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Chapter 22: The Great Depression Begins

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by

Eileen Brown

on 5 April 2017

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Transcript of Chapter 22: The Great Depression Begins

Frustration:
Farmers destroyed crops rather than sell it at a loss
Farm holidays - refusal to work
Road blockages
Food shortages would raise crop prices
Mockery:
Hoovervilles
Hoover blankets
Hoover flags
About 300,000 men became transient
Hobos
Traveled looking for jobs
Railroad box cars
Under bridges
Homeless shelters
Helped each other out
Chalked symbols
Bank and Business Failures
Money was quickly withdrawn from banks
Bank investments
No gov't insurance on bank accounts
After 5 years the gross national product decreased by half
Chapter 22: The Great Depression Begins
Hoover Takes the Nation
1928 election: Herbert Hoover (R) against
Alfred E. Smith
(D)
Hoover cited the prosperous times of Republican administration
"final triumph over poverty"
Consumers have less money to spend
Rising prices, lack of pay raises
Living on Credit
Easily available
Encouraged by businesses
Uneven Distribution of Income
Most made the minimum for a "decent standard of living" ($2,500)
Only the wealthy could afford new technology and appliances
The Nation's Economy is Sick
Industries in Trouble
Railroads and coal mining
Competition from new alternatives
Housing market dropped
Affected others who would profit
Dreams of Riches in the Stock Market
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Gauges how well the stock market is doing
30 large companies serve as an indicator
Stocks rose and many bought shares
Bull Market
Farmers Need a Lift
Crops were high demand during WWI
Loans and new equipment
Production was increased
After the War prices dropped by almost half
Surplus crops and debt
McNary-Haugen Bill -
Price Supports
Government would buy surplus and sell on the world market
President Coolidge vetoed the bill (twice)
Speculation
- buying stock, expecting a quick profit, and not considering risks
Stock prices did not reflect a company's worth
Buying on the margin
- putting a down payment on stock and borrowing the rest
If the stock declines no way to pay off loans
The Stock Market Crashes
Value of stocks were declining
Why?
Fall 1929 investors panicked and started to sell
October 29 -
Black Tuesday
Prices plummeted
Those who bought on the margin were now left with debts
The beginning of the Great Depression
Financial Collapse
The Great Depression
- 1929 - 1940
The economy bad and high unemployment rates
Stock market crash wasn't the only reason for the Depression
World Wide Shock Waves
Europe was still recovering from war debts
America can't buy imports nor sell products
1930 -
Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act
Protect American farmers and manufactures
Opposite effect
Unemployment grew in export industries
Other countries created their own tariffs
Causes of the Great Depression
Tariffs and war debt
= loss of foreign market
Crisis in the farm sector
Overproduction then drought
Availability of easy credit
Unequal distribution of wealth
Racial tensions increased
Higher unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics
People of Mexican descent were moved to Mexico
Competition for jobs
The Depression in Rural Areas
Many farmers lost their land
Foreclosures
Tenant farming
The Dust Bowl
1930s Drought in the Great Plains
Farmers and sharecroppers moved west to CA for jobs
Dorothea Lange - photographer
"Okies" negative term for the migrant workers
Effects of the American Family
Importance of family unity
Family entertainment
Daily struggle put a strain on families
Men and unemployment
Discouraged
Abandonment
No federal system
direct relief
during the early years
Cash payments or food provided by the gov't
Many women canned food or sewed clothes
Women received a lower salary
Some thought married women should not take jobs
Some companies refused to hire them
Jobs were temporary or seasonal
A lot of women were too ashamed to go begging

Children Suffer Hardships
Poor diet and money for healthcare
Budgets cut for schools and welfare programs
Many went to work or left home
Freight trains
"Wild boys" or "Hoover tourists"
Social and Psychological Effects
Loss of will to survive
Sacrifices to achieve financial security
Doctors, marriage, education
Habits of saving developed
Hoover Struggles with the Depression
Herbert Hoover - economy will fix itself
Encourage and not force cooperation b/t labor and management
Opposed federal welfare or direct relief
Weakens people's respect
Called together leaders in business and labor
Requested that they help to ease the economic issues
Boulder Dam
Proposed by Hoover years earlier
Generate electricity and flood control
$700 million public works program
1930 Congressional Elections
Democratic majority
Hoover Takes Action
Federal Farm Board and National Credit Corporation
Government maintains a small role
Facilitating agreement b/t private companies
Federal Home Loan Bank Act
1932, lowered mortgage rates and farmers could refinance to avoid foreclosure
Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC)
1932, up to $2 billion emergency financing for banks, insurance companies, rail roads, and other large businesses

Money from the RFC would "trickle down" to the average citizen
How?
Many argued that direct relief was still needed
Hungry people can not wait
Gassing the Bonus Army
WWI vets traveled to Washington DC
The Bonus Army
Came to support the Patman Bill
A bonus to WWI vets who were not adequately compensated
Congressman Patman wanted it to be paid immediately
Hoover opposed the legislature
Respected the right for peaceful protest
The bill was not passed
Hoover asked the men to leave
Many stayed
1,000 troops were sent in to disband the camp
MacArthur and Eisenhower
Violence ensued
Tear bombs
“ The 12th infantry was in full battle dress. Each had a gas mask and his belt was
full of tear gas bombs. . . . At orders, they brought their bayonets at thrust and
moved in. The bayonets were used to jab people, to make them move. Soon,
almost everybody disappeared from view, because tear gas bombs exploded. The
entire block was covered by tear gas. Flames were coming up, where the soldiers
had set fire to the buildings to drive these people out. . . . Through the whole
afternoon, they took one camp after another.”
Three pictures by Lange
Hardship and Suffering During the Depression
Depression in the Cities
Evictions meant people were forced to sleep in parks or sewers
Shantytowns
were built
Hoovervilles
Waited on
bread lines
Charitable organizations or public agencies
Full transcript