© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Great Depression

The Great Depression

Discussion & Essay Questions

Available to teachers only as part of the Teaching The Great DepressionTeacher Pass

Teaching The Great Depression Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Discussion & Essay Questions

  1. Economy in the Great Depression
    • How much can statistics tell us about the collapse of the economy?
    • Which statistic do you find most telling? Explain.
      • i.e. Why is the fact that steel plants produced at only 12% of capacity significant? What more does this tell us about the economy than just declining steel production? What other industries rely on steel, etc?
      • i.e. What do falling car production figures tell us? How central was the auto to the boom of the 1920s? Are car sales an indicator of individual prosperity? When do people buy cars?
    • Which of the competing theories regarding the cause of the Depression makes most sense to you? 
    • How would you differentiate between these theories?
    • List a handful of words that sum up the basic principles of each.
      • (i.e. cycles, liquidate, natural, inevitable, aggregate demand, government spending, deficit, money supply, hoarding, free market)
    • What is the difference between micro and macro explanations for the economy’s collapse?