- According to historian Eric Foner, WWI struck "most progressives as a golden opportunity. To them, the war offered the possibility of reforming American society along scientific lines, instilling a sense of national unity and self sacrifice, and expanding social justice." (CP 43) Did the war succeed in "reforming American society" along the lines outlined by Foner? In your answer, you should draw on events during the war and the immediate post-war period.
- 2. Three years into the Great Depression, Henry Ford suggested that Americans in need turn to the land. "Let every man and every family at this season of the year cultivate a plot of land and raise a sufficient supply for themselves and or others." (CP 89) Was this good advice? Why or why not? In your answer, you should consider some of the major changes in American society since the 1890s.
- 3. FDR and Herbert Hoover both confronted an economy that was in a free fall and a society in disarray. Which of them, do you think, was a more effective president? In your answer, you should consider both the character of the president and the policies that he adopted to manage the crisis and the unrest.
4. In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith argued, "The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers. To widen the market may frequently be agreeable enough to the interest of the public; but to narrow the competition must always be against it, and can serve only to enable the dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens. The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it." (CP 25) What would Smith say about changes underway in the American economy in the years between 1890 and the New Deal?
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