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Great Depression The Cruelest Year-1932.

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Presentation on theme: "Great Depression The Cruelest Year-1932."— Presentation transcript:

1 Great Depression The Cruelest Year-1932

2 Underconsumption & Overproduction
Mass production had increased efficiency per man hour by over 40% In 1929, a family needed $2000/year for the bare necessities (60% of families not earning that much) People could not afford to buy new products Overproduction led to layoffs, led to more underconsumption Could have raised wages so more people could afford to buy goods

3 Other Causes Unequal distribution of wealth
1% of the population owned 59% of the wealth Middle class not large enough Deflation- prices of goods were falling (partly due to overproduction & underconsumption) Stock Market Crash (more of a symptom of the underlying causes)

4 Effects on Businesses Stock market- investors lost $74 billion,
86,000 businesses closed US Steel producing at 19.1% of capacity Industries doing well: phonograph recording, movies, cigarettes, contraception, miniature golf

5 Immigration Emigration exceeded immigration (more people left America than came into America), 350 applications per day to Russian trading agency for Americans who wanted to move to Russia.

6 Farmers Destroying crops because cheaper to burn crops for heat rather than buying coal Montana rancher who shot his livestock because he did not have $ to feed them. Taking revolutionary actions: blocking highways, kidnapping judges, calling for a “Revolution like they had in Russia.”

7 "Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm
"Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm. Cimarron County, Oklahoma" (Also known as "Fleeing a Dust Storm," Arthur Rothstein, 1936) Image Source:

8 Welfare- social stigma
Lewiston, ME. barred recipients from voting Kids not allowed in schools Not allowed in hospital in WV unless guaranteed payment

9 Effect on Schools Chicago Teachers worked without pay (owed teachers $20 million) Schools closed for 10 or more months in Arkansas, or only open 3 days/week Teachers boarding with their students

10 Effect on Children Children called drowsy, lethargic, …. Possible mental retardation because of hunger” Teacher told student to go home for lunch, student replied: “It’s my sister’s turn to eat.” Boy brought his pet rabbit for show & tell; Sister: “He doesn’t know we are going to eat it.”

11 Children in a “Hooverville”
Image Source:

12 "Children who live in a migrant camp on U. S. Highway No
"Children who live in a migrant camp on U.S. Highway No. 31, near Birmingham, Alabama" (Arthur Rothstein, 1937) Image Source:

13 Responses of the wealthy
President Hoover: “no one is actually starving” It was considered benevolent to give your garbage (food scraps) to fellow countrymen who were hungry Played polo, Republican governor candidate “too much prosperity ruins the moral fiber of the people”

14 Corruption of the Wealthy
1% of the population owned 59% of the nation’s wealth Samuel Insull’s utility companies were a “pyramid of holding companies” and his stock dropped to 4% of its 1931 value Insull fled to Europe, held a Paris press conference, snuck out back door to Greece (no treaty but then US signed extradition treaty), fled to Turkey

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