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Chapter 26: The Great Depression Begins The Nation’s Economy Crashes Hoover’s Policies Have Little Effect Roosevelt Faces a Difficult Challenge.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 26: The Great Depression Begins The Nation’s Economy Crashes Hoover’s Policies Have Little Effect Roosevelt Faces a Difficult Challenge."— Presentation transcript:


2 Chapter 26: The Great Depression Begins The Nation’s Economy Crashes Hoover’s Policies Have Little Effect Roosevelt Faces a Difficult Challenge

3 THE GREAT DEPRESSION the beginning of the Great Depression The Stock Market crash signaled the beginning of the Great Depression economy plummeted and unemployment The Great Depression is generally defined as the period from 1929 – 1940 in which the economy plummeted and unemployment skyrocketed The crash alone did not cause the Great Depression, but it hastened its arrival Alabama family, 1938 Photo by Walter Evans

4 Great Depression The period from 1929 to 1940 in which the economy plummeted and unemployment skyrocketed. The stock market crash was not the only cause.

5 The Nation’s Economy Crashes 4 Causes to the depression Mechanization of Industrial base Unequal distribution of income Farm crisis Unfavorable balance of trade Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act Easy credit Installment Plan Buying on margin

6 Four Causes of Great Depression 1. Tariffs and war debt policies that cut down the foreign market for American goods. 2. Crisis in the farm sector. 3. Availability of easy credit. 4. Unequal distribution of income.

7 Income There was an uneven distribution of income. Over 70% of Americans lived below the standard of living. Less than 1% were elite. (extremely rich)

8 Credit Consumers agree to buy now and pay later. Would pay monthly payments with interest. Credit was too easy to get in the 1920s.

9 HAWLEY- SMOOT TARIFF The U.S. was not the only country gripped by the Great Depression Much of Europe suffered throughout the 1920s Much of Europe suffered throughout the 1920s Hawley- Smoot Tariff- designed In 1930, Congress passed the toughest tariff in U.S. history called the Hawley- Smoot Tariff- designed to protect American farmers and businesses from foreign competition. The tariff made unemployment worse in America b/c no one wanted to buy our goods. Worst depression in American history world trade fell 40% Other countries enacted their own tariffs and soon world trade fell 40%

10 Economy Crashes - continued Depression devastates people’ lives National income Direct suffering Shantytowns Soup kitchen Bread Lines Dust Bowl Bonus Army

11 Hardship and Suffering

12 HARDSHIPS DURING DEPRESSION homelessness The Great Depression brought hardship, homelessness, and hunger to millions Across the country, people lost their jobs, and their homes Some built makeshifts shacks out of scrap material Hoovervilles Before long whole shantytowns (sometimes called Hoovervilles in mock reference to the president) sprung up

13 SOUP KITCHENS soup kitchens and bread lines One of the common features of urban areas during the era were soup kitchens and bread lines Soup kitchens and bread lines offered free or low-cost food for people Unemployed men wait in line for food – this particular soup kitchen was sponsored by Al Capone

14 CONDITIONS FOR MINORITIES Conditions for African Americans and Latinos were especially difficult Unemployment pay lowest Unemployment was the highest among minorities and their pay was the lowest Increased violence Increased violence (24 lynchings in 1933 alone) marred the 1930s Many Mexicans were “encouraged” to return to their homeland As conditions deteriorated, violence against blacks increased

15 RURAL LIFE DURING THE DEPRESSION they could grow food for their families While the Depression was difficult for everyone, farmers did have one advantage; they could grow food for their families lost their land Thousands of farmers, however, lost their land Many turned to tenant farming and barely scraped out a living Between 1929-1932 almost ½ million farmers lost their land

16 THE DUST BOWL severe drought early 1930s A severe drought gripped the Great Plains in the early 1930s Wind scattered the topsoil, exposing sand and grit dust traveled The resulting dust traveled hundreds of miles One storm in 1934 picked up millions of tons of dust from the Plains an carried it to the East Coast Kansas Farmer, 1933

17 Dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas - 1934 THE DUST BOWL

18 Storm approaching Elkhart, Kansas in 1937

19 Dust buried cars and wagons in South Dakota in 1936

20 HARDEST HIT REGIONS Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado were the hardest hit regions during the Dust Bowl Many farmers migrated Many farmers migrated to California and other Pacific Coast states Boy covers his mouth to avoid dust, 1935

21 Photographer Dorothea Lange captures a family headed west to escape the dust storms


23 HOBOES TRAVEL AMERICA “hoboes” poor drifters The 1930s created the term “hoboes” to describe poor drifters 300,000 transients – or hoboes – hitched rides around the country on trains and slept under bridges (thousands were teenagers) Injuries and Injuries and death was common on railroad property; over 50,000 people were hurt or killed

24 EFFECTS OF DEPRESSION Suicide rate rose Suicide rate rose more than 30% between 1928-1932 Alcoholism rose Alcoholism rose sharply in urban areas state mental hospitals Three times as many people were admitted to state mental hospitals as in normal times kindness to strangers Many people showed great kindness to strangers savings & thriftiness Additionally, many people developed habits of savings & thriftiness

