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The Great Depression

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Linh N

on 16 January 2014

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Transcript of The Great Depression

The Great Perdition
Political and Economic Causes
Nature and Efficacy of Solutions in the US
Impact of Great Depression on Societies
The Great Depression and the Arts
Image by goodtextures: http://fav.me/d2he3r8
Lauren Banks, Mark Leal, Linh Nguyen, Rosanna Villicana
Visual Arts
Film & The Movies
Literary Currents
Political Causes
Banking Weaknesses
The Federal Reserve
Economic Causes
a central bank for the US
created by the Federal Reserve Act in 1913
general responsibilities include
supervising and regulating banks
maintaining financial stability
providing financial support for the government
controlling the nation's monetary policies
Bank Runs
federal reserve regulations led people to lose trust in the American banking system
the lack of trust in the banking system started a slew of bank runs
depositors began withdrawing their money out of their respective banks
other depositors feared that the banks would lose their money as well, so they too began taking out their funds
the federal reserve refused to pump more money into the system to save the banks
banks failed from lack of funds and lack of customers

Bank Failures
Stock Market Crash
The Dust Bowl
World War I
Stock Market Boom
in the 1920s, the stock market was booming
strong bull market attracted more investors
stock prices continued to rise
average people were getting rich from investing
more and more people wanted to invest
people who couldn't afford to invest were even drawn to the stocks
people began mortgaging their houses to buy stocks or even 'buying on margin'
Buying on Margin
when investors didn't have the money to purchase stocks they could receive assistance from a broker
brokers would pay 80 to 90% of the stock price while the investor would pay the rest
if the price dropped, brokers could issue a 'margin call' meaning buyers would have to pay up immediately
because of the condition of the market, people ignored the risk they were taking
a mini-crash struck on March 25, 1929
prices began to drop and people panicked
brokers issued margin calls while banks refused to give loans to help the investors
the panic was slowed when some bankers continued to give loans despite the risk
this saved the market for a short time
other signs of an impending crash were present but were ultimately ignored
Summer Boom
any signs of an economic setback on the way were discarded when the market took a leap forward in the summer of 1929
stock prices rose again and people assumed that the stock prices would continue to soar forever
the market hit its peak in September of 1929 trouble was soon to come
Black Tuesday
October 24, 1929 the stock market took a huge hit
people panicked and began selling stocks
margin calls were issued left and right
a group of bankers pooled their money to try and save the market by investing back into the market
the people's faith was restored and the mass selling of stocks temporarily subsided
on the 28th (Black Monday) the market dropped again and no bankers came to save it
the selling frenzy returned
on the 29th of October, the day known as 'Black Tuesday', the market hit rock bottom
virtually no one was buying anymore, even the bankers were selling their stocks
The Aftermath
stock market continues to drop for 2 days
companies were destroyed and anyone who had invested heavily in the stocks was devastated
faith in the banks was ruined
the most disastrous economic recession in history had begun
but worse days were still to come
farmers found that new crops and technology being developed could reduce their time and cost of labour
farmers began purchasing these new things on credit
after WWI, crop prices had dropped
in an attempt to combat crop prices and pay their credit debts, farmers began expanding
after the stock market crash, crop prices too another dive
farmers expanded more and more to make up for their losses
Agriculture in the 1920s
along with the economic depression, agriculture was also failing
in the 1930s, a drought struck the Great Plains region of the US
the agricultural expansion brought on by the lowered crop prices damaged farming land
nutrients were sapped from the land while the drought ceased to replenish it
the dirt turned to dust and the winds blew dust storms all across the Great Plains Region
between the dust storms, low crop prices, and severe drought farmers were forced to migrate elsewhere in search of work
Overproduction in Business
businesses began laying off masses of workers due to the recession
unemployed workers were unable to purchase goods and services
businesses did not take this into account
