The Great Depression 1929-33: A Sources Assignment

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Name: Sarah Shea                                        Candidate Number:

Centre: Nonsuch High School                             Centre Number: 14723

Syllabus: SEG syllabus B                                    Examination Session: 2001

The Great Depression 1929-33: A Sources Assignment

Question 1:

Source A is an election poster published by the Democratic Party during the Depression.  It is a cynical portrayal, mocking the Republican Party’s beliefs.  It implies that their policies have no foundations by telling people to smile and hope the Depression will go away, ‘This wonderful little gadget will solve the problems of the Nation’.  It also says ‘WARNING – Do not risk Federal arrest by looking glum’.  This is a subtle, sardonic reference to the Bonus Marchers, who had fought in the First World War and who, in May 1932 marched to demand immediate payment of the bonus they had been    promised by the government.  The quote from the poster refers to the way the government put down the protesters by arresting people and using violence.

This poster gives us evidence about the beliefs of the Democratic Party and the methods employed by it to gain support.  However, as the poster is a piece of propaganda and aims to persuade people to support their party it is biased and opinionated.  This means that it may be over exaggerated for effect and comedy value.  The truth may have been stretched to make a joke of it and win people’s support.

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I do not agree that this poster (source A) does not give any evidence about the Great Depression.  It may not be reliable evidence but it does have some historical value.  It presents evidence about the ‘Bonus Army’, the views of the Republican and Democratic Parties and the methods used by the Democratic Party to gain support.

Question 2:

Source B was written at the time of the Depression by an American actor, Will Rogers.  It is quite accurate about what was happening, he says ‘We are starving to death’, which was actually happening at this time.  It ...

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