header by Emerson Taymor, 2005

1. The Colonial Era: 1607-1763

2. The Revolutionary Era: 1763-1789

3. The Early National Period: 1789-1824

4. Jacksonian America: 1824-1848

5. Antebellum America: 1848-1860

6. The Civil War Era: 1861-1877

7. The Gilded Age: 1877-1901

8. Progressivism: 1901-1920

9. The Twenties

10. Depression and New Deal: 1929-1939

11. World War II: 1939-1945

12. Early Cold War: 1945-1963

13. Social Ferment: 1945-1960

14. The Sixties

15. The Seventies and After




Depression and New Deal


"STOCKS COLLAPSE"--New York Times headline, Oct. 30, 1929

John Kenneth Galbraith, "1929" (famous economist explains the crash); a more recent analysis by an economic historian, explaining that most of the things we think we know probably aren't exactly true

comparative market crashes, 1929-2008; George Norris (R-Idaho) and his depiction of the "spider web of Wall Street," (1932)

analysis of federal government budgets, 1792-1994; chart of highest federal income tax rate, adjusted for income, 1865-2014

FDR's fireside chats: on banking, March 12, 1933; on the New Deal more generally, July 1933; on court-packing, March 1937; on the economy, 1938

Preamble to the National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act (1935); table of wealth concentration, 1920s-90s; inequality through 2013

the national debt, 1913-  Lawrence Levine, "American Culture and the Great Depression" (1993); Robert McElvaine, "Moral Economics: American Values and Culture and the Great Depression"


30s ads; letters to Hoover and FDR; more primary sources on the depression; letters to Eleanor Roosevelt from the public, 1933; Rachel Moran, "Consuming Relief: Food Stamps and the New Welfare of the New Deal," Journal of American History (2011)

"Life Under Exclusion," the story of a second generation American-born Chinese girl, George Cooper Pardee Lowe (1930s), in Chinese American Voices: From the Gold Rush to the Present; Helen Hong Wong, "Reminiscences of a Gold Mountain Woman" of the depression (1982); Chinese exchange students in the 30s, from Madeline Hsu, The Good Immigrants: From Yellow Peril to Model Minority (2017); Labor Leader Karl Yoneda recalls Japanese interethnic organizing in the 1930s (1978); Elsie Chavez Chilton remembers working for the CCC, Las Cruces, New Mexico (1930s); Vivek Bald on Bengali immigrants in Harlem in the 30s, from Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America (2013)

Alex Wagner, "America's Forgotten History of Illegal Deportations," Atlantic (Mar. 2017)

FDR's Racial Advisory Committee, "A 'Black Cabinet' Assembles" (1938 photograph); Roy Wilkins, "The Roosevelt Record": an assessment of the New Deal from the NAACP's Crisis (1940)


cartoon mocking FDR's Keynesian pump-priming

"Senator Huey P. Long Wants Every Man to Be a King" (1934)

American Liberty League Vigorously Opposes the New Deal (1936); Seva Gunitsky, "These Are the Three Reasons Spread in 1930s America--and Might Spread Again Today," Washington Post (Aug. 12, 2017)

Criticism of the Indian New Deal by Cahuilla Rupert Costo (from Indian Self-Rule: First-hand Accounts of Indian-White Relations from Roosevelt to Reagan, 1986); Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, "New Deal to Termination," from An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States; The inequitable distribution of Social Security: who benefited? from Ira Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality (2005)

W.E.B. DuBois on the need for "race pride", A Negro Nation within the Nation (1935)


a detailed aerial photo map of SF, 1938 (Use the little +/- slider at the lower center of the map to find a specific house or building)

"Tough Times, Tough People": the SF Chronicle on the depression in California (1999); historian Timothy Keegan on what the WPA built in San Francisco, The Argonaut (2003); list of New Deal projects in SF; in Oakland; in Mill Valley; live somewhere else? Check this list under California


brief overview of historians' debate: how new was the New Deal?, from Conflicting Historical Viewpoints

historian Alan Brinkley's overview of the lessons of the New Deal, Gilder-Lehrman Institute (2009)

historian Anthony Badger, "What Did the New Deal Accomplish?" on the first 100 days and the later New Deal as a "laboratory for economic learning," Gilder-Lehrman Institute (2009)

historian Susan Ware on the roles and challeges of women in the depression, Gilder-Lerhman Institute (2009)


Jefferson Cowie, statistics on the long-term economic legacy of the New Deal, from The Great Exception

arguing the AAA in court

Martin McLaughlin, "Clinton, Republicans Agree to Deregulation" (1999); journalist Adam Cohen, "When Big Government Plays Its Role": on public works and the New Deal (2007); journalist David Leonhardt, "Lesson from a Crisis: When Trust Vanishes, Worry" (2008): how the mortgage crash of 2008 compares to what happened in 1929; journalist Steve Lohr, "Intervention Is Bold, But Has a Basis in History": how the 2008 bank bailout compares to the past

Larry Glickman, "The Left is Pushing Democrats to Embrace Their Greatest President. Why That's a Good Thing," Washington Post (2019)


excerpt from George Black, The Good Neighbor: "Banana Republics"; introduction from Mary Renda, Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915-40; "Japan Resents Washington Setback": on frustration with the 1921-22 Naval Arms conference; Lim Lee, Chinatown Goes Picketing" to protest continued US trade with Japan, Chinese Digest (1938); Tokutaro Slocum Debates Nisei Stand on Sino-Japanese War, from Minutes of the Rafu Shimpo English Section editorial board meeting (1938)

anti-war speech by Charles Lindbergh, Des Moines, Iowa, Sep. 11, 1941; Dorothy Thompson, "Who Goes Nazi?" Harper's (Aug. 1941); FDR's "day of infamy" speech the day after Pearl Harbor

powerpoint on Axis expansionism, 1930s