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Unemployment in Canada 1926-1950 - HRSBSTAFF Home Page

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					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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