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Hoover, the Stock Market Crash and the Depression



Published in Business , Economy & Finance
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  • This is a great slide show! What is your source for your list of famous losers on Wall Street, slide 25? And where did you find the b/w illustrations on the slides following?
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  • http://personal.ashland.edu/~jmoser1/coolidge.htm – Explanation of veto
  • GM out of the DOW - http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2009/06/01/cisco-replaces-gm-in-dow-jones-industrials/ It is an index that shows how 30 large, publicly owned companies based in the United States have traded during a standard trading session in the stock market . [1] It is the second oldest U.S. market index after the Dow Jones Transportation Average , which was also created by Dow.
  • September the Stock Market had some unusual up & down movements October 24, the market took a plunge . On October 29, now known as Black Tuesday , the bottom fell out 16.4 million shares were sold that day – prices plummeted People who had bought on margin (credit) were stuck with huge debts
  • “ On Margin,” by James Montgomery Flagg, appeared on November 15, 1929. In the speculative fever of the roaring twenties, many people had made their stock investments with borrowed money. When stocks fell and creditors called in the loans, the results were ruinous.
  • “ Just what he wanted,” by William Kemp Starrett, appeared on December 6, 1929, reflecting the false hopes many were then placing in what turned out to be a treacherous bear market rally. In fact, stocks still had a long way to fall before they would finally bottom out in 1932.
  • “ Finis,” also by Starrett, appeared three weeks later, on December 27. It sums up how many stock investors felt about the year 1929 (and may feel today about 2008). (For those too young to remember, the machine in the background is an old-fashioned stock ticker, which printed incoming stock quotes on “ticker tape,” as shown in the foreground.)
  • Indeed, a number of the early cartoons focused wrily on the fate of previously well-to-do investors, now fallen on hard times. The drawing below by Ed Graham appeared on December 6, 1929. As the Depression worsened, vast numbers of unemployed men would adopt the expedient of hopping freight trains in search of work. Relatively few, admittedly, were former shareholders.
  • “ Up three points,” by Frank Hanley, is from January 10, 1930. It plays on the popular mythology of the time, according to which bankrupt stockholders were throwing themselves from the windows of New York skyscrapers in droves.
  • The Tariff Act of 1930 , otherwise known as the Smoot–Hawley Tariff or Hawley–Smoot Tariff (P.L. 71-361) [1] was an act, sponsored by United States Senator Reed Smoot and Representative Willis C. Hawley, and signed into law on June 17, 1930, that raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels. [2] The overall level tariffs under the Tariff were the second-highest in US history, exceeded (by a small margin) only by the Tariff of 1828 [3] and the ensuing retaliatory tariffs by U.S. trading partners reduced American exports and imports by more than half. Some economists have opined that the tariffs contributed to the severity of the Great Depression . [4] [5] [6]
  • since people could not buy, productivity was cut back = further unemp. so w/ additional unemployment  purchasing power declined again  reduced productivity yet again (= ECONOMIC CYCLE )
  • That spring about 15,000 World War I vets arrived in Washington to support a proposed bill
  • Hoover called the Bonus marchers, “Communists and criminals” On June 17, 1932 the Senate voted down the Putnam Bill
  • Dust Bowl – American Memory http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/afctshtml/tsme.html
  • Strange fruit – anniversary of a lynching http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129025516


  • 1. PBS: American Experience1930s
  • 2. Objectives
    • Discuss how Hoover went from being a symbol of twenties business success to a symbol of depression failure.
    • Explain how the stock-market crash set off the deep and prolonged Great Depression.
  • 3. Visual Interpretation
    • From your seat, you will take a look at 2 paintings.
    • In your notebook, respond to the following:
    • 1.) Think of and write down 2 adjectives to describe the feeling of the illustration.
    • 2.) Identify the time period of the illustration and in 2-3 sentences, describe the illustration and the message it is conveying.
    • 3.) Identify and explain 3-5 factors within each illustration that aided you in identifying the time period the illustration is from.
  • 4.  
  • 5. Alexandre Hogue (American, 1899 – 1994), Drouth Stricken Area, 1934, Oil on canvas “Dust Bowl Ballads” (Woodie Guthrie)
  • 6.  
