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The Age of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1928-1945


Admission requirements

BA History students: students must have passed both BA werkcolleges.


This course examines U.S. history from 1928 to 1945—the era of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II. We will explore the causes and social impact of the depression; cultural expressions, including literature, murals, and songs; and the Herbert Hoover’s response to the depression. Then, we will examine Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal; the FDR coalition and political realignment; New Deal critics such as Huey Long and Father Coughlin; and the achievements, limitations, and failures of the New Deal. After that, we will look at labor struggles and the radical alternatives offered by socialists and communists. Finally, we will explore the U.S. home front during WWII.
Topics will include mobilization; civil liberties in wartime; and the impact of the war on Japanese Americans, African Americans, and women. Using secondary works and primary sources (written, visual, video, and audio), students will learn about the United States during the Age of FDR.

Course objectives

  • Social, political, economic, and cultural developments in U.S. history from 1928-45

  • Causes and consequences of the Great Depression

  • New Deal programs and New Deal critics

  • Social and political reform movements

  • Impact of WWII on the home front

  • Major historiographical interpretations of the era

  • Skills in analyzing primary documents and secondary texts

  • Skills in effective written and oral communication

  • Research skills.


See timetable History.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

  • Total course load for the course (10 EC) 280 hours – Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 13 × 2 = 26 hours – Time for studying the compulsory literature: 124 – Time for completing take home assignment: 30 hours – Time to write a paper (including reading / research): 100 hours

Assessment method

  • Midterm take-home essay (1.500 words) [20%]

  • Oral presentation + participation in discussion [30%]

  • Research paper / research essay (2,500-3,500 words) [50%]



Reading list

  • Anthony J. Badger, The New Deal: The Depression Years, 1933-1940 (1989) [312 pp]

  • John M. Blum, V Was for Victory: Politics and American Culture During World War II (1976) [340 pp]

  • Richard D. Polenberg, ed., The Era of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933-1945: A Brief History with Documents (2000) [240 pp]

  • Articles, chapters, and documents (on Blackboard, online, and on library databases)


Via uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs


Contact information

Email: tba