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The Great Depression
The Crash
Oct 29, 1929
It was called Black Tuesday buy the journalists
The stock market crashed
This crash paralleled the crash on Wall Street
This is a global event and will have repercussions around the world
The crash was more a symbolic beginning for the Great Depression
It didnt actually begin it and the end is at WWII, when the war economy begins to
pull it out
The Crash is a symptom of a broader problem
A whole series of interlocked problems
International stability
Overproduction of key production commodities
Overuse of credit for the purchase of commodities
These things characterize broadly the Western world
The Depression is a global phenomenon
This event will play out differently because of local, regional and national variations
Canada was hit particularly hard because Canada was very dependant on export,
and specifically in export of natural resources
Because there is a slow down in world trade, Canadian exports go down by a quarter
The key economies in Canada were export driven
The other specific problem is that these international problems intersect with
specific local conditions
It creates a perfect economic storm
World wheat markets are flooded so the price goes down
The output of wheat declines because a drought comes to the prairies in the 1920s
This results in a total collapse of the Western wheat economy
This collapse intersects with the Great Depression
All the spin-offs of the export activity are removed as well
Less Eligibility
The government makes the Depression worst
The federal governments response was not innovative or dramatic
Kings first response was to downplay the problem
R.B. Bennett of the Conservatives hacks away t King at his refusal to see that this
is an emerging crisis
Bennett gets elected and his record is not very active
He creates a Bank of Canada and sets up an Unemployment Relief Act
Provided assistance to the province for two kinds of aid Public works
(infrastructure projects), and direct relief (governments give direct aid to Canadians
either in cash, vouchers or supplies)
Direct Relief handled by private charities and emergency councils created by
municipal government
Relief recipients were often very visible in the community
Direct relief was governed by the less eligibility relief that was provided was far
below the poverty level
Drinkers and loose women werent given relief
Immigrants could be deported
Hard Times and Getting By
Most of the burden on dealing with the depression is placed on communities,
families and individuals
Men would often tramp or ride the rails, which means they would leave their
families and communities to look for work
People began collecting in hobo jungle, which were make-shift communities and
cities meant for trampers
There were also relief camps meant for people to seek a moment of peace
New Ideas in New Places
The creation of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation was followed by the
election of J.S. Woodsworth as their chair
The Regina Manifesto was also written by Cooperative Commonwealth
Federationand it spins off the creation of the New Democratic Party
The actual platform contained ideas that seemed radical at the time
Public ownership of key sectors of the economy
Social security
Universal healthcare
Unemployment insurance
William Aberhart proposed the idea of social credit to address the profound
concerns of the effects of the Depression in Alberta
He thinks that $25 should be given a month to the citizens of Alberta
This helps Aberhart get elected to the position of Premier of Alberta
New Ideas in Old Places
T.D. Duff Pattullo, premier of B.C. also tried to solve problems by setting up
things live public health insurance
But he doesnt have enough money to do it
In 1935, Bennett gets converted to a reformist program
He goes on air to declare his commitment to reform
Unemployment insurance, health insurance
Bennett has the money to do this, but not the power
King gets re-elected to the government
His main aim was to balance the budget and to set up commission to look into the
He set up the National Employment Commission and the Royal Commission on
Dominion- Provincial Relations