and explain how the characters in the stories show these qualities.

1.8: After reading or listening to stories about famous Americans of different ethnic groups, faiths and historical periods…describe their qualities or distinctive traits.

2.10: After reading or listening to a variety of true stories about individuals recognized for their achievements, describe and compare different ways people have achieved great distinction.

3.9: Identify historic buildings, monuments or sites in the area and explain their purpose and significance.

3.12: Explain how objects of everyday life in the past tell us how ordinary people lived and how everyday life has changed. Draw on the services of the local historical society and local museums as needed.

5.23: Describe the responsibilities at the federal, state, and local levels (e.g., protection of individual rights and the provision of services such as law enforcement and the building and funding of schools.)

5.25: Identify the three branches of the United States government as outlined by the Constitution, describe their functions and relationships, and identify what features of the Constitution were unique at the time (e.g., the presidency and the independent judiciary.)

5.27: Explain how American citizens were expected to participate in, monitor, and bring about changes in their government over time, and give examples of how they continue to do so today.

USI.11: Describe the purpose and functions of government.

USI.13: Explain why the United States government is classified as a democratic government.

USI.14: Explain the characteristics of American democracy, including the concepts of popular sovereignty and constitutional government, which includes representative institutions, federalism, separation of powers, shared powers, checks and balances, and individual rights.

USI.15: Explain the varying roles and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments in the United States.

USI.16: Describe the evolution of the role of the federal government, including public services, taxation, economic policy, foreign policy, and common defense.

USI.19: Explain the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and describe how democracy provides opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process through elections, political parties, and interest groups.

USI.20: Explain the evolution and function of political parties, including their role in federal, state, and local elections.

USI.21: Describe how decisions are made in a democracy, including the role of legislatures, courts, executives, and the public.

USII.11: Describe the various causes and consequences of the global depression of the 1930s, and analyze how Americans responded to the Great Depression.

A. restrictive monetary policies
B. unemployment
C. support for political and economic reform
D. the influence of John Maynard Keynes, and the critique of centralized economic planning and management by Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman.

USII.12: Analyze the important policies, institutions and personalities of the New Deal era.


A. President Herbert Hoover
B. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
C. Eleanor Roosevelt
D. Huey Long
E. Charles Coughlin


A. the establishment of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
B. the Securities and Exchange Commission
C. the Tennessee Valley Authority
D. the Social Security Act
E. the National Labor Relations Act
F. the Works Progress Administration
G. the Fair Labor Standards Act


A. the American Federation of Labor
B. the Congress of Industrial Organizations
C. the American Communist Party


USII.13: Explain how the Great Depression and the New Deal affected American society.

A. the increased importance of the federal government in establishing economic and social policies

B. the emergence of a “New Deal coalition” consisting of African Americans, blue-collar workers, poor farmers, Jews and Catholics.

E.4.1: Explain how government responds to perceived social needs by providing public goods and services.

E.4.6: Describe how the cost of government policies may exceed their benefits because social or political goals other than economic efficiency are being pursued.

E.4.9: Analyze how the government uses taxing and spending decisions (fiscal policies) to promote price stability, full employment and economic growth.

USG.1.3: Describe the purposes and function of government.

USG.1.9: Examine fundamental documents in the American political tradition to identify key ideas regarding limited government and individual rights.

USG.2.5: Explain how a shared American civic identity is embodied in founding-era documents and in core documents of subsequent periods of United States history.

USG.2.7: Identify and explain historical and contemporary efforts to narrow discrepancies between foundational ideas and values of American democracy and realities of American political and civic life.

USG.2.8: Evaluate, take and defend positions on issues concerning foundational ideas or values in tension or conflict.