The Roaring Twenties Commonlit Answers

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  • 10th Grade
  • Lexile: 1340

Source: The Roaring Twenties by Mike Kubic

Assessment Answers

QuestionAnswers
PART A: Which of the following statements best describes a central idea of the text?Americans were indulging in excess and deregulation during the 1920s, unaware this would contribute to an economic crisis.
PART B: Which detail from the text best supports the answer to Part A?“In no mood to worry whether the good times will last, Americans were happily spending money they had had to save because of wartime shortages” (Paragraph 7)
What connection does the author draw between government leaders and the Great Depression?Despite his many efforts, Hoover was unable to undo the effects of Harding’s and Coolidge’s deregulation of financial practices.

According to the text, how do the Roaring Twenties develop over time? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer.

The Roaring Twenties, according to the text, develop over time through a series of positive advancements followed by underlying issues that eventually lead to economic collapse. Here’s a breakdown with evidence:

Initial Prosperity (Paragraphs 1-5):

  • Economic boom: “Americans celebrated their country’s new prestige, strength, and prosperity” (Paragraph 1).
  • Social and cultural progress: Women gain the right to vote, flappers challenge norms, and new entertainment emerges (Paragraphs 2-4).
  • Technological advancements: Cars become mass-produced, infrastructure improves, and industries modernize (Paragraph 5).

Underlying Issues and Warnings (Paragraphs 6-10):

  • Debt accumulation: Communities overspend on public projects, foreshadowing future difficulties (Paragraph 6).
  • Government inaction: “Do-nothing” attitude of Harding and Coolidge administrations (Paragraph 8).
  • Speculation and risky practices: Buying on margin and a soaring stock market raise concerns (Paragraph 9).

Escalating Problems and Crash (Paragraphs 11-15):

  • Increasing debt and instability: Hoover warns of overheating economy but is unable to act effectively (Paragraphs 11-12).
  • Stock market crash of 1929: Triggers the Great Depression (not explicitly mentioned in the provided excerpt, but assumed knowledge).

Evidence to support:

  • The text describes an initial period of “wonderful nonsense” and prosperity, followed by growing concerns about debt, speculation, and government inaction.
  • Quotes like “Americans were happily spending money” and “the boom contained its own seeds of a bust” highlight the unsustainable practices.
  • Hoover’s attempts to address the issues further emphasize the escalating problems leading to the crash.

Therefore, the Roaring Twenties, as depicted in the text, develop from prosperity and progress to underlying issues and eventually economic collapse.


How does paragraph 14 contribute to the development of ideas in the text?

1. Shows Hoover’s awareness of economic risks: This paragraph highlights Hoover’s early recognition of the dangers posed by “buying on margin” and speculation in the stock market. This establishes his foresight and concern about the economic bubble, contrasting with the “do-nothing” attitude of his predecessors.

2. Demonstrates limited government intervention: It reveals that President Coolidge and the Treasury Secretary blocked Hoover’s attempts to regulate the market, showcasing the prevailing laissez-faire approach that contributed to the economic instability.

3. Raises questions about Hoover’s responsibility: Despite Hoover’s awareness, the paragraph doesn’t delve into whether he could have done more after becoming president. This creates a subtle tension, leaving the reader to ponder his potential role in preventing or mitigating the crisis.

4. Provides context for his later actions: It sets the stage for Hoover’s later attempts to address the Great Depression, potentially making them more understandable or raising questions about their effectiveness given his earlier warnings.

Paragraph 14 contributes by adding depth to Hoover’s character, highlighting the broader context of limited government intervention, and potentially sparking further reflection on his role in the events leading up to the Great Depression.

Discussion Answers

In your opinion, what does the quote “the government that governs the least, governs the best” from paragraph 12 mean? Based on your knowledge of history, is this statement true or false? Explain.

Yo, listen up! Let’s crack open this quote “the government that governs the least, governs best” from paragraph 12. It’s a doozy, huh? So, what’s the author trying to say with this fancy talk?

My take: Basically, it means the government shouldn’t be all up in our business, telling us what to do and how to live. The less they meddle, the better off we are. Sounds pretty chill, right? But hold on, gotta think about the bigger picture.

History lesson time! This idea goes way back, like all the way back to the 18th century with dudes like Thomas Jefferson. They were worried about powerful governments stomping on our freedoms, remember? So, yeah, less government control seems appealing at first.

But here’s the twist: Sometimes, the government gotta step in. Like, imagine if there were no laws about safety standards in factories? Yikes! Or what if everyone just printed their own money? Chaos! So, sometimes, a little bit of government intervention is actually good, like building roads or protecting the environment.

The verdict? The quote ain’t exactly true or false. It’s more like a suggestion, a starting point for debate. In different situations, different amounts of government involvement might be necessary. It’s all about finding the right balance, the sweet spot where we have freedom but also stuff actually gets done.

