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HIS2364 (4)
Lecture 4

Lecture 4 (Jan 16).docx

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Department
History
Course
HIS2364
Professor
Anthony Dimascio
Semester
Winter

Description
1/16/2013 Lecture 4 - Prime Minister Bennett and the Great Depression, 1930-35 - Introduction - The anatomy of the crash - Economic origins of the crisis o Economic indicators o Canada`s slow recovery: why? o Canada’s slow recovery: Why? - PM Bennett’s initial response o An aggressive plan of action o The crisis expands and deepens o Desperate times – desperate measures - The Bennett government unravels o Farm and small business communities revolt o H.H. Stevens reconstructed party o Bennett’s impoverished “new deal - The 1935 election and beyond o The end of Bennett and the New Deal Intro - Middle class Canadians, rural and urban, experienced a decade of remarkable growth and some prosperity in the 20’s - The October, 1929 crash on wall reverberated around the world - Canada’s small, open economy virtually collapsed - Unemployment (Official, non-official often way higher) ranged between 10-30 percept during the decade - Were the responses of Liberal and Conservative governments adequate? If not, why not? - Economic origins of the Crisis o Most studies of the Depression deal with the political and social dimension rather than the economic aspects o Yet the collapse of financial and industrial capitalism was at the very heart of the decade long Great Depression o The 1940 report of the royal commission on dominion-provincial relations outlined in some detail the economic & constitutional dimensions o A.E. Safarian’s, The Canadian Economy in the Great Depression (1959) provides a comprehensive explanation for the severity and longevity of Canada’s Depression - Economic Indicators o 1929-33: Gross National Expenditure Gross national Product, & national income decline by 30-40% o July 1929 – December 1932: 50% decline in export prices in current dollars, 25% in constant dollars o Using 100 as a base: prices of 17 major exports: fell 100 to 47 o Prices of farm products: 100 to 30 o Wholesale prices: 100 to 66 o Index of employment: 100 to 67 o Index of industrial output: 100 to 52 o Most important statistic: investment in durable assets – plants and equipment --- fell by over 80% Canada’s slow recovery: Why? - Unique nature of Canada’s economic expansion: 1900-30 o Economy far too dependent on exports of cereal grains and natural resources: boom and bust sector o Over expansion of Canada’s public and private railroads  Corporations and country deeply in debt o 25% of all investment was in foreign currency at fixes rates o Late 1920s: private and public investment jumped by 66%: 917M in 1926 to 1.5B in 1929 o Excess capacity in mining, manufacturing, construction, steam & electric railways, trade, and commercial services
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