they continued to raise prices and overproduce
the lack of business they were receiving led to less revenue forcing businesses to lay off even more workers
the vicious cycle continued
Part of the New Deal WPA Federal One program
August 29, 1935 to June 30, 1943
Employed out-of-work artists to produce art (posters, paintings, and murals) for non-federal government buildings
Hired visual artists and photographers
Revolutionized public art
Supported both representational and nonrepresentational art
Federal Art Project
Photography portrayed the suffering and poor living conditions of the Great Depression era
Photos depicted:
lives of the unemployed
dust storms
Civilian Conservation Corps
lives of farmers without land
soup kitchens
migrant workers
Dorothea Lange
Influential documentary photographer and photojournalist
Employed by Farm Security Administration
Brought plight of impoverished to public attention
Focused on Dust Bowl migrants
Photos distributed free to newspapers across nation
Migrant Mother
Migratory Children Living in Rambler's Park
White Angel Bread Line, San Francisco
Towards Los Angeles
Truck-load of Cotton Pickers
Just Pulled Into Town in the Late Afternoon
Walker Evans
Employed by Farm Security Administration
Photographic campaign in Southern United States
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
: collaboration book of Walker's photos and James Agee's writings
details Agee's and Walker's stay in southern Alabama with 3 tenant families
Photographs featured in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and George Eastman House
Alabama Tenant Farmer Wife
Street Scene, Vicksburg, Mississippi
Torn Movie Poster
Joe's Auto Graveyard
Sharecropper's Family
Marion Post Wolcott
American photojournalist
Also employed by Farm Security Administration
Photos explored political aspects of poverty during the Great Depression
Negro Home near Charleston, South Carolina
Living Quarters and "Juke Joint" for
Migratory Workers, a Slack Season
Negro Children and Old Home on Badly Eroded Land Near Wadesboro, North Carolina
Damaged Child
Public Works of Art Project
Part of New Deal, employed 3,749 artists under federal govt. at wages of $38 to $46.50 per week
Dec. 1933 to Jun. 1934
Funded by Civil Works Administration
Mission and purpose of the PWAP: "to give work to artists by arranging to have competent representatives of the profession embellish public buildings."
Short-lived but
Produced 15,663 total works:
400 murals
6,800 easel paintings
650 sculptures
2,600 print designs
Works Progress Administration
Aimed to provide socially useful work for unemployed
Established in April 1935
Initial appropriation for $4.9 billion (6.7% of 1935 GDP)
Spent $13.4 billion
"Federal One": series of four arts projects
Federal Writer's Project
Federal Music Project
Federal Art Project
Federal Theater Project
Renamed Works Projects Administration in 1939
Famous Artists
Jackson Pollock
Major painter of abstract impressionist movement
Known for unique drip painting style
Given a memorial exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art after death in 1956
Lavender Mist: Number 1
Eyes in the Heat
The Moon-Woman
Stenographic Figure
The She-Wolf
Shimmering Substance
Ben Shahn
Grant Wood
Major figure of social realism movement
Visual arts: Bronx Central Annex Post Office and Social Security murals
Photographer with Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange
Also known for strong left-wing political views
WPA Sunday
Rehabilitation Clients, Boone County, Arkansas
Vacant Lot
Key figure of regionalism movement
Depicted the rural American Midwest in his paintings
Iconic 1930 painting
American Gothic
American Gothic
Near Sundown
The Birthplace of Herbert Hoover, West Branch, Iowa
Iowa Cornfield
John Steuart Curry
Key figure of regionalism movement (American realist modern art movement that favored depicting rural life scenes rather than those of growing urban cities)
Mainly painted scenes of home state of Kansas
Most famous works: Kansas State capitol murals
Tragic Prelude
Our Good Earth
Back Home at the Farm
Thomas Hart Benton
Regionalist painter and muralist
Known for fluid, sculpted figures in paintings
Painted American West and Midwest
Roasting Ears
Going Home
Cradling Wheat
Overproduction in Agriculture
while businesses were overproducing products, farmers were overproducing crops
the increase of supply automatically lowered the demand and therefore the price
loss of jobs in industry lowered the average income of the american family
less money = less business
even when people were buying less food and the crop prices were decreasing, farmers continued to grow more
increasing the supply only made matters worse
yet another vicious cycle ensued
even before the US joined WWI they were 'involved'
after the war, the US became a financier for post-war reconstruction.
