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3.4 the great d_statistics_website


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  • 1. The Great Depression Statistics and Numbers
  • 2. The Great Depression • The greatest social upheaval in Canada in the twentieth century • Also known as • The Dirty Thirties • The Dust Bowl • The Great Depression is the source of our social welfare system. It was developed in response to the suffering of the population during the Great Depression
  • 3. Causes 1. The Stock Market Crash: October 1929 2. Protectionism: Countries around the world react by restricting imports from foreign nations. Canada’s economy was heavily dependent on exporting wheat and paper products - The result is a massive loss of jobs. The U.S. legislates its highest tariff barriers in history.
  • 4. Causes (cont.) 3. The dust bowl: Farmers lose their crops due to the drought on the prairies. 4.The economic contraction feeds on itself. The loss of jobs leads to less purchasing which leads to more loss of jobs.
  • 5. Some Statistics 1. Decline in income from 1928 to 1933: B.C.: 47% Ont.: 44% Sask.: 72% 2. Increase in unemployment from 1929 to 1933: from 2.8% to 19.3%
  • 6. Statistics (cont’ d) 3. Decline from 1929 to 1933: GNP: 42.8% Exports: 54.1% Farm Income: 83.2% • From 1933 onward the economy recovers, until the recession of 1939. It does not regain its 1929 levels.
  • 7. Depression Bottoms Out • By 1933 the depression was at its worst. • With 25% of the workforce unemployed the government is pressured to take immediate action. United States Great Britain France Germany Industrial production –46% –23% –24% –41% Wholesale prices –32% –33% –34% –29% Foreign trade –70% –60% –54% –61% Unemployment +607% +129% +214% +232%
  • 8. The Human and Social Impacts 1. Hunger (gophers became food) 2. Homelessness: Hundreds of thousands of men ride the rails in search of work. 3. Ill health: physical and mental health problems begin to gain ground 4. Despair: There are many suicides •Many of the affected are of the WWI generation, this helps to lead to the “ lost generation” concept
  • 9. The Politics of the Depression 1926 – 1930: Canada has a Liberal Gov’t under King • Election 1930: – King states not “a five-cent piece” for relief for any province that elects a Conservative Gov’t • The Conservatives win the 1930’s election under R.B. Bennett. Bennett promises to end the Depression • He wins with 137 seats (Cons) to 91 seats (Lib) • Bennett raises tariffs, but fails to revive trade • Bennett introduces marketing boards for farmers, and labour legislation in 1935 (minimum wage, working conditions)
  • 10. The Federal Gov’ t Response . . . was slow and small • The government establishes the Relief camps • A Royal Commission is Formed to address the Problem of the Depression • 1937: EI legislation but ruled invalid by the courts
  • 11. The Relief Camps • During the Great Depression there was no EI or welfare • The Governments solution was to send unemployed men into the woods to work in Government camps – The men received very low pay – They were forced to do very hard Work: road construction, etc. – The camps had poor living conditions and food • By 1932: 2,000 men are in camps • 1935: 150,000 had worked on 200 projects in the relief camps • 1936: The Liberal Gov’ t closes the camps
  • 12. Social Unrest: Political Opposition 1. Communist Party active: but banned in 1931, its leaders jailed 2. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF): – formed 1932 – The Regina Manifesto: “ No C.C.F. Government will rest content until it has eradicated Capitalism . . .” – Socialist – Leader: J.S. Woodsworth
  • 13. Social Unrest: Political Opposition 3. Social Credit • Alberta and “ Bible Bill” Aberhart • The Gov’ t to give citizens money to make up deficit in purchasing power • Elected in 1935: Alberta 4. Fascist movements gain some support
  • 14. Legacy • Capitalism had failed • Distrust of Big Business (which had profited in the Depression) • Beginning of the public demand for gov’ t intervention in the economy, for social programs • Canadian Institutions – The Bank of Canada – The CBC – The Canadian Wheat Board