17 Mar 2011
February 15, 2011
The Great Depression
I. The Crash
-Canadian stock market crashed on Black Tuesday: October 29
-This crash echoed and paralleled the more famous crash on wall street
-More than a Canadian event…global event
-Had repercussions with t he whole world
-Wall street crash was more a symbolic bookend for the great depression than the
1929 crash
-Bookend at the end is the start of WWII
-Overextended credit / overproduction of key commodities
-Economy dependant on exports: wheat, pulp and paper etc
-Decline in world trade…Canadian expor ts decline a quarter by 1932
-These international problems intersect with local conditions (per fect economic
-Wheat glut: too much on the world market pr ice goes down
-Result is the total collapse of the wheat economy
-Price per bushel goes down
II. Less Eligibility
-William Lyon Mackenzie King is in power at the time
-Government response is not innovative or dramatic
-Kings f irst response was to minimize the crisis
-RB Bennett (Conservative, 1930 – 1935)
-Bennetts record is ambiguouswe are ambivalent
-He passes the unemployment Relief Act which gives 20 million dollars of federal
money to provinces for relief of the unemployed
-Public works spending / infrastructure programs was the target of aid
-This would build public buildings / roads etc
-Direct relief was given to people in the for ms of shoes or clothes (you cou ld see
who was on relief by who got the noticeable pieces of clothing)
-Relief was governed by the less el igibility pr inciple (aid should sustain life at less
than the worst job in the area)
-Relief was therefore far below the poverty line
III. Hard Times and Getting By
-The burden is on families and communities
-Strong work ethic comes through in letter example…respectability/ families dont
want to go on relief
-Family economy: getting by is seen as families working together
-Division of work based on gender
IV.New Ideas in New Places
-New political ideas generated to try and deal with the depression
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