Great Britain, Germany, and France needed assistance after the war
the US gave out loans to help theses countries rebuild
when the US economy began to decline the US banks stopped giving out loans and started demanding their money back from these countries
while the US suffered from the money lost from loaning to other countries, these countries also took hits to their economies from their debts
both the US and the global economy were hurt
Impact on African Americans
Great Depression hit African Americans a lot harder
Were usually fired first
Many decided to look for jobs in the North
Black unemployment was over twice the rate of whites
It was common for unemployed white workers to ambush and kill black workers to take their jobs
Lack of Jobs
No Steps Taken to Improve Conditions
FDR opposed anti-lynching bill and embraced segregationist policies of Democratic Party
Didn't want to lose support from South (controlled Senate)
New Deal programs did not protect the rights of black workers or prevent discrimination
NRA and social security programs eliminated 60% of African Americans from benefits
Were barred from representation and deprived of govt. checks by county officials
the federal reserve indirectly sets the nations interest rates by loaning money to commercial banks
in 1928 and '29 the federal reserve raised interest rates in an attempt to pop the stock bubble that was forming
the interest rate raises may have hurt the economy in the long run
the federal reserve was also blamed for the the depression due to their laissez-faire policies following the economic downturn
the federal reserve allowed the economy to collapse simply by doing nothing to stop it
the money supply deteriorated, prices dropped, and the banking system fell apart while the federal reserve didn't attempt to stop it
the economic policy of restricting trade between states through tariffs and other government regulations on imported goods to 'allow' fair competition between imports and domestic products
after WWI, foreign farmers raised their production rates even higher than before
this caused overproduction and lowered crop values even
the Smoot-Hawley Tariff was imposed in June of 1930 to combat the price drops
the tax was a record breaking hit on imports (highest US import tariff in 100 years)
did not
the great depression necessarily, but was more of a bad side-effect
provoked foreign retaliation
other countries began taxing heavily on American goods therefore hurting the american economy
international trade and US-foreign relations were both badly damaged
Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
FDR and the New Deal
New Deal: FDR's series of domestic programs initiated between 1933-1936 in response to the Great Depression
Based on British economist John Maynard Keynes' theories
Direct payments (grants to states)
Caused political realignment
"3 Rs": Relief, recovery, reform
Herbert Hoover
First New Deal (1933-1934)
Second New Deal (1935-1938)
Born in Iowa in 1874
Son of a Quaker Blacksmith and a schoolteacher
Orphaned and moved to Oregon with his Uncle
Part of Stanford's first class. Earned a degree in Geology
Served as head of the U.S. Food Administration under Wilson
Secretary of Commerce under Coolidge
Landslide victory against Al Smith in presidential race
Warned people about the danger of buying Stock on margin
Stock Market crash 8 months into presidency
Banking Acts
Facilitated economic recovery and survival of industry, farming, railroads, and banks
Began with four-day bank holiday
Emergency Banking Act: reorganized banks, reopened solvent banks
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): provided permanent deposit insurance maintained at $5,000
FDR's fireside chats (radio addresses)
Reestablished faith in banks
Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA): funded city and state relief operations with $500 million
Led by Secretary of Commerce Harry Hopkins
Civil Works Administration (CWA): created by FERA in 1933, created jobs building and improving buildings and bridges for 4 million workers
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC): created jobs maintaining parks, forests, and beaches for unmarried men
National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA): law passed allowing FDR to regulate industry to raise prices and stimulate the economy, let trade associations write codes
Consequence: overproduction, underconsumption
Public Works Administration (PWA): created by NIRA in 1933, launched large-scale public works projects
Grand Coulee Dam, Lincoln Tunnel, Triborough Bridge
Initial Reaction
Long-Term Policies
Agencies Providing Government-Sponsored Work for the Unemployed
Public Reaction
Founded government agencies
Attempted to balance the budget
Focused on indirect relief to Banks, Public Works Problems, Individual States, Private Sector
Smoot-Hawley Tariff (1930)
Mexican Repatriation (1929): the forced migration of over 500,000 Mexicans and Mexican Americans to Mexico. (Attempt to bat White unemployment)
Hoover Moratorium (1931): A one-year halt in both reparation payments by Germany to France and of Allied War debts to the United States.
