Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis


American Studies

First Advisor

Amy Farrell




Since the 1930s, the history of American student activism during the Depression era has been silenced. One of the goals of this paper is to illustrate their agenda, which included 3 promoting academic freedom, creating federal job programs for the youth, and challenging American capitalism. To fully understand the root of student protest, it is imperative to illuminate the forgotten message of student activists in the 1930s. Their social movement tactics of challenging academic confinement and the principles of American capitalism spearheaded the trajectory of social protest in the U.S. that would not emerge again in force until the Vietnam era. Undergraduate activists in the 1930s were instrumental in changing the American political landscape by voicing marginalized socialist beliefs during a period encompassed by economic uncertainty and social strife.