President Franklin Roosevelt took office in March of 1933. He immediately began implementing his "New Deal" with little opposition.
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- Roosevelt promised the people that he would help them. When he took office he immediately proposed legislation to do so, and Congress supported him by passing his legislation. And with that, the federal goverment took on the job of helping the country out of the Depression. Roosevelt's opponent, Herbert Hoover believed that individuals, communities, and the states should help each other in tough times, and that the federal government should not take on that responsibility. What do you think? Should it be the federal government's responsibility to help people in tough times? Why or why not?
- In groups, brainstorm a list of all the things the federal government does for its citizens. Then, discuss the list as a class. How many things is the government responsible for? Should it be? What is the government now doing for citizens that you'd be willing to do without? How big should the government be and how much control should the government have?
- Create a poster that would encourage people to believe that better times are on the way. What points would convince them? Where would you display it?