National Credit Corporation (NCC): A voluntary affiliation of major banks with the goal of loaning to smaller banks on the verge of collapse. (not a federal program)
Tennessee Valley Authority
Aimed to modernize and create jobs in the Tennessee River Valley
Dam and hydroelectric power plant construction
Affordable employee housing
Highly controversial but resulted in similar projects in South and West US
Thought it was a passing recession
Refused to directly involve the government
Felt government intervention would lead to Socialism
Moral Hazard
Wanted to focus on Volunteerism
Reed to fund welfare programs (would reduce incentive to work)
Indian Reorganization Act: federal legislation passed in June 1934 securing rights for Native Americans
Restored ownership of unallocated lands
Stopped sale of tribal lands
Return to self-government
Provisions for economic flourishing of Native American reservations
Agricultural Adjustment Administration: reduced agricultural production
Paid farmers subsidies to kill excess livestock and to NOT farm on land
Controversial, later declared unconstitutional
Federal Housing Administration: part of 1934 National Housing Act
Insured loans for homes by banks and private lenders
Hoover thought of as uncaring toward the common citizen
France and Britain were opposed to the Moratorium which did little ease economic declines.
Hoover tried to convince the public that what they wanted would be disastrous in the long run.
Hoover was succeeded by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934
Critics of the New Deal
Huey Long
National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (also Wagner Act): gave private sector employees the right to strike, organize into unions, and engage in collective bargaining
General Motors sit-down strikes
Fair Labor Act of 1938 (FLA): established minimum wage & maximum workweek and prohibited child labor
Labor Reforms
Works Progress Administration (WPA): replaced FERA, most ambitious agency, largest relief program of New Deal
Provided more direct federal govt assistance
Cooperated with state and local govts
Larger-scale version of Public Works Administration
New schools, hospitals, airfields, etc.
Employed 10 million workers
Created "Federal One"
Charles Coughlin
Francis Townsend
Social Security Act
Social welfare legislation passed in August 1935
Old-age federal retiree pension system
Funded by double tax
Unemployment insurance plans
Congress matched every state dollar contributed to workers' compensation funds with federal funding
Criticized for not extending pensions to all Americans
Civil Rights
Black cabinet (Federal Council of Negro Affairs): FDR's informal African-American public policy advisors
Supported by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
Executive Order 8802: outlawed racial discrimination in national defense, esp. war factories
200,000 Northern blacks employed in defense-related industries during WWII
Fair Employment Practices Committee
Former governor of Louisiana turned congressman
Was an early supporter of the New Deal
Turned against FDR. He felt ND was too generous to Big Business
Leader of the "Share the Wealth" movement
Motto: "Every man a king"
Number one, every family in America should at least own a home equal in value to not less than one third the average family wealth approx. $5,000 at the time.
Number two, we propose that no family shall own more than three hundred times the average family wealth. Approx $5 million at the time.
Number three, every family shall have an income equal to at least one third of the average family income. $2,000 lowest $1million dollars highest.
Number 4 old-age pensions to the old people, by taxing the excess fortunes, the excess incomes and the excess inheritances, so that the people who reach the age of sixty can retire
Number 5 the care for the veterans, including the cash payment of the soldiers' bonus.
Number 6 education for every youth and that no youth would be dependent upon the financial means of his parents in order to have a college education
Catholic Priest from Michigan
Used the Radio to spread his messages
Giant critic of Hoover
He believed that FDR would "drive the money changers from the temple"
Coughlin turned when FDR didn't follow up with radical reforms
He later became extremely radical and anti-Semitic
Blamed the depression on Jewish bankers and called FDR a dictator
Believed the New Deal was a communist conspiracy
Believed that the New Deal did not go far enough
came up with a plan to end the Great Depression
Old Age Revolving Pension: Called for every American over 60 to retire to open up jobs for younger unemployed
The elderly would receive a monthly check of $200 to spend.
Townsend believed that this would Jump Start the economy
A version of this plan did come to pass with the Social Security program.
