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The Great Depression

The Great Depression. I. Optimism and Prosperity. Worst economic downturn in U.S. history 1928, Hoover elected Pres. 1929, widespread optimism. II. A “Bull Market”. Rising stock dividends Increase in Personal Savings Relatively easy money policy

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The Great Depression

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  1. The Great Depression

  2. I. Optimism and Prosperity • Worst economic downturn in U.S. history • 1928, Hoover elected Pres. • 1929, widespread optimism

  3. II. A “Bull Market” • Rising stock dividends • Increase in Personal Savings • Relatively easy money policy • Companies invested their over-production profits in new production • Lack of stock market regulation • Psychology of consumption

  4. III. The Crash • Stock market; chief indicator of U.S. fiscal health • Stock prices out of proportion to actual profits • “Problems would correct themselves.” • October 29, 1929: Black Tuesday • Oct. 29-Nov. 13: $30 billion • Shattered Public Confidence

  5. The Crash (cont’d) • Rockefeller:”…Prosperity has always returned and will again.” • 1930-”Happy Days are Here Again.” • 1931-”I’ve Got Five Dollars.” • 1932-”Brother, Can You Spare a Dime.” • 1933-$40 billion

  6. Social Impact of the Great Depression Essential Question: How did the depression affect private citizens?

  7. IV. Social Problems • Unemployment and poverty • Breakdown of families • Soaring high school dropout rates (2 to 4 million) • Homelessness • Organized protests

  8. “Hoovervilles” • "Hoovervilles" in sarcastic reference to President Hoover.

  9. “Hoovervilles”

  10. "The Bonus Expeditionary Force." 7. WWI veteransdenied their pensions • In 1932, 20,000 men. • President Hoover sent in the army

  11. "The Bonus Expeditionary Force." 1. "Bonus Army" WWI 2. Handpainted sign on Bonus Army truck states: "We Done a Good Job in France, Now You Do a Good Job in America"

  12. V. Images of the Great Depression

  13. 1. Bread Lines

  14. 2. “Okies” and the Dust Bowl

  15. “Okies” and the Dust Bowl • "Okies“farmers who migrated to CA. • 15% of the Oklahoma population left for California.("Okies“) • Derogatoryconnotations of homelessness, poverty

  16. Dust Bowl

  17. Dust Bowl • 1930-1941 • Causes: • Drought • Poor farming techniques • Agricultural frontier pushed beyond its natural limits. • Land had been stripped of its natural vegetation • Ecological balance destroyed • Nothing left to hold the soil • Dried up and the winds came in the 1930s.

  18. 3. The Grapes of Wrath (1939)By John Steinbeck

  19. VI. The Grapes of Wrath (1939)by John Steinbeck • Set in the Great Depression • Tells the story of the Joadssharecroppers • 'Okie' farmers driven from their land by drought and the Dust Bowl • Forced to endure the hardships of migrant w orkers moving West.

  20. The Grapes of Wrath (1939)by John Steinbeck • Tom Joad is released from prison after serving time for manslaughter returns to find his parents' farm deserted. His family is planning to leave for California. • Like other Oklahoma farmers, they have seen their crops ruined by the Dust Bowl. • En route to California, they discover the roads are choked with thousands of similarly-situated refugees, and that money is tight. • They find there are dozens or scores of applicants for every job • there is little to no hope of finding a stable community and a steady income that can purchase the food. • In response to the exploitation of this labor surplus: • The workers begin to join trade unions • The surviving members of the family are involved in strikes that turn violent. • Tom Joad, the protagonist, kills a man, and must become a fugitive, promising that no matter where he runs, he will be a tireless advocate for the common man against the powerful.

  21. 4. Two Big Economic Facts • Unemployment • Inability to sell goods and services

  22. 5. Escapism • Go for a drive • Have a cigarette • Go to a movie • As a result: sales of oil, gas, cigarettes, and movie tickets all went up.

  23. 6. Laying the Blame • Bankers • Brokers • Businessmen

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