Great depression gov't responsePresentation Transcript
THE GREAT DEPRESSION and the GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE Photos by photographer Dorothea Lange
The U.S. was not the only country gripped by the Great Depression
Much of Europe suffered throughout the 1920s
In 1930, Congress passed the toughest tariff in U.S. history called the
Hawley- Smoot Tariff
It was meant to protect U.S. industry yet had the opposite effect
Other countries enacted their own tariffs and soon world trade fell 40%
Hoover was not quick to react to the depression
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
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
HOOVER’S SUCCESSFUL DAM PROJECT
Hoover successfully organized and authorized the construction of the Boulder Dam (Now called the Hoover 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
Any dam questions?
HOOVER TAKES ACTION: TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
Hoover gradually softened his position on government intervention in the economy
He created the Federal Farm Board to help farmers
He also created the National Credit Organization that helped smaller banks
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
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 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
BONUS ARMY TURNED DOWN
Hoover called the Bonus marchers, “Communists and criminals”
On June 17, 1932 the Senate voted down the Patman Bill
Thousands of Bonus Army soldiers protest – Spring 1932
BONUS MARCHERS CLASH WITH SOLDIERS
Hoover told the Bonus marchers to go home– most did
2,000 refused to leave
Hoover sent a force of 1,000 soldiers under the command of General Douglas MacArthur and his aide Dwight Eisenhower
AMERICANS SHOCKED AT TREATMENT OF WWI VETS
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
Hoover had little chance to be re-elected in 1932
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Elected President, 1932 on promise of getting the economy back on its feet. In 1933, after only a few weeks in office, he proposes a plan called The New Deal.
“ The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” In his first inaugural address, FDR soothed U.S. citizens with these words. FDR’s New Deal plan offered new federal programs to improve the economy and help those in need. He also begins a series of radio talks called the “Fireside Chats.” He spoke on the air about conditions in the nation and what the gov’t. was doing about them. These informal talks help make people feel more hopeful.
Major New Deal Acts and Agencies
Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA):
- Provided funds for local and state relief organizations.
From May 1933 until it closed in December, 1935, FERA gave states and localities $3.1 billion. FERA provided work for over 20 million people and developed facilities on public lands across the country
National Industry Recovery Act (NIRA):
Created work codes and industry safety regulations.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC):
Gave 2.5 million young men work in environmental
Social Security Act: - Gave benefits to the elderly and orphaned and to people injured in industrial accidents. Social Security is currently estimated to keep roughly 40% of all Americans age 65 or older out of poverty Most women and minorities were initially excluded from the benefits of unemployment insurance and old age pensions. Employment definitions reflected typical white male categories and patterns. Nearly two-thirds of all African Americans in the labor force, 70 to 80% in some areas in the South, and just over half of all women employed were not covered by Social Security. ] Amendments over the years have changed that.
Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA):
Gave farmers money to make up for the government’s
request to bring fewer crops to market.
Works Progress Administration (WPA):
Provided government funds for constructing buildings
and to hire writers and artists.
Almost every community in the United States had a park, bridge or school constructed by the agency.
Tennessee Valley Authority ( TVA ):
Provided funds to develop the Tennessee River Valley.
Serves 9 million people in seven states.
Farm Security Administration (FSA):
Lent money to sharecroppers and tenant farmers
to help them buy their own land. Later becomes FHA.
The FSA is famous for its small but highly influential photography program, 1935–44, that portrayed the challenges of rural poverty.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB):
Guaranteed workers the right to join labor unions and