Great Depression

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Ashleigh Curry

Mr. Noblitt

20th Century

March 22, 2011

                               Great Depression in the Americas

   I.     Political and Economic Causes of The Great Depression in America

          a. Immediate cause of the Great Depression

                  i. Black Tuesday (October 1929)

                          1. Stock market crashed; over a two-day period, the market lost 24%

                             of its value

          b. Long Term Causes of the Great Depression

                  i. Plenty of people bought stocks on margin; credit was easy to obtain;

                     stocks were bought on speculation

                 ii. Before, The Roaring Twenties were a time of prosperity and the stock

                     market soared

                 iii. People used their life savings and borrowed money (credit)

   II.    Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Program

          a. The Hundred Days – session in Congress that provided the basis for Roosevelt’s

               New Deal

          b. New organizations were made to help out the country’s economy

                  i. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) (1936)

                          1. Aimed to give jobs to unemployed young men between the ages of

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              2. Built parks, planted trees, worked on flood-control projects, and

                  drained swamps

       ii. Works Projects Administration (WPA) (1936)

              1. Harry Hopkins was put in charge of it by Roosevelt

              2. Purpose was to give wages to the unemployed

      iii. Farm Security Administration (FSA) (1937)

              1. Sub agency of US Department of Agriculture

              2. Combined other programs

                     a. Rural rehabilitation; Farm loan; Subsistence Homestead


                     b. Provided health care plan for participating farm families

                     c. Promoted educational and training programs

      iv. Public Works Administration (PWA) (June 16, 1933)

              1. Created by the National Industrial Recovery Act

              2. Construction of public works – employment, stabilizing purchasing

                  power, improving public welfare, and revival of the American


c. Created legislation passed

       i. The National Housing Act (1934)

              1. Set up the Federal Housing Authority (FHA)

              2. Encouraged the banks to make loans for building small houses and

                  farm buildings

       ii. The Social Securities Act (August 1935)
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                     1. Created to make adequate provisions to give federal benefits to

                         aged people, crippled children, blind people, etc…..

             iii. The Federal Securities Act (1933)

                     1. Required full disclosure to investors of new securities such as

                         bonds, stocks, and treasuries

             iv. National Labor Relations Act (1936)

                     1. Was not popular with the businessmen because they thought it

                         favored trade unions; some believed that Roosevelt was communist

       d. Organizations/Administrations Created

              i. Federal Emergency Relief Administration

                     1. Provided federal money to people in financial need

                     2. Used to reduce unemployment

III.   The Great Depression in Canada

       a. Over-production/Over expansion

              i. Canada’s economy depended on a few products (wheat, fish, minerals,

                 pulp, and paper)

             ii. As the depression hit the countries around the world, the demand for

                 Canada’s products fell.

             iii. Farmers could not pay mortgages because there was an extreme drought in

                 some areas.

             iv. With the surplus of wheat production, the price for wheat fell drastically.

       b. Canada’s Dependence on the US
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       i. Canada depended on the US because they were their main purchaser of

          their exports.

      ii. As the depression hit, Canada could not count on the US to purchase any

          of its main exports anymore.

c. Prime Minister R.B. Bennett

       i. Prime Minister R.B Bennett attempted to solve the problems of the

          depression by economic nationalism.

             1. Negotiated new trade deals with other Commonwealth nations

             2. Used the federal treasury to buy prairie wheat

             3. Set up relief camps (under Department of National Defense)

             4. Gave federal provisions to people in need

             5. Drafted a number of bills for exports, agricultural loans, minimum

                 wages, working hours, etc…

             6. Although Bennett was out of his provincial jurisdiction (not in his

                 province so he did not have the right to make changes for another

                 province), he said it was right under the BNA Act because they

                 were necessary for the “peace, order, and good government” – a

                 federal power

      ii. William Lloyd MacKenzie King

             1. The 10th Prime Minister of Canada

             2. Believed that the Great Depression would pass; did not offer

                 financial aid to anyone in need; only moderate relief needs
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        3. When the Great Depression began, William Lloyd MacKenzie

           King was the Prime Minister of Canada.

        4. Established SOME relief programs (National Housing Act,

           National Employment Commission, and Trans-Canada Airline)

        5. Lost the 1930 election to R.B. Bennett and the Conservative Party

iii. Solutions for the Great Depression

        1. R.B. Bennett introduced policies that were like Roosevelt’s “New


               a. Called for minimum wage, unemployment insurance, etc

               b. Largely unsuccessful; provinces challenged the federal

                   government’s power to be able to do that

                       i. Unlike FDR, the Supreme Court was the Judicial

                          Committee of the Privy Council and was controlled

                          by Great Britain

        2. Under the direction of R.B Bennett and MacKenzie, the first

           elements of Canada’s welfare state were created and the role of the

           government began to grow.

iv. Minorities during the Great Depression

        1. In both countries, immigrants were looked upon as invaders and

           were not welcomed as they once were before

        2. Many immigrants were forced to deport while many stayed

        3. In British Columbia, Asians were not allowed to vote anymore
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       4. Anti-Jewish attitude in Canada for the Jews that were allowed to


              a. Did not allow that many Jews to come to the country

              b. Only allowed around 4000 Jews to come

       5. US took in a lot of Jews, but they were not treated well

              a. US took in almost 240,000 Jews

              b. American people felt as though they were stealing jobs

              c. Created feelings of xenophobia (racism)

       6. US and Canada did not like Communist feelings

              a. It was feared in both countries, although the Communist

                  ideas were ringing in the ears of people going through the

                  Great Depression

v. Great Depression and the Arts

       1. The Canadian broadcast was created because they did not want any

          more American influence on Canadians

              a. Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC) in


              b. Established a sense of unity within Canada

       2. Cooperative Commonwealth Foundation (CCF)

              a. Founded in 1933

       3. Social Credit that started in Alberta, 1935 (reform movement)

       4. In 1930s, the Great Depression ruled the arts section
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a. Public Works of Art Project was designed to give artists


b. Scenes were based on American culture and history

c. America saw Grant Wood’s “American regionalist style”

       i. “American Gothic”

       ii. Edward Hopper and Georgia O’Keefe adopted this

           style and made it their own as well

d. Federal Music Project supported the compositions

   musicians during the Great Depression

       i. Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson was supported

           by this project

e. Radio in the Great Depression

       i. Reached its peak during the Great Depression

       ii. Jack Benny and Amos and Andy were comedians

           that most Americans loved to listen to on the radio

      iii. This was the golden age for radio during this time

f. Movie, Film, and Literature during the Great Depression

       i. Golden age of the Movie Industry

       ii. Bette Davis and Greta Garbo were idols that

           Americans loved

      iii. John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” astounded

           audiences as it depicted a family in the Dust Bowl
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iv. “Gone with the Wind” was the most famous and

    movie during the Great Depression

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