The Great Depression &
the New Deal
The Great Depression began when
the stock market crashed in 1929.
•Many Americans had
invested in the stock market.
•Some used all their savings
to buy stocks.
•Others bought stocks with
money borrowed from banks.
•From 1925 to 1929, stock
prices increased, so people
borrowed more $ to buy more
In October 1929, stock
Prices began to fall.
People tried to sell stocks,
but no one wanted to buy
On October 29, 1929, the stock market
crashed as prices dropped rapidly. This day
is known as Black Tuesday.
1. ½ of all Americans were
poor. 6. The government
2. Farmers overproduced refused to interfere
during WW1; they could in business—”laissez faire”
not sell them.
3. Factories also produced
more than people could
Herbert Hoover was President
when the Great Depression began.
• He was sure it would end by itself.
• In 1932, he asked Congress to start an
agency that would lend money to banks
• Hoover’s plan failed!
•25% of Americans were unemployed
•many salaries were lowered
•people became homeless
1 million people
The shack and box
“towns” were called
this because the American
people blamed President
Hoover for the depression.
Schools closed because teachers
could not be paid.
Bread & apples cost only 5 cents,
but jobless people couldn’t even
pay for that!
Many waited in lines for
bread, soup, coffee, and
other free food items.
Beginning in 1931, a seven year drought destroyed farms on
the Great Plains.
The soil dried up and blew away, causing great dust storms.
This became known as the
Farmers could no longer earn a living.
Thousands of farmers sold their farms
and moved west to California.
They traveled from place
to place working on farms.
This made them migrant
The Bonus Army
In the summer of 1932, 20,000 WW1 veterans went to Washington, DC,
to demand the bonus money the US government had promised them.
•They were supposed to wait
until 1945, but were hungry!
•They didn’t want to wait any more.
When President Hoover refused
to pay the bonuses, the angry
veterans camped out in DC to
They became known as the
President Hoover sent
General Douglas MacArthur
and federal troops to force
the veterans to leave
This made most Americans mad at Hoover for
attacking the veterans.
By 1932, most Americans wanted a new president.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR)
Promised a “New Deal” for the
American people in his inaugural
address on March 4, 1933.
He told a frightened nation:
“The only thing we have to fear
is fear itself.”
FDR‟s New Deal
•closed all banks nationwide 2 days after
•safe banks were allowed to reopen after
•people were encouraged to put savings
in banks again;
•first 100 days in office worked with
Congress to pass new programs.
Goals of the “New Deal”
1. Relief from poverty and hunger.
2. Recovery from the depression.
3. Reform (change) to prevent
…to carry out the goals of relief, recovery &
•money to the poor
•provide jobs for unemployed
•assist people with getting food, clothing &
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
•build dams to control floods
•build power plants that used waterpower to make electricity
Other government agencies hired people to build
bridges, plant tress and clean streets.
Correcting the Problems that caused the
• provides insurance for money • made it safer for people to
in savings accounts (banks). invest in the stock market.
• no longer would people lose their
money if banks failed.
Social Security Act (1936)
• all workers must pay a special tax
• in return, workers receive
pensions when they retire
at age 65
• provided money for poor
families with children
First Lady: Eleanor Roosevelt
•traveled across the country to
work for equal rights for:
When a women’s group
refused to allow the
to sing inside its building,
Eleanor Roosevelt invited
her to sing in front of the
Ms. Anderson sang “America” in front 75,000 people.
In 1955, she became the first African American to sing regularly
with the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York City.
America: My Country „Tis of Thee
My country,' tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty,
of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside
let freedom ring!
as Secretary of Labor.
Stacking the Supreme Court
was the first
By 1944, FDR had appointed 7 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices.
• A group of African American
leaders who often met with
• Mary McLeod Bethune was
one prominent member of
• Bethune led the Office of
Minority Affairs from
• Many African Americans
became Democrats during
the New Deal.
Results of the New Deal
made the federal government larger and more
powerful than ever;
the national debt grew larger;
helped America by providing relief to the poor
New Deal agencies built bridges, dams, roads,
saved the American democracy from the dictators
that took control when other nations experienced