Teacher's Guide for COBBLESTONE ® Civilian Conservation CorpsApril 2005
Teacher's Guide prepared by: Leslie Anderson Morales.
Franklin Roosevelt's programs put millions of Americans to work. Although they were successful they were controversial. It was the first time that the federal government had provided hands-on support to so many people. Opponents to FDR's programs included farmers, entrepreneurs, and industrialists.
When he was Governor of New York, Roosevelt established conservation programs in that state. Similar programs in Germany and Austria helped save European forests after World War I. Labor leaders worried about lowered wages. Others thought these programs gave too much power to the President. Others said these programs did not do enough.
- Describe the objections from each of these three groups.
- What are the similarities and differences in their concerns?
Choose a position for or against FDR's employment programs. Explain why you choose to support or oppose these new agencies. More than 250,000 young African-American men were enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Typically, the camps were segregated - whites lived at all-white camps and blacks lived at all-black camps. But many African-Americans worked who would not have had jobs. As a result of the economic gain and good feeling generated by these programs, many blacks switched their support from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.
Do you believe this was FDR's goal or a by-product? The Civilian Conservation Corps was too expensive to continue on a permanent basis.
Do you agree that the CCC should have been ended? Why or why not? There were some unplanned benefits of these programs. Participants found spouses and lifelong friends. They gained job skills and furthered their education. With the outbreak of World War II, many entered the military prepared to handle its structure and discipline.
Describe a situation where you were involved in one project and learned some things that surprised you or that you did not expect. Programs similar to the CCC exist today but on a smaller scale: the Peace Corps, VISTA, Job Corps, and Americorps. Other programs include National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, YouthBuild USA, and Youth Conservation Corps.
Many camps published a newspaper that reported on activities in that community.
- Review the objectives of these organizations.
- Imagine that you have been charged with creating a new service organization. What would that organization be concerned with?
Design and produce a two- to four-page publication for a camp that you are living and working in.