THE INTERWAR YEARS
SOCIAL STUDIES 11
HOW WE LIVED – 1920’s
The Women's Christian Temperance Union
(WCTU) was one of the earliest, strongest,
and most activist women's organizations in
Canada during the early twentieth century.
Established in the United States in 1873 by
Frances E. Willard, it was an organization
devoted to protecting the home and
strengthening family life—but its greatest
goal was achieving total prohibition.
The first WCTU in Canada was
established in Ontario in 1894, after
which further WCTU's sprang up
across the young Dominion, carried
westward by settlers like Louise
As a result of its pro-family agenda,
the WCTU was interested in
legislation aimed at abolishing the
liquor traffic (later, anti-narcotic and
anti-smoking legislation as well), in
eugenics and sex hygiene, in female
suffrage, and social reform legislation.
VIDEO CLIP - THE JAZZ AGE
In addition, the Unions sought to promote
Christian values, which involved including
Bible reading and the Lord's Prayer in
schools, as well as addressing the issue of
obscene literature in bookstores.
They were also interested in marriage
license requirements, in new Canadians and
citizenship, in supervised playgrounds, and
in the peace movement.
“The purpose of a woman's life is just
the same as the purpose of man's
life—that she may make the best
possible contribution to the generation
in which she is living.”
- Louise McKinney
VIDEO CLIP – SCIENCE
Prohibition was the period between 1919-
1932 in Finland (called 'kieltolaki'),
between 1900 and 1948 in locations in
and between 1919 and 1933 in the United
States when the manufacture,
transportation, import, export, and sale of
alcoholic beverages was prohibited.
Canadian prohibition was enforced by
a set of provincial laws that were
passed by the various provinces
during the first twenty years of the
Prince Edward Island was the first in
Quebec was the last in 1919.
Prohibition agents destroying
barrels of alcohol
The rum runners used hidden compartments under the
floor of the back seat to transport the booze.
Agnes Macphail was the
first Canadian woman to be
a member of parliament,
and one of the first two
women elected to the
Legislative Assembly of
Considered a feminist in
her time, Agnes Macphail
supported issues like
cooperation and old age
also founded the
Society of Canada,
a group working
with and for women
in the justice
The Famous Five
In 1929, Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung,
Irene Parlby, Henrietta Muir Edwards and
Louise McKinney (the "Famous Five") won a
ruling from the Judicial Committee of the
Privy Council that women were indeed
persons and therefore eligible for
appointment to the Senate.
The following year, Cairine Wilson of
Ontario made history as the first woman
appointed to the Senate.
Emily Murphy was a prominent suffragist
In 1917, she spearheaded the fight to
have women declared "persons" in
Canada and, therefore, eligible to serve
in the Senate.
She became the first female police
magistrate in the British Empire and
wasn't afraid to face a battle.
If she had a good cause in hand, she was
prepared to fight it to a successful end.
VIDEO CLIP – BOOM TIMES
The laissez-faire school of thought, or
libertarianism, holds a pure capitalist or free
market view, that capitalism is best left to its
own devices — that it will dispense with
inefficiencies in a more deliberate and quick
manner than any legislating body could.
The basic idea is that less government
interference makes for a better system.
A market economy is a term proponents of
capitalism use to describe a capitalist
It is meant to contrast to a planned
economy, in which most production
decisions occur as a result of planning by a
In capitalism, most production decisions
occur as a result of the planning decisions of
corporate planners hired by capitalists.
A recession is usually defined in
macroeconomics as a fall of a country's
Gross National Product in two successive
(This is a simplified version of that of the
business-cycle dating committee of the
National Bureau for Economic Research, a
U.S.-based think tank.)
Combined with inflation this process is
known as stagflation.
BOOM AND BUST
In economics, the term boom and bust refers to
the movement of an economy through economic
cycles due to changes in aggregate demand.
During booms, there is a high level of aggregate
demand, inflation increases, unemployment falls,
and growth in national income accelerates.
During busts, or recessions, when aggregate
demand is low, inflation falls, unemployment rises
and national income falls. In extreme recessions
deflation (a sustained fall in the general price level)
The Great Depression was a global economic
slump that began in the United States following
Black Thursday, the Wall Street panic of October
On October 24, 1929, share prices on Wall Street
collapsed catastrophically, setting off a chain of
bankruptcies and defaults that quickly spread
The events in the United States triggered a
worldwide depression, which put hundreds of
millions out of work across the capitalist world
throughout the 1930s.
VIDEO CLIP – THE GREAT DEPRESSION
THE GREAT DEPRESSION
The market crash in the U.S. was the final
straw for the already shaky world economy.
Germany was suffering from hyperinflation,
and many of the Allied victors of World War I
were having serious problems paying off
huge war debts.
In the late 1920s, the U.S. economy at first
seemed immune to the mounting troubles,
but with the start of the 1930s it crashed
with startling rapidity.
VIDEO CLIP – BLACK TUESDAY
THE GREAT DEPRESSION
depicts destitute pea
pickers in California,
centering on a mother
of seven children, age
thirty-two, in Nipomo,
THE GREAT DEPRESSION
BUYING ON MARGIN
A risky technique involving the
purchase of securities with borrowed
money, using the shares themselves
as collateral. Usually done using a
margin account at a brokerage, and
subject to fairly strict SEC regulations.
VIDEO CLIP - ENTERTAINMENT
A tariff is a tax placed on imported and/or
exported goods, sometimes called a
A revenue tariff is set with the intent of
raising money for the government.
A protective tariff, usually applied to
imported goods, is intended to artificially
inflate prices of imports and "protect"
domestic industries from foreign
Protectionism is the economic policy of
promoting favored domestic industries
through the use of high tariffs and other
regulations to discourage imports.
Historical variants of this policy have
included mercantilism, a trade policy aimed
at maximizing currency reserves by running
large trade surpluses; and import
substitution, a trade policy in which targeted
imports are replaced by local manufactures
in order to stimulate local production.
THE NEW DEAL
The New Deal was President Franklin D.
Roosevelt's legislative agenda for rescuing
the United States from the Great
It was widely believed that the depression
was caused by the inherent instability of the
market and that government intervention
was necessary to rationalize and stabilize
VIDEO CLIP – LIFE IN THE 30’S
JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES
John Maynard Keynes - was an English
economist, whose radical ideas had a major
impact on modern economic and political
He is particularly remembered for
advocating interventionist government
policy, by which the government would use
fiscal and monetary measures to aim to
mitigate the adverse effects of economic
recessions, depressions, and booms.
spending to boost economy: the
practice of deliberately allowing
government spending to exceed its
revenues in order to try to boost
economic activity and lower
RIDING THE RAILS
OF RIDING IN
TOWN TO TOWN
TO FIND A JOB.
VIDEO CLIP – WELCOME TO HOOVERVILLE