The Great Depression 11th Grade American HistoryJason Rock
What was it? The Great Depression was an economic slump in North America, Europe, and other industrialized areas of the world that began in 1929 and lasted until about 1939. It was the longest and most severe depression ever experienced by the industrialized Western world.
How did if affect the U.S. specifically? In October 1929 the stock market crashed, wiping out 40 percent of the paper values of common stock. Even after the stock market collapse, however, politicians and industry leaders continued to issue optimistic predictions for the nation's economy. But the Depression deepened, confidence evaporated and many lost their life savings. By 1933 the value of stock on the New York Stock Exchange was less than a fifth of what it had been at its peak in 1929. Business houses closed their doors, factories shut down and banks failed. Farm income fell some 50 percent. By 1932 approximately one out of every four Americans was unemployed. View slide
Herbert Hoover was the president during the first few years of the Great Depression, and he did little to involve the government in assisting the economy, and the situation worsened. View slide
Inflation was out of control
Many Americans lost everything they had and lived in shanty towns known as ‘Hoovervilles’
A new president, a New Deal Herbert Hoover was defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Election of 1932. Only six of the 48 states voted for Hoover.
In 1933 the new president, Franklin Roosevelt, brought an air of confidence and optimism that quickly rallied the people to the banner of his program, known as the New Deal. "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," the president declared in his inaugural address to the nation.
Through the New Deal, legislation was formed and passed that infused more of an active role for the federal government than ever before in American history.
New Deal Recovery Legislation: National Industrial Recovery Act (1933) Agricultural Adjustment Act (1933)
New Deal Relief Legislation: Federal Emergency Relief Act (1933) Emergency Banking Relief Act (1933) Unemployment Relief Act (1933) Civilian Conservation Corps (1933) Civil Works Emergency Relief Act (1934) Works Progress Administration (1935)
Home Owners Loan Act (1933) National Housing Act (1934) Wagner Labor Relations Act (1935) Social Security Act (1935) New Deal Social Reform Legislation
The Dust Bowl In response to this unprecedented crisis, the Roosevelt Administration sought not only measures to alleviate the plight of the migrants and rural poor — through the establishment and work of such agencies as the Resettlement Administration and the later Farm Security Administration — but also through measures that sought to attack the root causes of the environmental degradation that led to the creation of the disaster in the first place.
The establishment of the Soil Erosion Service marks the first major federal commitment to the preservation of natural resources in private hands. Even more significantly, in 1935, FDR initiated the Prairie States Forestry Project to create a “shelter belt” from the Texas Panhandle to the Canadian border. Over the course of the next seven years, the U.S Forestry Service, working in conjunction with the CCC, the newly established Works Progress Administration (WPA), and local farmers, planted nearly 220 million trees, creating over 18,000 miles of windbreaks on some 30,000 farms
The end of the Great Depression The Depression continued with decreasing effect until the U.S. entered World War II in December 1941