Lesson 31: Did the New Deal Help or Harm the Recovery?

Note to the teacher: This lesson is closely tied to the preceding lesson, Whatdunnit? The Great Depression Mystery. The students in groups analyze the New Deal to determine whether individual policies helped end the depression by increasing aggregate demand or whether they retarded recovery. The students and the teacher then classify New Deal policies according to their main purposes: relief, recovery or reform.


Aggregate demand, Depression, Federal spending, Gross National Product (GNP), Income, Multiplier, Prices, Unemployment
National Content Standards in Economics:
  • Standard #18: Economic Fluctuations
  • Standard #20: Fiscal and Monetary Policy