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Great Depression Of 1930's

Unemployment, work camps, riding the rail, etc.
by

Raylene Osborne

on 9 November 2012

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Transcript of Great Depression Of 1930's

The Great Depression Of The 1930's Hobo Jungles A hobo is a migratory worker or homeless vagabond, especially one who is penniless. Life as a hobo was dangerous. In addition to the problems of being itinerant, poor, far from home and support, plus a hostile attitude of many train crews, they faced the railroads' security staff, nicknamed bulls, who had a reputation of violence against trespassers. Hobo's are workers who wander. Along some of the tracks in the woods hobos would gather and camp. They would eat what was available and swap stories and such. They would talk about which stations had the worst bulls/railroad cops with clubs and such things as rumors about work somewhere. And sometimes they just gave the guys a break from the road. An east bound hobo could give information to west bound ones. Some hobo might know better what root, leaf or such could be safely eaten. A simple gathering, camping spot for hobos usually near railroad lines. Some were more permanent than others, but all shared the element of refuge, an out-of-the-way place where the hobo could eat, sleep, read a newspaper and wash himself before heading out again. A permanent jungle camp, you might find pots or kettles, utensils of various kinds, a line strung on which to dry clothes or a mirror with which a man might more easily shave. Unemployment Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25%, and in some countries rose as high as 33%. Many businesses closed, as corporate profits of $398 million in 1929 turned into losses of $98 million as prices fell. Farmers in the Prairies were especially hard hit by the collapse of wheat prices.eal were attempted. Effects of unemployment are social, too, not just economic. Crime rates rise as people are unable to meet their needs through work. Divorce rates often rise because people cannot solve their financial problems. The rate of homelessness rises, as do the rates for mental and physical illness. Homes are foreclosed upon or abandoned, and neighborhoods deteriorate as a result. For an individual who is used to working, unemployment can be devastating. The lack of income is the most tangible effect of unemployment. Another significant effect is the loss of one's career identity. People become accustomed to the routine of getting up, getting dressed in working clothes, and going to the workplace. When this is removed from one's life, it can spur clinical depression. Ironically, a depressed person is less likely to pursue the challenge of finding new employment as aggressively. In the 1930's unemployment struck many families, put thousands of people out of work. Men would go to great measures to find jobs anywhere they could to get some money for themselves or their families. Canadian Prairies Work Camps Plague of grasshoppers devastated many farms and forced thousands of families to abandon their land because these insects effectively wiped out any crops that farmers managed to grow during the drought. Unemployment occurs when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work. Millions of hectares of fertile top soil dried up from the drought of the prairies. Farmers devastated to see their corn crops destroyed by thistles, wind and drought. Prairie soil drifted like sand in the desert. Farmers at the time, did not plant trees to act as wind breaks around their farms. They also over tilled their fields in preparation for planting. Both factors contributed to the level of soil erosion that occurred during the drought. The automobile, a transportation technology that was widely adopted in rural Western Canada in the 1920s, reverted to horse and wagon in the thirties because farmers could not afford gas. Which was called a “Bennett Buggy” named after Prime Minister R.B. Bennett. Relief work camps for the unemployed men all over the valley during the depression, and were funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments. The men worked on the roads between the camps for a wage of about $2.00 per day for single men and $2.80 per day for married men who were supporting a family. The canadian Prairies were full of drought and devastation. In all, 170,248 men had stayed in the camps. In April 1935, the men's unhappiness boiled over. Fifteen hundred men from the British Columbia relief camps went on strike and congregated in Vancouver. The move launched months of cross-country protests, which culminated in a riot in the streets of Regina. These camps were made to provide food, shelter, clothing and medical care to those who couldn't afford it. The men in the camps would do labour jobs for twenty cents a day. By: Raylene Osborne
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