  • 7. From the Roaring ’20s to The Great Depression
  • 8. From Prosperity to Poverty
    • 3 major areas of economic trouble in the 1920s :
    • 1.) Industry
    • 2.) Agriculture
    • 3.) Consumer Spending
  • 9. Industry
    • Railroads, Textiles & Steel
    • suffered
    • - RR’s competing with the automobile
    • Mining & Lumber no longer in demand
    • -new forms of energy (fuel oil, natural gas)
    • Housing Market fell (loss of jobs)
  • 10. Agriculture: Farmers Struggle
    • Demand for crops fell after WWI
    • -Surpluses
    • -Unpaid loans for land & equipment
    • Farmers couldn’t pay back loans
    • Banks foreclosed on farms
    • -Banks failed
    Photo by Dorothea Lange
  • 11. Helping Farmers
    • McNary-Haugen Bill
    • -federal price-supports for key products (wheat, corn, cotton & tobacco)
    • -govt. would buy surplus crops at guaranteed prices and sell them on the world market
    • -Vetoed by Coolidge twice
  • 12. Consumer Spending
    • Americans Living beyond their means with CREDIT
    • Uneven distribution of income
    • -1920s favored Big Business
    • -70% + of American families earned less than $2,500 per year
    • Mass production made wages high, prices low
    • Advertising targeted consumers
    Photo by Dorothea Lange
  • 13. Advertising in the 1920s
    • Madison Avenue” was first used to describe the advertising industry and in which many products are sold because they hold out the promise of a more modern and freer life, filled with exciting opportunities to consumer new products .
    • Some ads stressed that ordinary Americans could have the same products as the rich and the socially prominent . Others described natural products are superior to artificial products. Many ads for cars and refrigerators treated these products as objects worthy of worship by surrounding them with halos. Invented characters like General Mills' Betty Crocker and Philip Morris's little bellhop, Johnny helped consumers establish a personal connection with a particular product.
    • Target women as consumers; “shop therapy” invented
    • Psychologists (behaviorists) used to design campaigns
    • Offered installment plans (credit)
  • 14. First million dollar ad campaign!
  • 15.
    • “ I’ll go without food before I’ll see us give up the car”
    • ~ Middletown
  • 16.  
  • 17. Think Critically…
    • How will these 3 areas of economic troubles help to pave the way for the Great Depression?
    • Predict the events in each area (industry, agriculture, consumerism)
    • Think about:
    • What happened in industry?
    • What happened in agriculture?
    • What happened to consumers?
  • 18. A New President
    • Herbert Hoover (Rep.)
    • “ We in America are
    • nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land.”
    • - 1928 speech accepting the Republican nomination for the Presidency
  • 19.  
  • 20. Young Hoover supporter in 1928
  • 21. The Stock Market in the 1920s
    • Bull market – prices rising
    • DOW rose
    • -Measure of the market’s health
    • Investors were optimistic
    New York Stock Exchange By 1929, 4 million Americans owned stocks
  • 22. Seeds of Trouble
    • Speculation: buying stocks & bonds hoping for a quick profit
    • Buying on the Margin: paying a small percentage of a stock’s price as a down payment and borrowing the rest
    • Unrestrained buying & selling with very little government intervention
      • People couldn’t pay back borrowed money if value of stock declined…
  • 23. By mid-November, investors had lost about $30 billion
  • 24. THE 1929 CRASH
    • On October 29 - Black Tuesday
    • 16.4 million shares were sold– prices plummeted
    • People who had bought on margin (credit) were stuck with huge debts
  • 25.  
  • 26.  
  • 27.  
  • 28.  
  • 29.  
  • 30.  
  • 31. A World Wide Depression
    • Hawley- Smoot Tariff (1930) – raises tariff to 60%
    • Other countries enacted their own tariffs and soon world trade fell 40%
  • 32. Objective
    • Indicate how Hoover’s response to the depression was a combination of old-time individualism and the new view of federal responsibility for the economy.
    • Tariffs & war debt policies
    • Overproduction in industry and agriculture
    • Easy credit led to debt and less spending
    • Unequal distribution of income
  • 34. How did the Crash Affect the People?
    • Bank & Business Failures
    • -Banks invested people’s money into stock market
    • -By 1933, 11,000 of the nation's 25,000 banks had failed
    • -No insurance on savings accounts; people lost their money
    • Unemployment reached 25%
    • -1 out every 4 people without a job
  • 35. A Vicious Cycle Unemployment Purchasing Power Productivity
    • Hoover recommended business as usual; not quick to react
    • “ rugged individualism” –people succeed through their own efforts, take care of themselves, not depend on government hand-outs
    Herbert Hoover “ Any lack of confidence in the economic future . . . Is foolish”
  • 37.
