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The Great Depression

The Great Depression

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The Great Depression

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  1. The Great Depression

  2. The Farmers • By the 1930s, farmers had entered their second decade of depressed prices. • In the early years of the depression, thousands had lost their homes to foreclosure. • Banks took possession of farmers’ homes • Banks would then sell the homes & farms at auction.

  3. Plans to Keep the Farm • Penny auctions- staged sales of property for pennies to friends, who returned it later. • Borrowing money from relatives helped others to stay on their farms longer. • Farmers on the Plains were not able to make this work for long, due to the “Dust Bowl”.

  4. Tenant Farmers • Did not own the land they worked • Made them very vulnerable to changes in the farm economy during the 1930s • When the government paid farmers to let farm land go unplanted, most chose the land that the tenants farmed • As landowners used their government checks to buy equipment, they no longer needed hired hands to help farm.

  5. Mexican & Mexican American Workers • Had generally been welcomed in the California fields as seasonal workers • Between 1931 & 1934 LA officials rounded up 12,000 people of Mexican descent for deportation (some were US citizens) • As the farm economy worsened, many fled to cities for work.

  6. Think, Write, Pair, Share • What was the root cause of the poor farm economy? • What did government do to try to help? • How were those who relied on farming for a living affected?

  7. Life in the Cities • By 1933, 25% of people in cities were unemployed.(national average) • In Buffalo, NY it was 30% • Chicago & Cleveland it was 50% • Toledo, OH it was 80% • Downtown shops closed • People sold apples on the streets • Beggars roved the sidewalks asking for spare change

  8. Silence is Deadly • Factory smokestacks emitted no smoke • Construction sites were silent with half built structures just sitting there • Everything slowed down • The lack of activity was a sure sign of the depression

  9. Unemployed in the City • The layoffs began after a couple of years of the economic downturn • African Americans and other minorities were the first laid off • Full time employees were asked to job share • Then these scaled down jobs were cut

  10. Living in the Cities • With wage reductions, many working people were no better off than the unemployed • May have 15 people living in an apartment meant for a family of 3 • Still they had trouble paying the rent and eviction notices were common

  11. The Homeless • It is estimated that by 1932, 2 million people were on the road looking for work and a place to settle. • Temporary shelters were called Hoovervilles • Often, people had to scrounge garbage cans for food

  12. Compare/Contrast • With the knowledge you have of the Okies, and the info you have been given today; draw a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the farmers and city dwellers during the Depression.