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Great Depression and New Deal

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Great Depression and New Deal - Page Text Content

BC: The End

FC: The New Deal | Great Depression | Peter Bachman Period 4

1: "What do you think of our WPA project headquarters?" he asked, as slim fingers tightened down on the T square, and the stark black line traveled steadily across the gray-white paper. "Used to be a horse-station Fire House," he informed. "The smell's not too bad, as long as you don't go opening the trap in the floor. . . . "One reason people here don't like WPA is because they don't understand it's not all bums and drunks and aliens! Nobody ever explains to them that they'd never have had the new High School they're so goddam proud of if it hadn't been for PWA. They don't stop to figure that new brick sidewalks wouldn't be there, the shade trees wouldn't be all dressed up to look at along High Street and all around town, if it weren't for WPA projects. To most in this town, and I guess it's not much different in this, than any other New England place, - WPA's just a racket, wet set up to give a bunch of loafers and drunks steady pay to indulge in their vices! They don't stop to consider that on WPA are men and women who have traveled places and seen things, been educated and found their jobs folded up and nothing to replace them with. How you going to call Doc Crowley, for instance, a bum? Practiced a dentist, - and now his eyes are going bad, - think he's not damn grateful for WPA ? How about these college fellows, - some of 'em on here with me,- M.I.T. graduates, - U. of Alabama - Dartmouth - Yale plenty of them can't get work, and why? . . . ". . . You've got me born, - grown up, - single, - working on WPA. I suppose the next thing's where do we go from here? I wish to Hell somebody'd tell me! This 30-day vacation thing will tell one step, I calculate. The vets'll be down on the doorstep of City Hall waiting for the Soldiers' Relief agent! Most of the others'll be lined up on the sidewalk, filing into the Public Welfare office! As for me, what the Hell can I do? If there's anything I hate, it is to have to go down there and look for a damned grocery slip, - but I haven't got a chance of paying two weeks' bills with my check, when it does come,- and being able to finance myself more [that?] two-three days. Then what? I don't know, honestly! My names in for work in the shops, - you can't even register in Boston anymore for work, they'll just look at you as if you were nuts or something! "Why," they'll say, "we can fill jobs for ten years just from the people living right here. Go back where you came from. If you can't find work there, there's certainly nothing here for you!" So it goes! You know, for a long time I didn't dare tell mother I was even on the WPA ! Then, of course, when the checks came to the house in the mail, the jig was up! She felt terribly about it all, but what could we do? If I do have to hit them up for a grocery order, - and God knows I don't know what else I can do, - then I sure hope she don't find out about it. I'm only hoping that [the?] guys that plan this Relief Act may see how foolish it is to hope to drive us into jobs don't exist, - and maybe keep us from having to go through all that damned charity business again. Hell, I feel like I earned my money, working for it! I can hold my head up, for I'm not loafing, nor trying to cheat in any way. When that's taken away, good-night! One thing I will say, - to you! When the city hasn't got funds to finance Public Welfare, - and they start in squawking to the state, - and then when the state finds the burden's more than they can swing, - you'll see how long it takes the old birds in Washington to realize it's government help, or else - it's only that it's too bad to make all the guys go through what they've got to, first, in order to convince Congress we're not just throwing a lot of heffer-dust about ourselves, right?" | This document talks about how many people did not appreciate the WPA because they didn't truly understand how much the WPA did for everyone. Many people did not want to be on public welfare as a matter of pride. This document relates to the Great Depression because it shows how people felt about the WPA, and how large numbers of people didn't appreciate the WPA.