    • Depression Apple Sellers
    Hoover believed it was the individuals job to take care of themselves, not the governments
  • 38. Immediately After the Crash
    • Hoover encouraged voluntary non-coercive cooperation
    • charitable organizations to give aid to the poor
    • employers shouldn’t lay off workers/lower wages
    • laborers shouldn’t strike
  • 39. Hoover’s “Trickle Down” Approach: Too Little Too Late
      • “ trickle down” – aid to banks, businesses, NOT individuals
      • Hoover Dam
      • Reconstruction Finance Corporation - government lending bank; big business benefited most
      • Norris-La Guardia Anti-Injection Act
      • Agriculture Marketing Act
        • Federal Farm Board (Grain/Cotton Stabilization Corps – bought surpluses)
      • Hawley-Smoot
  • 40.  
  • 41. BONUS ARMY
    • 1932
    • Patman Bill would have authorized Congress to pay a bonus to WWI vets immediately
    • The bonus was scheduled to be paid in 1945 --- The Army vets wanted it NOW
    43000 marchers, 17000 vets and their families
  • 42. BONUS ARMY TURNED DOWN Thousands of Bonus Army soldiers protest – Spring 1932 The Bonus Army, their wives and children were driven out with fixed bayonets and adamsite gas, an arsenical vomiting agent, and their shelters and belongings burned.
    • 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
    • Americans were outraged and once again, Hoover’s image suffered
  • 44.  
  • 45. Hoover had little chance to be re-elected in 1932
  • 46. “Brother, Can you Spare a Dime?”
    • hardship, homelessness , and hunger for millions
    • people lost their jobs, and their homes
    • Some built makeshifts shacks out of scrap material
    • shantytowns ( Hoovervilles ) sprung up
    • soup kitchens and bread lines in urban areas
    • free or low-cost food for people
    Unemployed men wait in line for food – this particular soup kitchen was sponsored by Al Capone “Street of Forgotten Men, 1930s” (video )
    • farmers did have one advantage; they could grow food for their families
    • Thousands of farmers lost their land
    • Many turned to tenant farming and barely scraped out a living
    Between 1929-1932 almost ½ million farmers lost their land
    • A severe drought gripped the Great Plains in the early 1930s
    • Wind scattered the topsoil, exposing sand and grit
    • 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
  • 51. “The Plow that Broke the Plains”
  • 52. Dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas - 1934
  • 53. Storm approaching Elkhart, Kansas in 1937
  • 54. Dust buried cars and wagons in South Dakota in 1936
    • Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado
    • Many farmers migrated to California and other Pacific Coast states
    Boy covers his mouth to avoid dust, 1935
  • 56. Photographer Dorothea Lange captures a family headed west to escape the dust storms
  • 57.  
  • 58. Southern trees bear a strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black body swinging in the Southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees. Pastoral scene of the gallant South, The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth, Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh, And the sudden smell of burning flesh! Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck, For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck, For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop, Here is a strange and bitter crop. Abel Meeropol , performed by Billie Holiday “Strange Fruit” (video footage)
    • Unemployment was the highest among minorities, their pay was the lowest
    • Many Mexicans were “encouraged” to return to their homeland
    24 lynchings in 1930 alone
    • 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 death was common on railroad property; over 50,000 people were hurt or killed
    Dorothea Lange Tramps and hobos are commonly lumped together, but in their own sight they are sharply differentiated. A hobo or bo is simply a migratory laborer; he may take some longish holidays, but soon or late he returns to work. A tramp never works if it can be avoided; he simply travels. Lower than either is the bum , who neither works nor travels, save when impelled to motion by the police. [3]
    • Suicide rate rose more than 30% between 1928-1932
    • Alcoholism rose sharply in urban areas
    • Three times as many people were admitted to state mental hospitals as in normal times
    • Many people showed great kindness to strangers
    • Additionally, many people developed habits of savings & thriftiness
  • 62.  
  • 63. Pre Class
    • What were the 3 areas of economic trouble in the 1920s? Briefly explain how, by the end of the ’20s, each of these areas showed signs that danger was on the horizon.
  • 64. Stock Market Crash Speculation Buying On Margin Loss Of Confidence Falling Stock Market Prices
  • 65.  
  • 66. Pre Class - Define the following:
    • Buying on the margin
    • Speculation
    • How did margin buying and speculation affect the stock market?
      • Led to consumer confidence in the market and more buying
      • Led to a great increase in stock prices and strong market ( bull market )
      • Led to a steeper decline in stock prices – a CRASH – when prices began to drop