From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Great Depression

The Great Depression

Challenges & Opportunities

Available to teachers only as part of the Teaching The Great Depression Teacher 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 Challenges & Opportunities


The Depression was an unprecedented and (thus far) unequaled crisis in American history. But the crisis was more than economic. As we emphasize in this unit, it challenged Americans’ beliefs about their nation and themselves. As your students will read in the “So What” section the Depression rocked fundamental beliefs about opportunity, hard work, and success. And, as we introduce in the “Summary and Analysis” section, this ideological challenge led some Americans to consider alternatives ranging from communism to fascism.

You might, therefore, provide an introductory focus for this unit by asking your students what they think about America’s economic stateand their prospects for success within these conditions.