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Lecture

HIST 261 February 26

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Department
History
Course
HIST261
Professor
Eric Strikwerda
Semester
Winter

Description
Feb 27 2014 The Great Depression in CND By the mid 1920’s the Labour movement has lost momentum and crumbled and in 1929 the Great Crash happened. 1929, the Great Crash the beginning of the Great Depression On the 29 of October 1929 the NY stock market crashed and while many people believe this caused the Great Depression it was actually just a symptom of an unhealthy economy. Its occurrence is tied to continual mass production and a decline in disposable capital. The economic growth that was occurring during the late 1920’s was based on shaky foundations; the unprecedented industrial production that was made possible by new industrial corporate practices increased rapidly but wages failed to keep pace with production (production soars to 40% vs. wages increase by 8%). Additionally many investors were spooked into dumping stocks after the crash of Black Thursday which also lead to a tightening of credit, and an increase in credit regulation. Many people were hopeful that there might be possible markets abroad either in America or Europe. However the problem was that there was an over production of products across the industrialized world. In addition the US was unwilling (or unable?) to slow worldwide production though they were the runner up for the job of super power. They also adopted a Tight-Money policy which worsened that credit crunch (it is advised that to get out of a depression a government should spend it way out instead or being misers). The US also implemented the Hawley-Smoot tariff which increased the prices of incoming products by 30% and thus removed the US from being a possible market to unload CND’s excess of products. The Dirty Thirty’s In the 1930’s the increasingly global marketplace was dominated by NY and London and as they saying goes when NY and London sneeze the whole works catches a cold. The government’s response was to reduce debts, to spend less, and the belief that the market not the government will solve the economic problems. Mass and Industrial Unemployment The Figures available for the unemployment rate during the Great depressions are not quite representative of the actual number of people who were unemployed. However what is recorded is that in 1931 20% of the population was unemployed and this number jumped to 30% in 1933. The population here however does not included the Underemployed (people who work a couple of hours a week which may or may not be enough to get by), women, migrant workers (also called transients, these were people who followed work seasons, like farm hands, loggers or miners), or farmers (as the government official were entirely out of touch with the situation at hand). Government Responses William Mackenzie King claimed that the fundamentals of the economy were sound and blamed complaints on the Conservative party. R. B. Bennett acknowledged that there was problem and is elected in 1930 and implements his plan is to lower tariffs in order to unburden their markets. He was born in 1870, had worked as a teacher, a principal, and a lawyer. In the 1890’s he moved from the Maritimes to Calgary and made friends with Lougheed, with whom he started a law office whose major client is CPR. He officially moved to AB in 1897, runs for conservatives and becomes head of Tories in 1927. Bennett's Plan The Unemployment Relief Act 1930 Cities during this period were responsible for the care of the unfortunate and were in charge of local welfare. The federal government made available 20 million dollars of which 16/20 was ear marked to go to cities in order to create make-work projects for the unemployed. Because the money was hanged over to the cities they were able to select who got the jobs and the result was that the jobs went to marred men so that they would be abl
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