Presentation on theme: "Canada in “The Great Depression” The Causes of the Great Depression in Canada."— Presentation transcript:
Canada in “The Great Depression” The Causes of the Great Depression in Canada
Drought in the Prairies In 1929, a terrible drought began that lasted nearly 10 years. Crops dried up and the soil turned to dust; the wind then blew away the dry soil. Storms of dust occurred often leading parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan to be referred to as the “Dust Bowl”. Nearly 14,000 farms were abandoned during the depression.
“The Dust Bowl”
Western farmers in Canada were also unable to survive because of the failing economy in the U.S., less demand for their products. Finally, in 1931-32 the first swarms of grasshoppers began destroying wheat fields across the prairies. Many men left their small rural farming towns (especially in the prairie provinces) and moved from city to city (towards Ontario) in hopes of finding work.
In the Maritime Provinces fishing families and industries found a significant drop in demand for their product. This meant less profits and many workers were laid off.
The Dirty 30s Much of what led to the Great Depression of the 1930's was a result of the prosperity of the 1920's. Through industrialization the economy had changed in so many ways that people did not know what the future held.
The government created basic jobs for the unemployed in order to get men off the streets. These jobs ranged from building much needed city infrastructure to building roads that led nowhere.
In some cases people felt there was no way out of the despair of the depression and suicide rates increased.
The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Frankenstein, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and King Kong were extremely popular during the 30’s because these films of fantasy allowed people temporarily escape from the problems of their daily lives.
This uncertainty and optimism led to these underlying causes of the Great Depression:
Canada’s economy relied heavily on exports to other countries European economies were still weakened by the effects of WWI
Overdependence on the United States as a market and a source of investment funds
Overproduction of goods- from wheat to manufactured products On-margin stock purchasing (borrowing money to buy shares) Crash of the New York Stock Market, October 29, 1929
Stock Market Crash Too many people were buying stocks “on margin” which means that they borrow money from the bank in order to buy more stocks. The crash occurred on “Black Tuesday”, October 29, 1929. Families lost all their money, businesses went bankrupt.
“Black Tuesday ”
As the depression carried on, 1 in 5 Canadians became dependent on government relief. Approximately ¼ (25%) of the population was unemployed Current Unemployment Rate in Canada 6-8%
International Depression Depression was world wide People desperate for government to help therefore the development of dictatorships in Europe become a solution (Italy, Germany, Russia)
Government Response to Depression Relief Camps In 1932, the federal government set relief camps for unemployed men. The workers cleared bush, built roads, planted trees, erected public buildings in return for room, board, medical care and 20 cents a day.
Government Response to Depression Hostility in Relief Camps led to major protests On-to-Ottawa Trek Regina Riot
Government Response to Depression No Unemployment Insurance Prime Minister Bennett blamed for inability to end Depression Bennett Buggies – Cars pulled by horses Bennettburghs – homeless communities Bennett blankets - newspapers