FC: The Great Depression American History / MWF / 1-2 Sarah Shaffer 101263
1: Trading floor of the stock market exchange.
2: The main cause for the Great Depression was the stock market crash on October 29, 1929. People panicked and withdrew their money from banks which caused banks to go bankrupt. After this incident, Americans started saving more of their money while spending less, causing less business for companies. This led to less production, which led to more lay-offs and unemployment rates rising. The government tried to help by passing high tariff laws, such as Smooth Hawley Tariff. This law raised the tax rate on foreign goods. Instead of earning money, it only limited the trading between other countries with the United States. Banks also contributed to problems. Banks would let loans out to their customers who would not be able to pay their debt off. The McFadden Act of 1927 tried to limit bank growth by making banks stay in the state they originated in. All of these pieces put together, explain what caused the Great Depression.
3: These are pictures of people outside of the unemployment agency, soup kitchen, and waiting for relief checks.
4: People selling their houses and traveling to the west.
5: The Great Depression began on Thursday, October 24, 1929 when the stock market value dropped. On Tuesday, October 29, 1929, people panicked and withdrew their money quickly from banks. This was just the beginning of a nine year stretch from 1930 until 1939. Businesses failed and unemployment rose to twenty-five percent during this time period.
6: Dust Storms and the men cutting lettuce from the dry land.
7: During the Great Depression, the land suffered a harsh drought and many dust storms. Farmers were hit the hardest and had a tough time because their crops were ruined and had nothing to eat for themselves. When farmers could not pay their debt back to banks, the banks would force the farmers and their family’s to foreclose the farm and most would end up homeless.
8: Families and friends during the Great Depression.
9: The unemployment rate was very high and people had a hard time finding jobs. Many Americans were known to “ride-the-rails” and travel around to try to find work. No place were hiring, which left many Americans and their families homeless and poor, many lived in crowded, unsanitary cities. The cities attracted all sorts of individuals. Thousands of families were put out onto the streets each week. Eventually, even those who still had jobs in the city, began to get paid in vouchers or scrip, which was good for food or other needed items. Vendors became popular on major city street corners for a while until they were forbidden due to annoyance to other citizens.
10: Riding the Rails and a Roof Garden
11: Vendors | City Street Corner
12: Many working-class peoples' homes were crowded and sparse with furniture. To feed themselves since food money was tight, they would plant gardens in vacant lots in order to provide a little bit of food for themselves and their families. If fortunate enough, those who lived on the streets shelter would consist of cardboard boxes, newspapers and maybe torn and dirty rags and blankets. Many people would go to soup kitchens for meals since few people could afford going to the store and buying food. Many men who went to soup kitchens struggled with the fact they could not provide for themselves or their families.
13: Citizens at soup kitchens
14: Strikers and a Poor Family
15: Everyone was affected by the Great Depression to some degree. Farmers were definitely hit the hardest, particularly the ones who owned small farms. The drought and dust storms wiped away all they had. City workers struggled as well. Many lived in crowded homes and did not get paid very much. People who lived in the city did not have very good shelter, and lived in crowded and unsanitary conditions. Many men were laid off and unable to find jobs. Men that had families would travel around trying to find small jobs to bring in money. For those who did not take their families along, being separated was very difficult. The Civilian Conservation Corps hired young men to work in camps and do conservation (military style) to bring in about $30 per month. Men lined up at employment agencies and went on strikes.
16: Women never lost their jobs as housewives and mothers. They were still responsible for taking care of their children and husbands, cooking food, doing laundry, and mending. Countless women looked for work to provide some sort of income for herself and family, such as renting rooms out of their house to bring in a few dollars. Even if a woman didn’t have a family, she would have the difficulty of fending for herself. Children suffered harsh conditions during the depression time period. Since their parents were unable to bring in much money, if any at all, many children endured malnourishment, improper dress, and went without shoes. Due to the decrease in finances available to schools, many had to close which left children out of school and work. Many children and adolescents had to help their parents with different chores and also tried to find small jobs.
18: Segregation against African Americans; such as the Jim Crow Laws which called for different faculties for whites and blacks.
19: African Americans continued to experience much segregation during this time. Even though everyone was affected by the Great Depression, many people rejected and were prejudice against those with a different skin color. Many blacks were already poor and living in poverty, but when the economy crashed, conditions became even more challenging for African Americans. They would often work in fields, domestic services, or as peoples' servants. Mexican-Americans faced prejudiced actions, unemployment, but also had to deal with the threat of being sent back to Mexico. With all of these factors, families were in financial crisis, and had to deal with strain on the family relationships.
20: The New Deal programs that were created helped a facet in each area that was affected by the Great Depression. Some of the aspects of the New Deal programs helped feed and clothe families, employed more men, and assisted elderly individuals who did not have any savings money left and were unable to work. World War II was the main reason for the change in the actual economy. America entered World War II which opened military jobs for millions of Americans. The people left at home were able to take the jobs to work in factories and other local businesses. Citizens serving in the war or serving at home helped the economy start flowing again, which put an end to the tragic Great Depression.
21: World War II