25 Hoover’s Policies

26 Democrats control Congress (1930) Hoover fails to adapt Too cautious Inflexible Sends troops against Bonus Army Moratorium Allied War Debts German Reparations

27 Hoover’s Policies Have Little Effect Herbert Hoover Solutions to late Boulder (Hoover Dam) Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) Home Loan Bank Act Hoover was a Humanitarian Rugged Individualism Hoovervilles “Cinderella Man”

28 HOOVER STRUGGLES WITH THE DEPRESSION After the stock market crash, President Hoover tried to reassure Americans He said, “Any lack of confidence in the economic future... Is foolish” He recommended business as usual Herbert Hoover

29 HOOVER’S PHILOSOPHY Hoover was not quick to react Hoover was not quick to react to the depression “rugged individualism” He believed in “rugged individualism” – the idea that people succeed through their own efforts People should take care of themselves, not depend on governmental hand-outs “pull themselves He said people should “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” Hoover believed it was the individuals job to take care of themselves, not the governments

30 HOOVER’S SUCCESSFUL DAM PROJECT Boulder Dam Hoover successfully organized and authorized the construction of the Boulder Dam (Now called the Hoover Dam) world’s tallest dam The $700 million project was the world’s tallest dam (726 feet) and the second largest (1,244 feet long) The dam currently provides electricity, flood control and water for 7 western states

31 Any dam questions?

32 HOOVER TAKES ACTION: TOO LITTLE TOO LATE Hoover gradually softened his position on government intervention in the economy Federal Farm Board He created the Federal Farm Board to help farmers He also created the National Credit Organization that helped smaller banks Federal Home Loan Bank ActReconstruction Finance Corp His Federal Home Loan Bank Act and Reconstruction Finance Corp were two measures enacted to protect people’s homes and businesses Hoover’s flurry of activity came too late to save the economy or his job

33 BONUS ARMY A 1932 incident further damaged Hoover’s image That spring about 15,000 World War I vets arrived in Washington to support a proposed bill The The Patman Bill would have authorized Congress to pay a bonus to WWI vets immediately vets wanted it NOW The bonus was scheduled to be paid in 1945 --- The Army vets wanted it NOW

34 BONUS ARMY TURNED DOWN Hoover called the Bonus marchers, “Communists and criminals” Senate voted down the Putnam Bill On June 17, 1932 the Senate voted down the Putnam Bill Thousands of Bonus Army soldiers protest – Spring 1932

35 BONUS MARCHERS CLASH WITH SOLDIERS Hoover told the Bonus marchers to go home– most did 2,000 refused to leave 2,000 refused to leave Douglas MacArthur Dwigh Hoover sent a force of 1,000 soldiers under the command of General Douglas MacArthur and his aide Dwight Eisenhower

36 AMERICANS SHOCKED AT TREATMENT OF WWI VETS MacArthur’s 12 th infantry gassed more than 1,000 MacArthur’s 12 th infantry gassed more than 1,000 marchers, including an 11-month old baby, who died Two vets were shot and scores injured Hoover’s image suffered Americans were outraged and once again, Hoover’s image suffered

37 Hoover had little chance to be re-elected in 1932

38 FDR pledges a New Deal Election of 1932 FDR vs. Hoover Dramatic landslide for FDR Brain Trust 20 th Amendment “Lame Duck” Meanwhile, conditions got worse

39 Franklin D. Roosevelt Roosevelt defeated Hoover in the 1932 election. Roosevelt wanted the government to help with the Great Depression.

40 New Deal Roosevelt’s plan to help deal with the Great Depression. He wanted to do the following: 1. Help the needy 2. Economic recovery 3. Financial reform

41 Roosevelt Faces a Difficult Challenge FDR installs confidence Fireside Chats “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself” Physical problems Polio Wheelchair Eleanor Roosevelt

42 Eleanor Roosevelt FDR’s wife, who was a social reformer Humanitarian and had great political skills. She urged the president to appoint women into government positions. One of the most powerful First Ladies in American History.

43 Frances Perkins First female cabinet member. Mary McLeod Bethune: An African American woman who was appointed to a gov’t position by Roosevelt. Roosevelt did not favor full civil rights of African Americans, he did not want to anger white, Democrats in the South.

44 Key People

45 FDR’s 100 Days Bank Holiday Emergency Banking Relief Act F.D.I.C. Federal Securities Act S.E.C. Reasons for Bank Failures Panic Banks invest your money Savings Accounts FDR supplies optimism

46 Movies Were an escape from reality. Wizard of Oz Gone with the Wind Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (1 st Disney animated film)

47 Dust Bowl The region, including Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, that was made worthless for farming by drought and dust storms during the 1930s.

48 Why/How it happened Drought- lack of rainfall or moisture in the soil. Farmers would plow fields which would not leave grass to cover soil. The soil would not hold moisture Wind storms would carry dust and create dust storms. Impossible to grow crops in these conditions.

49 Dust Storm

50 Farmland Covered in Dust

51 Car Stuck in Dust

52 Farmers Left the land due to storms and evictions. Most went to California and other Pacific Coast states. Most migrants were called Okies b/c most were from Oklahoma. They would work as farmhands to make money.

53 Migrant farmers

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