2: I was born in the old country -- Italy -- 41 years ago and came over here when I was 3 months old. Things have certainly changed a lot in forty years. . . . . . . I can get a job today even if we got a depression. I don't mean that I wasn't on relief when things got tough because there was a time when everything was shut down and I had to get on relief for a job. It isn't so long ago I was working on WPA. Believe me it was a big help. But it was'nt the kind of a job I should have had because this town is Republican and I am a Republican and I was a good worker for the party -- making voters and helping a lot of people out -- getting their taxes rebated (abated). Getting jobs for them. When it came my turn that I needed help the politicians told me that I had to go on relief -- well, when I did I was handed a shovel and pick. . . .Roosevelt is a damn good man -- you take all these young fellows and you can't talk to them like in the old days to swing them over. Today all these kids are satisfied on WPA and the NYA . My son works there and gets 44 cents an hour. . . . . . . When I was a young fellow, not that I am very old now, I used to have a lot fun going around singing and to friends but you don't see that nowadays. I guess everybody just don't care anymore. Of course the depression is the fault. When the pocket book is sick the whole body is sick also. You know they call this a depression. Well I think it is a sickness that won't go way. Ten years is a long time to suffer it seems to me that if the government wanted to stop it they could. Not that Roosevelt isn't a good man because whoever get in there things will be the same old story. The money men control everything and the unions most of them are crooked. . . . . . . I believe in education and I always wish that I had one -- but today the man who knows a trade, especially a machinist trade is the baby that can get along. There are no depression for him and furthermore how many of these college students after they graduate get on the top? Let me tell you that when I was on the WPA I met some of these college men working in the ditches and damn glad to do it. Well this brings us right back to where we started. It's just like a circle. Somebody is got the key and we're all trying to get out. Suppose we get out then what? We get right in again. Because the capitalist almost controls everything. To-day if a person is getting along fine - along comes something like the depression or some screwy laws and down in the ditch you go. . . . . . . In the nine years of this depression even though I didn't feel it much because I always gave myself a push but think of the others who are weak -- what about them? You know there shouldn't be a depression in this country. You know we have everything -- even the most money but all you hear today is the same old baloney -- the Democrats are in power and the Republicans won't let loose with the money. Well I say that the money men started this thing and I believe the government should make laws to force these capitalist to bring back prosperity. They can do it if they wanted to. But all you hear nowadays is lets balance the budget. I don't believe this budget has been balanced since the indians were here so why the hell do it now. I don't mean that we should go overboard on everything and start spending money left and right because I am against chislers and flukey jobs but lets get down to business and start manufacturing things and sell them to everybody who got the cash -- and to those who haven't the cash give them enough credit and a job so that they can pay. You know sometimes I wonder what way we are drifting -- some of the laws that was passed in the last few years were very good for the people and I guess you know what happened. You take the N.R.A. I think that was very good -- it gave everybody a chance except those who are misers and are never satisfied if they make 100 dollars a week. This other law the Social Security I believe is the best. The only fault I find is that a man has to reach the age of 65 before he can collect. Well how many do? [?] They tell you nowadays that a person lives longer - well they used to before this depression but[,?] hell[,?] today you worry your god damn head off on how to meet both ends and that makes your life much shorter. You see what I mean that this government wants to do something good for the people and does but damn it they put strings to it. Tell me how many reach the age of 65? Very few. Why the hell don't they give a person a break and say at 56 years old you should retire from work and enjoy life instead of waiting until he is almost dead they give him a few dollars a month. I think the whole shooting match is wrong. And unless we get the crooks and chislers out of Washington we'll remain the same. | This document is an immigrant talking about the Great Depression and all that he thinks personally about what is happening. He seems to have mixed feelings about what the government is doing and whether it is helping or not. This document relates to the Great Depression because it is people talking about how they feel about what is happening around them.

