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HIST 2600 (61)

Mar 5 2014.docx

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University of Guelph
HIST 2600
Rebecca Beausaert

HIST 2600 Mar 5 th The Interwar Years (the great depression) 1. background to the great depression a. worst economic crisis to hit the western world b. 1929-39 c. black Tuesday, some people say it started this day but it didn’t actually i. oct 29, 1929 the day when the new york stock market crashes ii. bank failures and decline in international trade because of high tariffs on goods d. worldwide over production of commodities but prices plummet so there is no where for all the excess goods e. effects Canada, especially wheat farmers, newsprint (pulp and paper industry) and nettles f. depression had been in the works for almost a decade g. real cause of the depression was the first world war and the high optimism of the later years of the 1920s h. first world war ends and its great for the economy, but then Canada is in debt from the war and the overspending and high optimism i. people were spending on credit, credit card banks were happily giving out cards j. people were buying homes and farms they couldn’t afford k. unemployment skyrockets in Canada l. tens of thousands lose their jobs because companies go out of business or are forced to downsize m. wages are significantly cut back n. unemployment is 20% in 1933, as high as 35% or 50% in some places o. british Columbia and the prairie west experienced the worst conditions bbecause of their dependence on wheat industry p. drought in the prairie west and extreme temperature fluctuations and large infestation of grasshoppers (the dust bowl on the prairies) q. 1930, new prime minster: r.b. Bennett who is a conservative—has to attempt to get the country out of the depression 2. searching for answers: relief efforts a. introduces unemployment relief act; to provide money to those who are struggling i. initially pledges 20 million worth of assistance, and ends up contributing 350 million ii. step in the right direction, Canadians now have the opportunity to accept monetary relief b. unemployment insurance (pogey) i. affects sense of self worth, independence, confidence, pride ii. government would set up office in a public building, people would line up and declare how poor you are and ensure you own no luxury goods (like a radio) iii. government worker can approve the request, the money has to go toward living expenses (rent, mortgage) and you receive a set of coupons or food vouchers to get food for free (bare necessities, bread, milk, flour) iv. lots of soup kitchens open up v. could go get used clothing if you needed it and depots were set up to get fuel (wood, oil) vi. not every town gave out pogey, sometimes you had to work to get relief, like helping with road construction or pulling weeds on town property vii. some Canadians; depression was even worse if you were an enemy alien c. government adopts strict immigration policy; discouraging immigration and deporting people d. 1930-35; deports 30,000 immigrants e. because of the lack of immigration, the Canadian population stays the same in the 1930s f. jews fleeing nazi Germany were kept out; 1939 jews that were trying to flee nazi Germany are denied entry into Canada and sent back to germany g. one Canadian official said ‘none is too many’in regards to jewish refugees h. more and more Canadians are becoming sympathetic to facist regimes in Europe, especially hitlers regime i. pocktes of anti-semetic and pro-nazi semitic emerge in the 1930s j. birth rate is low in the 1930s k. relief camps are established for single, unemployed men who had begun riding the rails i. hop on railway cars, going town to town looking for work and food l. government worried about these men because of fears of communism and socialism m. the camps were set up in the distance from the towns and cities; 1
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