New Deal Critics

Looking back at photographs, art, and infrastructure created by New Deal agencies creates a mostly positive recollection of the era. The New Deal’s impact is still present today when flipping  on a light switch in the Tennessee Valley or drawing a Social Security check. While aspects of the New Deal most certainly aided millions of Americans, it is important not to oversimplify its policies. Critics of the New Deal ranged from liberal-leaning citizens who felt that the Roosevelt administration should do more, to conservatives who accused the President of socialism. Identifying the complex nature of support and criticism of these governmental policies will allow a more nuanced understanding of the 1930s and 1940s.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2
Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3
Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6
Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.8
Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.10
By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.5
Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CLE 3003.1.1
Demonstrate control of Standard English through grammar usage and mechanics (punctuation, capitalization, and spelling).
CLE 3003.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, and usage of words and phrases.
CLE 3003.5.2
Analyze text for fact and opinion, cause/effect, inferences, evidence, and conclusions.
CLE 3003.6.1
Comprehend and summarize the main ideas of complex informational texts and determine the essential elements that elaborate them.
CLE 3003.6.2
Analyze the organizational structures of complex informational and technical texts.
CLE 3003.6.3
Read, interpret, and analyze graphics that support complex informational and technical texts.
CLE 3003.8.1
Demonstrate knowledge of significant works of American literature from the colonial period to the present and make relevant comparisons.
CLE 3003.8.4
Analyze works of American literature for what is suggested about the historical period in which they were written.
SPI 3003.3.8
Choose the transitional device that appropriately connects sentences or paragraphs within a writing sample.
SPI 3003.4.3
Evaluate the reliability and credibility of sources for use in research.
SPI 3003.5.1
Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.
SPI 3003.5.11
Identify the main claim, premise(s), evidence, or conclusion of a given argument.
SPI 3003.5.8
Determine whether a given argument employs deductive or inductive reasoning. (NOTE: NO Check for Understanding)
SPI 3003.6.1
Discern the stated or implied main idea and supporting details of a complex informational or technical passage.
SPI 3003.6.3
Analyze the ways in which the organizational structure of a complex informational or technical text supports or confounds its meaning or purpose.
TSS.ELA.11-12.L.CSE.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking; consider complex and contested matters of usage...
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.CS.5
Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her own exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes...
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.CS.6
Determine an author's point of view and/or purpose in a text, analyzing how style and content contribute to its effectiveness.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RI.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw inferences; support an interpretation of a text by citing and synthesizing relevant textual evidence from...
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.CS.5
Analyze how an author's choices concerning the structure of specific parts of a text contribute to its overall structure, meaning, and aesthetic impact.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.CS.6
Analyze how point of view and/or author purpose requires distinguishing what is directly stated in texts and what is implied.
TSS.ELA.11-12.RL.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw inferences; support an interpretation of a text by citing and synthesizing relevant textual evidence from...
TSS.ELA.11-12.W.RBPK.9
Support and defend interpretations, analyses, reflections, or research with evidence found in literature or informational texts, applying grade band...
TSS.ELA.11-12.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning supported by relevant and sufficient evidence.
US.49
Identify and explain the following New Deal programs and assess their past or present impact:
US.50
Analyze the effects of and the controversies arising from New Deal economic policies, including charges of socialism and FDR's "court packing" attempt.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • Recall the causes of the Great Depression and goals of the New Deal.
  • Analyze photographs to determine the impact of various New Deal programs.
  • Read and discuss the opinions of New Deal critics.
  • Synthesize the positive and negative aspects of the New Deal to determine the overall impact of its agencies and programs.
Essential and guiding questions: 

How did New Deal programs affect Americans in their daily life? For what reasons did Americans support or oppose the New Deal? 

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 

Assign each student one of the photographs or text sources used in this lesson. Ask them to create a new illustration, letter, or newspaper article that portrays the opposite viewpoint. Their version should be displayed alongside the original to show a more nuanced version of the primary source. See example product to the right.

Helpful Hints

Materials:

  • T-Chart Analysis Worksheet
  • Teacher Resources
  • Interview Excerpt from Dr. M. Santos, 4 & 5
  • New York Times Articles:
  • New Group Appeals to ‘X-Ray’ New Deal
  • Attacks Advisers of the President
  • Pencil/pen