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The Great Depression

Introduction for Of Mice and Men

Kristin Lavelle

on 23 November 2011

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Transcript of The Great Depression

The Great Depression A ten year economic slump that began with the collapse of the stock market in October 1929. The crash put financial stress on investors and bankers. As a result, global trade decreased and the unemployment rate sky- rocketed. Many families were completely ruined because they introduced a structural changes to the U.S. economy. either lost all their life savings or lost their source of income. FDR was elected to office in 1932, and he number of The Great Depression changed American government completely. The government would now take action in the face of economically tough times whether by taxation, industrial regulation, social insurance, and social-welfare services which are still in place to this day. The real tragedy was how many About 13 to 15 million people lost their jobs Thanks to FDR and his New Deal, the economy was eventually able to stabilize. It is now expected that the government will take on the responsibility of fixing economic slumps because the "trickle down" theories of President Hoover at the as the Depression started proved to be ineffective. lives the Great Depression ruined. during this time. The Great Depression finally ended in 1939 with the economic boom that occurred due to World War II. Dorothea Lange
Photography "Migrant Mother" Dust Bowl
1930 to 1936 The Dust Bowl was a series of severe dust storms rolling through
the Great Plains. The dust storms were caused by severe drought
and poor farming practices which ruined the top soil, turning it into
dust. The dust storms created terrible problems economically and agriculturally for the Great Plains area. Thousands of people lost their source of income and had to abandon their homes. Many of them moved to California. The land of the Great Plains was completely ruined for long time and the value of the land decreased significantly. Migrant Workers
of California Due to the Dust Bowl in the Plains, many people migrated to Cali-
fornia for work. The economic conditions in California were just as
poor due to The Great Depression. Conditions for migrant workers were terrible. The wages were usually below the poverty level, the housing was abysmal, and they had no voice to protect their rights as workers. It was also difficult for migrant workers to participate in programs such as welfare and Social Security. Thankfully, a workers' rights activist, Cesar Chavez, set up the United Farm Workers of America organization, which created a union and rights for migrant farm workers. One person, Dorothea Lange, took special interest in the migrant
workers of California. As a photographer/photojournalist, she
took compelling photos of the families devastated by the Dust
Bowl. The strength of her photography was that it showed the
American public the great need of the migrant farm workers of
California. John Steinbeck also took special interest in the migrant workers of
California, having grown up in California during the Great Depression. His books typically criticize capitalism and show the plights of migratory farm workers. Of Mice and Men is one of his most famous works of literature. It portrays two characters, George and Lennie, who are migrant farm workers in California during the Great Depression.
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