Remember: History is full of examples of both good and bad government intervention. So, keep thinking critically, question everything, and don’t just accept any quote as gospel truth. Stay woke, my friend!


Do you agree with Hoover’s statement that capitalism produces greed (Paragraph 18)? If so, how could this be remedied? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.

In paragraph 18, Hoover criticizes capitalists, saying, “‘The only trouble with capitalism is capitalists,’ he complained. ‘They’re too damn greedy.'” This statement reflects a common critique of capitalism, highlighting the potential for individuals to prioritize self-interest over the collective good.

However, it’s important to remember that capitalism is a complex system with diverse actors and motivations. Not all capitalists are greedy, and the system itself can encourage innovation, competition, and economic growth.

Remedies for greed:

Addressing potential downsides of capitalism requires multifaceted approaches. Here are some possibilities:

  • Regulation: Governments can implement regulations to curb harmful practices, protect consumers, and ensure fair competition. For example, financial regulations aim to prevent excessive risk-taking that can lead to economic crises.
  • Taxation: Progressive taxation systems can redistribute wealth and reduce income inequality, potentially mitigating the negative effects of greed.
  • Corporate social responsibility: Companies can voluntarily adopt ethical practices that consider the well-being of employees, communities, and the environment. This can help counter purely profit-driven motives.
  • Education and awareness: Promoting ethical values and critical thinking skills can empower individuals to make informed decisions and hold corporations accountable.

Evidence from the text:

The text itself doesn’t offer solutions to greed within capitalism. However, it highlights the dangers of unregulated markets and lack of government intervention, arguably contributing to the economic crisis of the 1920s.

Evidence from other sources:

  • History: Examples like the Great Depression or the 2008 financial crisis illustrate the potential downsides of unregulated capitalism. However, periods of economic prosperity and innovation also exist within the system.
  • Literature: Works like Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle criticize corporate greed and exploitation, while others like Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged celebrate individualism and free markets.
  • Art: Many artists explore themes of wealth, inequality, and the impact of economic systems on individuals and society.

Conclusion:

Whether you agree with Hoover’s statement depends on your understanding of capitalism, its potential benefits and drawbacks, and the role of individuals, corporations, and governments within the system.

Addressing potential issues like greed requires a nuanced approach that considers various perspectives and leverages different tools like regulation, taxation, and ethical practices.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and ongoing debate and critical thinking are crucial for navigating the complexities of economic systems.


In the context of the text, how has America changed over time? How does the United States’ economy of the 1930s compare to the economy of today? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.

Analyzing America’s transformation through the lens of the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression offers fascinating insights into how the nation has changed over time, particularly regarding its economic landscape. Let’s dive in!

Shifting Tides in the American Economy:

  • From “Wonderful Nonsense” to Bust: The text paints a vivid picture of the 1920s, initially marked by exuberant spending, technological advancements, and a sense of national pride. However, this “era of wonderful nonsense” masked underlying issues like unregulated markets, speculation, and excessive debt. This ultimately led to the devastating economic collapse of the 1930s.
  • Government Intervention: In the aftermath of the Great Depression, America witnessed a significant shift in its relationship with the government. Previously characterized by laissez-faire policies, the New Deal under President Roosevelt introduced unprecedented government intervention to revive the economy and provide social safety nets.
  • The Evolving Landscape: Fast forward to today, and the American economy has undergone continuous transformations. Industries have shifted, technology has reshaped markets, and globalization has played a major role. While elements of the free-market system remain, regulations, social safety nets, and the role of government intervention have evolved considerably since the 1930s.

Beyond the Text:

  • Historical Context: Comparing the 1930s to today requires acknowledging historical events like the Second World War, the Cold War, and the rise of technology. These significantly impacted economic policies, trade, and global interconnectedness, shaping the current economic landscape.
  • Personal Experiences: Reflecting on your own experiences and observations can enrich your understanding. Are there aspects of the 1920s boom or the struggles of the Depression that resonate with contemporary economic issues?
  • Literary and Artistic References: Works like John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath or Dorothea Lange’s photographs offer powerful portrayals of the Depression’s human cost. Consider how these compare to contemporary artistic expressions of economic realities.

Remember: America’s economic journey is complex and multifaceted. While the text provides a snapshot of a specific period, understanding its broader context and engaging with different perspectives allows for a richer analysis of how the nation’s economy has evolved over time.

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Avery L. Mitchell
Avery L. Mitchell
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Avery L. Mitchell is a literary enthusiast with a passion for classic literature and its enduring themes. Holding a Master's degree in English Literature from the University of Eldenbridge, Avery has spent over a decade analyzing and writing about timeless literary works. With a keen eye for detail and a deep appreciation for storytelling, Avery brings stories to life with insightful commentary and engaging narratives. When not immersed in books, Avery enjoys hiking, photography, and exploring hidden cafes in her hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.




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