Other Critics
Recession of 1937
Congressman William Lemke:
Did not go far enough to distribute the wealth
Governor John L. Lewis:
Wanted controll over the Democratic Party
Max Shachtman and James Cannon:
Followers of Trotsky. Viewed the New Deal as an attempt to salvage the dying Capitalism
Senator Burton Wheeler:
Broke with Roosevelt after the Court Packing scandal
Vice President John Garner:
Broke with Roosevelt after the Court Packing scandal
William Randolph Hurst:
Turned when Roosevelt proposed to increase taxes on inheritence and close tax loopholes
Hugh S. Johnson:
First head of the National Recovery Administration. Fell out with Roosevelt when he was fired in 1932
Al Smith:
Presidential Nominee who believed the New Deal programs were fostering an unnecessary class struggle
Senator Robert Taft:
Denounced the New Deal as socialism that would harm America
Herbert Hoover:
Believed the New Deal would ruin the country.
Court Packing Scandal
The Supreme Court was full of Republicans
They would strike down New Deal legislation
FDR asked Congress to pass the Judiciary Reorganization Bill
The bill would allow FDR to add a younger judge for every standing judge over 70
Many considered the bill unconstitutional.
It did not pass.
This scandal did lasting damage to FDR's political reputation.
In 1937, the economy took another dip
Unemployment jumped from 14% in 1937 to 19% in 1938
Probably due to regular economic rhythms
Roosevelt had taken responsibility for the economic recovery
People blamed the recession on Roosevelt
Conservatives blamed the recession on the New Deal which was "Hostile to business expansion"
Roosevelt began to try to break up monopolies
Changes Made
"Black Cabinet"
Advisers to president, made up of influential black leaders
Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) organized black and white workers
Created unions
Led to creation of civil rights organizations such as NAACP which rallied for equal pay for all workers
Impact on Women
Impact on Minorities
Most minorities benefited little from New Deal
"Last hired, first fired"
Programs were aimed at unemployed white males
Women had to get jobs to make ends meet at home
Had to struggle with keeping their family from starving and psychologically maintained
Were often abandoned by husbands
Found jobs in light industry and non-industrial work such as teaching
It was easier for women to find jobs than men
However they still had incredibly low wages and unemployment was high and most government programs had a gender bias
Their employment increased status and power in home
Many women joined unions that would improve the number of jobs open to women and pay later on
Asian Americans
1924 National Origins Act limited the economic opportunities of Asian migrants in California, Oregon, and Washington
Discrimination and violence (riots)
1934, Tydings-McDuffie Act: Granted Filipino independence (US territory), all Filipinos classified as noncitizen aliens, unable to legally live or work in US
400,000 Mexican-Americans were illegally deported to open up more jobs
Many were legal citizens who didn't have documentation at the time
Requests were made of railroads in Kansas and Colorado to fire Mexican workers and hire white workers
Increased number of protests against segregated schools
Movement to stop segregated schools and unequal funding and conditions grew
Native Americans
Indian Reorganization Act: Restored tribal ownership and provided $10 million of government loans to help tribes establish businesses in agriculture and manufacturing
Provided funds for purchasing lost land, improving local public schools controlled by the tribes, and facilitating the study of Native American history, language, art, and culture
Hoped the IRA would lead to self-sufficiency
Many of the funds weren't received, however still helped restore Native pride and culture on many reservations
Federal Music Project
Jazz & Big Band
Inexpensive, allowed people to forget about troubles
Wide variety of jazz music: gospel, blues, big band
Clubs and dance halls
Swing Age
Duke Ellington big band
Employed out-of-work composers, conductors, and musicians
Created new orchestras, organized concerts and festivals
Composers Forum Laboratory
Music education and research
The Industry
Even at the height of the Depression, people went to the theater
Escapism: Being able to forget about the real world and experience a better one.
Popular Movies of the 1930s
Movie Stars of the 1930s
The Golden Age
The '30s is known as the "Golden Age of Radio"
The Depression had driven the price of the Radio from over $100 to around $10-40
By 1933 60% of Americans owned a radio
Popular in the '30s
Radio Dramas and Comedies
The advent of the Soap Opera
News/Current Events
Fireside Chats
The Radio connected the world in a way that was never seen before.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
King Kong (1933)
Dracula (1931)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Frankenstein (1931)
Gone With The Wind (1939)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Shirley Temple
Charlie Chaplin
Literature of the Depression depicted the lives of the people living through it
Focus on:
Rejection of the notion of Progress
A desire to return to an age of purity and simplicity
Notable Authors:
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ernest Hemingway
Langston Hughes
Agatha Christie
Dr. Seuss
John Steinbeck
Marx Brothers
Full transcript