3: As to the New Deal, I believe that it has been a failure as it has protected the trusts more than the American people. Today, the poor are poorer, and the trusts are richer. Another reason: this is a county that is controlled by the trusts. When one stands on the street, and closes his eyes for a moment, and then opens them and looks; everything, absolutely all that one sees is made by the trusts. The automobile that passes by, the street car, the trucks, everything that one wears: shoes, clothes, ets. When one enters a restaurant, he sees the plates, the tables, the spoons, all is made by the trusts. 95% of what one eats is controlled by the trusts. The trusts for more than 200 years have been controlling all the industries, and killing the small business men. We have reached a state in which the trusts dominate all, as they are the owners of the money, or nearly all the money that there is in the United States. The war can already be seen between one trust and others; the strongest will dominate the weaker trusts, and the capital will be reduced to a few men who will control everything. In my particular opinion, all is not lost. A few men are necessary, who would have sufficient energy and intelligence to make social laws: as for example, all machines which displace ten men, should give the salary to those ten men. For example, one machine can, manipulated by the number of individuals which it displaces, taking turns by hour. The Capitalist will have the right to a certain equitable percentage, and there cannot be a capitalist who can have as capital more than one million dollars. All that passes this amount the Federal government will confiscate it for the betterment of the community. The utility companies should be the property of the communities. All poor men who passes 50 years should be pensioned of he government, with a modest pension, but at the same time sufficient for the necessities of each one. The system of voting in this county should be reformed, as the system that exists nowadays is very antiquated as it is frustrated in nearly all the country. One of the principal things that should be done is the [carnet?] (identification card) with the picture and finger prints to avoid fraud. . . . We must take into consideration that the American people have more progress and civilization than the rest of the world, who know their rights; who are accustomed to eat and dress, and that today they do not eat nor dress. The American people know that in the United States there is a surplus of food; there is a surplus of clothing; and there is a surplus of everything, while he {?} all. Days before the NRA, lard was at .07 per pound, today May 1935, lard is at 21. and thus successively all the article, an enormity; but nevertheless, the workers earn less today than before the NRA -- those who work -- and those who do not work, have multiplied to such an extent that if I should say that 25,000,000 workers are without work at the present moment, I would not be mistaken. . . . I do not believe that Roosevelt will solve this crisis, for if he had wanted to, as he promised to the American people, he would have solved it, as the Legislature and the Senate have given Roosevelt more power than any other president of the United States. . . . I must state in making these declarations that I was one of so many fools that believing in the so much "cackled" ([casarado?]) New Deal, and that I went to deposit my vote for the one who is today President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who has "[desepcionado?]" (deceived) my most pure illusions with the respect to the solution of this great crisis which effects "en le mas profundo," (4) (in the most profound) the people of the United States. . . . I wish to state also that I will not vote again for any candidate for President of the United States, who belongs to the Democratic or Republican party, as I believe that anyone of these presidents has not an ideology really democratic and just, for those of us who work, and produce, and are respectful of the law. | This document discusses how one person feels that Roosevelt's new deal did not work at all. They had a lot of hope in it but it did not show through for them. This relates to the Great Depression by showing the huge amounts of people that had great faith in the new deal and Roosevelt. The plan for restoration gave the population so much hope.

4: On the right: This is a young boy during the Great Depression. His father is a refugee from Oklahoma. This boy and his father were living in California at the time the picture was taken. It was very common for families, small or large, to move out west because of poverty. The small amount of things shown in the background could be all that this particular family owned. | On the next page: Part of family of nine living along a New Mexico Highway, the family is very poor. They left Iowa in 1932 because the Father, an auto mechanic laborer, was of very bad health. The family has not a single cent of money and is about to sell all of their belongings in hopes to buy some much needed food. This was, unfortunately, an all too common situation for many families during the Great Depression; providing for yourself, let alone eight other people, was hard enough in itself.

6: On the left: This is a shanty built of whatever materials could be found close to Herrin, Illinois. Hundreds of homes were demolished so that the lumber could be sold. This left no place left to go for thousands of impoverished people. The result was people living in shanties like these. The poor quality of living evident in this photograph very much relates to the Great Depression. | On the right: A typical scene in one of the many "Hoovervilles" that sprung up during the Great Depression. This photo is a boy located in central Ohio. This relates to the Great Depression because this was reality for so many people. The only place they had left to go was to gather with others in a situation as worse as their own.

7: Below: A former farmer named William Smith who was forced to move into a Hooverville. This relates to the Great Depression because this was necessary for many farmers who had once been prosperous but whose income were crippled by the decrease in purchases.

8: This poster shows a blueprint of new and better housing next to old tenement buildings. Over the tenement buildings stands the figure of death. The intent of this poster is to scare people, using the death and health concerns for infants, into buying different housing.

9: The poster on the left depicts two big horn sheep in a national park. The intent of this poster is quite simple. It tells people to preserve wildlife, be it via a national park or other methods, and to visit the national parks | This poster displays two seaplanes mid flight and a man welding metal. The intent of this poster is to convince people to join the war effort by participating in salvage.

20: A family is pieced together with hope and faith. A family is quilted and bound with love and grace.

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Peter Bachman
  • By: Peter B.
  • Joined: almost 9 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 1
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Great Depression and New Deal
  • Scrapbook over the Great Depression and Roosevelt's New Deal
  • Tags: great depression, new deal
  • Published: almost 9 years ago