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HIS2364 (4)


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University of Ottawa
Michael Behiels

HIS2364 Prime Minister BennettGreat Depression Bennett policy failures results in government unravels farm and small businesses revoltHH Stevens Reconstruction PartyBennetts impoverished New Deal Beyond 1935 election King or Chaos role of the CCF and Reconstruction party Remarkable growth for middle class Canadians during the roaring 20s October 1929 crash on wall street reverberated around the worldCanadas small open economy virtually collapsed Unemployment rate 1030 during depression Anatomy of Economic collapseCollapse of financial and industrial capitalism was at the very heart of the great depression1940 report of the Royal Commission on DominionProvincial relations outlined in some detail the economicconstitutional dimensionsAE Safarians book The Canadian Economy in the Great Depression provided the first look at why the depression lasted so long Economic indicators 192933 Gross national expenditure GNP and national income declined by 3040July 1929 Dec 1932 50 decline in export prices in current dollars 25 in constant dollarsUsing100 units prices of 17 major exports fell 100 to 47Farm products 100 to 30 wholesale prices 100 to 66 index of employment 100 to 67 industrial output 100 to 52 Dramatic decline in investment in the Canadian economy contributed to the length of the depression in the Canadian economyCanadian economy did not completely recover until deep into WWIIInvestors was bullish in the 20s to becoming bearish in the 30sWhy slow recoveryEconomy too dependent on exports of cereal grains and natural resources Over expansion of Canadas public and private railroads borrowed excessive amounts of money 25 of investment was in foreign currency at fixed ratesLate 1920s private and public investment jumped by 66 917M in 1926 to 15Billion in 1929 Excess capacity in mining manufacturing construction steamelectric railways trade and commercial servicesFew new investment opportunities available by 1930 External factorsUS which absorbs 40 of Canadas merchandise exportsimposed much higher tariffs Similar protectionist measures enacted by Canadas other trading partnersCanadian wheat economy and other resources sectors hardest hitVery high overhead costs extensive debts in foreign currencies at high fixed rates brought severe drop in investment in every economic sector loss of jobs resulted Impact of domestic and external factorsDecline in domestic investment 1933 investment dropped to 11 of 1929 levelGovernment revenues fell thus expenditures were slashedBanks increased interest rates government imposed higher taxes on those who remained at workPer capital income dropped by average 50Consumer and corporate spending dropped sharply did not recover until WWII Aggressive plan of actionPM King a traditional laissezfaire economist slow to understand and respond to crisisKing refused to grant any tory government as much as a five cent piece to address the crisis of unemployment July 1930 election conservatives landslide victory 137 seats to 91PM Bennett a flamboyant wealthy lawyer and real estate tycoon from Calgary won by promising quick and decisive action Bennett ran oneman government he ignored his cabinet and micromanaged every ministry 140911 Take home Midterms TA office hours Wed 1011302 article summaries for midterm Summarize article identify key facts arguments and examples of evidence to support arguments Helpful to look at the sources dont forget title page and etc Put article and author title header and footers etcRobertjamestalbothotmailcom Bennetts Initial Response20 million sent to provinces for direct relief gone in one year 30 million more in indirect relief left little impact Protectionist measures Blast Canadas way into world markets1930 trade deficit of 120M 1935 trade surplus of 188MTotal trade declined prices increased factory jobs disappeared although manufacturers profits protectedUsed 1932 Ottawa imperial economic conference to obtain free trade in agriculture products lower tariffs for some manufactured goodsBennett thought this would have been a short recessionCrisis expandsdeepensExtended drought in the prairies makes things worseImpoverished families abandon farmsWheat price drops 103 per bushel in 1928 to029 in 1932 thus Wheat Board collapsesGovernment bought all surplus wheat 200M bushels by 19351933 official unemployment reaches 20 of labour forceMany more underemployed women offered 60 mens wages or forced to resign once married No system of relief or relief eligibility was so high it was difficult to receiveCanadians at the time viewed relief as a charity not a rightSingle unemployed men and women were not eligible for any form of relief single women with children given little helpRelief rates set below minimum wage destitute families offered vouchers for food and rentAtlantic region insufficient relief starvation occurredDesperate times desperate measuresBennett stopped costsharing public works relief projects too expensivemost provinces cant afford them1932 Relief Act cost shared by Ottawa 13 Provinces 13 municipalities 131934 Ottawa cuts its contribution to 20 pushing western provinces closer to bankruptcySingle unemployed men given jobs as farm labourersMarried men and families offered 200 to homestead 7000 agreed
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