Canada and the Great Depression Overview There is debate about what caused the Great Depression It was a combination of events and decisions that caused the Great Depression. (Rasmussen, Hannah ) The Economic Impact of WWI After WWI (1914-1918) Europe was trying to rebuild Many European countries struggled to pay their war debts and reparations Most owned a lot of money to American banks These loans were so high the countries could not pay them Economic problems in many countries in Europe (Rasmussen, Hannah ) The Economic Impact of WWI The US government would not reduce/ forgive debts The US economy began to slow down European countries began to find it difficult to borrow money. USA also had high tariffs Europeans could not make money selling their products in the US market Countries began to default on their loans. (Rasmussen, Hannah ) In Germany by 1922 their bank notes were of so little value people burned them to keep warm Here in Canada in the post WWI era Prices were on the rise , for example, 1lb of beef cost $0.10 in 1914 but by 1918 it was $0.39. The Communist Revolution in Russia had started with labor unrest/strikes Canadians worried as many here threatened to strike Soldiers returned from war to few job opportunities The government offered support temporarily but cut programs in 1921- many disabled veterans were unemployed Protests followed- unions were formed- strikes followed (Winnipeg 1919) The Roaring Twenties The 1920s were a boom time in Canada. There was a high demand for raw materials (forestry, mining, pulp & paper) and industries developed mass production techniques- Exports such as wheat became of primary importance in the Canadian economy Unemployment was low and earnings for individuals and companies were high. The Roaring Twenties People were able to spend and consume huge amounts. Foreign investment in Canadian markets increased USA accounted for 58% of foreign investment in Canada) Credit as a way to buy things was introduced- impact on how people played the stock market But prosperity came to a halt with the stock market collapse around the world in October 1929. THE CRASH of ’29 (Black Tuesday) Uncontrolled buying = shares above “true” value. Big investors see this and sell. Panic selling occurs with smaller investors Bank reserves drop Consumers put off purchases Production of goods slows down –manufacturers had large inventories they could not sell People are laid off In Canada 1928 wheat crop crash Work money and food began to run low Federal Department of Labor that a family needed between $1200 and $1500 At that time, 60% of men and 82% of women made less than $1000 a year. GNP fell from $6.1 billion in 1929 to $3.5 billion in 1933 "The Great Depression of Canada Homepage” Effect on Canadian Economy Canadian economy dependent on exports (trade with other nations (Europe and USA) Foreign countries stopped buying Countries imposed tariffs 1930 – 1939 severe winter with little snow drought in western Canada = crop failures Effect on average citizens Those who do still work have to take pay cuts Canada had many employed in staple trades and manufacturing Many lose jobs The unemployed begin to default on mortgage payments. Effect on average citizens Roaring Twenties- Dirty Thirties: The 1930’s are referred to as the dirty thirties Suffering, unemployment, and homelessness. Sandstorms- also known as the “Dust Bowl” Soil very fine- drought- no rain to keep topsoil in place Soil easily picked up to blow across the countryside Conditions were very bad in the Prairie Provinces. Dust Storm Link to crop prices Grasshoppers: Clouds of grasshoppers would black out the sky. They would pass by and eat anything in their way The things that they did not eat they would spoil so that it would become useless Grasshoppers Riding the Rods/ Riding the Rails: Jobless and homeless men were on the move- looking for work Hide under trains for a free ride Unable to leave once the train is in motion. Incredibly dangerous Riding the Rods/ Riding the Rails: Hobos’ Jungle: Near every city “jungles” formed Thousands of homeless men made their camp before passing through to the next town. Conditions in these camps were deplorable Concerns over sanitation. Hobos’ jungle Hobos’ symbols not a safe place Kind man lives here Dangerous neighborhood Kind woman here- tell a sad story Good place for a handout Nasty dog here Work Camps/ Relief Camps Intended to handle 2000 men within a year some had 11,000 By the end of the depression 170, 248 men had been taken in. Workers worked 8 hours a day, 4 hours on Saturday for .20 cents a day. The physical and psychological conditions within the camps were poor. Work Camps/ Relief Camps Families Families who could not afford food or lodging were broken up Link to family budget Parents would sometimes barter their children away to pay for essentials they could not afford to support them Unemployment in Canada 1926-1950 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 What portion of the Canadian population was unemployed in the following years? Please express each answer as a fraction! 1929 1933 1939 1945 On to Ottawa Trek April – June 1935 1500 men left the relief camps and gathered in Vancouver Started a march to Ottawa They were going to demand better wages and working conditions The On to Ottawa Trek 1935 The Regina Riots June 14, 1935 2000 trekkers in Regina Prime Minister R.B. Bennett (Conservative) proposed a meeting with the leaders- all others would have to stay behind Bennett offered nothing to them and said the camps were fine The police attempted to arrest the leaders when the returned to Regina-a riot ensued I officer died many protesters and police were injured- nothing changed Bennett was not re-elected and William Lyon Mackenzie King’s Liberal government returned to power The Regina Riots Government Response Before the Depression the government interfered as little as possible with the economy Believed that a free market would take care of the economy Churches and communities would take care of societal issues During the depression the government had to step in and create the following: a) minimum hourly wages b) standard work week c) unemployment insurance Works Cited "1926-1950 - Extension History, Since 1909." UThink: Blogs at the University of Minnesota. Web. 16 May 2010. <http://blog.lib.umn.edu/extmedia/centennial/19261950/>. "The Depression - Tracking Time - Canada, by Train - Library and Archives Canada." Welcome to the LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA Website | Bienvenue Au Site Web BIBLIOTHÈQUE ET ARCHIVES CANADA. Web. 16 May 2010. <http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/trains/021006-3110-e.html>. "Don River Valley Historical Mapping Project." Map & Data Library ? Map and Data Library. Web. 16 May 2010. <http://maps.library.utoronto.ca/dvhmp/don-valley-brickworks.html>. "Great Depression." Jazz Street Vancouver :: The History of Vancouver Jazz. Web. 16 May 2010. <http://www.jazzstreetvancouver.ca/events/6>. "The Great Depression of Canada Homepage." Yukon Education Student Network - Home. Web. 16 May 2010. <http://www.yesnet.yk.ca/schools/projects/canadianhistory/depression/depression.html#CAUSES>. "Hard Times." CBC.ca - Canadian News Sports Entertainment Kids Docs Radio TV. Web. 16 May 2010. <http://www.cbc.ca/history/EPISHOMEEP13LE.html>. "Hard Times? Not so Much - Emma Peel - Open Salon." Open Salon: You Make the Headlines. Web. 16 May 2010. <http://open.salon.com/blog/emma_peel/2008/12/26/hard_times_not_so_much>. Rasmussen, From Hannah. "A Student's Guide to the Great Depression." Economics at About.Com -- Your Portal to the World of Economics. Web. 16 May 2010. <http://economics.about.com/od/recessions/a/greatdepression_2.htm>. "R.B. Bennett, 1930." Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage/Patrimoine De Terre-Neuve Et Du Labrador-- Entry Page: Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage. Web. 13 May 2010. <http://www.heritage.nf.ca/law/rb_bennett.html>. "What Caused the Great Depression?" Millionaire Acts. Web. 17 May 2010. <http://www.millionaireacts.com/1921/what-caused-the-great-depression.html>. "William Lyon Mackenzie King Collection | Laurier Library." Laurier Library. Web. 13 May 2010. <http://library.wlu.ca/archives/collections/king>.
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