1930s The Great Depression Lecture 3


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  • 1930s The Great Depression Lecture 3

    1. 1. Hard Times Hit America
    2. 2. <ul><li>On October 29, 1929, also known as &quot;Black Tuesday,&quot; 16.4 million shares of stock were sold, compared to 4 to 8 million on a normal day. </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Stock market collapse strains banks  BANKS FAIL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many people had entrusted savings in banks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Banks vulnerable to “runs” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Run = when a depositor rushes to withdraw savings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Runs could drain banks of cash reserves, force it to close </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Oct. 1929 –runs led to closing of hundreds of banks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By Dec. 1930 almost 350 banks had closed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Included Bank of U.S. (400,000 depositors) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By 1933 bank failures wiped out billions of dollars in savings </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Insurance from the federal government protects people’s deposits in the event of bank failure </li></ul><ul><li>Laws require banks to keep greater % of its assets in cash to be paid out to depositors on request </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Life for farmers only got worse </li></ul><ul><li>Joblessness and poverty reduced American’s ability to buy food </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers were producing more than they could sell </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prices sank </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From 1929 to 1933 – prices down 50%+ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lower prices = lower income </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>Farmers had borrowed $ for land, equipment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incomes dropped, unable to make loan payments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1933 – 364,000 farms went bankrupt / suffered foreclosure </li></ul><ul><li>FORECLOSURE: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OCCURS WHEN A BANK OR OTHER LENDER TAKES OVER OWNERSHIP OF A PROPERTY FROM AN OWNER WHO HAS FAILED TO MAKE LOAN PAYMENTS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recent housing crisis </li></ul></ul></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Drop in economic activity = huge rise in unemployment </li></ul><ul><li>By 1933 GNP dropped more than 40% </li></ul><ul><li>Unemployment reached 25% </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 12 million </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Harlem unemployment = 50% </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. &quot;I remember standing in the welfare line somewhere on Michigan Avenue where they were passing out sweaters for children&quot; -Richard Waskin &quot;The newspapers were full of news about bank closings, business failing, and people out of work...We were in debt with no way out&quot; -Carmen Carter
    9. 9. <ul><li>Millions of people lost jobs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Had to compete for work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slid into poverty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Begged door to door to survive, soup kitchens, breadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Federal government programs to help poor didn’t exist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 1 in 4 families got relief </li></ul></ul>
    10. 14. <ul><li>W/out jobs & money, American’s lost their homes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evicted people who couldn’t pay rent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Banks foreclosed on homeowners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Neighborhoods of shacks sprang up to house the newly homeless </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hoovervilles – symbolized blame on Hoover </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unemployed workers sold whatever they could </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pencils, apples, etc. </li></ul></ul>
    11. 18. <ul><li>Hoboes = homeless wanderers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mostly men </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Young and unattached OR left families they couldn’t support </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hopped moving trains and traveled from town to town looking for work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dangerous and ILLEGAL </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Begged for food </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attempts sometimes met with violence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Developed sign language which indicated an opportunity or a place to avoid </li></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 19. <ul><li>People saw their unemployment as personal failure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pride, didn’t want to accept handouts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Idleness led to deep feelings of uselessness, despair </li></ul><ul><li>Suicide rates shot up </li></ul><ul><li>Angry the nation had failed its hardworking citizens </li></ul>
    13. 21. <ul><li>1931 – Great Plains region entered into drought </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Period of below avg. rainfall - long, severe dry spell </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lasted several years </li></ul><ul><li>Drove people out of the region </li></ul>
    14. 22. <ul><li>Careless agricultural practices and extremely dry conditions caused dust storms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blew soil hundreds of miles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choked crops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blew inside homes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wreaked destruction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OK, KS, CO, NM, TX became known as the DUST BOWL </li></ul>
    15. 24. <ul><li>Ended farmers career and means of income </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forced to move </li></ul></ul><ul><li>End of 1930’s, over 2.5 million people left Great Plains </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many migrated towards California </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Migrants were called OKIES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Migrants often met with resistance & discrimination </li></ul></ul></ul>
    16. 25. <ul><li>The plight of migrants captured attention of American artists and writers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>John Steinbeck </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Woody Guthrie </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ It’s a might hard row my poor hands have hoed; </li></ul><ul><li>My poor feet have traveled this hot dusty road </li></ul><ul><li>Out of your dustbowl and westward we rolled </li></ul><ul><li>Your desert was hot and your mountains were cold. </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve worked in your orchards of peaches and prunes, </li></ul><ul><li>Slept on the ground by the light of the moon </li></ul><ul><li>On the edge of your city you’ve seen us and then, </li></ul><ul><li>We come with the dust and we’re gone with the wind.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Woody Guthrie </li></ul></ul>
    17. 26. <ul><li>Terms </li></ul>