Essay on History - 1930s Review

Submitted By AyeshaDewan
Words: 1305
Pages: 6

The Great Depression:

* The Stock Market and Black Tuesday * The stock market worked like this. Companies would divide up their assets into shares (aka stocks) which would then be sold on the market. Buyers would then buy those stocks thus becoming partial owners of the company. Some would buy on margin, meaning they would loan money from the broker. These people would make much more money when the stocks went up, however they would also lose a lot of money if the stocks went down. * People who pulled out of the stock market before the crash, such as Joseph Kennedy and Jesse Livermore, were known as “smart money”. They made millions of the stock market. * October 29, 1929 the day of the Stock Market Crash aka Black Tuesday * The market crashed because the stocks were slowly becoming over-inflated until they had no relation to the company’s original value. When people realized this, they began mass-selling all their stocks which led to the stocks rapidly going down, and eventually the crash. * The crash led to the Great Depression because everyone lost money. The people who invested lost money and even people who didn’t invest lost money because banks invested all their money in stocks. This led everyone not having enough money to pay off their debts and purchase important materials, which led to company’s laying people off because they can’t afford any more employees. That led more people having less and less money. This continued in an endless cycle until WW2. * Five Underlying Causes of the Great Depression * Economy was completely dependent upon staple products (natural resource products) * Canada is heavily dependent on exports * Canadian economy is closely tied to the U.S. economy * Canadian economy is tied to the European economies which are very weak after WW1 * Overproduction of goods * Government response to Depression * At first, government believed economy would fix itself and therefore did nothing * Later, when things got bad in the mid-30s, they provided relief (aka dole) however people often felt humiliated to accept it because certain criteria of being poor had to be met (having no luxury items and being “morally worthy’) * Prime Minister Bennett would often receive letters asking for money and he would often send money out his own pocket (around $5) to those people without telling anyone else * People were unhappy with Bennett. They would name useless things after him because they felt he was responsible for the state of the economy. Bennett Buggies were engine-less cars pulled by horses. Bennett Blankets were old newspapers people would wrap themselves with to try and keep warm.

* Relief Camps * Camps for unemployed single men * Paid 20 cents / day to do pointless labour (e.g. dig out a hole one day and fill it in the next day) * Run by the Department of National Defence (Military) * Brought unemployed and angry workers together (called the camp slave camps) * The camps became a symbol of Ottawa’s lack of concern for the public * Led to the Regina Riot * Conditions for the Unemployed * Hobo Jungles * Aka Shanty Towns or Hoovervilles * Unemployed people would settle near rail lines, city dumps, or vacant lots in shacks and tents * Riding the Rails/Rods (Applies to unemployed single men) * Ride on or underneath train cars in search of work * Helped to unify Canada * Allowed people to share a sense of despair * Soup Kitchens * Often organized by charities or churches * Gave small servings of food to the public * Statics * 30% of population is unemployed * 10% of population is on relief * Regina Riot * In June 1935, 1000 men set out from B.C. to confront Bennett about the relief camps. This came to be known as the